The 2009 Binghamton Mets once again struggled to compete in the Eastern League, but the story of…
MMLN – Over/Unders: A Look Back – Part I
Batting Average for Reese Havens
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - .280 OVER
Actual: .247 batting average
Havens got off to a solid start in 2009 when he hit .275 in April, but struggled to maintain a consistent, strong average in the following months. Despite good power numbers through his first 45 games, Havens battled continued injuries and loss of playing time and thus struggled with his usually clean, quick stroke that should otherwise allow him to hit for a good average. He hit .282 over his final 28 games but a mid-season stretch during which he hit .205 through 151 at-bats rendered the prediction inaccurate.
Number of Levels for Michael Antonini
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - 1.5 OVER
Actual: 2 levels
It was not a successful stint in Triple-A for Antonini, but the left-hander made two spot starts in Buffalo . Unfortunately, the appearances were rough as he was touched up for ten earned runs in 7 1/3 innings with 16 hits allowed. Had they been strong outings, it was plausible he would remain in Triple-A but Antonini returned to Binghamton where he allowed 42 earned runs over his final 70 1/3 innings.
Strikeout Total for Jenrry Mejia
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - 125 UNDER
Actual: - 91 strikeouts
In an ideal season of a what was an estimated 125-inning capped season, Mejia would have likely exceeded 125 strikeouts, but his finger injury which sidelined him for six-plus weeks and the following innings limits denied Mejia from crossing the predicted threshold. In 2008, Mejia finished just shy of one strikeout-per-inning and once again missed that mark by a razor thin margin as he fanned 91 in 94 2/3 innings.
Home Run Total for Francisco Pena
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - 10 UNDER
Actual: 8 home runs
Pena had not shown much power in his first two years of ball and moving to the more pitcher-friendly Florida State League with bigger parks, plus a concentrated effort on his contact swing, meant that Pena would have to take big strides to hit a double-digit home run total. Pena had a burst of power in July when he hit five home runs in 90 at-bats, but otherwise he sent three over the fence in 302 at-bats. Nonetheless, the eight home runs were a career-high for the 19-year-old catcher.
Games Played for Zach Lutz
Preseason Prediction : Over/Under - 75 OVER
Actual: 107 Games Played
Lutz more than quadrupled the total number of games he appeared during his first two seasons (25), and worked his way up to Double-A on the heels of 107 games that saw him hit a cumulative .278 with 11 home runs and 64 RBI. Though he was nagged by comparatively minor injuries during the season, he shook off chronic ankle injuries that wiped out his first two seasons to prove that, when healthy, he is one of the most intriguing offensive players on the farm.
Total Stolen Bases for Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - 20 OVER
Actual: 17 SB
Nieuwenhuis fell just short of the prediction but it is not because he lacks the ability. The outfielder was an extra-base hit machine (42% of his hits were XBH) and it limited his opportunities to run. Though he swiped 17 bags, he did so at a 77 percent success rate, having been throwing out just five times in 22 attempts. His growth show signs that he will improve upon his .364 on-base percentage this season and that will only allow for his stolen base total to improve in the future.
Batting Average for Shawn Bowman
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - .290 OVER
Actual: .294 batting average
The prediction looked like it was far off base after Bowman began the season with a .270 average through April and May, but Bowman recovered to hit .320 over his final 45 games to push him over the .290 mark. A strained back and an early exit for the World Cup ultimately limited Bowman to 91 games this season, but he made the most of his time and got stronger as the season went on to make this prediction accurate.
Batting Average for Jefry Marte
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under - .300 UNDER
Perhaps this threshold was too high for Marte who was expected to struggle to varying degrees as he made the jump to Savannah from the Gulf Coast League. The third baseman hit better than .267 just one month this season and spent two months at the Mendoza Line (.200) or worse. He hit .217 in the first half of the Sally League season before hitting .254 in the second half. While Marte would have really exceeded expectations by getting close to .300, his final .233 mark was a stock dropper for a young hitter who still has much to learn at the plate.
Number of Levels for Scott Moviel
Preseason Prediction: Over/Under – 1.5 OVER
Actual: one level
Had Moviel not suffered a setback from his meniscus surgery, he would have likely spent time in Binghamton during the final month of the season. However, the tall right-hander did not return to St. Lucie until early July and racked up just 64 1/3 innings after that. The original expectation pegged Moviel for a return during Spring Training and a full season of ball, but it was not in the cards and neither was a higher level in 2009.
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