Chris Blum, the head baseball coach at Division II Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, clearly recalls the 2009 season when his team played at Barton College in Wilson, N.C. There were 16 scouts on hand to see Darin Gorski
, a left-handed pitcher from Mount Joy, Pa.
"You don't get that often for one of our pitchers," said Blum, now in his 10th season as Kutztown's head coach.
Gorski was drafted in the seventh round by the Mets in the 2009 Draft and made his pro debut that same year with Brooklyn in the New-York Penn League. He led the Class A Advanced Florida State League with a 2.08 ERA last year while going 11-3 in 26 games, including 21 starts.
Gorski, the No. 19 prospect in the Mets' system, made the jump to Binghamton this season and is off to a fast start in the Eastern League.
"Once you get in to [the Minors], everyone is on the same level, whether you were a high school pick or Division I," Gorski said. "You have to go out there and get guys out regardless. Once you get up here, everyone is on an equal playing field.
"So far I'm headed in the right direction, you could say. I feel good about how it is going," he added.
In a great pitching matchup at home on Saturday against Harrisburg, Gorski went six innings and allowed two runs -- one earned -- but took the loss in a 2-1 setback against fellow lefty Daniel Rosenbaum. Gorski lowered his ERA to 2.27 while Rosenbaum, one of the top pitchers in the Minors, pitched a complete game and improved to 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA.
While Rosenbaum played at Xavier, Gorki attracted attention coming out of high school from fellow Division I, Atlantic-10 schools such as Saint Joseph's and LaSalle but opted for Kutztown.
"I liked the coach, he's a really good guy, and I liked the program they ran. I just liked the atmosphere. I didn't realize how storied the program was. It was an added bonus to compete at that level," said Gorski, who is a few credits shy of a degree in sports and leisure studies.
Gorski came to Kutztown after Ryan Vogelsong, an All-Star with the Giants, had already left and been drafted (fifth round) in 1998.
Gorski throws a fastball, slider and change and said he has not adjusted his approach under Binghamton pitching coach Glenn Abbott, who threw for Oakland, Seattle and Detroit during his 11-year Major League career.
Gorski said he has not seen much difference in the Eastern League after the jump from the Florida State League.
"You have to attack guys and you have to get ahead. It is not really too much different," he said.
Taking a break: Altoona manager P.J. Forbes was bothered by a sore back last week and was unable to coach third base, according to The Altoona Mirror. Hitting coach Mike Ryan took over as the third-base coach. "He's done an outstanding job," Forbes told the paper. The Curve came back from a six-run deficit to beat Richmond, 8-7, on Friday at home.
Turnaround in CT: In 2010, New Britain was 44-98 under manager Jeff Smith. "I learned two things that year. One, don't take things for granted. And two, when things are going bad, find a way to keep it positive," Smith told The Harrisburg Patriot-News. Things are a lot better this year as the Rock Cats were 18-12 through Sunday.
Akron on a roll: The Aeros improved to 19-8 on Sunday as Steven Wright (3-1, 1.13) threw a five-hit shutout to beat visiting Bowie, 5-0. He lowered the team ERA to 2.31, which leads the league by a wide margin. Harrisburg was second with a team ERA of 3.01 in games through Sunday.