Thursday night I was in Kingsport, Tennessee to watch the Kingsport Mets take on the Elizabethton Twins — the Advanced Rookie League affiliates of (surprise, surprise) the New York Mets and the Minnesota Twins.
Now obviously I was watching and taking notes on the Twins, but I also picked up on a few things about the Mets. So at the risk of stepping on some toes (sorry Michael!) I’ll write a couple thoughts about the Mets as well.
- The player I was most interested in seeing was Elizabethton’s starting pitcher, RHP Huascar Ynoa. In my preseason Top 50 list, I had Ynoa ranked as my No. 27 prospect saying that he hadn’t shown amazing numbers yet, but he is still young and has time to improve. Watching Ynoa on Thursday…yeah he still has some work to do before he goes any higher in my rankings. His final line was two earned runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts over four innings. While not horrible numbers, the big problem I saw was his command was lacking. He walked back-to-back batters in the first inning, and eight of the 20 batters he faced had counts with three or more balls called. Ynoa had a better stat line in his first start but he also had some of the same issues then, as five of the 20 batters he faced also had counts with three or more balls called. He just turned 19 last month, so there’s still time for him to improve on his command, but at the Rookie level if a player doesn’t succeed quickly he can find soon find himself a free agent.
- Trey Cabbage was ranked No. 32 in my Top 50 list, and he was someone I pointed to as needing to improve upon his average-to-below-average numbers at the plate. So far this season, he’s off to a pretty good start: 8-28 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI through eight games. Thursday against the Mets, Cabbage went 2-6 at the plate with a double, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Aside from a three-pitch strikeout in the first inning, Cabbage was making pretty solid contact all night long even when he didn’t reach base. On defense Cabbage showed a pretty good arm over at third base, which is noteworthy because there are some reports that say he may be moved to a corner outfield spot eventually. Looking at just this one-game sample, I think he would be just fine sticking at third base.
- Going into Thursday’s game, Mets third baseman Rigoberto Terrazas was leading the Appalachian League with a .522 batting average. He finished 2-6 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. The thing with his average though is that all of his hits prior to Thursday were singles. And if you look at the year before that, it’s more of the same. His two doubles on Thursday gave him a total of SEVEN extra-base hits over his last 55 games going back to 2015. Now with Ynoa, he’s still young and has time to improve. Terrazas is 21 — almost a year older than the league average for position players. A high average is great for a player to have, but if he’s just slapping singles around the outfield and not showing any kind of power whatsoever, chances are he’s never going to get even a whiff of the majors.
- One last player I’ll talk about is Mets first baseman Jeremy Vasquez. A 28th round pick in this year’s draft, he went 1-4 in the loss with two walks and an RBI to tie the game in the third inning. He’s started his pro-ball career by hitting .250 (3-12) with a double, three RBI and five walks through Thursday night, and with the completion of Friday’s game as I write this he has improved to a .313 batting average with seven walks — tied for second-most in the Appalachian League. I like his patience at the plate, and if he keeps this up I think he could end up being one of the league’s best hitters by season’s end.
This last part has no fantasy relevance, but I would like to congratulate Twins RHP Jared Finkel and Mets RHP Joe Cavallaro on making their professional debuts. Finkel — a 23rd round pick this year — pitched two full innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. Cavallaro — a 24th round pick — threw one inning of relief for Kingsport, allowing no base-runners and striking out one.
Article featured image of Huascar Ynoa – courtesy of YouTube.com/Jon Tarr