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 begin our climb up the minor league ladder today with a look at the rookie level Gulf Coast League Mets.
Minor League Mondays Affiliate Review: GCL Mets
2017 Record: 19-37, Fifth Place in GCL East Division
Story: The 2017 season was a trying one for the GCL Mets, who finished well under .500 and way out of the playoff picture. The GCL Mets finished 15 games back of the GCL Nationals, but competitive play isn’t an emphasis in the Gulf Coast League. The GCL is the lowest level of minor league baseball, and the focus of teams in this league are player development. The job of GCL Mets’ skipper Jose Carreno is primarily on teaching his young players, many of whom are extremely green and in their first experience as pros. GCL games are played at the spring training complexes of big league clubs. Admission isn’t charged and concessions aren’t sold, so this is a chance to see pro baseball at its purest forms. GCL games are often used for rehab purposes as well, as evidenced by Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard tossing an inning for the franchises’ GCL affiliate in September.
Top Promotion: N/A
RHP Jaison Vilera: Vilera, a 20 year old right hander from Venezuela, received the GCL Mets’ Sterling Award for top performer at the level. In 11 appearances (8 starts) this season, Vilera went 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and an outstanding 0.96 WHIP. Vilera piled up 56 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched and even tossed a shutout. The Mets have to hope the strong results continue for Vilera next season.
CF Guillermo Granadillo: Granadillo, a 20 year old outfielder from Venezuela, posted a strong season in the Gulf Coast League. In 42 games for the GCL Mets, Granadillo batted .301 with a homer and 11 RBI’s. Granadillo also demonstrated some solid extra base power by recording eight doubles and two triples in 156 at bats. The Mets rewarded Granadillo’s strong play with a mid-season promotion to Brooklyn, and he finished the year with the Cyclones.
SS Mark Vientos: Vientos, the Mets’ second round pick in the 2017 draft out of American Heritage High School in Florida, was assigned to the GCL Mets to begin his pro career. The league agreed with Vientos, who batted .259 with four homers and 24 RBI’s in 174 at bats. The Mets were impressed with Vientos’ transition to pro life and gave him a cup of coffee with the Kingsport Mets at the end of the season. Vientos, who is already ranked as the Mets’ 10th best prospect according to MLB.com, should start next year in Kingsport as the Mets will bring him along slowly.
Check back next week as our Affiliate Review series continues with a look at the Kingsport Mets!