Mets Minors: Matt Reynolds puts on a show in Triple-A

Matt ReynoldsMet fans who are worried about Wilmer Flores’ tenure as the starting shortstop have bookmarked the name Matt Reynolds in their minds.  He was drafted as a third baseman in 2012 but was never destined to play third base in the majors.  Naturally, it might confuse people why the Mets would draft an underpowered third baseman in the second round, but Reynolds was never intended as a third baseman when they picked him.  His range and hands would allow him to cover the field at either shortstop or second baseman.

In 2014, Reynolds displayed an ability to hit, run and play defense to levels that scouts did not think possible.  In 58 games for the Binghamton Mets, Reynolds managed an .852 OPS and earned himself a promotion to AAA.  For Las Vegas Reynolds kept rolling along and began to show more speed and more power.  2014 put Reynolds on the map.

This Spring continued to build his  mystique.  In his limited showing he made people whisper his name as a potential internal solution to the troubling shortstop position.  All that remained was for him to continue to produce and prove that 2014 wasn’t a flash in the pan.

Thus far, he has done that in spades.  He’s hitting .348 and has 8 extra base hits (6 doubles, a triple and a home run).  He’s also managed to steal several bases and all within the first 11 games.  One thing is sure, if Flores gets hurt, Ruben Tejada is not the primary backup option anymore.

AAA:

Dilson Herrera is heating up – He didn’t start well but the average and OPS is on the steady rise.

Travis Taijeron has turned on the power – He’s hitting the ball with authority and might demand a shot should the outfield take a few injuries.

Steven Matz is the most MLB ready pitcher in Vegas – Not to detract from Noah Syndergaard and Thor’s potential, but Matz just needs the call.

Darin Gorski finally showing his stuff in AAA – He’s never shined in AAA before but he’s starting to pitch well for Vegas.

Jack Leathersich continues to tease us – He’s looking like a future closer again with an 18.00 K/9 and no walks.  How long does this last?

AA:

T.J. Rivera keeps hitting – Rivera has no prospect pedigree but all he’s done in the minors is hit, hit and hit.

Gavin Cecchini is still doing alright – We wait for the other shoe to drop but maybe, just maybe he’s a prospect again.

Luis Cessa is pitching masterfully – 11 innings pitched, 5 hits and 12 Ks is a pretty good start for the season.

A+:

Michael Conforto is a big-time hitter – Four home runs to start the year and more walks than Ks and consider the baseball world put on notice.

Champ Stuart still looking sharp – He’s still hitting well and running better.

Akeel Morris continues his strong showing in relief – Since switching to relief Morris has been a revelation.  His 2015 has continued to show the success he discovered in 2014.

A:

Casey Meisner is the class of Savannah – The other pitchers are scuffling but Meisner still looks strong for the Sand Gnats.

18 comments for “Mets Minors: Matt Reynolds puts on a show in Triple-A

  1. Peter Hyatt
    April 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I’ve been waiting for an article on Reynolds!

    What else can he do?

    He hit at AA and was promoted.
    He hit at AAA and had a great spring training.
    He is hitting the ball solidly now, with no place left to go.

    Wilmer is not a defensive fit at SS and I am not sure that Reynolds is, but we should give him the chance.

    With the hot bat of Travis D’A out of the line up, and Grandy not batting his weight, we should give this kid a chance in the line up.

    It will be interesting tonight…Plawecki.

    On to Matz: let’s bring him up. It could be an exciting addition to Harvey and DeGrom.

    Then, to Conforto: home runs? Time to move him to AA, should this continue, by early May. He is a natural hitter.

    thanks for interesting article.

    PS

    Perhaps Nimmo is showing the power we hoped for!

    • April 21, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Reynolds’ numbers just aren’t that impressive once you take the air out.

      Our rule of thumb is to remove 19% of OBP and 34% of SLG in making the transition from Vegas to Queens. So, Reynolds .356 OBP becomes .288 and his .529 SLG becomes .349

      Reynolds projects to .288/.349 while Flores is producing .282/.417

      For more on the transition numbers, visit http://mets360.com/?p=23269

      • David Groveman
        April 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

        Brian is right.

        Also, Conforto needs 50 games in Port St. Lucie before a promotion to AA and Matz has no spot in the rotation right now.

        • Peter Hyatt
          April 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

          David,regarding Conforto, is 50 games a standard, or rule? Or, just a norm?

          Also, as far as Matz not having room in the rotation…should he have a few more quality starts and Gee have a few less than stellar starts, and maybe we’d see him.

          • David Groveman
            April 22, 2015 at 6:53 am

            50 games is an arbitrary number on my part. It would be a large enough sample size to draw some conclusions though.

            With an injury or some shoddy play from Gee or Niese, Matz can get a promotion. It will happen when it happens.

        • Ian
          April 22, 2015 at 11:49 am

          Agreed on all fronts. The toughest leap for prospects is High-A to AA. It’s great that Conforto had a monster first week, but there’s no need to rush him to AA at this point. Let him keep raking and, in due time, he’ll earn his promotions at each step of the way.

  2. James Preller
    April 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    You do a great job with these round ups, thanks. I prefer the weekly “big picture” write-ups than daily info, which tends to be too much data and not enough signal.

    • David Groveman
      April 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  3. eraff
    April 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Brian–is there a more generally applicable “Regression Stat” for players between Highest MILB level and MLB Level? The stat you developed is an interesting and very specific guide—and there’s no doubt that Vegas is a LaLa Land of stats. It certainly affects actual pitch selection for pitchers…and the hitter results are unreliable.

    However, the list used to generate the stat you referenced does not include even one substantial, first line player who has (yet) established himself with the bat as a MLB player. I expect AAAA guys to transition poorly…and fail. Your list incluides lots of ab’s from guys who were never considered moire than boarderline AAAA—Baxter, Quint, Satin…. Newee, Campbell and DD may be a step beyon=d that as a group. Flores is the only guy considered a “first line prospect” from that group.

    The difference between Prospect and Suspect is Optimism….and the actual eventual results. Reynolds BABIP needs to play out and demonstrate… he “looked good” in Spring. There is every reason to suspect the validity of his results.

    • April 21, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      There used to be an MLE calculator online, developed by Jeff Sackmann but it’s no longer hosted anywhere that I’m aware.

      The next best thing would be ZiPS forecasts. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, it forecasted that in 459 PA in the majors that Reynolds would produce a .286 OBP and .320 SLG.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-zips-projections-new-york-mets/

  4. Matt Netter
    April 21, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    So exciting to see more young talent in the pipeline. Maybe I should gove Sandy a little credit.

  5. Peter Hyatt
    April 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t understand the percentage drop, but will look at the link.

    There are some athletes that improve with promotion as they need to be “over their heads” to facilitate improvement. In hockey, its called “slowing down the ice”, and it applies to all sports.

    The “transition numbers”… what do they predict for Kevin Plawecki?

    And…can you apply this theory in retrospect to MLB players now and get similar results?

    • April 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Using his combined 2014-15 Las Vegas stats, Plawecki has a .325 OBP and a .402 SLG. Using the translations, that’s a .263/.265

      These are only for Las Vegas and Queens. But you can go back to 2013 and use them, absolutely. Nieuwenhuis had a .345/.465 in Vegas, which translates to .279/.307 in Queens. In reality he posted a .278/.337 mark for the Mets in 2013. Flores had a .357/.531 in Vegas in ’13. That translates to a .289/.350 in Queens. In reality he posted a .248/.295 for the Mets in ’13. MDD had a .366/.486 line, which translates to .296/.321 and in reality he had .270/.276

  6. Metsense
    April 22, 2015 at 6:41 am

    The Mets future leadoff batter is in Las Vegas and batting .392 with seven consecutive multi hit game. He is Dillson Herrera.
    Taijeron and Castellanos offer outffield depth in case of an injury on the big club.
    Castellanos was a highly rated Dodger prospect but at 28 seems to be revivng his career. He had some pedigree. What happened and now what has changed?
    Leathersich is finally showing some control to go along with his amazing K/9 rate. Even so, Robles a righty got called up instead.
    Conforto should have started in AA and the sooner the Mets correct that misjudgement the better.

  7. April 22, 2015 at 6:51 am

    With Conforto, did the Mets hit big time on someone that everyone else wasn’t quite as high on? I mean, a top 10 pick is a top 10 pick, but yeesh. Outstanding.

    And, Jack Leathersich, stop playing with my emotions…

    • David Groveman
      April 22, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Conforto was hurt part of the year he was drafted and had begun to look like a high strikeout/low-average power hitter. seeing him in Brooklyn and his stats in Port St. Lucie and I get the sense that scouts missed something.

  8. James Newman
    April 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Great roundup David! I’m glad Matz is doing great in AAA, but I wish Syndergaard began to show his potential. There is still time, but I hope he can earn a call up later on this season, even if he serves in the bullpen or as a spot starter.

  9. April 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Good to see nice things brewing for these young men. And I love the Luis Cessa call-out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: