Week in Review Across the Farm

Eric Niesen took the loss in a good week

It continues to be a rough season in Buffalo. The bats in Binghamton have yet to find a rhythm. St. Lucie is in the midst of a losing streak, but Savannah continues to play very good ball. The calendar will flip to May this upcoming week, but first, find out who stood out in this edition of Week in Review Across the Farm.

BUFFALO (AAA):
Last Week: 1-4

The tough season continues for the Bisons who, with a 1-4 week, find themselves at 2-14 heading into Sunday and firmly in the cellar of the International League. Their victory came last Tuesday in the high-caliber matchup of Dillon Gee and high-ranking Yankees prospect Ian Kennedy. Kennedy ever just slightly out-dueled Gee, but the Bisons took advantage of poor Yankee defense and scored five runs in the last two innings for the 7-3 win.

Dillon Gee: ND, 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 7 K, 0 BB

Gee took a no-decision in the game, but it was arguably his best start of the season. He had a season-high in strikeouts while walking none for the first time after walking five in his first two starts. Heading into his start on Sunday, Gee had allowed 15 hits in his first 15 innings pitched while the opposition hit .259 off him. Gee went into Sunday's start still looking for his first victory of the 2009 season.

Fernando Martinez: 6-for-20, 5 RBI, 2 2B

Martinez continues to slug extra-base hits at a very high rate and his eight doubles tie him for the International League lead. However, his .292 on-base percentage and zero walks over his last ten games is cause for a bit of concern. He has struck out ten times in his last ten games.

BINGHAMTON (AA):
Last Week: 4-2

The B-Mets' bats are still finding their footing in the Eastern League, but they nonetheless had a successful week overall after taking three in a row in the series finale against Portland and both games of a rain-shortened series versus Trenton. They ended the week by dropping two of three at New Hampshire. The B-Mets head into Sunday at 9-6 and in second place of the EL Northern Division.

Ryan Coultas: 2 ND, 11 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 11 H, 6 K, 3 BB

Coultas took a big step in Friday night's start by going six innings—his longest outing of the season. He has upped his innings and pitch totals in each start this season. Heading into Sunday, Coultas' 3.45 ERA led all Binghamton starters. The right-hander has given up two earned runs in each of his starts with hitters from both sides of the plate hitting at virtually the same clip (.269 LH, .250 RH).

Ruben Tejada: 6-for-21, 4 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 3 BB, 2 SB

The B-Met shortstop is still hitting just .235 this season, but he is finding other ways to contribute via the walk, stolen base and speed on the bases. His nine RBI ties him for the team lead with Shawn Bowman. He is currently hitting .308 with runners on base and .375 with runners in scoring position.

ST. LUCIE (A+):
Last Week: 1-5

The Mets endured their toughest week of the season to date as they dropped the series finale against the Fort Myers Miracle (Twins), two of three against the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) and the first two against the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays). Aside from Wednesday's 11-0 blowout loss, the rest of their losses were either by one or two runs. At 7-8, the Mets currently sit tied for fourth in the FSL South Division.

Reese Havens: 6-for-23, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 2B

The St. Lucie shortstop had a hot start to the week as he homered in the first two games before cooling down, but he registered a hit in four of the six games. His .542 slugging percentage ranks ninth in the Florida State League. His splits are fairly differentiated as he is hitting .311 against right-handers but only .214 (3-for-14) against southpaws. The one concern is the seven errors he has committed in 15 games played.

Eric Niesen – 0-1, 11 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 11 K, 4 BB

The third-year left-hander has been a victim of poor run support to a degree while pitching very solidly despite an 0-2 overall record. He began the week by blanking Fort Myers over five innings before surrendering three runs to Charlotte on Saturday. He now boasts a 2.81 ERA and 15 strikeouts against four walks. Left-handed batters have recorded just one hit off Niesen in his first three starts.

Nick Waechter – Win, 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 6 K, 0 BB

Waechter made his first start of the season, in this third appearance, last week. Waechter, who possesses very good control and pitch-ability, limited Jupiter to one run and walked none while striking out six. In 2008, he walked 20 batters in 77 innings split between Low and High-A. Left-handed batters are just 1-for-11 off the right-hander so far this season.

SAVANNAH (A-):
Last Week: 4-3

The Sand Gnats had an up and down week. They split a two-game series with the Charleston RiverDogs before taking two of three from the Rome Braves and the opener in the following road series against Charleston. Savannah has lost just one series so far this season. The Sand Gnats currently sit at 10-6 and in first place in the South Atlantic League's Southern Division. It is the deepest into the season the club has been in first place in over two years.

Rafael Fernandez: 8-for-28, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 SB, 2B

The outfielder is undergoing his hottest streak of the season. He launched his first home run of the season and drove in his first four runs while hitting .351 over his last nine games. His best game of the week came last Sunday when he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, a run scored and a stolen base. Fernandez is 2-for-12 against southpaws and is hitting .310 (13-for-42) against right-handers.

Jordany Valdespin: 13-for-30, HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 2B, 3B, 2 SB, BB

Valdespin's torrid streak continued last week. His best game came on Thursday night when he went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI, one triple and two runs scored. Valdespin (pronounced Val-des-peen) is now hitting .435 over his last nine games. His .629 slugging percentage ranks second in the Sally League, and 14 RBI and 1.038 OPS both rank fourth.

Jeff Kaplan: Win, 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 8 K, BB

The second-year right-hander continued his dominant streak by blanking the Rome Braves on Thursday night. The eight strikeouts were a career high as he lowered his season ERA to a miniscule 0.60. He has allowed 14 hits in his 15 total innings while striking out 17 and walking three. He currently boasts a near 3-to-1 ground ball/ fly ball ratio.

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