Here are the top players from each team in the Mets minor league system…
2009 STERLING AWARD WINNERS
BUFFALO (AAA) OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE: JESUS FELICIANO (OF)
Height: 5-11 Weight: 174 Bats: Left Throws: Left Born: 6/6/79 Resides:Bayamon, PR Obtained: Signed as a free agent (2/07) Signing Scout: LA Dodgers (1997)
Feliciano finished fifth in the International League with a .311 batting average and led the IL with 154 hits. The 6-0, 174-pound outfielder scored 57 runs, collected 30 doubles, one triple, one home run, 41 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 130 games for the Bisons. Feliciano, 30, became just the eighth Bisons player in the modern era to reach the 150-hit plateau.
BINGHAMTON (AA) EASTERN LEAGUE: JOSH THOLE (C)
Height: 6-1 Weight: 205 Bats: Left Throws: Right Born: 10/28/86 Resides: Breese, IL Obtained:Mets’ 13th round pick in 2005 Signing Scout:Quincy Boyd
Thole finished second in the Eastern League with a .328 batting average and was third in the EL with a .395 on-base percentage. At the time of his promotion to New York – on September 1st – he was fourth in the Eastern League with a 30.2 (20-86) caught stealing percentage. Thole, 22, was named to the Eastern League mid-season All-Star Game but did not play due to a dislocated left thumb that kept him out of action from June 30th-July 18th. Thole scored 48 runs, had 29 doubles, two triples, one home run, 46 RBI and eight stolen bases in 103 games with Binghamton.
ST. LUCIE (A) FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE: KIRK NIEUWENHUIS (OF)
Height: 6-3 Weight: 178 Bats: Left Throws: Right Born: 8/7/87 Resides:San Dimas, CA Obtained: Mets’ third round pick in 2008 Signing Scout:Fred Mazuca
Nieuwenhuis hit .274 (132-482) with 91 runs scored, 35 doubles, five triples, 16 home runs, 71 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 123 games with St. Lucie. Nieuwenhuis, 22, was named to the Florida State League All-Star team and ranked among the team leaders in batting average, home runs and RBI. His 16 home runs ranked him second on the team and third in the FSL. Niewenhuis also finished the season as the FSL leader in doubles, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, and runs scored. He batted .406 (13-32) with eight runs scored, three doubles, one home run and three RBI in eight games with Binghamton at the end of the year. Niewenhuis ranked 10th in all of minor league baseball with 99 runs scored.
SAVANNAH (A) SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE: ROBERT CARSON (LHP)
Height: 6-4 Weight: 230 Bats: Left Throws: Left Born: 1/23/89 Resides:Hattiesburg, MS Obtained: Mets’ 14th round pick in 2007 Signing Scout: Benny Latino
Carson went 8-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 25 starts for Savannah. He hurled two complete games with one shutout. In 131.2 innings, he allowed 139 hits, 68 runs, 47 earned, with 45 walks and 90 strikeouts. Carson, 20, was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team. He twirled a 9.0 inning, three hit shutout with eight strikeouts at Lexington on July 11th earning SAL Pitcher of the Week honors.
BROOKLYN (A) NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE: MARK COHOON (LHP)
Height: 6-2 Weight: 195 Bats: Left Throws: Left Born: 9/15/87 Resides:Buleson, TX Obtained: Mets’ 12thround pick in 2008 Signing Scouts: Ray Corbett
The lefthander led the New York-Penn League with nine wins, and ranked sixth with a 2.15 ERA en route to being named to the NYPL All-Star team. He started the All-Star Game as well as Game One of the playoffs for Brooklyn. Opponents hit .210 against Cohoon, and he surrendered just 18 extra-base hits, while facing 356 batters. Mark’s nine wins tied a Cyclones’ franchise record, and his 92.0 innings established a new club record. Cohoon, 22, pitched 6.0 or more innings in 12 of his 14 starts, and allowed two earned runs or less 10 times.
KINGSPORT (R) APPALACHIAN LEAGUE: JEFF FLAGG (1B)
Height: 6-6 Weight: 246 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: 11/7/85 Resides:Jacksonville, FL Obtained: Mets’ 27th round pick in 2008 Signing Scouts: Benny Latino
Flagg led the Kingsport Mets in batting average (.301), home runs (10) and RBI (59) and was second on the team in runs scored (47) in his second professional season out of Mississippi State University. His 10 home runs also ranked second in the Appalachian League, while his 59 RBI were tops in the league. Flagg, 23, had 17 multi-hit games in 57 starts for Kingsport while hitting .364 (47-129) with runners on base.
GULF COAST LEAGUE (R): JULIO CONCEPCION (OF)
Height: 6-4 Weight: 198 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: 9/5/89 Resides:Santo Domingo, DR Obtained:Non-drafted free agent (3/07) Signing Scouts:Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz, Sandi Rosario
Concepcion finished seventh in the Gulf Coast League with a .306 (49-160) batting average. He scored 21 runs, and collected four doubles, two triples, 12 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 45 games. Concepcion, 20, had at least one hit in 35 of his 45 games played and had a .354 on-base percentage.
DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE (R): ALEXANDER SANCHEZ (1B)
Height: 6-3 Weight: 200 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: 11/28/90 Resides:Santo Domingo, DR Obtained: Non-drafted free agent (6/09) Signing Scouts:Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz, Franklin Taveras
The 18-year-old first baseman finished the season tied for the Dominican Summer League lead with a .372 (71-191) batting average. In 47 games with the DSL Mets, Sanchez drove in 42 runs, which was among the team leaders. In 213 plate appearances, Sanchez struck out only 19 times and hit .432 (48-111) with three home runs and 25 RBI in 27 games during the month of July.
VENEZUELAN SUMMER LEAGUE (R): ANDRES PEREZ (OF)
Height: 6-1 Weight: 180 Bats: Right Throws: Right Born: 7/5/89 Resides:San Cristobal, DR Obtained: Non-drafted free agent (8/07) Signing Scouts:Ramon Pena, Ismael Cruz, Marcelino Vallejo
Perez hit .311 (75-241) with 25 runs scored, 14 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 44 RBI in 67 games for the Venezuelan Mets. He posted a .356 on-base percentage and a .440 slugging percentage. Perez finished fourth in the League in RBI, batting .406 (28-69) with runners in scoring position.