The 2018 season has gotten off to a lively start among the Mets minor league affiliates. Plenty of talent distributed around all levels. Given that, we’re very eager to present our staff picks for Player of the Month.
Position Player of the Month – Peter Alonso
This one was a unanimous decision, and quite an easy one. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies first baseman finished of the first month of the year by winning the Eastern League Player of the Week (April 23 – April 29) hitting .545 with a 1.136 OPS in that week. For the month, Alonso is hitting .408/.505/.776. 14 of his 31 hits have been for extra bases (7 homeruns; 7 doubles), and drove in 19 runs while also scoring 18 times.
Equally as impressive is that he has walked as much as he has struck out: 15 times. Also chosen to MLB Pipeline’s weekly Prospect Team of the Week, 23-year old Alonso has improved his two-strike approach and is truly becoming more than just a simple power threat. Alonso leads the Eastern League in AVG, OBP, SLG, H, BB, t-HR, and is second in runs and RBI.
Honorable Mentions – 21-year-old first baseman for the Colombia Fireflies, Jeremy Vazquez, has put himself in the spotlight for the month of April hitting .325/.455/.545, .443 wOBA, with 7 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 homeruns, and winning the South Atlantic Player of the Week (April 23- April 29). Vasquez also drove in 17 runs in the month while walking more than times (20) than he struck out (16). Not bad for a 28th round pick in last year’s draft.
Ty Kelly also got off to a hot start hitting .317/.378/.659. 46 percent (12-26) of his hits went for extra bases, including 2 double, 4 triples, and 6 homeruns. Kelly is no stranger to the Pacific Coast League’s environment, but this outpaces anything he’s done there prior.
Starting Pitcher of the Month – Nabil Crismatt
The 23-year old Crismatt has made the most of his transition to Binghamton. In 22.1 innings to start the year, Crismatt has a 1.21 ERA, 1.14 FIP, and 1.94 xFIP. To go along with that, he also has a 10.88 K/9 and a 1.61 BB/9. Crismatt is also yet to give up a home run this season, and has been keeping the ball on the ground at a higher rate – 53.8 percent – than ever before in his career.
His line drive rate sits at 11.5 percent and it’s clear that hitters are not getting the best of Crismatt, despite the fact that he is not a particularly hard thrower. What he does have is a firm ability to decorate the strike with various pitches, keeping hitters off balance and a plus changeup. The right-hander has the fourth best ERA in the Eastern League and his K/9 ranks fifth.
Honorable Mentions – Repeating advanced-A St. Lucie, 22-year old Justin Dunn has made sure to begin the year stronger than he did last season. In his first five starts, he’s yet to give up more than two earned runs, earning him a 2.13 ERA and 9.95 K/9. Dunn still needs a bit of work on his control, as he is the owner of a 3.60 BB/9, a hit batsman, and two wild pitches, but Dunn is attacking hitters currently with what he has, and missing bats while doing so.
Chris Viall and Joe Cavallaro – both 22-years of age – have been keeping runners from crossing the plate (2.33; 2.25 ERA respectively) but in different ways. Viall is striking out the world with 15.83 K/9, and Cavallaro, while no slouch in the strikeout department (9 K/9), is keeping guys off base in general with an 0.96 WHIP and .188 AVG against. They are part of an impressive Columbia Fireflies rotation that also includes Anthony Kay and David Peterson. Kay has a 2.70 ERA through four starts.
Defensive Play of the Month – Luis Guillorme
No surprise to anyone that knows Guillorme’s game that he’d be here. Guillorme has flashed leather early in the season, including an incredible play in which he ranged to his right and dove towards second base, glove flipped to second in what seemed like one swift motion, to start a double play on the 11th of April.
Reliever of the Month – Tim Peterson
After controlling hitters in Binghamton in 2017, the right-handed Peterson earned a call up to Las Vegas. Peterson was not greeted very politely in his 2.2 innings there as indicated by his 16.88 ERA. He got some extra work in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 0.87 ERA in his time there.
Continuing his success into this season, Peterson currently owns a 1.46 ERA, 2.76 FIP, and 2.59 xFIP. Alongside that, he has a 15.32 K/9 and 4.20 K:BB. Demonstrated by his 0.89 WHIP and .140 AVG against, Peterson is just keeping hitters off the base paths. If you’re impressed by that, also remember that he is currently doing this in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. All the more impressive.
Honorable Mentions – Impressing in Binghamton is 24-year-old Joshua Torres. Currently riding a 1.29 ERA, 0.59 FIP, 1.58 xFIP, and 16.71 K/9, the right-hander is looking to add more depth to an already impressive Binghamton bullpen. Not bad for a guy who was released by the Brewers in 2015, only to be picked up by the Mets just a year later.
Can’t go on about impressive reliever performances without mentioning Columbia Fireflies right-handed reliever, 23-year old Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez has taken well to his new relief role after fairing some ups and downs as a starter. Rocking an excellent 0.79 ERA, with a 13.50 K/9 (40.5% of batters faced struck out), he’s not letting runners reach the plate. With a 0.79 WHIP and .154 AVG against, he isn’t letting them on base either.