My friend Greg sent me some assorted Florida State League souvenirs this week… some baseballs, ticket stubs, and a pair of baseball cards from the 2014 Florida State League Top Prospects set.
Each Florida State League team had a pair of prospects featured. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo and pitcher Steven Matz represented the Mets organization. Nimmo is a name we might talk about in Feburary and March if the Mets don’t re-sign Yoenis Cespedes this winter. Otherwise, it’s hard to see how he could fit into the major league outfield picture before next September.
Matz, on the other hand, is already an important part of the New York Mets roster. Tonight, he’s going to face the Cincinnati Reds as the Mets start their final road trip. Coming off a 3-6 homestand that was their first losing one of the season, the Mets badly need a good performance from Matz (and the rest of the team.)
Fortunately, the Nationals weren’t able to take too much advantage of those recent Mets losses. And the Dodgers have been playing .500 baseball over their last ten games, so the Mets still have a real shot at home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Nimmo’s caught in an awkward lunge for a ball in his baseball card photo… it’s a break from the posed shots and the standard “action” photos of batters in their stance and pitchers in their set positions that we see on a lot of minor league baseball cards. But it’s also a reminder of how many action shots can make baseball players look goofy.
Matz’s photo is a wonderful glimpse of the world of minor league baseball. If you’ve only been to major league games, it’s probably hard to imagine all those empty seats at the field level of a ballpark. But particularly on school nights in April, May and September, you will see a lot of empty seats at minor league games… even the ones in those first few rows. And it’s really fascinating to be able to hear the umpires make their calls and the bench jockeying that goes on when players and coaches don’t like them.
The St. Lucie Mets uniforms also give you an idea of what New York Mets uniforms could look like if the team decided to make more use of orange. It’s a distinctive look for the farm team, but I’m glad the Mets have mostly stuck with tradition (outside of the turn of the century black uniforms.)