Binghamton First Half Recap

Josh Thole's .346 average leads the Eastern League

BINGHAMTON, NY - The last month been a bumpy ride to say the least for the B-Mets, but as they near the Eastern League All-Star Break, Inside Pitch checks in with manager Mako Oliveras who offers his opinion on a number of his best performers and team leaders in this first half recap.

Josh Thole

Thole has been the star of the B-Mets this year. The 23-year-old catcher is leading the Eastern League with a .346 batting average and his 89 hits are good for fifth. Thole is second on the team in doubles with 21 and on-base percentage (.414). He has 31 RBI and has scored 34 more.

"His first half has been outstanding," said Binghamton manager Mako Oliveras. "His throwing has been inconsistent, but he keeps working on it. Ooverall he's been outstanding—defensively and offensively,"

Thole has thrown out just 29 percent of all base stealers this season. His strong first half earned him a spot in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

Shawn Bowman

Bowman is batting .284 and leads the B-Mets with seven homeruns and is second on the team with 34 RBI.

The B-Mets third baseman is improving as the season goes on, improving his batting average each month. Bowman finished June with a .299 batting average and is off to a hot start in July, batting .421 so far this month.

"He just needs to make contact with men in scoring position," Oliveras said. "He is a major-league baseman with regards to his defense. He has a very good, solid arm and is accurate."

Bowman's .976 fielding percentage is tops among Eastern League third baseman.

D.J. Wabick

Wabick has had an up-and-down year for the B-Mets. After posting a .377 batting average for the month of May, Wabick hit just .225 in June. His .289 season average is good for third on the team, and his 22 doubles are third in the Eastern League and are a team best.

"He's been steady," Oliveras said. "I would like to see him with more power and he could improve his defense in the outfield."

Wabick has also shined in clutch situations this season, batting .319 and knocking 27 RBI with runners in scoring position. He too was selected to the Eastern League All-Star Game.

Edgar Alfonzo

Alfonzo has been one of the few bright spots in the otherwise struggling B-Mets' bullpen. The 24-year-old left-hander, and nephew of former Met fan favorite Edgardo Alfonzo, is 4-2 on the year with a 2.95 ERA and is second on the team with 30 appearances.

"He has done a very good job, especially when we were struggling with our pitching staff," Oliveras said. "He stepped it up a notch."

He has allowed only three earned runs in his last 17 2/3 innings of work.

Brad Holt

After a stellar Double-A debut in which he allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work, Holt has struggled. Inside Pitch's pre-season number four prospect in the system, Holt has allowed nine earned runs in his last 3 2/3 innings of work (two starts).

"He's been pitching with a sore ankle, but I'm not saying that's an excuse," Oliveras said. "But if there's somebody I don't worry about it is Holt—he has great stuff. He just has to keep pitching."

Jenrry Mejia

The 19-year-old Mejia has continued his impressive 2009 season at the Double-A level. After going 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA for High-A St. Lucie, Mejia has pitched well for Binghamton despite a 0-3 record.

With an impressive seven shutout innings debut, the flame-throwing righty has posted a 3.74 ERA in four starts and has only allowed more than two earned runs once.

"All he needs to do is just keep pitching to keep getting better," Oliveras said.

Mejia has been selected to play in the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game.

Roy Merritt

Merritt is coming off his best month of the year. The lefty went 3-1 with a 0.77 ERA in June, with 12 strikeouts and three walks in 11.2 innings of work. On the year, Merritt has gone 4-4 with a 3.43 ERA in a team leading 34 appearances.

Merritt has also picked up 11 saves, good for fifth in the Eastern League, and has held opponents to a .273 average. He has been especially tough on lefties, holding them to a .239 batting average with 21 strikeouts against eight walks. Merritt will join Thole and Wabick at the Eastern League All-Star Game.

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