Week In Review
The Las Vegas 51s (11-20, fourth in the Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern division) lost Sunday’s scheduled starter P.J. Conlon to the major leagues, so Drew Smith made his first professional start in his 100th career game.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies (13-13, fourth in the Eastern League Eastern division) were swept in a doubleheader on Saturday, which was the first time such an event occurred under the team’s current moniker. The Ponies played 14 doubleheaders without being swept in 2017.
The St. Lucie Mets (12-16, sixth in the Florida State League South division) scored seven runs on Saturday for the first time since April 14. Their 13 runs allowed on Thursday was the highest total of the season.
The Columbia Fireflies (17-13, third in the South Atlantic League Southern division) have won five straight to jump above .500, thanks in part to six-run innings on Saturday and Sunday.
Mets Minors News & Buzz
Peter Alonso was named as the Eastern League’s Player of the Month for April after the 23-year-old hit an astounding .408/.505/.776 with seven home runs in the period.
The Mets signed veteran third baseman Cody Asche to a minor league contract and assigned him to Las Vegas. In 390 major league games with the Phillies and White Sox, he has hit .234/.293/.376 with 32 home runs.
A major factor in the signing of Asche was a significant injury to Las Vegas third baseman David Thompson, who suffered a hairline fracture in his left hand after a hit-by-pitch. The Mets’ fourth-round draft pick in 2015 had already gotten off to a slow start, hitting .258 with six extra-base hits in 66 at-bats.
Fireflies infielder Walter Rasquin was suspended by Minor League Baseball for 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamines. The 22-year-old was already on the disabled list following a broken finger but had been hitting .298 through 13 games.
Baseball America updated their top 100 prospects list, and Andres Gimenez remained the only player in the Mets’ organization to be represented. However, the shortstop did move up from 91 to 85.
Las Vegas outfielder Bryce Brentz left Sunday’s game after fouling a ball off his foot.
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
Jeremy Vasquez was drafted to hit, and that’s all he’s done since the Mets took him in the 28th round last June. In 335 professional at-bats, the numbers look like this: .293/.400/.475, 47 extra-base hits, 15% walk rate.
Of course, every team would take any sliver of production from the 28th round, but the 21-year-old has greatly exceeded expectations. Vasquez’s hot start in 2018 has been highlighted by his 29-game on-base streak (32 dating back to last season), which has led to the 15th-best OBP in minor league baseball (.472).
Vasquez has done a great job of getting the ball in the air, using all fields (he’s actually gone the other way more than he’s pulled it), and putting together all-around solid at-bats (his wOBA is currently 125 points above league average). Coupled with solid defense, the Mets have another first base prospect behind Dominic Smith and Peter Alonso developing in the minors. Of course, he really should be in St. Lucie at his age, and until he gets there it’s generally unfair to paint a major league future on him.
HR — Alonso 8, Zach Borenstein 7 (LVG), Bryce Brentz 7 (LVG), Kelly 6, McNeil 6
RBI — Alonso 23, Quinn Brodey 23 (COL), Borenstein 22, Brentz 21, Kelly 21
WHIP — Ford 0.30, Nogosek 0.79, Hernandez 0.83, Joshua Payne 0.86 (COL), Cavallaro 1.00
Walter Rasquin placed on Columbia’s restricted list….Cody Asche signed as a minor league free agent, assigned to Las Vegas.
Justin Dunn placed on St. Lucie’s disabled list….Gary Cornish activated from St. Lucie’s disabled list….Cody Asche added to Las Vegas’ active roster….Matt Purke placed on Las Vegas’ temporarily inactive list.
Hansel Robles recalled from Las Vegas.
Las Vegas: @ Salt Lake (5/7), Fresno (8-11), Albuquerque (12-15)
Binghamton: @ Hartford (5/7-9), @ Portland (10-13)
St. Lucie: Florida (5/7-9), Lakeland (10-12), OFF (13)
Columbia: Lakewood (5/7), OFF (8), @ Hickory (9-11), Delmarva (12-15)
As a reminder, all 51s, Rumble Ponies, and select Fireflies games can be seen on MiLB.tv.