Mets Minors: Brandon Moore flies under the radar

INTRODUCING Brandon Moore

Recently, Mets GM Sandy Alderson bemoaned the lack of starting pitching depth in the farm system. Meanwhile, the unheralded Moore is 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in five starts in Double-A.

The 25-year-old, who is the B-Mets No. 5 starter, has won his last two starts, allowing one unearned run and seven hits in 15 1/3 innings.

Moore was two outs away from the B-Mets first complete game of the season in Thursday’s 7-1 win against Erie. It was the longest outing of his four-year career.

Moore, a 6-3, 190 pound righthander selected in the 14th round of the 2008 draft out of Wesleyan University, is 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA in five starts this season. He’s yielded 25 hits and four walks with 24 strikeouts in 29 1/3 frames. However, his outstanding command and pitch-ability will have to overcome a fastball that tops at 90 miles per hour.

Moore was a combined 5-9 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 games – 25 starts – with 41 walks and 165 strikeouts in 149 innings. He was 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA at Brooklyn in the New York – Penn in ’09 and 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 14 games in rookie ball in 2008.

SECOND BASE OPTIONS: Second base is a mess in New York. The Brad Emaus experiment didn’t work and now defensively-challenged Daniel Murphy and offensively-challenged Justin Turner are getting their chance.

One possible solution in the future is playing shortstop at Class AA Binghamton (11-16), where Jordany Valdespin is riding an eight-game hitting streak.

The lefthanded hitter is 13-for-33 during the streak, raising his average to .277/.321/.396. He has seven doubles, a triple, homer, eight RBI and a team-high seven steals in nine attempts on a team that only has two other regulars batting over .250: middle infielders Mike Fisher and Joshua Satin.

However, the 23-year-old has just seven walks against 22 strikeouts in 101 at-bats and he’s only 2-for-15 with four strikeouts against fellow southpaws.

Valdespin hit .277/.328/.406 in his four years and prior to last season had shown very little extra-base potential. He had 25 extra-base hits (16 doubles, 3 triples, 6 homers) in 270 at-bats in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League last season and chipped in 13 steals.

Valdespin, who was added to the 40-man roster over the winter, followed that by hitting .355 with a .848 on-base percentage in the Arizona Fall League with five extra-base hits and four walks in 76 at-bats. He was 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts.

He’s split time between shortstop and second base but looks like he’ll settle on the right side of the bag.

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Class AAA Buffalo shortstop Ruben Tejada seems to be making strides at the plate.

The 21-year-old is batting .283/.348/.433 – his best OPS mark since 2007 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He’s already cracked three homers – two shy of his career high – and he’s driven in 18 runs in 31 games with a .357 average with runners in scoring position.

He put together four consecutive multi-hit games last week to push his average over .300 before going 0-for-7 to end the week.

AROUND THE MINORS: St. Lucie (20-10), which just a few weeks ago had the best record in the minor leagues, snapped a six-game losing streak Sunday. … Savannah OF Darrell Ceciliani, the 2010 New York – Penn batting leader, returned to the lineup after missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury. He went 3-for-15 in his first four games and is batting .200 in nine games this season. Teammate Cory Vaughn continues to take after his father Greg Vaughn, going 3-for-4 Sunday to push his average to .327/.442/.449. He has one homer and 13 RBI in 29 games and is batting .378 with runners in scoring position.

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