(All further stats include the team's blowout win on May 1.)
As a team, St. Lucie currently leads the FSL in home runs (19) and doubles (57) and slugging (.413). In fact, the Mets are the only team in the FSL slugging over .390. The team is second in the FSL in runs scored (118) while hitting .265/.332/.413 overall.
On the pitching side, St. Lucie leads the FSL in ERA (2.45) and total runs allowed (70) despite mid-pack standing in strikeouts (183, 6 of 12). Instead, the St. Lucie staff has succeeded because they have limited baserunners: they have issued the third-fewest walks (65) and the fourth-fewest hits (189) on the circuit.
Wilmer Flores; Still a ProspectThe 20-year old Flores (pictured) is hitting .318/.340/.511 in 24 games. He's tied for third in the FSL in homeruns (4), seventh in batting average, eighth in total bases (45) and 10th in OPS. Scouts were mixed on his defense at third early on, but he seems to have settled in and has gone 13 games without an error at the position and committed just two overall in April. His hands and arm will surely play at the position the question will be his feet.
Cory Vaughn; Atoning for 2011Cory Vaughn turned 23 on May 1. He celebrated by homering, grabbing the FSL lead in the category with six to improve to .279/.361/.558. He leads the league in slugging percentage and is third in OPS (.919). As he will happily tell anyone who will listen, he's in a better place mentally and physically than he was a year ago. In 2011, he hit just four home runs in 68 games in Savannah and then hit .219/.308/.395 in 63 games in the second half in St. Lucie. Binghamton has outfield at-bats available, Vaughn can use the next month to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he deserves them. Given his quick start, it would be disappointing to see him in the FSL past the League's All-Star Break.
That's a Fine Double-Play Combo You Have ThereWilfredo Tovar, at age 20: .312/.376/.429 with six walks and six strikeouts to go with three errors in April. A gifted defensive shortstop, Tovar has lightning fast hands, a quick release and plenty of arm for short to go along with balletic feet and a gymnast's balance. Will he hit enough to play in the big leagues? The beginning of 2012 looks promising.
Danny Muno, at age 23: .295/.368/.474. He leads the FSL with nine doubles, and is tied with Cory Vaughn for the team lead with 12 extra-base hits. He's not real big (listed at 5'11", 175) but he has some strength and generates plenty of pull-side power. With his defensive versatility - he can play second, short or third - he could well be Justin Turner with a little more power.
How is This Team Leading the FSL in ERA?Well, five different relievers - Adam Kolarek, Adrian Rosario, and Kyle Allen - accounting for 30 innings, all have ERAs under 1.00.
Cory Mazzoni, my top-rated pitching prospect on the FSL Mets has been fine, but not sensational: 24 IP, 26 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 17 K. Strikeout rate, strikeout rate and strikeout rate. From a top prospect type, I want more than 6.4 K/9 IP.
Erik Goeddel has given up just one run in his two outings since returning from a muscle strain in his legs, while Ryan Fraser and John Church have also been good out of the 'pen.
Rosario who has fanned 17 in 13.1 innings and given up just three hits and three walks, is trying to ensure that the Mets got something back on the field aside from salary relief from the K-Rod trade in 2011.
Just a HuchChase Huchingson is working with a 1.32 ERA in 27.1 innings. His strikeout rate has dipped and his K/BB is an ordinary 1.75 while his BB/9 is pushing 4.0 and via rounding is an even 4.0. It's still early and all, but the left-handed Huchingson actually has a reverse platoon split as righties are hitting just .194/.295/.254 in 67 AB against him while lefties are stilling at .241/.324/.379 in 29 AB. His changeup was ahead of his curveball in 2011, and the numbers suggest it still is. His arm slot and motion scream left-handed specialist, but his performance (in a you guessed it, small sample size) does not.
Player of the MonthPicking Vaughn or Flores is tough, but I'll take the younger Flores, his higher batting average and many fewer strikeouts (7 to Vaughn's 21).
Pitcher of the MonthHuchingson edges Rosario on the strength of more work. Huchingson pitched more than twice as many innings - 27.1 - to Rosario's 13.1.