Once again, there have been a number of outstanding performances in the Mets minor leagues during the Month of August with some players starting to raise their profiles. While we cannot mention everyone who has had a good month, here are the staff selections for the Player of the Month in each category.
Position Player of the Month – Binghamton Rumble Ponies 1B Peter Alonso
The Mets made Alonso their second round pick last year because they believed in his power. In his brief professional career, Alonso has made everyone a believer. This month was the latest power show for the first baseman.
During the Month of August, Alonso hit .312/.395/.569 with 11 doubles, a triple, five homers, and 16 RBI. Over the month, Alonso reached base in 27 of the 29 games he has played. Those numbers are a large reason why Alonso was named to Baseball America‘s Prospect Team of the Month. It’s also a large reason why Alonso was promoted from St. Lucie to Double-A Binghamton to help the team in their postseason push. To the surprise of no one, Alonso has continued slugging in Binghamton. His exploits there include a two home run game.
What really stands out with Alonso is even with the promotion to Binghamton and his missing time early in the year due to a broken hand, he still finished second in the Florida State League in homers. If he had enough at-bats to qualify, he would have finished second in the league in slugging. He also would have finished ninth in OBP, but first in OPS (.878). In sum total, Alonso is a slugger that hits for power everywhere. He did again in August. We should see him do it again next year.
Honorable Mention – Las Vegas 51s Jayce Boyd hit .342/.415/.630 with four doubles, a triple, five homers, and 18 RBI in 24 games.
Starting Pitcher of the Month – Binghamton Rumble Ponies RHP Corey Oswalt
The Rumble Ponies went 24-9 in August to propel themselves into the postseason. That stretch, as much as the great play for the Rumble Ponies for much of this season, was built on pitching and defense. When you look at the pitching on the Rumble Ponies staff, you should look no further than how well Oswalt has been pitching.
Quite possibly, Oswalt was THE breakout player in the Mets organization this year. His pitching in the Month of August was the latest example of that. In five starts, Oswalt was 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 0.980 WHIP, and an 8.5 K/9. During this incredible month, Oswalt was twice named an Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.
This is all part of a season where Oswalt was 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.176 WHIP, and an 8.0 K/9. These numbers are a large part of the reason why Oswalt was the starter in the Eastern League All Star Game, was named a Post-Season All-Star, and why he will be take the mound in Game One of the Rumble Ponies postseason series against the Trenton Thunder.
Honorable Mention – Binghamton Rumble Ponies RHP Mickey Jannis was 1-2 with a 1.64 ERA, 1.045 WHIP, and a 6.1 K/9 in four starts.
Co-Relief Pitcher of the Month -Binghamton Rumble Ponies RHP Tyler Bashlor
All season long, Bashlor has had good peripheral numbers, but the results just weren’t there. Sometimes, when things like this happen, you are left scratching your head as to why the numbers don’t translate to better results. Then, you see the month Bashlor had in August, everything makes sense.
In eight appearances, Bashlor pitched 9.1 scoreless innings yielding just five hits and one walk. In this stretch, Bashlor has completely dominated opposing batters limiting them to a .156/.182/.219 batting line. Of the five hits he allowed all month, only two were for extra-base hits (both doubles). All told, Bashlor had a microscopic 0.643 WHIP.
With Bashlor pitching this well, he has received some save opportunities for the Rumble Ponies as they made their postseason push. Naturally, with how well he was pitching, Bashlor converted all three save opportunities. We should see him continue to pitch this well into the postseason. We should also see him continue pitching this well next year.
Co-Relief Pitcher of the Month – Columbia Fireflies RHP Matt Blackham
After missing last season with a fracture in his right arm that needed surgery, Blackham has come back to the Mets organization, and he has been terrific. That is why he was MMN‘s Honorable Mention for this award last month, and why he is the co-recipient of this award this year.
Over the course, of the month, Blackham made 11 scoreless appearances while pitching 10.2 innings. He did so because Blackham kept batters off the bases. Batters were only able to hit .132/.175/.184 with just one extra-base hit and two walks. Overall, Blackham struck out 11.8 batters per nine, and he had a 0.656 WHIP while recording six saves.
It was impressive that Blackham had a terrific year after missing all of last year. It’s all the the more impressive that he finished the final two plus months of the season without allowing an earned run.
Honorable Mention – St. Lucie Mets RHP Gerson Bautista was 0-1 with four saves, a 1.35 ERA, 0.975 WHIP, and a 12.2 K/9 in 13.1 innings while regularly pitching at or near 100 MPH.
Defensive Player of the Month – MI Luis Guillorme
As noted above, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies made it to the postseason built on the strength of their pitching and defense. When you note the team’s defense, you need not look any further than Guillorme. The Rumble Ponies infielder has been a household name since he caught an errant bat in Spring Training. Since that time, he has made all of the plays in the field – both the spectacular and the routine. He did that once again this month.
Honorable Mention – Binghamton Rumble Ponies CF Patrick Biondi has not made an error in over three months, which is all the more impressive when you consider how much ground he covers with his speed.