The Zephyrs dropped four of seven games this week, slipping one game under .500 and are now four games back of the first place Oklahoma RedHawks and one-half game ahead of the third place Albuquerque Isotopes entering Sunday. The most notable changes for the Zephyrs this week came on the bench as former manager Ken Oberkfell and Dan Warthen joined the big league staff as the first base coach and pitching coach respectively. Marty Scott, who last managed in minor league baseball in 2002, came on as the new Z’s manager. Rick Waits joined the staff as pitching coach after spending the last five seasons as the Mets’ pitching coordinator.
Argenis Reyes: 11-28, 6 R, 3 RBI, 4 BB, SB
Reyes, who endured some inconsistencies during the season’s first two months, is on a tear in June and has raised his average this month to .341 after this successful week at the plate. Though the power numbers remain stagnant for the 25-year-old second baseman, but he remains a table-setter for the Zephyrs. He is hitting .405 over his last ten games and .370 against left-handers this season [27-for-73].
Nelson Figueroa: Win, 6 IP, ER, 4 H, 9 K, 2 BB
Figueroa made his fifth start of the season for the Zephyrs this week and strongly rebounded from his previous start, his worst of the season, in which he allowed five earned runs over 3.2 innings. Last Tuesday’s effort was his fourth in which he has allowed one earned run or less as he registered a season-high nine strikeouts.
The B-Mets started the week with the completion of a game against the New Britain Rock Cats and the split the rest of the week’s games with series against the Erie SeaWolves and the Trenton Thunder. Entering Sunday, the B-Mets owned a 4-5 record against the Yankee-affiliated Thunder and remain four games back of first place. They did receive a piece of good news as Fernando Martinez will undergo his early round of rehab games this week in the GCL. Martinez has not played since May 14 because of his hamstring injury.
Nick Evans: 11-29, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2B, 2 3B, BB
Evans continues to mash the ball ever since his return from Shea. After slipping some and posting a .267 average for May, Evans is raking in June to a .328 average. He has six multi-hit games in his previous ten games. His .301 is good for 14th in the Eastern League. However, strikeouts continue to be a hotspot for Evans as he has whiffed 12 times in his last ten games and will likely surpass his month-high of strikeouts this season. Entering Sunday, he has 17 strikeouts this month which nears April’s high of 22. Evans is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position.
Jonathon Niese: Win, 6 IP, 3 H, 9 K, 2 BB
The B-Mets ace posted yet another stellar start as he blanked Erie for six innings. It was his third time in four starts that he pitched six shutout innings, including his previous start on June 11 in which he held down the Harrisburg Senators. After totaling a 5.10 ERA in May [following a 1.82 ERA in April], Niese is back on track this month with a 1.06 ERA in three starts. Niese too accumulated a season-high nine strikeouts.
Tobi Stoner: ND, 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 5 K, BB
Though he earned his second no-decision in the only two Double-A starts of his career, Stoner’s success continues to raise his own stock. In 11 total starts this season, he owns a 2.43 ERA, but more importantly, Eastern League opposition are hitting just .208 off him so far, including just a .160 average for right-handers. He has still yet to allow more than three earned runs in any start this season.
The High-A Mets began the second half of their season this week, yet had two games washed out by rain. The club compiled a 19-50 first half record before winning two of their first three games last week. An important roster move occurred this week as the club welcomed back third baseman Shawn Bowman. The 23-year-old has missed the majority of the last two seasons because of back surgeries. With good health, Bowman could make a rapid ascent in the organization thanks to plus power and tremendous defense.
Ruben Tejada: 8-20, 4 R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 3B, 5 BB, SB
The 18-year-old shortstop is finally finding his comfort zone in the Florida State League and the proof is in the numbers. After hitting .231 and .194 in April and May respectively, he has taken off for a .348 average in 17 games in June. Not only is he hitting for a higher average, but his on-base percentage has jumped from about .275 in the first two months to .409 in June, entering Sunday.
Dillon Gee: Win, 8 IP, 3 H, 5 K
Gee happened to turn in his best start of the season on Friday night as he blanked the Vero Beach Rays for eight innings, including 6 2/3 perfect innings. He earned his fifth victory of the season—his second of the month—and has walked just one batter in his last 22.1 innings pitched. The right-hander now owns a 1.21 ERA with a .190 opponent’s batting average this month. He now ranks third in the FSL in innings pitched [83.1] and 14th in ERA [3.46].
Like St. Lucie, the Sand Gnats began the second half of their season and split the first four games after the All-Star Break. Savannah finished the first half with a 33-37 record which comes a long way from their 40 total victories in 2007. The Sand Gnats welcomed back Juan Lagares to the roster. The 19-year-old shortstop had missed nearly the entire first half because of a shoulder injury.
Scott Moviel: Win, 6.1 IP, ER, 6 H, 5 K, BB
Moviel continues to roll along as he collected his fourth straight victory. Perhaps it is his comfort in the heat or adjusting to the South Atlantic League, but Moviel is perfect in June with a 2.59 ERA with a 16/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio [one walk in each start]. His opponent’s batting average continues to dwindle as the season progresses, dropping form .380 in April to .258 in May to .223 so far in June. After losing four of his first five decisions, Moviel is now tied for third in the Sally League in wins, with seven.
The Cyclones kicked off the 2008 and in traditional fashion squared off against their cross-bridge rivals, the Staten Island Yankees for an opening series. The NY-Penn League runner-ups from a season ago captured two of three against the SI Yankees before splitting the first two games of a three game set against the Aberdeen IronBirds. The Cyclones’ roster includes 14 players who were selected in this month’s draft.
John Servidio: 4-14, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 2B, BB
The 26th round draft pick appeared in four games for the Cyclones and has made an immediate impression with his power and eye for the strike zone. He is one of two rookie position players who are 23 years old, the other being Joshua Satin.
Zach Lutz: 6-17, 2 R, 5 RBI, 3 2B, 4 BB
The Mets’ 7th round pick in the 2007 Draft missed every game but his first last season due to a broken bone in his foot. After one week, the third baseman looks primed to make an impact after putting on additional weight which will help him build endurance and power at the plate over the course of the season.
Scott Shaw: Win, 1 G, 4 IP, H, BB, 8 K
There is not a much better way to have your professional debut than to strike out eight of the 14 batters faced, but that is exactly what Scott Shaw did against Aberdeen on Friday night. The University of Illinois alumni may not throw overly hard, but when his location is on and his is mixing pitches well, he can be difficult to hit.
The K-Mets kicked off the season against the Greenville Drive of the Red Sox farm system, but dropped two of three including an 8-0 loss with second-year pitcher Guillaume Leduc on the mound. They also lost the first two games of the weekend series against the Johnson City Cardinals. The roster includes 12 rookies drafted this month, but also features familiar faces like Daniel Stegall [his third stay in the Appalachian League] and guys to keep an eye on like Pedro Zapata, Gabriel Zavala, Stefan Welch and Phillips Orta.
Wilmer Flores: 8-24, 4 R, HR, 7 RBI, 2B
The highly-touted teenager finally made his stateside debut last week and did show in grand fashion, belting his first home run and driving seven runs including  three-RBI RBI games. If for any other reason, Flores gives reason to keep an eye on the Appalachian League this season.
Jorge Rodriguez: Win, 2 G, 5.1 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 7 K
The 21-year-old right-hander returns to Kingsport after making 13 appearances [five starts] with the club in 2007. In last year’s stop, he accumulated a 4-4 record with a 4.60 ERA, 47 strikeouts and 26 walks in 47 innings pitched. He picked up the K-Mets lone victory this season with two clutch innings in the seventh and eighth to hold onto the 6-4 win.
The Mets’ youngest squad had three scheduled games in the first week of the season, dropping two of three by 7-1 and 3-2 scores. Their victory did come in a collective shutout albeit in a game shortened by rain in the eighth inning.
Jefry Marte: 1-7, RBI, 4 K
Marte is another Dominican teenager making his stateside debut. He boasts tremendous size for his age, standing 6-foot-1 with a mature build, Marte has the potential to be a real weapon on the hot corner. Like Flores, Marte is the teenager many have their eyes on this season.
Robert Carson: ND, 1 G, 4 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
The 19-year-old southpaw returns for his second stay in the Gulf Coast League. He appeared in just four games in 2007, picking up a win and nine strikeouts against five walks in nine innings pitched. He earned the start in the Mets victory against the GCL Marlins. Carson boasts good size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and came into the organization last season typically sitting 90-92 MPH on his fastball, topping out at 94 MPH. He throws a well-paced changeup but currently lacks a viable breaking pitch as he began throwing his curveball only in his junior year of high school.