Week in Review Across the Farm

Parnell came up big this week for the B-Mets

Less than 30 games remain on the docket throughout the farm system. Brooklyn is on course to a division title, New Orleans is trying to hold onto first place, and St. Lucie is making a late charge. The remaining teams all look to find out which players will finish best. Here is a rundown of last week's standout performers.

NEW ORLEANS:

The week started harshly for the Zephyrs as they were swept in a four-game series at Fresno. But, they have won the first two games against Round Rock as they finish up a series that piggy backs the weekend. The squad hopes to get August going as they maintain a 3 ½ game lead in the PCL American South. After winning ten of their last 11 games in July, New Orleans is just 4-6 in August to date.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Dave Williams: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, Win

Williams has made six starts for the Zephyrs after a poor start in his debut with the Mets, and this week's was certainly his best. He silenced one of the lightest hitting teams in Round Rock, but the shutout performance was certainly welcomed. He is averaging just shy of six innings per start with New Orleans and has not given up more than three runs in any start.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Fernando Tatis: 7-22, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 2B, 3 BB

Tatis continues to rake as the second half of the season rolls on. He his hitting .390 since the All-Streak break and is 13-for-41 in August. He has racked up a hit in nine of his last ten games, including a streak of four straight two-hit games. Tatis, who could not find a spot on a big league roster the past couple seasons, has been a stalwart for the Zephyrs. He is currently second on the team in at-bats, runs, hits and home runs.


BINGHAMTON:

The B-Mets continue to flip-flop out of the Eastern League cellar, but the high point came this week when they took two of three games from the first place Trenton Thunder. Much like the rest of their season, it has been a matter of inconsistency for Binghamton. They have scored just five runs in their last three games after scoring 25 runs in the previous three.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Bobby Parnell: 7 IP, 5 H, 6 K, BB, Win

Parnell has been very steady since his midseason call up from St. Lucie. He hoped for a good start to August and that is exactly what he got. In his last two July outings, he gave up ten earned runs in 9 2/3 innings pitched. But, in his first two starts this month (both against Trenton) he has dominated the Thunder to the tune of one earned run, nine hits in 13 innings pitched. The homestretch could prove to be pivotal as to where Parnell begins 2008.

Brett Harper: 11-21, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB

This week's numbers speak for themselves. Right now, Harper is the toughest out in the entire league. He is hitting .514 in August following July in which he hit .324, the first time all year he has climbed over the .300 mark. Among the Eastern League leaders, Harper is currently third in home runs, sixth in runs batted in, tied for eighth in hits and ranks fourth in slugging percentage. After a relatively quiet start, Harper exploded as the summer heat cranked up.

ST. LUCIE:

Thanks to a red-hot August, the St. Lucie Mets sit just three games back of first place Brevard County. The Mets are 7-2 this month in part to an offense that is pumping out runs and supporting the starting pitching. The team also welcomed Pedro Martinez to the club this week for a rehab start, although it did not go well, as he let up five earned runs in three innings pitched.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Eric Brown: 7 IP, 5 H, 6 K, BB, Win

Brown got back to .500 on the season after he controlled Lakeland in this seven inning shutout performance. He is coming off a very average July as he works to finish the year on a high note. However, he seems to be getting there as he has gone six innings in four of his last five starts giving up no more than one run in each. He currently leads the team in innings pitched with 119 2/3.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Daniel Murphy: 10-18, HR, RBI, 7 R, 5 BB, 3 2B, SB

Murphy's continues to blaze through the summer months with a .376 average since July 1. He and Nick Evans are a lethal tandem from the heart of the order as Murphy has set him up with hits all over the field. After the season's first three months, he hovered around the .270 mark, but now looks to go over .300 for the season. He is currently slugging .871 for August. He leads the team in doubles, hits and RBI.


SAVANNAH:

After a promising start to the second half of the Southern Atlantic League season, the Sand Gnats find themselves back in last place in their division with only three wins since July 22 (3-15). They have not won a series since their meeting with Rome from July 4-6. The offense as all but evaporated this month as the Sand Gnats have scored more than two runs just twice in August.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Jonathan Castillo: 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 K, Win

The 23-year-old was a reliever for the majority of the season, but come July he finally got a crack at starting which seems to agree with him. He followed up a six inning, shutout performance on August 4 with this week's lone quality start from a Sand Gnat starter. In four starts this season, Castillo is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and a 17-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings pitched. As a starter, the opposition is hitting just .218 off him. How hot has Castillo been? Before this week's start, he had gone 19 1/3 innings, both as a starter and out of the bullpen, and not surrendered a run.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

D.J. Wabick: 10-24, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 5 2B, 2 BB

Their most consistent hitter all year had yet another leading week. He is hitting .342 in his last ten games including a streak of two-hit games in five of his last six games. Just as he had hoped, his offense picked up tremendously as the season went on. He has hit well over .300 since June 1, after hitting .238 in the season's first two months. He has his eyes set on .300 for the season, currently standing at .292. He leads the team in doubles, RBI and ranks second in hits. He is one of only three Sand Gnats to appear in 100 games this year.


BROOKLYN:

The first-place Cyclones still maintain a comfortable lead over the Staten Island Yankees by a 4 ½ games in their division. They continue to play all-around strong baseball that is led by their dynamic pitching staff. The staff as given up more than three runs only twice this month, including back-to-back 2-0 shutouts versus Mahoning Valley this week. The staff leads the NY-Penn League in ERA by nearly half a run, as well as WHIP ratio (1.17) and home runs allowed (17).

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Nick Waechter: 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, K, 2 BB, Win

In comparison to the bounty of arms on the Cyclones staff, Waechter can easily be overlooked and forgotten. Unbelievably, his 3.80 ERA placed his fourth-to-last on the Cyclones, but he has turned it on in the last month. The disappointment of June (8.76 ERA in three starts) is behind him, and since, he has pitched to 2.05 ERA in his last seven starts. One statistic surely overlooked in his recent resurgence, his groundball-to-flyball ratio has drastically increased from 0.53 in June to a round 2.00 in August. The friendly confines of Keyspan Park are a boost for Waechter has he holds a 2.33 ERA at home compared to his 5.75 road ERA (five starts each).

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Lucas Duda: 6-19, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R, 2B, 2 BB

The 7th round pick's bat has come alive in recent weeks due to a .364 average (12-for-33) his last ten games. His two home runs this month eclipses his season total to this point and he is on pace for his biggest RBI month. On August 5 against Aberdeen, he registered his first four-RBI game. He is a power hitter by trade and Brooklyn could be witnessing the 6-foot-4 first baseman's power stroke come to fruition.


KINGSPORT:

The K-Mets are currently going through a stretch in which they will find out exactly what the makeup of this team is like. They started the month by winning seven of their first eight games, but have since dropped four in a row, all in tight games. The upcoming schedule does not provide any relief as they will square off against the Appalachian League's best in Burlington Royals, Elizabethton Twins and Danville Braves this week. The trio holds the three best winning percentages in the league.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Angel Calero: 11 1/3 IP, ER, 6 H, 7 K, 3 BB, Win

The 20-year-old southpaw has split time as a starter and a reliever this season, but this week put together consecutive starts in which he shut down the opposition. On August 6, he blanked the Johnson City Cardinals over six innings, but came up with a tough no-decision on August 11 against the Greenville Astros as the bullpen could not hold onto a slim 3-1 lead after his exit. He is currently 4-1 on the year with a 2.96 ERA with his only loss coming on season's second day when he gave up six earned runs over 3 2/3 innings pitched against Elizabethton.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Tyler Vaughn: 6-19, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 3 2B, BB

The 22nd round draft pick only recently got onto the field after prolonged contract negotiations. But since his arrival on August 4, he certainly has been productive. In seven games played, he is hitting .304, homering in back to back games and showing a knack for scoring with eight runs in those seven games. On noticeable area he would like to improve upon is his .200 (4-for-20) batting average with runners on base or in scoring position.


GCL METS:

The farm system's neophytes have not seen much of the field this month because of four postponements, but have struggled otherwise with only one win in August. Their slide has dropped them to the basement of the GCL East division. The staff ranks second to last in ERA and WHIP ratio and the offense ranks in the bottom five in nearly every major offensive category.

Pitching Performance of the Week:

Rogers Figueroa: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 K, BB, Win

Despite splitting time as a starter and out of the bullpen, Figueroa has pitched every five days to solid success this season. He has a 3.05 ERA in 20 2/3 innings pitched as a reliever and a 2.03 ERA in 13 1/3 innings pitched in three starts. The 19-year-old and native Colombian, in his first season in the States, leads the GCL Mets in innings pitched and proved flexible and consistent in whatever role that finds him.

Offensive Performance of the Week:

Gabriel Zavala: 11-23, HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 2B, 3B, SB, BB

The 20-year-old outfielder is riding a hot streak in August. He is hitting .441 in his last ten games (15-for-34). Predominately a singles hitter so far in his career, he has shown some pop with a team-leading five home runs. One area of concern is his strikeout total; he has fanned 43 times in 37 games.

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