GCL Mets Season in Review

Keep tabs on Edioglis Villasmil in 2011

The 2010 Gulf Coast League Mets had a positive season in the standings, but more important to the rookie level club was the collection of very young talent that emerged on the scene this summer. Among them are budding hitters, intriguing arms and others with trends that will shape the future of the farm system. Here is a post-season review of the 2010 Gulf Coast League Mets.

RECORD:
31-25


PITCHER OF THE YEAR

Ramiro Peralta: 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 15 G, 21.1 IP, 27 K, 9 BB, .157 OBA

The 21-year-old right-hander is behind the age curve for the Gulf Coast League, but the raw Panamanian product impressed over the course of his first season. The 6-foot-3 hurler became more of a pitcher than a thrower over the course of the summer, fine tuning his underdeveloped feel for his pitching. Part of his development was getting better extension and using his height to his advantage.

His fastball sits 93-96 MPH so he has the velocity to overpower hitters, but coaches have worked with Peralta on his extension to keep the ball down and maximize what can be an overpowering fastball. He still has to work on the consistency of mechanics and improving a nascent breaking pitch, but it speaks volumes about his ability that he was so successful despite being so raw.

Honorable Mention:

Marcos Camarena: 3-3, 2.68 ERA, 10 G, 5 GS, 43.2 IP, 24 K, 7 BB, .244 OBA

Camarena, like Peralta, is a right-hander with size (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) like Peralta who is working on cleaning up his mechanics and keeping his pitches down in the zone. The 20-year-old Mexican product was much sharper in his last five outings all of which were starts. His groundball ratio improved and his breaking ball developed a more consistent, tighter break. Camarena still has work to do before his projection becomes higher over the long term, but his size and ability to throw three pitches makes him one to keep an eye on in 2011.

Akeel Morris: 1-1, 2.19 ERA, 8 G, 6 GS, 24.2 IP, 28 K, 17 BB

Morris, the Mets' 2010 10th round pick out of the Virgin Islands, burst onto the rookie league scene this summer with his 93-94 MPH fastball coming from the left side. The 6-foot-1 hurler still needs to fill out his listed 170-pound frame, but he came out of the gates demonstrating good velocity and a mid-70s breaking ball that backed up his advertised projectable second pitch. Morris' accomplishments in his first season come on the heels of comparatively underdeveloped facilities he worked with prior to his selection in the draft. Morris is just 17 years old and will most likely return to rookie ball next season when he can prepare to make a leap with tools which could move into plus projection categories.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Julio Concepcion: .282, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 21 R, 10 2B, 5 3B, .326 OBP, .792 OPS

Concepcion returned to the Gulf Coast League this season and outperformed his 2009 stint with the club. The 21-year-old outfielder is a rangy, lengthy athlete with emerging power and yet to be resolved plate discipline. He drives the ball with a good contract swing to all fields while his raw power remains mostly to the pull side. He cooled a bit down the stretch, but no hitter got off to a hotter start in the Gulf Coast League than Concepcion who hit .329 with four home runs and 14 RBI in 24 July games.

Honorable Mention:

Gilbert Gomez: .229, HR, 15 RBI, 25 R, 11 2B, 2 3B, .289 OBP, .633 OPS

Gomez's numbers certainly don't jump off the page, but nevertheless, Gomez is an athlete, emerging hitter who could use the experience he gained in the GCL this season as a spring board for 2011. The 18-year-old outfielder has good size now (6-foot-3, 190 pounds), but is expected to put on more power as he physically matures.

Alexander Sanchez: .269, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 23 R, 16 2B, .319 OBP, .725 OPS

Sanchez's name first appeared on the scene following excellent 2009 season in the DSL (.372, 4 HR, 42 RBI, .937 OPS in '09). The numbers didn't quite equate when he made his first trip stateside, but the 19-year-old first baseman has good size and projectable power. His strikeout ratio was positive as he fanned 23 times in 175 at-bats. One more summer in rookie ball as a 20-year-old next season could be the opportunity Sanchez needs to make an impact at a position of needed depth in the system.

ARRIVED ON THE SCENE:

Juan Urbina: 5-3, 5.03 ERA, 11 GS, 48.1 IP, 38 K, 14 BB, .284 OBA

The highly-touted 2009 international free agent signing got his first taste of professional ball by pitching in the Gulf Coast League as a 17-year-old. The results were generally mixed for Urbina who maxed out at five innings per start and either hit that limit or fell short depending on the start. His fastball was true at 88-92 MPH during the season and his changeup took big steps during the season. His overall command was still fringy and his command remains a focal point for coaches. However, the strength of his pitches and his pitching aptitude are plus attributes for a very young pitcher.

Camden Maron: .313, HR, 7 RBI, 15 H, 8 R, .411 OBP, .848 OPS

Maron was a late-round grab by the Mets in 2009 draft (34th round) and returned to the Gulf Coast League as 19-year-old. Power has yet to emerge for the 6-foot-1, 175-pound catcher, but through two short seasons he has continued to hit for average (.303 in 32 career games) while showing improvements behind the plate. Maron is athletic catcher with a strong arm, but is still a ways out despite another step forward in 2010.

Keep Tabs On…

Edioglis Villasmil: 2-3, 3.11 ERA, 11 GS, 55 IP, 26 K, 27 BB, .271 OBA

The 18-year-old battled with his consistency as most 18-year-olds do, but when Villasmil is going right, the right-hander is a strike-thrower who uses his low-90s fastball and budding breaking ball to stay ahead of hitters. The mental part of pitching is still at times beyond Villasmil's reach, but when he grasps it, he could start moving quicker up the ladder. For now, Villasmil is a raw pitching candidate who still has rough edges to iron out.

Randoll Santana: .252, 13 RBI, 23 R, 6 2B, 14 SB, .331 OBP, .648 OPS

Santana, a 19-year-old shortstop, made his stateside debut this season after a very positive first summer in the Dominican Academy in 2009. In 2009, Santana hit .281 with 33 RBI, 72 hits and 47 stolen bases in 67 games. That kind of productivity did not stay with him to the GCL in his first stateside stint, but nevertheless Santana is a very athletic defender with good range and plenty of speed on the bases. Improved opposition trimmed down his stolen base opportunities, but at this point Santana's defensive and base running value make him one to keep an eye on.

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