Minor League Players of the Week - 4/24-5/1

In order to take a closer look at the top prospects and top performers for these Minor League teams, NYFansonly will be naming each respective team's "Player of the Week". Here are the awards given for the week of April 24th through May 1st.

AAA Norfolk: Matt Ginter, RHP

Acquired just before opening day from Chicago in exchange for spare outfielder Timo Perez, Ginter had a fantastic week on the hill for the Tides. In two starts (and 12 innings pitched), Ginter allowed just seven hits, walked none and struckout eight. He allowed no earned runs, although two did score while he was on the mound due to errors by his teammates.

Since coming over from Chicago, Ginter has made a strong case for himself as either the first rotation injury call-up (ahead of even the middling Aaron Heilman), or as a regular in the struggling Mets bullpen. He certainly could at least equal the performance of Art Howe favorite Dan Wheeler or struggling Grant Roberts, who, after losing out on the fifth starter's job, has been used sparingly due to a loss of velocity.

AA Binghamton: Matt Peterson, RHP

The second righthanded starter to win the award this week, Peterson locked it up with a solid start on Saturday night. For the week, Peterson threw 11 innings, allowing nine hits, two walks, and two earned runs. The fireballer struck out ten in his two starts for the B-Mets.

Peterson has really harnessed his control after struggling a bit with it in his stint at Binghamton last year. He dominated the Florida State League, pitching to the tune of a 1.71 ERA in 84.1 IP and coming up big in the FSL playoffs, hurling 14 innings, in which he allowed five hits, one earned run, three walks and struck out 19! The ace of the B-Mets, Peterson could be at AAA by the middle of the season, and will almost definitely start there next year. He could be in the Mets' rotation by the middle of 2005.

A+ St. Lucie: Bobby Malek, OF

Bobby Malek has really started to heat up, and his bat has been scorching this past week. Malek (13/34) hit .382 with four doubles, a triple and three homeruns, along with 13 RBI and six runs scored, plus three walks and three stolen bases; those extra base hits are the most important aspect of his week, as they show he is almost, if not fully, healed from Tommy John surgery after the 2002 season.

The elbow injury which led to the TJ surgery is what let Malek fall to the Mets in the fourth round of the 2002 draft; because of the signings of David Weathers and Roger Cedeño, who cost the Mets their second and third round picks, Malek was the Mets' second selection of that draft. The injury and subsequent surgery strapped him of the power that helped make him a two-time All-American, and the return of his ability to drive the ball has Mets brass excited for what could be a fast rise through the system.

A- Capital City: Matthew Lidstrom, RHP

The 24-year old Lidstrom was his dominative self this past week, throwing 12 innings, allowing six hits, two walks, two earned runs and striking out eleven. He also hit two batters, which was undoubtedly painful for the victims of the hard thrower.

Lidstrom, while old for the South Atlantic League, is not behind in development. He had no pitching coach in high school and for a few years of college, and spent two years on a Mormon mission, as well. So, while he is 24, he is not dominating competition lesser to his level of play. However, he should be at A+ St. Lucie soon, perhaps getting the call up when Scott Kazmir moves to AA Binghamton in a few weeks.

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