Minor League Players of the Week - 5/17-5/24

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 May 17th through May 24th.

AAA Norfolk Tides: Victor Diaz, 22, RF

Diaz, who was named the Mets' 8th best prospect by Baseball America this off-season after coming over in a July trade with the Dodgers, had largely struggled coming into the week. Considered a hitting machine without a real position, Diaz had yet to display any kind of offensive prowess.

This week, however, represented a change for the heavyset right handed hitter. Diaz hit .379 (11/29) with two doubles and a homerun, along with seven RBI. Although he did not take a walk, he only struck out three times, a very acceptable rate of nearly one strikeout every ten at bats. Maybe this good week will spark his bat. Still, he needs to continue to work in the outfield, with Jose Reyes coming back to play 2B at Shea soon and David Wright seemingly ready to man the hot corner, where Diaz played with the Dodgers.

AA Binghamton Mets: Angel Pagan, 22, CF

Pagan mashed 14 hits in 32 at bats for a .438 average, hitting 5 doubles and driving in six runs in the process. The 22-year-old outfielder also walked three times, and most impressively, struck out only once. He has a better set of tools than speedy teammate Wayne Lydon, and stole two bases himself this week.

With Prentice Redman first in line for a promotion to AAA Norfolk amongst the Binghamton outfielders, Pagan figures to spend the rest of the year in NYSEG Park. He's blocked in CF at Shea by Mike Cameron and Lastings Milledge, the Mets' first round pick last year, is the centerfielder of the future, so Pagan may have to hit for some more power in order to win a corner outfield spot at Shea.

A+ St. Lucie Mets: Brian Bannister, 23, RHP

The Mets tabbed Brian Bannister with their seventh round pick in the 2003 amateur draft. He pitched last season at short season A Brooklyn, and is now helping to anchor the St. Lucie staff in the absence of phenom lefty Scott Kazmir. Bannister came through in a big way this week, hurling seven innings of one-run ball. Although he gave up eight hits, Bannister had impeccable control, walking none and striking out an impressive ten batters.

Bannister profiles as a backend of the rotation pitcher, and may see some time at AA Binghamton before the year is out, depending on the advancement of Scott Kazmir, Matt Peterson, Jose Diaz and a few other pitchers.

A- Capital City Bombers: Shawn Bowman, 19, 3B

Drafted out of a Canadian high school in the 2002 draft, Bowman and teammate Lastings Milledge are two of the youngest players in the South Atlantic League. What he lacks in age he makes up with his bat, though, as he has been punishing Sally pitching thus far. For the week, he hit an even .500 (10/20), ripped a double and blasted two homeruns. Bowman drove in seven, walked three times and was struck out three times, as well.

The Mets have David Wright pegged as their third basemen for the next fifteen or so years, and the time may be "Wright" as early as mid-season. Bowman could learn a different position, such as leftfield, and will have to if he wants to have a future with the big league Mets.

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