Last night was a really good night for the Columbia Fireflies. The team collected 17 hits in a 12 to 5 romp over the Lexington Legends and leading off for the Fireflies was Ronny Mauricio, who finished 4 for 6 on the night. The game was a bad one for Lexington, who also managed 5 errors, but the story of the game was the 18 year old prospect playing shortstop.
We’ve already talked about the pitfalls of promoting players ahead of schedule to levels beyond their ability. You can destroy a player’s confidence and set their timeline back years in the process. Sometimes, you can completely derail a career before it even begins.
To start the 2019 the Mets threw caution to the wind and gave Mauricio a shot at the SAL and playing games against players 2-4 years his elder. Through 9 games the experiment has worked exceptionally well. Mauricio is sporting a .368/.400/.395 batting line and proving to the world that he can put bat to ball.
What he has yet to show is the power, patience or speed that he will need to become a “true” Top Prospect. He has only 1 walk, 1 extra base hit and he has 2 caught stealings and 0 stolen bases thus far. So, how is it conceivable that he could supplant Andres Gimenez as the #1 prospect?
In 2018, Mauricio did not have a problem showing his power. He hit 13 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs for the GCL Mets in 49 games. He didn’t steal many bases and he didn’t walk often enough but there are all the makings of a Plus Offensive infielder.
At 6’3” he’s almost assured to find his way to third base or the outfield alongside the 6’4” tall Shervyen Newton but the Mets have to be optimistic about their aggressive promotion so far.
Chris Flexen making case for 6th starter – After two starts Flexen’s numbers aren’t great but one thing about them is. He has 18 strikeouts in his first 12.0 innings of 2019. Also the damage against him has come almost entirely in a single inning of baseball.
Dilson Herrera is best player on AAA roster – He’s been the star for the team in the early going but there will never be a spot for him to play while Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil and Jed Lowrie are all on the team.
Syracuse is a place without prospects – Looking at the Syracuse lineup is like looking at a AAAA team of players who could play in the majors on bad teams. Carlos Gomez, Gregor Blanco, Adeny Hechavarria, Rymer Liriano, Rajai Davis and Danny Espinosa should make Syracuse quite a good team in 2019 but they don’t give Met fans much to hope for.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Binghamton having a rough time playing baseball – There seem to be a record number of postponed games to start the season. Very few stats to base my early evaluations on.
St. Lucie Mets
Desmond Lindsay starts slow… again – I spoke to Brian after Lindsay had a good game but those good games are few and far between. His OPS might be .693 but that is fueld by a 4 walk night and ignores his 12 strikeouts in his first 9 games.
Blake Tiberi sheds the mold – Someone I didn’t expect much from in 2019 is Tiberi. He’s off to a really nice start in Advanced A where the 24 year old is hitting a .438/.486/.563 line while leading off. Just strange seeing a corner infielder as a leadoff hitter.
Who is Quinn Brodey – Another surprising success story of 2019 has been Brodey, who is quietly getting things done for the St. Lucie offense. The 23 year old outfielder has a .382/.415/.471 batting line with a pair of stolen bases. We’d like to see more power or more speed in a true prospect but we’ll take what we can get.
How good is Tony Dibrell? – With Jordan Humphreys yet to make an appearence the pitching story for St. Lucie is Dibrell. The breakout success of the 2018 Columbia Fireflies is having a solid start to his season for St. Lucie with 9.2 innings pitched and 11 strikeouts to show for it.
Meet Ryley Gilliam – He’s one of a few pitchers who will nab saves for St. Lucie and he’s off to a real fine start.The undersized righty has 11 strikeouts in 7.0 innings and has only given up base runners in 1 of his four appearances.
Thomas Szapucki is back – The Mets are bringing him back into games slowly. They had him pitch one inning on 4/8/19 and another two on 4/12/19 as they work him back into playing shape. So far… so good.
Simeon Woods Richardson warming up – A large part of early Spring is stretching out the would-be starters. Woods Richardson pitched 3.0 good innings on Wednesday and should be ready to get through five or more in his next outing.
Who else likes Willy Taveras? – Sign me up as an early Taveras fan. This tiny pitcher is making a bid to buck the norm and stick it as a starter while being under six feet tall.