In every sense of the word, both of the Mets Dominican Summer League teams had a successful season. From a record standpoint, the DSL Mets1 went 44-27 and the DSL Mets2 went 50-21. Both teams would make the playoffs and lose in the first round. However, at that low level, exposure, experience, and developmental time is more important. With the interesting prospects and some terrific performances, it was perhaps more of a successful season than the records indicate.
Between the two roster, the player with the highest upside and the one worth focusing on was DSL Mets2 catcher Wilfred Astudillo. The 17 year old is a switch hitting catcher from the 2016-2017 International Free Agent signing class. His reputation was a catcher who performed much better in games than in workouts. He certainly proved that correct this season hitting .291/.351/.368 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 23 RBI.
The 5’11” catcher has doubles power right now, but as he continues to mature physically, there is the expectation that he could being to turn some of those doubles into homers.
Joining Astudillo on the DSL Mets2 roster were fellow signees Wilmy Valdez and Luis Santana. The 17 year old Santana, who was repeating the level, had an outstanding season at the plate hitting .325/.430/.481 with 12 doubles, eight triples, three homers, and 52 RBI with 16 stolen bases.
Unfortuantely, Valdez would not have the success Astudillo or Santana would have. Even though he was repeating the level, he was still unable to get his raw power translate into success. In 38 games, he only hit .186/.250/.271 with just four doubles, a triple, a homer, and 14 RBI. Overall, it was a rough season for the 19 year old.
The DSL Mets1 team would similarly feature some 2016-2017 International Free Agent signings. The most notable of that group was Sebastian Espino, who received the largest bonus of that group. In 64 games, he showed glimpses why that was the case.
The slick fielding shortstop covered much ground at the position, but he has shown he has to slow things down in the field and let the game come to him. This was evidenced by his making a 21 errors and having a .918 fielding percentage.
Espino would not have the same issues at the plate hitting .267/.338/.433 with 16 doubles, nine triples, two homers and 35 RBI. As you can tell from the triples, Espino has wheels and knows how to best utilize them. To this point, that has not translated to stolen bases with him being successful on six out of 11 times.
With that said, the Mets organization believes his skills overall translate well. That was evident by his being promoted to the Gulf Coast League before the season was over. When he was promoted, he was joined by Jose Peroza.
Peroza was one of the younger players having signed as a 16 year old. He was undaunted showing off glimpses of his skill set, including but not limited to raw power at the plate. In 57 games, he hit .300/.349/.437 with 21 doubles, a triple, a homer, and 28 RBI.
Aside from the highlighted signees, there were a number of players with notable seasons. That is typically the case when any of an organization’s minor league teams make the postseason.
On the pitching front, Jender De Jesus, Hector Rodriguez, and Jasson Pena, three of the youngest pitchers on the team, had promising seasons. Rodriguez is a lanky left-handed reliever who struck out 55 batters in 38.2 innings. Pena and De Jesus worked as piggyback starters. De Jesus was undeated on the season, and Pena posted fantastic numbers. In 12 appearances, he had a 2.29 ERA, 0.864 WHIP, and an 8.9 K/9.
Other offensive standouts were Jhoander Saez and Shervyen Newton. Saez not only found a way to get on base hitting .320/.397/.378, but he was also able to utilize his speed while on the basepaths stealing 20 bases in 24 attempts. As impressive as Saez’s ability to get on base was, Newton was even better.
Newton proved he had one of the best understandings of the strike zone in the entire Mets farm system. The 18 year old drew 50 walks while striking out only 57 times. It’s part of the reason why he hit .311/.433/.444. It was a big step forward for a player who repeated the level after hitting just .169/.347/.229 last year.
Both teams would have outstanding seasons with both of them making it to the postseason. However, the truest measure of how successful their seasons were was Espino and Peroza getting called up to the Gulf Coast League ahead of schedule. Certainly, there are a number of players from this past season we can well expect to join them next year.
Manager Manny Martinez
Pitching Coach Rafael Roque
Hitting Coach Leo Hernandez
Manager David Davalillo
Pitching Coach Francisco Martinez
Hitting/Catching Coach Pedro Reyes
First Base/Infield Coach Yucary De La Cruz
Combined Batting Leaders
Combined Pitching Leaders
W Nelson Leon & Willy Taveres 8
ERA Miguel Pinedo 0.47
G Jefferson Escorcha & Daniel Guzman 21
GS Miguel Ramirez 14
CG Taveres 1
SHO Taveres 1
SV Guzman & Pinedo 6
IP Leon & Taveres 70.o
K Taveres 63
WHIP Pena 0.86
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