Don’t look yet, but Reese Havens may finally be back.
The 22nd overall pick in the 2008 draft is in the midst of his best stretch in nearly two seasons, highlighted by a pinch-hit, 12th-inning walkoff homer Saturday for the Binghamton Mets against Altoona.
Coincidentally, Havens was playing next to rehabbing shortstop Jose Reyes, perhaps a glimpse at the future double-play combination in New York.
“Yeah man, for sure,” Havens told Lynn Worthy of the Binghamton Press. “I definitely think that. I wouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing if I didn’t think that so it’s exciting to think about. It definitely ran through my mind.”
Plagued by injuries just about since the day he was drafted, Havens is batting .366/.452/.620 in August with six doubles, four homers, 15 RBI and 11 walks in 21 games. This stretch has lifted his overall numbers to .298/.380/.468 with six homers and 25 RBI in 52 games.
Havens started the season on the disabled list with soreness in his ribs. Havens also spent three weeks on the disabled list from late June to mid-July after back spasms. He had surgery in December to shave a half inch from one of his ribs on his left side after oblique pain limited Havens to just 32 games last season (14 with Single-A St. Lucie, 18 with Binghamton).
“I’ve felt comfortable the last few weeks,” Havens said. “I think its just repetition that’s made me feel comfortable. I’ve been working with (hitting coach) Luis (Natera) on some minor things. I’m just trying to relax up there and make some things happen at the plate. It’s been a lot of fun coming to the park the last two or three weeks. We’re a little bit too late since the season is almost over, but it has been a lot of fun.”
Jefry Marte hit a home run to lead off the fifth inning for the only run of the game, as the Class A St. Lucie Mets beat Bradenton 1-0 on Saturday.
Four Mets pitchers combined for the shutout. Starter Zack Wheeler gave up three hits and struck out three in five innings for the win. Wheeler is 2-2 with a 2.16 ERA in his first five starts with just five walks and 26 strikeouts in 25 innings. He has tremendously improved his control since the trade with the San Francisco Giants after reportedly returning to his pitching style form his high school days.
Marte, just 20, started the season batting .321 with four homers and a .920 OPS in April but has slumped since. The third baseman, who played in the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend, has posted OPS’s of .674, .653, .451 and .622 in the following months. He has two homers this month after hitting just one from May-July.
AROUND THE MINORS: Binghamton OF Juan Lagares is batting .400 during a current 18-game hitting streak. The 22-year-old is batting .394 with 19 RBI in 31 games since joining the club from Class-A St. Lucie where he hit .338 in 82 games. The native of the Dominican Republic hadn’t hit better than .279 in any of his first five seasons since signing as a 17-year-old. … Buffalo SS Jordany Valdespin is batting .381 with a 1.109 OPS in his last 10 games recovering from a slow start after his promotion from Binghamton. He’s hitting .289 with two homers but 17 strikeouts in 83 at-bats. … Binghamton RHP Matt Harvey, selected the top pitching prospect in the Class A Florida State League by Baseball America, has won five straight starts. The 2010 first-rounder has allowed nine earned runs and 22 hits in 27 innings with nine walks and 24 strikeouts.