Three More Mets Minor League First Basemen

Previously, I looked at first basemen in the Mets three lowest Minor League teams. Today, I’ll look at first basemen playing for the Savannah Sand Gnats, St. Lucie Mets, and Binghamton Mets.

At Savannah, 24-year-old Sam Honeck’s been the primary first baseman. Currently, he’s on the 7-day DL. In his third season of pro ball, he’s hitting only .227 with a slugging average of .346, not the numbers you’d like to see from a first baseman. The Mets selected Honeck in the 11th round of the 2009 MLB Draft.

At St. Lucie, Stefan Welch plays first base. He’s been in the Mets organization since 2007, signed out of Australia. This season he’s hitting .267 with a .433 slugging average. Of his 29 extra base hits, 10 are homers. In the 10-game span from July 11-21, the 22-year-old hit .429 with a slugging average of .543.

Manning first base for the Binghamton Mets is 24-year-old Allan Dykstra, one of the season’s most pleasant surprises. Traded for Eddie Kunz, the Padres 2008 first-round draft choice is hitting .270 with 13 homers and 51 RBIs. He’s been particularly effective batting with runners on base, hitting .300 in those situations.

The three first basemen discussed in today’s post coupled with the three discussed in a previous post indicate that the Mets are well-positioned at first base from their Rookie League teams through Double-A.

A Look at Three First Basemen Drafted in 2011

The Mets drafted three first basemen in 2011: Ryan Hutson (Rd 36), Tant Shepherd (Rd 24), and Cole Frenzel (Rd 7). All three are currently playing for Mets farm teams.

In his last 10 games with the GCL Mets beginning with the July 7 game, Ryan Huston has been swinging the bat much batter. In that span he’s hit .310 with nine hits in 29 at bats. Five of those were extra base hits, which gave him a slugging average during that period of .552. As a result, he’s upped his average by 45 points. Before July 7, it was .205; now, it’s .250. His OPS is .778.

Surprisingly, the right-handed batter is hitting righties much better than lefties. Against righties he’s hitting .269; against lefties, .188.

Tant Shepherd, who played first base for the University of Texas, has been switched to third base by the Kingsport Mets. The move has not helped his bat. He’s currently hitting only .167 in 42 at bats with only two extra base hits, both doubles, and one RBI. In contrast, in his final season at Texas, he hit .303. The Mets might want to consider returning him to first base. His OPS is .514.

In Brooklyn, Cole Frenzel is manning first base. Frenzel is hitting .297. In 37 at bats, he has seven RBIs but only two extra base hits, a double and a triple. The left-handed batter is hitting well against both righties (.294) and lefties (.333). His OPS is .765.

Though Shepherd is not currently playing first base and is in a batting slump, those three draftees seem to have improved substantially the Mets farm system’s future at first base.

Mazzoni to Pitch Soon for the Cyclones

According to ESPN’s Adam Rubin,

N.C. State right-hander Cory Mazzoni, the Mets’ second-round pick earlier this month, should appear in a game with Brooklyn within a week, although his innings counts will be severely restricted.

Mazzoni, drafted this year by the Mets in the second round, has a fastball that has reached 96 mph. It’s one of four pitches he throws.

Why is Jose Reyes batting lead-off?

In yesterday’s Sun-Ledger, Conor Orr quotes the Mets Jose Reyes as saying that “I don’t go to home plate looking for a walk, I go there looking to swing the bat.” Given that Reyes is batting lead-off for the Mets, he should be going to the plate to get on base. The fact that he’s not doing that explains why his on-base percentage (OBP) last season was only .321. That stat placed him in a three-way tie for the 110th spot in the MLB OBP rankings. Even Carlos Pena, who hit only .196, had a higher OBP than Reyes.