Legends On Deck

SAL: Fireflies Merandy Gonzalez Matches Teammate With League Leading 8th Win

Last week we highlighted New York Mets pitching prospect Jordan Humphreys, who after nine games is 8-1. On Wednesday, teammate Merandy Gonzalez, matched Humphreys at 8-1, after tossing a 3-hit shutout against the Lexington Legends, winning his third straight game.

Gonzalez was signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent on March 6, 2013. The Cotui, Dominican Republic native spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League (2013-2014), before making his way to the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2015. In 22 innings, spanning four games (two starts), Gonzalez was 2-1, with a 2.05 ERA. He was then promoted to the Kingsport Mets (Rookie) and in 44.2 innings, he was 2-2, with a 2.82 ERA after starting seven of the nine games he appeared in.

In 2016, the Mets sent Gonzalez to the Brooklyn Cyclones (Low A-short season), and in 14 starts he was 6-3, with a 2.87 ERA, and 71 strikeouts in 69 innings.

This season the 21-year old right hander is starting for the Columbia Fireflies (Class-A Full Season) and on May 3rd he allowed seven runs in five innings. But overall his season has been bookmarked by outstanding performances.

In his first four starts of the season, he threw four straight games without allowing a run, earning a victory in each game, while lasting into the seventh inning in three of the four starts. After his one tough outing of the season, he has responded with four wins in his last five starts. The one no-decision came on May 18 after he tossed seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Fire Flies did eventually win the game on a walk-off in the bottom of the 10th.

On Wednesday, Gonzalez took the mound facing the Legends for the second time on the young season. In his first start against Lexington on April 21st, he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and struck out seven batters.

This time around, Gonzalez continued his dominance with six shutout innings, allowing three hits, a walk, five strikeouts and retired the last nine batters he faced.

So far on the season, Gonzalez in 10 starts is 8-1, with a 1.56 ERA, and 61 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. He will also join fellow teammates Humphreys, pitcher Max Kuhns, first baseman Dash Winningham and infielder Michael Paez in the South Atlantic League All-Star game.

Another solid pitching prospect on the rise in the Mets system.

David Conde
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