Mets Minors: Corey Oswalt rolls on in Double-A

Coming off his shortest outing of the year, one where he was removed after a 41-pitch second inning, Corey Oswalt rebounded with six shutout innings for Double-A Binghamton Saturday night. It was the ninth time in his last 13 outings that Oswalt has limited the opposition to fewer than two runs and he has a 1.57 ERA in that stretch. For the season, he’s second in the Eastern League with a 2.26 ERA.

Oswalt missed half of the 2016 season with a shoulder injury but when he returned he performed well at Hi-A St. Lucie, going 4-2 with 68 Ks and 18 BB in 67.2 IP. His season continued in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA, competing against the top prospects in baseball.

Originally a seventh-round pick in the 2012 Draft, Oswalt received an above-slot bonus. He put up strong back-to-back seasons, first at Brooklyn (6-2, 2.26 ERA) and then in Savannah (11-5, 3.36 ERA) in 2014-15 but questions remained because of the pitcher-friendly nature of those parks. But moving up in levels, as well as to more neutral parks has not slowed him down. At 6’5, 245 pounds, Oswalt has an ideal pitcher frame. He touches the mid-90s with his heater and throws both a slider and a change. The development of his offspeed pitches will determine his future role.

Las Vegas

In his last nine games, SS Amed Rosario is batting .415 with a .968 OPS and has fanned just three times in 44 PA. But he hasn’t played for the 51s since 7/6. Instead, Rosario found himself playing in the Futures Game on Sunday in Miami and on Wednesday, he’ll be the starting shortstop for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All Star Game… 1B Dominic Smith has hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games. Baseball America named him the 50th-best prospect in the game in its midseason prospect list… Since being returned to the minors, C Kevin Plawecki has a .336/.380/.558 line in 121 PA… RHP Hansel Robles has had a rough go of it since being sent down but he’s notched four consecutive scoreless appearances, with 5 Ks in 5 IP.

Binghamton

The hits are falling in for 2B/SS Luis Guillorme, who is considered the top defensive middle infielder in the system. Guillorme has 23 hits in his last 15 games. While he has very little power, he does have 14 BB in this stretch, too… 3B David Thompson has hit safely in seven of his last eight games. Since April 30 he has a .293/.378/.473 line in 238 PA, with a 16.4 K%… On Wednesday, RHP Chris Flexen won for the fourth time in five appearances since his promotion to Double-A. He has 3 BB and 34 Ks in 33.2 IP for the Rumble Ponies.

St. Lucie

3B Jhoan Urena has hit safely in eight of his last nine games and has six doubles in that stretch… After notching 16 XBH in his first 117 PA this year, C Patrick Mazeika has just eight in his last 199 trips to the plate. He has a .238/.357/.310 line in his last 47 games… In 13 games since his promotion, OF Tim Tebow is batting .315 with a .951 OPS. Those numbers were .220 and .648, respectively, in Lo-A… RHP Merandy Gonzalez has given up fewer than 2 ER in all three of his starts since his promotion and has 16 Ks in 17.2 IP.

Columbia

OF Desmond Lindsay returned to action after missing nearly a month with an undisclosed injury. He’s hit safely in all four games since his return… SS Andres Gimenez is struggling, going hitless in his last 18 ABs… OF Jay Jabs has hit safely in five of six games this month, with 4 XBH in 22 ABs… LHP Thomas Szapucki left Thursday’s start in the first inning due to pain in his pitching forearm.

Short-Season

SS Edgardo Fermin, making his U.S. debut this year, had three multi-hit games this week for Kingsport. He was signed out of Venezuela as a 16 year old back in 2014… SS Mark Vientos, the club’s second-round pick in the 2017 Draft, hit his first professional HR Sunday. He also doubled in the game… OF Quinn Brodey, the Mets’ third-round pick in the 2017 Draft, is batting .286 for Brooklyn after 12 games… 2B Gregory Guerrero had a good weekend, going 2-4 with a double and 2 RBIs on Saturday and he followed that up with a 3-hit game with a double and 3 runs on Sunday. Guerrero and Gimenez were the club’s two big signees among the 2015 International Free Agent class.

*****

Three other notes to pass along. The Mets signed 2017 first-round pick David Peterson to a slot-level deal. The 20th overall pick of the draft will receive $2,994,500.

On Thursday the Mets announced that RHP Cameron Planck, an 11th-round pick in the 2016 Draft who signed for $1 million and 1 dollars, will undergo shoulder surgery. He will not pitch this season after sitting out last year to protect his arm.

Earlier in the week, the Mets traded SS Milton Ramos, a third-round pick from the 2014 Draft, to the Orioles for $1 million in international bonus pool money. Ramos was considered an excellent defensive shortstop when signed but has not hit this year or last at Lo-A. Meanwhile, the Mets had a bumper international class this year, signing three of Baseball America’s top 40 players, including SS Ronny Mauricio, ranked third overall in the class. Mauricio received $2.1 million, a record for the Mets with an international signee.

13 comments for “Mets Minors: Corey Oswalt rolls on in Double-A

  1. Jimmy P
    July 10, 2017 at 11:01 am

    On Szapucki: Forearm discomfort is often a precursor to TJ surgery.

    Hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

  2. Pete from NJ
    July 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Corey Oswalt sure looks like a keeper and perhaps we can see him as a Septemer call up.

    Phil Evens and/or David Thompson I thought could be an additional infield piece but I suppose not.

    And Kevin Palwecki, maybe he gets is last shot during the 2nd half to show us he’s got something to offer?

    • July 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      I’m still optimistic about Thompson being a future piece.

    • John
      July 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      I saw Oswalt pitch in Harrisburg last Friday night. I questioned the radar gun at the time but he was topping out at 89. But no one was hitting 93 so the gun may be slow.
      In any case there must have been a lot of late movement because he overpowered quite a few hitters. There was very little solid contact and he left the game without giving up a run. Also he did have excellent command.

  3. Eraff
    July 10, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I’ve not seen them pitch, but I’m optimistic on Oswalt and also Flexen. They’re young enough that the stat line itself gives you hope.

    I’ve seen Plawecki (not) hit….and I’m still optimistic about him…why???… I liked the high contact approach when he first came up. Since then, he looks mostly confused—maybe I’m talking myself away from him.

    • TexasGusCC
      July 11, 2017 at 12:26 am

      I also like Plawecki, but not his slow bat. I said he needs to left some weights to be able to whip the bat better. That piece earlier in the year that showed him learning to use the whole field has emboldened me. Also, his defense is strong. I would give him plenty of time in August and September, and I agree with Pete below: time to move Rivera for a hot meal.

  4. Pete from NJ
    July 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I think moving Rene Rivera on his career high note for some value would open up a spot for Plawecki. Brian’s stats shows he can hit in AAA so most likely it’s time for both plsyers.

    • July 10, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      Well, Las Vegas is a hitter’s park in a hitter’s league so you have to make some adjustments for them to make sense.

      A few years ago, we came up with a back of the envelope translation. These calculations are far from perfect and come with no guarantee – just that they’ll get you to the right general area. Our rule of thumb is that the equivalent in the majors of what the player did in Las Vegas is to take 81% of his OBP and 66% of his SLG.

      So, Plawecki has a .360 OBP and a .523 SLG in Las Vegas. Using our translation that’s the equivalent of a .292 OBP and a .345 SLG in the majors. So far lifetime in the majors, KP has a .282 OBP and a .278 SLG.

      • Name
        July 10, 2017 at 9:59 pm

        An asterisk should be put on that translation because it was done a few years ago before the home runs spiked dramatically.

        The OBP translation is probably still good since it’s only jumped from ~.320 to ~-330, but SLG has jumped from ~.400 to ~-.430 in the past 2 years.

        I don’t know if we’ve had enough players (or sample size) play in both AAA and the majors since 2016 for an update on the translation though. My rough guess is it might be 85% for OBP and 75% for SLG.

        • July 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm

          That’s an interesting idea and I should re-run the numbers during the offseason.

          Looking at nothing but HR, Las Vegas players hit more homers in 2014 (172) than they did in 2016 (141), which might make the SLG multiplier increase, too.

          One thing I wonder about with the MLB HR increase if it’s across the board or if it’s a certain type of hitter. I mean we have Logan Morrison going from a 162-game average during the years 2010-2014 of 19 HR per 648 PA to having 24 HR in 346 PA this year. I haven’t looked at it but it’s possible that 10% of the hitters are accounting for the majority of the increase.

          • Name
            July 11, 2017 at 2:04 am

            So for your last question i did a quick histogram comparison of 2014 vs 2017 HRs in increments of 5 (and i pro-rated each player’s HR for 600 PA with a minimum of 30 PA needed)

            It’s actually about 6.6% of the hitters accounting for the increase.

            The biggest loss of course are the hitters hitting less than 5 HRs. In 2014, 16.6% of hitters hit 0-5 HRs but this year it’s only 13.3%

            The majority of the gains seem to fall into the 20-30 HR range, where it’s gone up from 24.2% to 27.1% and as well as the 40-50 HR range which has increased from 1.1% to 4.5%

            • July 11, 2017 at 10:35 am

              Thanks for running that!

              Only three hitters had 100 PA for both the Mets and 51s last year and none so far this year. There were three who did it in 2015, too. It would be nice if we would get three again this year but at this point it doesn’t seem likely.

  5. Eraff
    July 10, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    The Vegas to Queens Stat Converter is heavily tied to the fact that most players simply prove that they cannot play Major League Baseball. Virtually all players who get some level of “shot” will perform at a high level at their last MILB station.

    Home/away OPS for some Vegas Stars
    Rosario: 916/773
    Smith: 937/837
    PLawecki: 1129/726
    Nimmo: 612/857
    Nimmo–2016: 1033/911

    Vegas Home Cooking is generally good…it may distort “readiness”…it may also distort Approach— PLawecki swinging for the Vegas Fly may kill him later.

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