We are inching closer and closer to the All-Star breaks in the minor leagues, which means it’s moving time for many of the game’s top prospects. Recently, the Mets have made a number of significant moves in the minor leagues, calling up Zack Wheeler to the majors, and moving around some top pitching prospects. Here are some thoughts from this week’s minor league notebook:
- Ike Davis has been hitting extremely well since being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas almost two weeks ago. He had quite a weekend, going 5-for-11 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, hitting four home runs (two each on Thurssday and Friday). Since being demoted, Davishas a .310/.463/.690 batting line in 54 plate appearances over 12 games. His strikeouts have gone down (20.4%) and his walks have gone up (22.2%), but the Mets are going to keep him down at least a little bit longer. That’s probably the right decision to make, even with the injury to Lucas Duda. The Mets don’t want to have to send Davis down again. It’s just like with a prospect, you want to wait long enough so that once he is called up, he stays up for good.
- Right-hander Jacob deGrom made his Triple-A debut this week with Las Vegas, limiting the Tuscon Padres to one run on eight hits in 5.2 innings. He made his second start for Vegas today, and was even batter, holding the Salt Lake Bees scoreless, giving up three hits and striking out seven in six innings. deGrom was a ninth-round pick in 2010 out of Stetson University in Florida, and has moved unusually fast up the ladder. He started the year with St. Lucie, pitching 12 innings there before getting called up to Double-A Binghamton in mid-April due to Luis Mateo‘s injury, where he pitched 60 innings before getting promoted once again. He is a hard thrower and a sleeper for the Met bullpen, possibly as early as August.
- The biggest move of the week was the promotion of Noah Syndergaard to Double-A Binghamton. Syndergaard, with the promotion of Zack Wheeler, may be the top pitching prospect in the system right now. After posting a 3.11 ERA (and 2.60 FIP) in 63.2 innings, Syndergaard got the call to Binghamton in time for today’s start. He tossed six innings, allowing only two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out seven. Syndergaard has been making the R.A. Dickey trade look better and better recently, and may be the next future ace to land in New York.
- Right-handed Matthew Bowman has flown under the radar since getting drafted in the 13th round last year out of Princeton. Bowman has done nothing but dominate since turning professional, and is now emerging as another pitching prospect in the Met system to watch out for. In his first year in the starting rotation, Bowman has a 2.41 ERA in 74.2 innings between Savannah and St. Lucie, striking out 73 batters and walking only 13. His command has been impeccable, walking about 1.5 batters per nine innings. Despite getting the loss today against Bradenton, Bowman tossed six innings, allowing three runs on five hits (two of them home runs), while striking out seven and not walking a single batter. He is definitely a name to watch out for.
- Matt den Dekker is playing games after breaking his wrist in spring training. The 25 year-old Den Dekker has appeared in seven games for St. Lucie, batting .241 in 29 at-bats. He should be ready to return to Vegas soon and could finally make his big league debut by season’s end.