Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mets #15 prospect could be B-Mets #1 player

The Binghamton Mets, the Mets Double-A affiliate, has some of the Mets better prospects on its roster. Among its starting pitchers, Mike Antonini is a player to watch. During Spring Training he pitched five innings for the New York Mets, limiting opponents to three hits and no runs. In 2007 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the left-hander threw 19.2 innings and had a 0.46 ERA. Last season, Antonini pitched 199.1 innings for three Mets minor league teams and had a 2.62 ERA. Particularly impressive was his WHIP: only 1.079. Baseball America rates Antonini as the Mets 15th-best prospect.

Besides Antonini, the B-Mets pitching staff includes Jose Sanchez, who's played for the B-Mets the last two seasons and seems to have topped out at the Double-A level, right-handers Eric Brown and Dylan Owen, the latter a pitcher with a big upside, Ryan Coultas, an infielder converted to pitcher, and Adam Bostick, a player who also appears destined to spend his remaining playing time in the minors.

A surprising member of its pitching staff is Fernando Nieve, whom the Mets optioned to Binghamton rather than to Buffalo. Nieve has big league experience, spending two seasons with the Houston Astros.

Here is the B-Mets starting lineup in last night's 5-3 opening-day victory:

Garcia, E CF
Tejada SS
Thole C
Bowman 3B
Duda 1B
Bouchard 2B
Wabick LF
Stewart DH
Loadenthal RF
Antonini P

At Cincinnati, the NY Mets beat the Reds 9-7. I hope that Francisco Rodriguez doesn't have too many more innings like he had yesterday in the ninth. He threw 30 pitches, loading the bases; only 12 were strikes. But Rodriguez wasn't the only Met pitcher to throw a lot of pitches. Starter Mike Pelfrey threw 104 in his five-inning stint. Let's blame the weather for their lack of control: It was 54 degrees. Hopefully, when the weather warms, the pitchers' control will improve.

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