The Syracuse Mets continue to hold onto second place, splitting their last ten games. But a close-up look at the team yesterday gives cause to worry…
First things first, though. The Syracuse Mets have now completed 30 games of the 2019 season. A check on the standings shows the Mets holding a slim half-game lead on the Scranton Yankees for second place in the North Division of the International League. Philadelphia’s Triple-A team, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs maintain their hold on first place. The Mets split their last ten games going 5-5.
Today was an overcast but rainless day in Syracuse with temps in the mid-fifties. 5,494 fans attended a game in which the Syracuse Mets might better have stayed home as the Yankees overwhelmed the Mets by a final score of 14-3 (Box Score Here).
The Syracuse Mets were never in the game as the Railriders scored five times in the first inning, courtesy of four wild pitches by Mets Starter Mickey Jannis, plus a passed ball by the second-string catcher, Colton Plaia, who should buy the game’s official scorer dinner tonight, having received the benefit of doubt on balls a major league catcher would easily have blocked.
For the Mets, the highlight of their day was the sensational defense of their center fielder, Rajai Davis, who ran down a ball hit to deep center, and then made a sliding dive in “Tebow Territory” to rob the Railriders of a sure double when the game was still in reach for the Mets.
Tim Tebow continues to look overmatched at this level, and it’s very possible he’s reached his Baseball Harvard at the Triple-A level. Another 0-4 day saw Tebow’s average plummet to .130. But more significantly, he struck out three times, during which his bat touched the ball only once on a foul ball back to the screen.
Tebow has about 80 at-bats with only ten hits. In order for him to raise his batting average to a respectable .275 (for example), he would need to hit .313 with 110 hits over his next 320 at-bats. Not impossible, but certainly improbable based on what I saw today.
Jed Lowrie, continuing his rehab with the Syracuse squad before returning to the New York Mets, played shortstop and second base, getting a single in four tries. I did not have a sighting of recently sent down, Dominic Smith.
The Future Of The Mets Is Not In Syracuse
A quick check of the Syracuse Mets roster reveals a rather depressing fact about the Mets Farm System, at least at the Triple-A level. More than fifty percent (13 of 25) of the players are 30 years or older. And five of the players are older than 35.
Obviously, this is not the way you team build at the major league level. The New York Mets can begin to correct this in the upcoming June College Draft, but Mets fans will need to exercise patience before these draftees and players currently in Double-A and Single-A ball pass through Syracuse on their way to New York.
Which is why we might see Mets GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, as a heavy player in the trade market before the July deadline. In turn, this also means that Van Wagenen will be forced to deal from the top of the deck (the Mets 25 and 40-man roster), and not from the bottom of the deck where there are few blue-chip players in the minors.
As for the Syracuse Mets, their 17-13 record speaks for itself. Despite today’s lopsided loss, the team, minus the wild pitches and passed balls, appeared energetic and focused. If they weren’t so darn old, though…