The Binghamton Mets last won as many as eighty-two games in a season back in 2000 under fourth year General Manager Steve Phillips, and the left over work put in by former GM Joe McIlvaine. But outside of maybe Ty Wigginton and an obscure 5-tool bust named Alex Escobar, the Mets posted an 82-58 record and finished in first place with a great majority of players unrecognizable to us today. Two years earlier, they went 82-60 and finished second.
Back in 1994, although under Joe McIlvaine, Binghamton was still largely stocked by former general manager Frank Cashen and to a much, much lesser degree, Al Harazin. They went 82-59 and captured their second Eastern League title in three years. Members of that team included Rey Ordonez, Jay Payton, Edgardo Alfonzo, Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen. The club’s first championship came two years earlier in 1992 when they posted a 79-59 regular season record during their inaugural campaign in Binghamton as the New York Mets AA-affiliate.
So went the glory days. In seven of the last ten seasons, the BMets have played below .500 and finished either fifth or sixth within their division. Their best mark over the last decade came in 2004 when they went 76-66; nine years ago. They finished in second place that season and made the playoffs, but have not returned since. That will finally change with the conclusion of the 2013 regular season.
The B’s entered Monday night’s action on the road with an 82-52 record, and eight games remaining in their regular season. They wound up getting two-hit by the Bowie Baysox, as the home team pounded starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard for nine earned runs en route to an 11-0 thrashing. But, no matter - back on August 22nd, Binghamton clinched their third ever division flag. At the moment, they are the only Eastern League club playing above .600 baseball. Unless they fail to win another regular season game within their next seven contests, the Binghamton Mets are sure to record their finest campaign ever. They will get right back at it Tuesday night in Game Two of four, against the Bowie Baysox. Starting pitcher Logan Verrett will climb the hill for Binghamton.
The overall 2013 BMets were a somewhat even blend of players from Omar Minaya’s late regime and Team Alderson’s selections and acquisitions since taking over. For discussion sake, we’ll include Cesar Puello along with players such as Darrell Ceciliani, Wilfredo Tovar, Cory Vaughn, and pitchers John Church, Chase Huchingson, Jeff Walters, Adam Kolarek, Mark Cohoon, Erik Goeddell and Jacob deGrom, who were assembled by Omar Minaya. Among others, Team Alderson gets credit for bringing in Allan Dykstra and Noah Syndergaard via trade, Daniel Muno, and pitchers Jack Leathersich, Cory Mazzoni, Rafael Montero and Tuesday’s starter, Logan Verrett.
Offensively, Daniel Muno leads the Eastern League in runs scored with eighty-four. His team mate, third baseman Josh Rodriguez is fifth with seventy-five. Josh also ranks seventh in the circuit with twenty-nine doubles. Darrell Ceciliani is second in the circuit with twenty-nine stolen bases. Allan Dykstra leads the Eastern League with a .440 OBP, and is just two home runs off the leader with twenty, and rates third with seventy-nine runs driven in.
Because Cesar Puello is serving a suspension, feel free to interpret the league leaders as you will. Technically, Cesar Puello and Allan Dyskstra are the only two E.L. players slugging above the .500 mark. But because Puello (.547) was implicated with Biogenesis, Allan Dykstra leads the active circuit with a .504 slugging average. Similarly, Puello leads the circuit with a .950 OPS, and Dykstra is second with a .945 mark. Let the record also reflect Puello’s .326 batting average is still tops as well.
As a team however, the Bingahmton Mets .254 batting average ranks sixth in a twelve club league. They are also very proficient at striking out – Binghamton leads the league by a wide margin. On the brighter side, they are second in OBP and runs scored, while ranking third in home runs, RBI, stolen bases, and OPS.
Pitching is this team’s strength. They lead the Eastern League in strikeouts, own the second best ERA and WHiP, and have given up the third fewest home runs, and the second fewest walks. Binghamton also sports a superior bullpen, which leads the circuit with forty-two saves.
Starter Logan Verrett is tied for the league lead with eleven wins and is second with a 1.15 WHiP. Mark Cohoon and Erik Goeddell are close behind with nine victories. Cohoon also has two complete games this season. Then of course, were the standout performances this season from Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. In the bullpen, Jeff Walters leads the league with thirty-four saves. To date, Jack Leathersich has a 1.53 ERA with a nifty fifty-five strikeouts in only 29.1 innings pitched. John Church, Chasen Bradford, and Adam Kolarek round out a formidable relief corp. On a sour note however, like Cesar Puello, it was reported in Tuesday’s New York Daily News, left-hander Chase Huchingson has been suspended fifty-games by MLB for violating “a drug of abuse” for a second time. With the playoffs right around the corner, that’s a tough break for Binghamton.
As this all relates to the Flushing Mets, there are no laws which govern overhauling an organization. As we fans well understand by now, rebuilding a team is not an exact science. Injuries always seem to throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans. However, one of the best ways to prepare and succeed despite setbacks and pitfalls is by creating depth. When assessing the health of the Mets organization, I always look to Binghamton first. For the moment, things are going well. Of course the conversation in Flushing just changed dramatically over the last twenty-four hours due to Matt Harvey‘s situation, and suddenly the 2014 season takes on a whole new condition. But the ability to adapt and overcome begins here, in Binghamton.
As far as the upcoming playoffs, the Binghamton Mets have not won a post-season series since their 1994 championship season. In four subsequent trips in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004, they were bounced in the first round each time, while only managing a 5-12 record over that stretch.
But everything in due time, for now, one more regular season victory will set the club’s new all-time high.
Let’s Go BMets.