With 11 games put in the books, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies find themselves in second place within the Eastern Division of the Eastern League. At the time of publishing, the Ponies are 7-4, a game and a half behind the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees, Double-A).
The Rumble Ponies have had five of their first 10 scheduled games postponed, resulting in the standings being quite discombobulated, with as much as a five-game gap in between some teams.
But with all that, early season games within the new split-season format are not pivotal. The split-season format allows the first place team from each division during both the first and second halves of the season to qualify for a playoff spot. When teams finish strong, they are more likely to make the playoffs. First place squads after each season make the playoffs, and if the same team finishes first twice, the spot goes to the team with the highest overall wins.
Through the first ten games, only 12 different Ponies had hits, with former first-rounder OF Barrett Barnes highlighting the performances. Through 13 at-bats, Barnes has four hits, with two home runs. He’s got a team-best slash line, with .286/.412/.714. Barrett was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, and since has spent time with at all of their levels. Seeming to be an organizational player for life, he was unexpectedly released from the Pirates after a down year. Now looking to change his fortune, he’s back on the grind with the Mets, making a final bid at his big league dreams.
Barnes can become a surprising force in Rumble Town, alongside the likes of INF Andres Gimenez, 3B Will Toffey, and C/OF Ali Sanchez. All of the players mentioned have made the MiLB Pipeline Top 30 Prospects List, an honor to most. Barnes joining the list will take tremendous hard work, but wouldn’t come as a surprise to me, considering his body of work.
Through the Ponies eleven games, LHP Anthony Kay has made starts in two. He is currently 0-1, with two no-decisions, but has an ERA of 2.77 in 13 total innings pitched. MiLB Pipeline has him ranked at 8th within the system, shortly after being selected by the Mets in the 1st Round of the 2016 Draft out of the University of Connecticut. There, Kay went 17-7 with a dominant 2.42 ERA, through two seasons of play. Later that year he’d be sidelined and have to undergo Tommy John surgery. Kay had not made his first professional start until 2018 and finally clocked in a full season of pitching.
Kay co-stars a pitching staff with LHP David Peterson, the Mets 2017 1st Round selection. The two both have their focus on leading the Ponies to a winning season, and hopefully a run at the Eastern League Championship. Only time will tell what the duo can bring to Binghamton.
Going into the third season as the re-branded “Ponies”, millions of dollars worth of renovations, a fresh new roster, and a new manager, the Ponies are poised for a big season ahead. The next stars of Queens will hope to recreate 2014, the last time Binghamton won it all.