Mets' Bowman slugs away in Nicaragua

Mets prospect Shawn Bowman has been among the standouts in Nicaragua this winter, leading the league in home runs and RBI to earn Player of the Month honors for November.

Bowman, a 22-year-old third baseman, has powered the offense for Tigres de Chinandega, serving as the club's cleanup hitter. Entering play Tuesday, Bowman was batting .342 (26-for-76) with five homers, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBI.

In addition to pacing the circuit in home runs and RBI, Bowman ranked fifth in the Nicaraguan League in batting average, fourth in hits and third in runs scored.

Considered the top third base prospect in the Mets system, Bowman was a 12th round selection in 2002 out of high school in Canada. He was sidelined in 2006 while playing with Class-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League due to a fractured L-5 vertebrate in his back, the second consecutive year Bowman suffered such an injury.

In 32 games for St. Lucie, Bowman batted .252 with three home runs and 19 RBI. He briefly considered having surgery to repair the back but eventually settled upon a rehabilitation program, which was carried out at the Mets' Tradition Field training complex.

He is expected to vie for a promotion to Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League during spring training, though a return to St. Lucie is possible.

Bowman's Chinandega club also features four other Mets farmhands: Ambiorix Concepcion (.241, 4 HR, 6 RBI), Caleb Stewart (.324, 3 HR, 10 RBI), Wilson Batista (.345, 2 HR, 12 RBI) and Chuck Smith (1-2, 5.82 ERA in 21 2/3 IP).

Thanks to Gerald Hernandez of the Nicaraguan Winter League for his assistance.

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