Monday, April 24, 2006

Mets Minor League Report 4-24-2006

I’m preparing for my first Mets game of the season tonight at Telecom Park in SF by spending some time with the minor leaguers.

Norfolk

Lastings Milledge earned the International League Batter of the Week honors for his torrid April 17-23rd run. In the week, he hit .550 with a home run and 2 RBI. He’s hit in eight straight games and is now hitting .400/.526/.633 (AVG/OBP/SLG). His rank in the IL in the three categories: #4/#1/#3.

Heath Bell’s four saves tie him for third in the IL and his 2.25 ERA leads Norfolk. He’s struck out 14 and walked three in 8 IP. He’s also bounced 3 WP.

The rest of the team continues to struggle. The Tides split a doubleheader Sunday, but have dropped four of their last five and seven of their last nine games.

Jose Lima pitched the Tides to their only win of the weekend, a 1-0 defeat of Richmond. He fired off six shutout innings and allowed just three hits. He struck out six without walking a batter. Richmond is second to last in the IL in batting average (.229) and second from the bottom in runs scored (47). Only the Tides have lower team batting average (.228).

Binghamton

Jorge Padilla was named the Eastern League’s hitter of the week for the week ending April 23rd. The 26-year old Puerto Rican was 11-for-21 with a HR and 2 2B for a .524 AVG and .762 SLG. He’s now hitting .377/.431/.623, ranking him 1/3/5 in the league respectively. Padilla was originally a 3rd round pick of the Phillies in 1998 out of Florida Air Academy High School. After spending most of the last two seasons in AAA with Scranton/WB, the Mets signed him as a free agent this winter.

The rest of the Eastern League leaderboard is speckled with Mets. Brett Harper’s .373/.448/.492 line puts him third in the league in AVG and atop the charts in OBP. Carlos Gomez’s nine SB tie him for third in the league. Gomez has hit .221/.329/.294 through 17 games.

The B-Mets lost two of three to Erie over the weekend including a 15-4 shellacking Sunday. Tim McNab, who led Binghamton with 44 appearances in 2005, made his AA debut Sunday and gave up five runs on six hits in just two innings. Binghamton, like Norfolk, has lost four of its last five.

Evan MacLane earned the only win for Binghamton over the weekend for his four run, five inning performance Friday. Anderson Garcia, who celebrated his 25th birthday Sunday was one hit away from perfection in working the final four innings for his first save of the season. His 1.26 ERA leads the B-Mets and places him fifth in the league.

St. Lucie

St. Lucie lost 3-0 to Palm Beach Friday, but beat Brevard County 7-3 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 10-6. Jose Sanchez, who got I believe is the same Jose Sanchez who got lit in seven appearances in the California League last year with the San Jose Giants, following a solid performance in the SAL League, dealt five two run innings Sunday to pick up the win. He struck out three and walked three in lowering his ERA to 1.23, sixth in the league.

Four St. Lucie Mets are among the League’s top 10 in ERA: #3 Alay Soler (1-0, 0.60), #4 Michael Pelfrey (1-1, 1.13), #6 Jose Sanchez (2-0, 1.23) and #7 Michael Devaney (0-1, 1.32). The best secondary numbers belong to Pelfrey who has struck out 18 an walked one in 16 innnings.

In a very encouraging development, Ambio Concepcion (.348/.411/.455) is tied for second in the league in 2B (7) and is tied for third in SB (7) and hits (23). Already on the Mets 40 man roster, Concepcion has already walked 7 times, a dramatic increase over last year when he drew 22 free passes in 130 games in Hagerstown on his way to a .251/.289/.413.

Hagerstown

After not completing Friday’s game, the Suns dropped two one run games to the Lake County Captains to slip back to 2 games under .500 at 7-9. The Suns are tied for fifth place in the eight team SAL North, 3.5 games behind the Lexington Legends.

Fernando Martinez, Baseball America’s #4 prospect in the Mets organization is making that ranking look good with a .328/.403/.552 start. He already has 6 2B and 2 3B