Week in Review Across the Farm
Kiger is having a huge year
Kiger is having a huge year
Inside Pitch Magazine
Posted Jul 15, 2007


The second halves began this week for both New Orleans and Binghamton as their All-Star breaks have come and gone. For the rest of the farm system, July plugs along with varying success. Here is a rundown of the week that was.

NEW ORLEANS:

The Zephyrs split last week due to the All-Star Break. They lost the series finale against Iowa which completed a four-game sweep at the hands of the Triple-A affiliate of the Cubs. They went into the break in first place in the PCL American South, but thanks to seven losses in their last ten games, they are just 1 1/2 games in front of the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Brian Lawrence: 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 5 K, BB, W

Lawrence’s strong season continues as he posted a win in his first second half start. He controlled Albuquerque through seven innings as he picked up his seventh victory of the season. It was Lawrence’s fourth consecutive quality start and he is now averaging 6 2/3 innings pitched per start this year.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Anderson Hernandez: 5-12, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 R, 2 SB

Hernandez did not display much power this week but he filled his role as expected from the leadoff hitter. He got on with singles, scored runs and stole bases. He has picked up his offense as of late, recording a .381 batting average. In the first two months of the season, Hernandez hit just .225, but since then, he is hitting at a .343 pace.


BINGHAMTON:

The B-Mets also broke last week for the AA All-Star Break after they split a four-game set with the Connecticut Defenders. Binghamton as seen a very healthy dose of the Defenders as the two teams have matched up for 11 of their last 14 games (including Sunday’s) – Binghamton won six. It has been a two-week battle for the basement in the Eastern League Northern Division. Currently, the B-Mets are ahead by one game.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Kevin Mulvey: 8 IP, 3 H, 11 K, W

Mulvey returned from his extended break, in which he was named to the MLB Futures Game and AA All-Star rosters, with a bang. In a 1-0 pitchers’ duel with Defenders’ left-hander Eugene Espineli, Mulvey one-upped his counterpart with eight shutout innings that included 11 strikeouts and zero walks. Manager Mako Oliveras predicted big things from his righty and Mulvey is off to a strong start. He leads the team in innings pitched, and leads all season-long Binghamton starters in ERA, WHIP ratio, and earns runs allowed.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Mark Kiger: 9-21, HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 4 2B, 3B, BB

The utilityman has been Mr. Everything for the B-Mets this year. Given what he has meant statistically to his team, there is a case that Kiger was the most deserving All-Star in the entire league. He is hitting .447 over his last ten games and is hitting .337 since June 1. However, this is where Kiger’s value becomes enormous; he leads his squad in: hits, runs, doubles, triples, total bases, walks, stolen bases, on-base percentage, slugging and batting average.


ST. LUCIE:

The St. Lucie Mets began the week with a split of the last two games of a series with Jupiter. The team then had a four-game series at home with the Tampa Yankees in which they dropped three of four despite three one-run games in a row. So far, the Mets are 9-13 in the second half and Tradition Field has been unkind to them where they are just 4-9.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Jacob Ruckle: 7 IP, ER, 4 H, 5 K, BB, W

The right-hander picked up a hard luck no-decision on July 8 against Jupiter. As noted in Inside Pitch’s recent piece on him, the 21-year-old will see more time as a starter as the summer goes on. He has given up just one earned run in his last three starts. His ERA in the second half of the season is down to a minuscule 1.02 in 17 2/3 innings pitched.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Daniel Murphy: 8-25, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 2B, BB

Murphy has been the steady hand in the lineup for most of the season. There have been very weeks this year in which Murphy has not provided pop or a critical run scoring hits. He has picked it up in the second half as he has posted a .333 average since the break. He continues to lead the team in both hits and RBI.


SAVANNAH:

The Sand Gnats’ fortune has turned since they won six of eight games when June turned to July. Since their 7-4 win against Rome on July 6, they have dropped six in a row including three to the Yankees’ affiliate Charleston RiverDogs. Rome then returned the favor with a three-game sweep – Savannah swept Rome from July 4-6. The second half started with much promise but could be slipping away as they now stand at 9-12, just one game from returning to the Sally League Southern Division basement.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Jeremy Mizell: 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB

In a pitchers’ duel with Charleston on July 8, Mizell made a spot start and also took a tough no-decision. After giving up a second inning run to Kevin Smith, he settled down for five strong innings. It has been an up-and-down year for the right-hander but he has put together strong back-to-back starts by giving up just two earned runs in his last 11 innings pitched.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

D.J. Wabick: 6-18, HR, 6 RBI, R, 2 2B

The leftfielder continues to lead by example from the middle of the order. It was another big week for him in the RBI department. He has nine RBI in his last ten games and has kept his batting average above .340 for the month. This season with runners on base and in scoring position, he is hitting .357.


BROOKLYN:

The Cyclones sit atop the New York-Penn League with a .720 winning percentage (18-7) and an offense that could burst on any night. The finished their week by scoring 29 runs in two games at Tri-City and State College. Brooklyn is currently four games up on the cross town Staten Island Yankees for first place in the McNamara Division.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Eric Niesen: 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 6 BB

Niesen made his second start of the season on July 8 against Jamestown, threw four scoreless innings and set the tone for his team to take a 1-0 victory. On the 14th, he followed up with another strong start in which he gave up one run, over three innings - his first run allowed of the year. The third round pick has been impressive so far this season in 10 1/3 innings pitched.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Raul Reyes: 9-21, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 BB

July has been the outfielder’s month after he posted a .184 batting in eleven June games. To date this month, he has raked a .372 average including four home runs and nine RBI. He is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position and leads the young Cyclones in home runs (5), and total bases.


KINGSPORT:

The K-Mets won four of five games this week to climb back over .500 to get to 12-10. Their one loss this week was a harsh one as the first place Burlington Royals whipped them 18-3. They remain 6 ½ games back of the red hot, first-place Elizabethton Twins.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Jorge Rodriguez: 5 IP, ER, 2 H, 4 K, 4 BB, W

The 20-year-old Dominican born right-hander has been sharp for the K-Mets in his first season in the states. He spent last year in the Dominican Summer League, posting a 3-3 record, 3.03 ERA in 15 appearances (four starts). So far in four starts with Kingsport, he has notched two wins and holds a 2.70 ERA in 16 2/3 innings pitched. Control remains an issue as he has one walk for each of his 12 strikeouts.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Gregory Veloz: 6-20, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 3B, 2 BB, 3 SB

The former Sand Gnat second baseman has found success since his recall to the Appalachian League. In his last ten games, he has hit .317 with three home runs and seven RBI while swiping four stolen bases. Overall, he has hit .302 with the K-Mets and has surpassed just about all of his statistics from his 63 games with Savannah. In 12 games in July he holds a .347 batting average.


GCL METS:

The Mets had an average week as they went 3-2 against GCL East opponents. With a roster full of draftees and young players, the team hopes to find consistent play as the summer wears on. They have yet to register their first three-game win streak which could ease some of their ailments.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Gavin Dlouhy: 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 8 K, 1 BB

The Australian born 19-year-old has appeared in five games this season, but his outing on the 11th against the GCL Nationals was his first start of the season. He leads the young staff in strikeouts with 23. His eight strikeouts was the single-game high for any GCL Met so far.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Ezequiel Carrera: 8-23, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, 2B, BB

The 20-year-old outfielder has played in every game of the GCL season and leads the squad in RBI, hits, and runs. As a lefty, he still has much room to grow versus southpaws. He hits .328 against right-handers but just .217 from the opposite side.



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