Now that the 2012 minor league baseball season has come to a close, Mets 101 will take a look at all levels of the New York Mets farm system, starting with Short-A Brooklyn and ending with AAA Buffalo. We'll look at the season that was for each level, complete with a season recap, the best promotions, the top prospects and each ballclub's MVP. Today we conclude the series in the Nickel City, home of the AAA Buffalo Bisons of the International League.
67-76 (Sixth Place, North Division)
Season in Review:
In their fourth (and final) season in Buffalo, the top Mets farm club continued a Met tradition of losing baseball for the Western NY faithful, finishing sub-.500 under the man many fans hoped would be managing in Flushing, Wally Backman. It was the third losing season out of the club's four years under Met affiliation. What looked to be a good move in terms of growing the Mets presence in a baseball market dominated by the Yankees, Red Sox and to some extent, the Indians and Blue Jays, turned out to be a disaster as constant call-ups to the diminished MLB club gave the Bisons little to work with and 2012 was no exception.
It was a successful year at the gate however, as the Herd drew an average sold crowd of 7,370 over 70 home games. This ranked seventh amongst the 14 IL teams.
The Bisons' promotional schedule was highlighted once again by their Fifth Annual Star Wars Night complete with alternate jerseys and a killer theme night logo. The festivities included costume contests, a jersey auction and a chance to meet Darth Vader himself! They like this sort of thing in Buffalo.
SP Matt Harvey – Prior to his MLB call-up in late July, Harvey was the ace of the Bisons' staff, posting a 7-5 record with a 3.68 ERA. In his first AAA season, Harvey struck out 112 batters in 20 games before earning a full-time spot in the Met rotation.
2B Jordany Valdespin – "Spinsanity" began the season in Buffalo prior to becoming the Met pinch-hit weapon of 2012. The 24-year old utility man hit .285 in 39 games with the Herd, with 5 homers and 23 RBI. Numbers good enough to earn his first MLB call-up and several subsequent ones throughout the season.
This concludes the 2012 MiLB Mets Year in Review series!
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