As Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores was fighting through April struggles, going 4-for-25 to start his season and playing sometimes-shaky defense, Matt Reynolds was lighting up Triple-A Las Vegas.
Reynolds, a second-round pick in the 2012 draft, had risen near the top of the prospect crop following a brilliant 2014 season that saw him ascend from Double-A to Triple-A while hitting .343. The 24-year-old shortstop opened the 2015 season by batting .317 with a .379 on-base percentage and two home runs in April with Las Vegas. Reynolds generated buzz, but a call-up never came.
If April was rough for Flores, however, May flipped the script on Reynolds. Flores steadied himself and grew into an able major leaguer with some pop. Reynolds sank, hitting .239 with a .293 OBP. There was no clamoring for him to supplant Flores at short.
And while that sentiment isn't likely to change, Reynolds has at least righted his season, batting .351 in June, including a big night on Tuesday that saw him go 2-for-4 with a home run in Las Vegas' 10-6 win over Salt Lake.
There still is at least one question Reynolds needs to answer, however. He's batting .364 with a .989 on-base plus slugging percentage in 77 at-bats against lefthanded pitching, but is hitting only .257 with a .676 OPS in 175 at-bats against righthanded pitching. Reynolds, a righthanded hitter, did show a propensity to bat better against lefthanders in 2014, but the platoon splits were nowhere near as extreme as his 2015 stats. Is he a platoon bench bat? Or can he prove himself a quality everyday player and begin to generate that call-up buzz again?
Also on Tuesday: Third baseman T.J. Rivera was 3-for-4 with three doubles, rightfielder Travis Taijeron went 2-for-4 with a home run and centerfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was 2-for-4 with a double for Las Vegas (37-29, 1st place in Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern).
(33-30, 4th place in Eastern League Eastern, 2.5 games back)
Shortstop Gavin Cecchini was 1-for-5 with a double, second baseman L.J. Mazzilli went 3-for-5 and rightfielder Eudy Pina was 2-for-4 with a home run as the Mets beat Portland, 6-1.
SINGLE-A ADVANCED ST. LUCIE
(34-31, 2nd place in Florida State League South, 10 games back)
Centerfielder Brandon Nimmo and first baseman Dominic Smith were each 1-for-4 with a walk in a 5-2 win over Clearwater. Righthander John Gant (1-0, 2.84 ERA) struck out five in 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, two walks and two runs.
(35-30, T-1st in South Atlantic League Southern)
Righthander Casey Delgado struck out 10 in 7 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs in a 6-2 win over Asheville. Shortstop Luis Guillorme was 2-for-3 with two doubles for the Sand Gnats.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE METS 1
(7-8, T-4th in DSL Boca Chica South, 3.5 games back)
The Mets were off.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE METS 2
(10-5, T-2nd in DSL Boca Chica North , 1 game back)
Third baseman Angel Manzanarez led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored the game-winner on Luis Montero's one-out single in a 3-2 win over the DSL Tigers. Manzanarez and Montero were each 3-for-5.