Mets Minors: Desmond Lindsay is a road warrior

Coming into this season, Desmond Lindsay was considered one of the club’s top prospects. Drafted in the second round in 2015, when the Mets didn’t have a first-round selection, it was thought he was a first-round talent who fell because of injury. In both 2015 and 2016, Lindsay performed well when he was on the field. But last year he had fewer than half the PA that teammate Colby Woodmansee had for the Cyclones.

Fast forward to this year and Lindsay has been healthy but his overall numbers look disappointing. He holds a .643 OPS compared to a .667 team average in the category. To many, it seemed like an extremely disappointing season and that Lo-A pitchers were simply dominating a guy who many thought had star potential. But a deeper look into his numbers shows something else entirely.

Lindsay is getting killed by his home park. In 92 PA at Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, Lindsay is batting just .105 with a .408 OPS. In the month of May alone, Lindsay was 3-42 in his home park. But in neutral road parks, Lindsay has a .250/.402/.516 line for a .918 OPS in 82 PA.

While not as stark as his home/road split, Lindsay is also struggling when he has the platoon advantage so far in 2017. After posting an 1.105 OPS versus LHP in 2016, Lindsay has just a .540 mark against southpaws this season, .157 points lower than his mark against righties.

You want every player to do well. But when a player struggles, it’s nice to see an easily identifiable reason why it’s happening. Given my druthers, if there has to be a home/road split, my preference is to see a player perform better in road parks. The hope is that performing well in multiple parks means that the player is not taking advantage of a particular quirk of one venue. Sure, everyone hoped for big things from Lindsay this season and we haven’t gotten that yet. But a .918 OPS in road parks shouldn’t be dismissed.

Las Vegas

After a brutal start to his season, 2B Gavin Cecchini has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games and has a .932 OPS in his last 45 PA. It would be nice to see more power production from him, as he has just three extra-base hits during this hot streak… Like Cecchini, Brandon Nimmo got off to an awful start. But in his last 14 games, Nimmo has a .333/.424/.561 triple slash line, with 10 of those 14 games happening on the road… Dominic Smith is batting .339 with a .935 OPS in Vegas and is hitting .278 with a .741 OPS in other PCL parks… Amed Rosario has eight strikeouts in his last five games.

Binghamton

David Thompson is 5-13 in June and since April 30, he has a .306/.381/.459 line in 113 PA. Ideally, we’d see more than the 2 HR he has in this streak but given the terrible way his first exposure to Double-A went, we’ll take it… Mickey Jannis won for the fourth time in five decisions Friday night. The knuckleballer fanned seven and did not walk a batter over six innings… Corey Taylor allowed runs in six of his first 12 appearances this year. But in his last five outings, he’s combined for 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB and 5 Ks. He’s picked up a win and two saves in that stretch… After a hot month at the plate, Tomas Nido has hit a rough patch. He’s just 3-19 in his last five games with no walks. But one of his three hits was a homer.

St. Lucie

Since the beginning of May, Tyler Bashlor has appeared in 11 games and in 11.1 IP he has a 0.79 ERA, 23 Ks and 6 Saves. The only blemish is that he’s allowed 9 BB in this span… Chris Flexen has made three starts and has a 2.13 ERA and a 1.184 WHIP. He has 3 BB and 13 Ks in 12.1 IP… Justin Dunn has made three appearances since moving to the pen and in 11 IP, he’s allowed just 1 ER. He had a 6.89 ERA as a starter… After getting off to a hot start, Patrick Mazeika has a .230/.319/.311 line in his last 69 PA. He has just three extra-base hits in this 16-game span.

Columbia

After being sidelined all season with a shoulder impingement, top prospect Thomas Szapucki made his first start Sunday for the Fireflies. He allowed 3 ER in 4.1 IP and had 3 Ks… Michael Paez, a fourth-round pick in 2016, is tearing things up. In the last week he’s batting .462 with a 1.356 OPS and for the season he has a .944 OPS with 27 XBH in 207 PA. At age 22, he’s a tad old for the SAL and he seems headed for a mid-year promotion… Ali Sanchez has a .302/.362/.381 line since the beginning of May. He hit just .145 in April… In his last 11 games, Dash Winningham has a .990 OPS. He has 3 HR and 7 XBH in his last 45 PA.

5 comments for “Mets Minors: Desmond Lindsay is a road warrior

  1. Jimmy P
    June 5, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m truly sorry to be writing in disagreement with you Brian, as I know you don’t like it, but Lindsay is hitting .105 at home in 92 PA . . . and you think it’s easily explained as a park factor?

    Are they still using 90-foot base paths? Pitchers throwing from 60 feet away?

    Maybe he’s got a lumpy mattress.

    Or this is a statistical fluke based, in part, on a small sample size. Too much staring at numbers.

    One other quibble: But in my opinion, when a pitcher throws 11 innings and walks 9, that’s a significant shortcoming, not a blemish. That dog don’t hunt.

    Glad Szapucki is back on the mound. I liked what I saw of him last season.

    • June 5, 2017 at 11:31 am

      I have no problem with people disagreeing with me. The most fascinating players are the guys who smart, reasonable people can look at and come to completely different conclusions. Rather, my issue is when people say things that are demonstrably false.

      I don’t believe this is the case here with what you say. The samples aren’t big enough to make any unassailable conclusions. Obviously when you’re hitting just .102 the hits aren’t falling in. Could be nothing but bad luck and I’m not dismissing that as a possibility.

      All I’m saying is that if you look at everything that Lindsay has done this year, you would conclude that he’s been a major disappointment. But I think there’s something to the fact that he’s hitting great on the road and lousy at home. We have the rest of the season to see what Lindsay does and no one has to make any decisions on him today.

      Point taken on the walks.

  2. Eraff
    June 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

    The Lindsay situation is a little scary, but he has about 250 ab’s beyond High School coming in to the year. Injuries…. Interruptions….. I do find the walk Rate encouraging, keeping in Mind the “Offensive Machine” label pinned on him by scouts.

    I’d like to see him put together a 150 ab block of success this season…at any point

  3. June 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Never thought Cecchini was a power guy when he was drafted, unless I’m remembering wrong…

    • June 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Clearly, he’s not a “power guy.”

      But anyone who wants to be considered an option to play in MLB has to be able to hit the ball with at least some authority in the minors, especially at Las Vegas. T.J. Rivera’s not a “power guy” and he had a .163 ISO last year in Vegas. Cecchini’s .100 ISO is underwhelming.

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