Mets Trade Deadline Moves Bring Surprising Playoff Berth
At the trade deadline, we were told the New York Mets were sellers. They traded away players like Dominic Leone, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. In exchange, they received a number of prospects bolstering their farm system and completely revamping the top prospect rankings within the organization.
These are the moves that are supposed to be the signal of the end of the season. However, for the Mets these trades led to a playoff berth. No, not for the Mets, but rather, for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
At the time of the trade deadline, the Rumble Ponies were 47-48 sitting in third place in the Eastern League Northeast Division. That was when they would be fortified with top prospects acquired from the trade deadline, who would help the Rumble Ponies make their postseason push.
Perhaps, it should come as no surprise Drew Gilbert has been the best player on the Rumble Ponies since the trade deadline. After all, he is arguably the Mets top prospect acquired at the trade deadline. In his 32 games with the team, he has been destroying the baseball hitting .336/.431/.575 with seven doubles, a triple, six homers, and 20 RBI.
That is an astounding 1.006 OPS and a 172 wRC+. He has done this while playing well in center field.
While Gilbert’s production might’ve been anticipated, the same can probably not be said for Jeremiah Jackson. The 23 year old had not been thriving in the Los Angeles Angels system leading them to part with him in exchange for Leone. So far, the Mets (and Rumble Ponies) are sure glad that he did.
Over 34 games, Jackson has hit 254/.338/.458 with three doubles, seven homers, and 23 RBI. While the 115 wRC+ has been impressive, it has also been his versatility that has been all the more impressive. Since joining the Rumble Ponies, Jackson has played second, third, shortstop, left field, and right field. In all, he has the makings of a utility player defensively while currently hitting like an everyday player.
Finally, there is Luisangel Acuña, who has continued stealing bases at an exceptional rate. Acuña has stolen 14 bases in 19 attempts giving him an astounding 56 stolen bases for the season.
Acuña did have a slow start when he first joined the Rumble Ponies. However, he is hot at the plate. Since August 20, he is hitting .303/.368/.395 with a double, two homers, and 10 RBI while stealing six bases. With this stretch, we have seen his wOBA climb back over .300.
Acuña’s performance is all the more impressive when you consider he is still just 21 years old. That makes him nearly three years younger than league average. It should also be kept in mind, he is performing this well while primarily playing a good defensive shortstop.
With the jolt this trio has provided to the Rumble Ponies, we have seen the team go 25-12 to secure second place in the division and a playoff berth.
Certainly, they did not do this alone. We have also seen tremendous performances from players like JT Schwartz (.913 OPS) and Agustin Ruiz (.829 OPS) since the trade deadline. Christian Scott (1.72 ERA) and Dominic Hamel (2.25 ERA) have provided strong starts, and Tyler Thomas has been lights out in the bullpen.
That all said, this wave of momentum began at the trade deadline. At the time, the Mets were out of it with their postseason dreams crushed. However, those moves led to the playoffs for the Rumble Ponies, and perhaps, one day in the future, this same trio can have the same impact in the majors.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published on MMN.