Plawecki debuts in style with St. Lucie

No. 17 prospect goes yard in first Florida State League at-bat

Kevin Plawecki has 32 extra-base hits in 66 Minor League games this year. (Ken Inness/

By Robert Emrich / Special to | June 20, 2013 8:29 PM ET

Kevin Plawecki wasn't looking to impress his new teammates Thursday. He may have done that anyway.

The Mets' No. 17 prospect homered and drove in four runs in his Florida State League debut as Class A Advanced St. Lucie defeated Palm Beach, 8-6.

In his very first at-bat with the Mets, Plawecki slugged a three-run homer. In the seventh, the Indiana native singled home the eventual winning run. He finished 2-for-5 on the night.

"I'm glad to get my first one out of the way," Plawecki said. "I was pretty nervous, just anxious, trying to get a pitch I could drive. It just happened to go out.

"I'm really happy, I thought I had some really good at-bats. It's all about hitting the ball hard and that's just what I try to focus on. Not trying to impress my new teammates, just trying to have an impact on the game."

Plawecki got word of his promotion Tuesday before the Class A South Atlantic League All-Star Game. After heading back to Savannah, he drove down to Florida on Wednesday night. He was joined by fellow All-Stars Jayce Boyd and Bret Mitchell, who also moved up.

"I'm just happy that there are three guys here just from a comfort-level standpoint," the 22-year-old catcher said. "It's great."

Overall, Plawecki has seven homers and 47 RBIs in 66 Minor League games this season. He's smacked 24 doubles, triple the total he had in the short-season New York Penn League last season. The Purdue product left the South Atlantic League tied for ninth in the league with a .314 batting average.

"Last year in Brooklyn I found myself chasing at some balls early in the count that I couldn't necessarily drive," Plawecki said. "This year I just focused on getting good pitches to hit."

Plawecki knows what he needs to do to continue the success he's having this season.

"Just keep my same approach and letting the results take care of themselves," he said. "Not getting too big and staying within myself and keeping my confidence up."

Boyd, batting in front of Plawecki, finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.

"Jayce and I have been batting back-to-back all season, so it was nice to have him tonight," Plawecki said. "It's nice to have him in front of me."

Randy Fontanez gave up two hits over 1 2/3 innings of relief to earn his fifth win for St. Lucie. Mitchell pitched a perfect eighth, fanning one. Hamilton Bennett allowed a hit in the ninth en route to his fifth save.

Stephen Piscotty, the Cardinals' No. 15 prospect, fell a homer shy of the cycle for Palm Beach.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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