K-Rod is gone, but there’s another closer shining in the New York Mets’ system.
Lefthander Josh Edgin has been outstanding at two Class A stops, combining for 20 saves and a 0.93 ERA.
Edgin didn’t enter the season as a top prospect, and seldom do 24-year-old closers at Class A become major league contributors down the road, but the product of Division II Francis Marion University via Ohio State is at least getting noticed.
After two years in the Buckeyes bullpen, Edgin moved on to the smaller school in Florence, S.C. to become a starter. He was drafted in the 50th round by Atlanta after his junior year, returned to school and was selected in the 30th round in 2010 by New York following a 6-4, 4.07 ERA his senior season.
“I wasn’t expecting to be drafted. I was working the day (the Mets) called me. They said, ‘We drafted you in the 30th round. Do you want to sign?’ I said yes. I didn’t have to report for three more days, so I worked construction the next day,” Edgin told TCPalm.com.
Edgin was 1-0 with 16 saves, a 0.87 ERA and a .135 average against for Savannah in the South Atlantic League. He walked 10 and struck out 41 in 31 innings. He is 1-0 with four saves and a 1.04 ERA in his first 11 outings for St. Lucie.
Edgin had a 2.60 ERA in 20 relief outings last summer in rookie ball with 46 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings and pitched well for Savannah in the South Atlantic League playoffs.
The portly 6-1, 225-pound southpaw throws a fastball in the low 90s and possesses a pretty decent low-80s slider.
Class AA Binghamton shortstop Jordany Valdespin is having a breakout season. The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic is batting .296/.341/.470, including .330 with six homers and 13 steals in June and .344 with three homers and five steals in July.
When talking about tools, manager Wally Backman has mentioned his great speed and ability to hit for average and power. He describes the prospect as a work in progress in a story appearing in the Press & Sun Bulletin.
It has been a disappointing season for Robert Carson, who was a 14th-round pick out of of high school in the 2007 draft who was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in the New York Mets farm system before this season.
The lefthander is 2-8 with a 4.35 ERA and has just one win since mid-May. In 16 starts this season, Carson has given up 95 hits and 40 earned runs in 82 2/3 innings. He has walked 34 batters and struck out 62.
Backman said the 22-year-old Carson still has time to develop as a pitcher before a move to the bullpen becomes a primary option.
“The thing with Bobby is that everything right now is hard,” Backman told the Press & Sun Bulletin. “On his best night his changeup works pretty good. He threw some sliders that were 87-88 miles per hour. It’s not a complementing pitch to a cut fastball … To me he has got to have something that is softer or else he’s going to end up being a bullpen guy.”
His fastball routinely sits in the 88-91 mph range.
“We’ve been working on holding (the ball) like an egg and staying light with it until I get to the release point and grip it tight,” Carson said of his changeup. “It’s come a long way since the beginning of the season. There was just a time when I didn’t have confidence in it. I wasn’t trusting it. I was too busy thinking too much about it, trying to soften it up and throwing it too hard. The last two starts I’ve started throwing it a lot, and I’m getting confident in it.”
AROUND THE MINORS: Class AAA Buffalo OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis remains sidelined with a strained left shoulder. He has not played since June 9 and progress has been very slow and could require surgery. The 23-year-old is batting .298/.403/.505 with five steals in 53 games. His slow rehab progress surely has cost him a spot in the outfield once New York purges Carlos Beltran and others from its major league club. … St. Lucie SS Robbie Shields returned to the lineup this weekend after missing over two weeks with a back injury. Binghamton 2B Reese Havens has been out since June 23 with a back injury and Binghamton RHP Jeurys Familia was placed on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to July 14 with a right shoulder impingement. The move we deemed “precautionary.”… Savannah won its 11th straight game on July 6 – matching the team’s winning streak in 2000 – believed to be the franchise’s longest since 1993.