It was the most difficult week of the season for the Zephyrs as they brought their losing streak to a season-high seven games entering Sunday. After getting as close as 1 ½ games within first place in the PCL American South Divison, the Z’s have slid back to 7 ½ games back.
Val Pascucci: 5-20, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB
The Z’s outfielder continues to provide the thunder from the heart of the order. After hitting .275 in 30 games in May, Pascucci has hit .333 so far in 26 games in June with a .447 on-base percentage. He leads the club with a 1.015 OPS. He is hitting .400 against left-handed pitching, but .264 against righties.
Nelson Figueroa: 0-1, 12 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 5 K, 3 BB
The 34-year-old right-hander continues to look for consistency but has strung together strong starts for the Z’s despites the team’s struggles. In six June starts, Figueroa is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched with 27 strikeouts against 12 walks. In six road appearances [two starts], he is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings pitched.
The B-Mets began the week by capping off a series victory against the Trenton Thunder before welcoming the Altoona Curve to NYSEG Stadium where they won three of four games. The club ended the extended homestand by splitting the first two games of a series versus the Connecticut Defenders in two very close games. Entering Sunday, the B-Mets won seven of their last ten games and sit three games back of first-place Trenton.
Nick Evans: 9-26, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 R, 2B, 4 BB
Evans continues to pound the ball and his big week allowed him to push his average back over .300 [.306 heading into Sunday]. His June average sits at .333, and like the preceding two months, he has smacked four homers [15 RBI]. He owns a .686 slugging percentage against southpaws and is tied for fifth in the Eastern League with 12 home runs. After consecutive weeks of double digit strikeouts, Evans fanned only four times.
Salvador Aguilar: 2-0, 13.2 IP, 3 ER, 13 H, 7 K, 3 BB
Aguilar was not likely on many radars heading into the season, but very quietly he is having not only a career season, but arguably the best season in the entire Eastern League. The 26-year-old leads the EL in wins , has the league’s highest winning percentage [.900], ranks 8th in ERA [2.82] and has given up only 76 hits in 89.2 innings pitched. He owns a 4-0 record in June with a 1.64 ERA in five starts.
The High-A Mets had a strong week, playing their way to a season-high five-game week streak before having it snapped on Friday night to Clearwater in a 4-0 loss. After enduring an abysmal 19-50 first half, the club certainly cannot argue with a 7-3 second-half start, good for a 1 ½ game lead in the FSL East entering Sunday. With a virtual revolving door this season in the outfield, the club welcomed back Brahiam Maldonado after he missed nearly two months with an ankle injury.
Josh Thole: 8-16, 2 RBI, 5 R, 4 2B, 2 BB
The 21-year-old catcher continued his hot bat last week and is now hitting .338 in 23 games in June after he posted a .317 average in May. Most notably in Thole’s growth has been his increased consistency at the plate, specifically with extra-base hitting. His recent outburst of production has landed him the everyday catching job. Over his last ten games, Thole is hitting .500 [15-for-30].
Dillon Gee: Win, 7 IP, 3 H, 3 K
Gee continues to roll along as he stretched his shutout streak to 16 consecutive innings, including two victories in which he has not issued a walk. In June alone, he owns a 3-0 record with a 0.92 ERA in 29.1 innings pitched with .178 opponent’s batting average and 17 strikeouts against one walk. He ranks second in the Florida State League with 90.1 innings pitched and third in the league in WHIP [1.05].
The Sandgnats struggled through a tough week as they captured just one victory heading into Sunday, and that was a 3-2 victory over the Rome Braves thanks in large part to yet another Scott Moviel victory—his fifth in a row. The Sandgnats are 3-7 so far in the second half of the South Atlantic League season.
Juan Lagares: 8-29, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2B
The Sandgnats shortstop missed the entire first half of the Sally League season with a shoulder injury, but upon his return, he looks ready and healthy to significantly contribute in the second half. However, two early red flags for Lagares are his 9/0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and four errors in nine games [he had 43 errors in 2007].
Nick Waechter: 2 G, 9 IP, ER, 4 H, 12 K, BB
The 23-year-old right-hander is the most reliable long-man in the Sandgnats bullpen. On June 22 and 28, Waechter entered the game in relief for Elvin Ramirez and Nick Carr respectively, and though the club lost both outings, he kept the opposition at bay with tremendous control and an ability to pick up the big strikeout when needed. Over his last 12 outings, he has a 2.60 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched with 32 strikeouts against six walks.
The Cyclones finished an up-and-down week with a 4-1 loss to the Aberdeen Ironbirds but captured a series victory with two wins by an 8-5 combined score. However, before Aberdeen’s visit, they were swept by the Hudson Valley Renegades in which they did not score more than two runs in any of the contests. During the week, the club welcomed Ryan Church and Dan Murphy to the roster as both outfielders were on rehab assignments. Offensive consistency continues to be a pain point for this year’s club as they have hit two home runs collectively, with 34 runs scored in 12 games.
Will Vogl: 6-20, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3B, 2B, BB
Vogl, who has appeared at three different levels this season, had a strong week which included a pinch-hit RBI and a 3-for-4 night. It is the second stop in Brooklyn for Vogl who hit .240 with one home run and 22 RBI in 69 games in a utility role with the 2007 club.
Brad Holt: Win, 5 IP, 6 K, BB
One could not do much better in his second professional start than Holt did last Thursday night against Aberdeen in front of the home crowd at KeySpan Park. The 6-foot-4 right-hander held the opposition without a hit while maintaining his 5/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Scott Shaw: GS, 5 IP, 3 H, 6 K
In his second appearance, first start, Shaw continues to dazzle with his control and strikeout numbers. In nine innings pitched so far this season, Shaw has struck out 14 and walked just one with four hits allowed. With a .138 opponent’s batting average, the 13th round selection in this year’s draft should be looking at more starts in the future.
After a shaky opening week, the K-Mets rebounded and posted a 5-2 record last week as the offensive put together two 13-4 victories—one on June 22 against Johnson City Cardinals and the other on June 28 against the Pulaski Mariners [who they swept]. The young pitching appears to be holding its own as they surrendered more than four runs twice during the week.
Wilmer Flores: 13-29, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 3B, 2 2B, SB
There are not many superlatives to offer the 16-year-old shortstop but the numbers cover much of that. The young phenom has shown tremendous power early on as he maintained a .632 slugging percentage going into Sunday with seven extra-base hits [three home runs, three doubles, triple] out of his 21 hits. He leads the Appalachian League in RBI and ranks fourth and fifth in slugging percentage and batting average, respectively.
John Holdzkom: 2 G, 2 GS, 10 IP, 7 H, 14 K, 3 BB
Holdzkom’s name is not one that has been called often this summer but when the hard-throwing right-hander goes out and posts zeros in consecutive starts, the attention is warranted. After a rough first start in Kingsport in which he allowed four earned runs in two innings, he has settled down and, at 20 years old, still has opportunity to get his career on track.
The youngest Mets squad had a successful week in which they went 3-2 with victories over three of their Gulf Coast League division foes. A face that is becoming too familiar around the St .Lucie is Fernando Martinez who made four rehab assignments last week before returning to Binghamton.
Jefry Marte: 7-19, 4 RBI, R, 4 2B, 3B, BB
Marte really heated up last week after going just 1-for-7 in the season’s opening frames. He recorded two three-hit games and two games with multiple extra-base hits, including his best outing of the week on June 25 against the GCL Marlins in which he went 3-for-5 with a run, two doubles and two RBI.
Jenrry Mejia: Win, 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 6 K, BB
The 18-year-old, who pitching coordinator Rick Waits has singled out as an arm to watch, put together his second straight sparkling out. He backed up his five shutout innings on June 19 with a one-run performance over five innings last week. He possesses a very impressive 3.75 groundball/flyball ratio and a .162 opponent’s batting average.