2013 Minor League Preview: Savannah Sand Gnats

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2013 Savannah Roster

Here is unofficial roster for the Savannah Sand Gnats based on players already there for Media Day. That’s as close to official as you can get.

Starting Pitchers

Matthew Bowman
Gabriel Ynoa
Steven Matz
Rainy Lara
Logan Taylor
Matt Koch
Luis Cessa

Relievers

Hunter Carnevale
Julian Hilario
Jake Kuebler
Bret Mitchell
Timothy Peterson
Paul Sewald

Catchers

Kevin Plawecki
Jeffrey Glenn
Nelfi Zapata

Infielders

Jayce Boyd
Chad Zurcher
Phillip Evans
Cole Frenzel
Yucarybert De La Cruz
Jeff Reynolds

Outfielders

Brandon Nimmo
Stefan Sabol
Eudy Pina
Gregory Pron

The Mets will be piggybacking pitchers again in the rotation which explains the seven starters.

2013 Savannah Preview

The 2012 Sand Gnats were a very intriguing team. There were some surprises like Travis Taijeron and Aderlin Rodriguez, as well as some great seasons from big names, such as Michael Fulmer. This year, the team could be even more exciting to watch and follow, as the 2012 draft class begins to rise through the minor league system. We’ll get to see some highly-touted draft picks in their first taste of long-season professional baseball. The other interesting group we’ll see in Savannah is the starting rotation coming up from Brooklyn. Most of the pitching staff, which had a brilliant year last year, will be heading to Savannah this summer, including Hansel Robles, Gabriel Ynoa, and others. Let’s take a look at some of the names to watch this season.

Players To Watch

  • Brandon Nimmo (OF) – While Brandon Nimmo‘s batting average from last season doesn’t look great, there were plenty of positive signs from the Mets’ 2011 first-round pick that should have fans pretty excited. At age 19, Nimmo showed unexpected power, slugging 28 extra-base hits in only 69 games, six of those home runs. He was fourth in the league in doubles and .158 ISO (SLG-BA, a good indicator of power) was sixth in the league. He was the only player under 20 years old in the top 20. Nimmo was also very patient at the plate, walking in 14.3 percent of his plate appearances, third in the NYPL. Despite having missed out on a year of high school ball due to injury and playing his first full year of professional ball in a pitcher friendly league (where many of the year’s top college pitchers go), he thrived, which is a great sign for his future.
  • Gabriel Ynoa (RHP) – Another star in the 2012 Brooklyn rotation, Ynoa had a great season last year as well, leading the team in innings pitched. He was also fifth in the league in WHIP (0.926). He put up an incredible 6.40 strikeout to walk ratio. Ynoa did all this as one of the youngest pitchers in the league. He already has a solid fastball and an advanced changeup. He could be someone who has another breakout year with Savannah.
  • Rainy Lara (RHP) – Lara, another 2012 Cyclone, put up some ridiculous numbers last year in Brooklyn, but didn’t get as much attention as Hansel Robles and others did. In 12 starts, he posted a 2.91 ERA, walked 1.6 batters per nine, but most impressively, struck out 10.2 batters per nine. Among qualified pitchers, that was second only to his teammate Luis Mateo. At 22, some may be skeptical of Lara’s performance and say it was a result of his age, but when you keep in mind that he made the jump from the Gulf Coast League to Brooklyn, his performance last year was impressive.

Other Notables

  • Kevin Plawecki (C) – The Mets grabbed Plawecki in the supplementary round out of Purdue in last year’s draft, and for good reason. Plawecki was sent to Brooklyn, where he put up big power numbers. He was fourth in the league in home runs with seven in 216 at-bats. He put up a decent walk rate of 9.9 percent, and put up a .345 On-Base Percentage. Behind Travis d’Arnaud, he is probably the best catching prospect in the system.
  • Matt Koch (RHP) – The Mets’ third round draft pick out of the University of Louisville last year pitched mostly out of the Brooklyn bullpen, but was able to make two starts. He was mostly a reliever in college, and projects as one in the future. In 23.1 innings, Koch struck out 19 (7.3 K/9) and walked seven (2.7 BB/9) while allowing 13 earned runs.
  • Jayce Boyd (1B) – The Mets picked Boyd, a right-handed hitting first baseman, out of Florida State last June. He went to Brooklyn and showed a little bit of pop, hitting five homers, nine doubles, and a triple in 54 games.
About Connor O'Brien
I'm a 16 year-old blogger, high school student, and lifelong Mets fan. I've been blogging about the Mets in some form or another for about four years. I embrace the new age, sabermetric way of thinking, but also recognize the importance of scouting and player devlopment.

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