Now that the 2017 season is over, Minor League Mondays will take a look at each of the New York Mets’ minor league affiliates over the next several weeks. This series will take a look at each affiliate’s season highlights, top prospects, interesting promotions, and more. We continue our climb up the ladder today with a look at the AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Eastern League.
Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: Binghamton Rumble Ponies
2017 Record: 85-54, Second Place In Eastern League Eastern Division
Story: Unlike many of the Mets’ minor league affiliates, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies actually had a winning season. After rebranding in the winter, the Rumble Ponies christened their new identity with a playoff berth, winning a wild card berth after finishing 6.5 games back of the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern Division. The Rumble Ponies faced off with the Thunder in the playoffs, but they couldn’t advance, dropping three straight games after winning the opener to be eliminated from postseason play. Despite the disappointing finish, the Rumble Ponies’ first year under manager Luis Rojas was a success.
Top Promotion: One of the most popular literary characters in recent history is Harry Potter, with J.K. Rowling’s book series inspiring a feature film franchise and the imaginations of children across the world. The Rumble Ponies got into Potter mania on July 30th, when they hosted Happy Birthday Harry Potter Day at NYSEG Stadium. The day featured many special events, including a Harry Potter costume contest, wizarding trivia, and the Sorting Hat to place young Rumble Ponies’ fans into one of the four Hogwarts Houses. Butterbeer was served at concession stands and parents could sign up their kids for a special wizard class prior to the game.
SS Luis Guillorme: Guillorme, the Mets’ 10th round draft pick in 2013, had another solid season for the Rumble Ponies. In 128 games for Binghamton, Guillorme batted .283 with a homer and 43 RBI’s while playing outstanding defense. Guillorme earned the organization’s Sterling Award, the equivalent of a team MVP award, for Binghamton. The Mets will have to decide whether or not to add Guillorme to the 40 man roster this winter in order to protect him from the Rule V Draft.
RHP Corey Oswalt: Oswalt, the Mets’ 7th round pick in 2012, put together a breakthrough season for Binghamton. In 24 starts for the Rumble Ponies, Oswalt went 12-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Oswalt struck out 119 batters in 134.1 innings pitched for the Rumble, and he threw two complete games, including a shutout. That stellar campaign earned Oswalt the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. Oswalt, who also earned the Eastern League’s Pitcher of the Year Award, should start 2018 in Triple-A Las Vegas. Like Guillorme, Oswalt will need to be added to the 40 man roster this winter in order to avoid exposure to the Rule V Draft.
LHP P.J. Conlon: Conlon, the Mets’ 13th round pick in 2015, made the jump to AA pretty efficiently in 2017. In 28 games (22 starts) for the Rumble Ponies, Conlon went 8-9 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. Conlon, who threw three shutouts for Binghamton, struck out 108 batters in 136 innings pitched. Things really clicked for Conlon in the second half, when he went 3-2 with a 1.31 ERA. The Mets will likely promote Conlon to Triple-A Las Vegas to start next season, and if all goes well he could be a factor for the big club in the second half.
Check back next week as we reach the top of the ladder with a look at the Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s!