Minor League Week Recap: Phillip Evans Shines On Both Sides

By Tim Ryder

March 12, 2018 4 Comments

Phillip Evans, Photo By Ernest Dove

Things slowed down a bit for the New York Mets’ minor leaguers in Port St. Lucie this week. A few players cooled down. Others got, or in some cases, stayed hot. And some stayed stuck in their Spring Training slumps.

Amed Rosario, who’s most likely pegged for the Mets’ Opening Day roster but still has to show Mickey Callaway he can hit at this level, came back from a knee injury suffered last week on Friday versus the Tigers, going 0-2. He hit a double against the Yankees on Saturday and went hitless in two at-bats on Sunday in PSL versus Houston. The big key is that he played and ran hard without issue.

Matt den Dekker and Kevin Kaczmarski are both fading fast, hitting .115 (.349 OPS) and .105 (.397 OPS), respectively. Tim Tebow is even further beneath the Mendoza line, batting .071 for the spring with a .205 OPS. Ouch.

Peter Alonso went hitless in two at-bats this week, lowering his ST average to .154 and his OPS down to .466. Presumed Triple-A catcher, Tomas Nido, is also having a tough go, slashing .214/.267/.500 in 14 at-bats this spring, but did go 1-for-5 this week, with a home run on March 6 versus the Astros.

Patrick Biondi continued his solid spring going 2-for-2 with two runs scored this week, raising his ST batting average to .353 with an OPS of .742 in 17 at-bats.

Gavin Cecchini cooled down a bit but is still having himself a terrific Spring Training, hitting .350 with a 1.258 OPS, two home runs, and five RBI. He went 2-for-9 this week with a triple on Friday versus Detroit.

David Thompson, likely also headed to Las Vegas, went 2-for-6 this week, taking two bases-on-balls. He’s hitting .350 with a .808 OPS in 22 at-bats. L.J. Mazzilli had a double on Saturday in Tampa, bringing his average up to .300 (.800 OPS) in 10 at-bats.

Zach Borenstein had a nice week, going 2-for-5 and adding an RBI to his spring total of four. Ty Kelly also chipped in two RBI, giving him five in the Grapefruit League.

Phillip Evans had the hit of the week, a walk-off grand slam after a two-run double earlier in the game against Houston on March 6. He’s currently slashing .263/.417/.684 with two home runs, six RBI, and four walks this spring.

Evans has also played all over the field including all four of the corner spots as he vies for the 25th spot on the Mets Opening Day roster. When playing right field, he threw out a runner trying to score at the plate.

There were some standout performances on the mound this week for the New York Mets’ young hurlers, as well.

Matt Purke continued his fine spring (3 IP, 0 ER), throwing two clean innings with two strikeouts and a walk. Robert Gsellman had a very nice outing against the Yanks on March 7, going 3.2 innings and giving up two hits and a walk. He’s gone 8.2 innings this spring with a 3.12 ERA.

Paul Sewald got in 2.1 innings of work this week, letting up no earned runs, striking out two and walking none.

Another bright spot for the Mets in Grapefruit League play so far has been the performance of Corey Oswalt. On Friday, Oswalt threw two innings, giving up a hit and striking out two, lowering his ST ERA to 2.84 over 6.1 innings.

Although they didn’t pitch at all this week, Chris Flexen and P.J. Conlon have both been outstanding thus far, owning 1.80 and 2.70 ERAs, respectively.

Tyler Bashlor, Photo by Ed Delany

Tyler Bashlor went two innings on Tuesday versus Houston, giving up a hit and walking two, while striking out one. Jacob Rhame has pitched to a 3.00 ERA this spring over six innings and had a nice week, throwing two innings, only giving up two hits.

Kevin McGowan had a week he’d like to forget, giving up six hits and six earned runs in two innings of work, fattening-up his ST ERA to 27.00 in 4.1 innings. Drew Smith had a tough day on Monday versus Detroit, giving up four hits and two earned runs in 1.1 innings of work, setting him back after a nice start this spring.

Jamie Callahan, one of the pitchers acquired from the Red Sox last year in the Addison Reed trade, pitched 2.2 innings, giving up seven hits and two earned runs, increasing his ERA to 6.75 in 6.2 innings pitched.