Baseball America Shines Light on Wilmer Flores, Rafael Montero, and Jeff Walters

By Matt Musico

September 18, 2013 No comments

rafael moteroMike Kerwick over at Baseball America released his Mets organizational report earlier this morning, naming Wilmer Flores and Rafael Montero as the player and pitcher of the year, respectively. Congratulations to both of these ballplayers on a well-deserved honor!

With regard to Flores, the Mets are now reaping the benefits of the $750K investment they made six years ago when the the young infielder was 16-years-old. Despite only spending 66 games in Double-A Binghamton last season following a mid-year promotion from St. Lucie, Flores showed his ability to adjust to opposing PCL pitchers. In 424 at-bats with the Las Vegas 51s, Flores hit .321/.357/.521 with 15 home runs, 86 RBIs, and 36 doubles. He made his MLB debut with the Mets on his 22nd birthday, and is hitting .218/.258/.299 with one homer and 13 RBIs.

Kerwick confessed that the race for best pitcher in the organization was a close one between Montero and Noah Syndergaard. However, what Montero was able to do in 155 innings of work between Binghamton and Las Vegas sealed the deal. He went a combined 12-7 with a 2.78 ERA in 27 starts. What was most impressive was his success while pitching at Cashman Field, notorious for favoring the hitter. In 47 innings pitched at home, he allowed just two home runs and posted a 2.87 ERA. His control was a little off when he made the jump to Triple-A, but Montero went back to his old self in 38.2 August innings; he went 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA, including six walks and 37 strikeouts.

I really enjoyed the end of Kerwick’s article, because he focused on a couple of players who aren’t getting as much attention as guys like Montero, Flores, and Syndergaard.

In 53 games for the B-Mets, reliever Jeff Walters went 4-3 with a 2.09 ERA, 16 walks, 60 strikeouts and 38 saves in 56 innings of work. Getting that many saves is easy when you’re on an 86-win team like Binghamton, but he was a rock for manager Pedro Lopez at the back of his bullpen. A lot of us at Mets Minors are in agreement that he should be considered for the big league bullpen at the start of 2014. At the very least, he should be on the 40-man.

Gabriel Ynoa led the SAL with 15 regular season wins, and captured two more in the postseason as the Savannah Sand Gnats won the South Atlantic League championship for the first time since 1996. Like Montero, he has impeccable control, and led the way with a 1.06 BB/9 rate.

It was a good year for the players in New York’s farm system, and here’s to hoping they all progress and have a fantastic 2014!