Mets Minors: Despite Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos, Columbia looks awful

Those who read my blog posts will remember that I try not to be so “Doom and Gloom” about the prospects. I try to focus on the good and let the bad sort itself out in its own time. I’ve already written off the career of Desmond Lindsay this season, surely I won’t bring you down again. Say it ain’t so!

Sorry gang, bring out your umbrellas, It looks like rain.

The Columbia Fireflies have been the worst hitting team in the South Atlantic League all season and it shows across the board.

● Fewest Doubles
● Fewest Home Runs
● Fewest Runs and RBIs
● Fewest Stolen Bases
● Lowest Batting Average
● Lowest On Base Percentage
● Lowest Slugging Percentage

How can this be coming from a team with five (5) of our top ten (10) prospects?

Ronny Mauricio, SS – The eighteen year old has managed to hold his batting average above .250 for the season but what once looked like a brilliant and aggressive promotion now looks like the Mets may have stepped too far. Mauricio has yet to hit a home run, has walked only 7 times in his first 31 games and has twice as many caught stealings (4) as stolen bases (2).

Mark Vientos, 3B – If Mauricio has looked bad, Vientos has looked worse. The 19 year old infielder has only 7 extra base hits, 11 walks and is staring at a batting average of .211 for the season. To make matters worse, he’s struck out 32 times in the 31 games he’s played.

Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP – Things started well for him but that tune has changed and gone most decidedly flat. Over his last three outings he’s accumulated 15 earned runs over only 8.2 innings. During that time he’s also walked more (6) and struck out less (8), none of which should make one feel any warm and fuzzies.

Shervyen Newton, SS/2B/3B – Starting the season on the injured list didn’t help but Newton’s first 16 games are catastrophically bad. He’s batting .078 on the season and has struck out 23 times. The Mets have moved Newton off of shortstop and the pundits might need to move him out of the Top 10 prospects.

Thomas Szapucki, LHP – There’s good and bad. The good, is that the rehabbing pitcher has 8 strikeouts in his first 7.1 innings back and that it seems that the Mets just might be stretching him out to start again. The bad news is that the 22 year old pitcher is clearly being treated with kiddie gloves and that he’s unlikely to make up for much of his significant lost time in 2019.

AAA:
Syracuse Mets

Carlos Gomez should be on his way to Queens – Keon Broxton’s time on the roster should be drawing to a close as the more powerful option seems to be hitting and playing well in AAA.

Rajai Davis is also intriguing – The Mets are not chock full of base stealing threats and Davis has looked solid in AAA but it’s hard to give up roster space to him with Juan Lagares on the team.

Jed Lowrie needs more time – With the exception of his outing on 5/10, Lowrie is clearly not yet firing on all cylinders… but hopefully he will be soon.

Tim Tebow will not be a major leaguer – You can start playing tapps for this former Football Neverwas.

Hector Santiago is next logical option – He’s pretty much the only quality pitcher the Mets haven’t shuttled to the majors.

Here comes Stephen Villines – He’s gotten that promotion from AA and he’s still looking pretty good. I think we will see him in Citi Field before the end of the season.

AA:
Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Patrick Mazeika is hitting well – He’s got 14 hits in his last 10 games with high walks (12) and low strikeouts (17) but he’s played less than half his time at catcher. Interestingly his defensive stats behind the plate haven’t been bad.

Andres Gimenez has nothing to write home about – The “Top Met Prospect” has looked mightily “ho-hum” in the early season. Considering I thought he could have started the year in AAA this is a major disappointment.

Anthony Kay keeps chugging – He’s not a Top of the Rotation guy but he’s certainly looking like he’s got the MLB in his future.

David Peterson looks ordinary – There is nothing on paper to make anyone too excited about this former top Met draft pick.

Harol Gonzalez continues to impress – He’s really been the top starter in Binghamton all year and should probably get more recognition than he does.

A+:
St. Lucie Mets

Luis Carpio is this really you? – The second baseman has been the offensive force behind the Mets in Florida. He’s walking more and hitting the ball well. The Mets are already exploring his defensive versatility but they might consider a mid-season promotion as well.

Jeremy Vasquez needs to show power – Sure it’s great to have a first baseman who can hit .300 and take a walk but it looks odd to have one that has a lower SLG than his OBP.

Tony Dibrell is also looking steady – He’s not yet lasting deep enough into games in my opinion but his hits are low and he’s still got solid strikeout numbers.

18 comments for “Mets Minors: Despite Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos, Columbia looks awful

  1. David Klein
    May 13, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Besides for a stint with the Rangers, Gomez has been horrendous since the second half of 2015

    • May 13, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Agreed. I’m pointing out that he is hitting well in AAA and has more power than Broxton who is hitting terribly in the majors. Gomez would be the 5th outfielder.

  2. May 13, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Corey Oswalt has pitched four games for SYR and he’s 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA. In 23.2 IP, he’s allowed 1 HR and 5 BB and has 25 Ks. He was pretty lousy in Las Vegas last year but he’s putting up good numbers in Triple-A this year.

    I know he’s been knocked around in the majors but I still believe he’s a future contributor.

    • TexasGusCC
      May 14, 2019 at 12:55 am

      I think he deserves a better chance, too.

      • Metsense
        May 14, 2019 at 11:53 am

        I agree Gus. They should bring him up and be the long man but not in pressure situations in the beginning. I think he has future as a adequate fifth starter. He needs nourishing and small successes at the major league level before he starts in the rotation or spot starter.

  3. Chris F
    May 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    David, Im taking the liberty of renaming your minor-league column to “Four-seam Fastball by David Groveman”…nothing devious, just pure informative heat, challenging us all to see things for what they are.

    As always, a great read and informative.

    • May 13, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      My 4-seam fastball travels just North of 25 MPH and has a lot of loop to it.

  4. José
    May 13, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Great job as usual, David. However, my impression is that you were suppressing a yawn while writing some of this. Are the Mets’ minors are in such moribund shape?

  5. May 13, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    The SAL is a tough league, and they stacked the team with some Sink Until You Swim Baseball Babies. It’s a very tough place for 18-20 year old Hitters…Survival is a big achievement.

    As for Szapuki– if he’s as good as we hope, I can wait for a bit. They’d be foolish to rush him in any way.

    • May 14, 2019 at 8:28 am

      This is an important point. No one should be expecting these guys to be dominating. If they have an OPS above the team mark, that’s a good thing. Right now, Columbia has a .558 OPS, so Mauricio (.649) and Vientos (.624) are surviving. Uriarte (.394) and Newton (.338) are not.

      The latter two should probably go to Brooklyn once the short-season leagues start.

      • TexasGusCC
        May 14, 2019 at 9:19 am

        Newton came back from injury without a spring training. Let’s cut him some rope.

        • May 14, 2019 at 9:23 am

          Newton should still be playing shortstop. Moving him to Brooklyn is giving him a chance to play his position. It seems a stretch for Mauricio to earn a mid-season promotion.

  6. TexasGusCC
    May 14, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Don’t look now but Columbia, who started with an offensive ice cold 9-23 record, have won four of their last five and there are some hits sprinkled in here and there!

    Carlos Gomez should come up for Juan Lagares. It’s almost midnight for him, and the Mets have four and a half months’ control of Lagares.

    I said in November and still feel that Giminez should have gone to Seattle instead of Kelenic, and when the Mariners told the Mets to protect two prospects, I would have chosen Kelenic and Alonso. While Giminez has a nice prospect rating on MLB Prospect Rankings, the Mets have tons of middle infielders and I’m not a fan of little infielders over power outfielders.

    David Peterson/Patrick Conlon: What’s the difference?

    That h a s to be a different Luis Carpio with the same name. I don’t know who the heck this imposter is.

    Lastly, Mazeika worked very hard on his defense last year and it showed. But, his offense suffered due to the lack of offensive work. Now, with Ali Sanchez on the team and Sanchez hitting a bit, Mazeika is more of a “Ryan Doumit” player; with positive defense!

    • May 14, 2019 at 8:56 am

      For all of his struggles, Peterson has a 9.5 K/9 in Double-A. Conlon, at the same age, had a 7.1 mark at the same level. I’d say that’s a pretty major difference.

      Carpio started this hitting in the middle of last year, without an inflated BABIP. I had him #22 on my list coming into the season.

      I say this with all sincerity – I admire your willingness to stand up for the guys you believe in. We saw it with Wilmer Flores and now we’re seeing it with Mazeika. But no amount of cheerleading will make Mazeika into an MLB player. Doumit had 3,407 PA in the majors in his career. Mazeika should consider himself blessed if he even makes the majors and blessed beyond belief if he gets 1/10 of that amount of playing time.

      When he was in Double-A at age 23, Doumit put up an .831 OPS. The following year he split time between Triple-A and the majors. When Mazeika was in Double-A at age 24, he put up a .691 OPS in the same league. The following year (2019) he’s returned to Double-A and has put up a .681 OPS. Somehow he’s gotten worse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, BNG is propping up his numbers. He has a .756 OPS at home and a .628 mark on the road.

      • May 14, 2019 at 9:06 am

        I’m a Mazeika fan and he’s not hitting enough to be a “Hitting” catcher and his defense isn’t good enough to be a “Defensive” catcher. He could wind up getting some time as a backup but I don’t think you’re looking at an impact player.

      • TexasGusCC
        May 14, 2019 at 9:29 am

        Thank you for the compliment Brian. I always said, I just wanted Flores to get a chance. He didn’t work on his defense any, and that bothered me.

        With Mazeika, I know his ceiling is probably a backup, but I was commenting on similar positional struggles and usage to Doumit.

  7. TexasGusCC
    May 14, 2019 at 10:00 am

    You really want your feelings hurt? Check out this list:

    http://baseball-farm.com/index.php/2019/04/24/early-top-pitching-performers-strawberry-starts/

    I don’t see a name I like until #165! And it’s the only one!

    • May 14, 2019 at 10:58 am

      Kevin Smith made the list, too.

      Not sure I trust a list that doesn’t have Anthony Kay as one of the best 200 pitchers in the minors.

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