The Cyclones are on SNY tonight against the Jamestown Jammers tonight at 7 pm.
If you want some background, here’s the box score to Jamestown’s 6-3 win Saturday and then their 5-2 triumph Sunday.
Notably, the Jammers’ beat the Cyclones’ two best starting pitchers to this date, Luis Mateo Saturday and Luis Cessa Sunday. I wrote about Cessa here, and Mateo here. Anyway, it speaks well of the Jammers’ offense.
Some other notes:
LF Stefan Sabol is sitting at .318/.438/.470 in 18 games and is fifth in the NYP in on-base percentage.
CF Brandon Nimmo is tied for the NYP lead in walks (17) while hitting .197/.363/.338 in 20 games.
2012 supplemental first rounder Kevin Plawecki is hitting .217/.368/.348 with two strikeouts and six walks in 13 games. His only two extra-base hits were homers.
2012 6th round pick Jayce Boyd is hitting .370/.419/.704 with four doubles, a triple and a homer in his first seven games as a Cyclone. That’s a nice first week as a professional.
SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 7, Williamsport Crosscutters (PHI) 6
2B Richie Rodriguez drew a bases-loaded walk, the Cyclones’ third of the 11th to force in the winning run. That’s taking walk-off a little literally, don’t you think?
Both Cyclones’ first rounders had two hits. 2011 first rounder CF Brandon Nimmo (.203/.373/.344 – 18 games; pictured) was 2-for-5 with two strikeouts, and an RBI. 2012 supplemental first rounder Kevin Plawecki put together his second two-hit game. In 11 games, he’s rocking a .205/.367/.359 line with five walks and two strikeouts and two homers.
Sixth-rounder Jayce Boyd homered, his first pro blast. The Mets’ 6th rounder is off to a quick start for the Cyclones (8-for-20) with six extra-base hits in his first five games.
R: @ Elizabethton Twins 6, Kingsport Mets 2
@ Elizabethton Twins 5, Kingsport Mets 4
Gavin Cecchini (.241/.279/.293 – 15 games) took an 0-for-7.
Still no Bradley Marquez in centerfield. He has not played in eight days.
SSA: Williamsport Crosscutters 5, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 4
Will I give a Brandon Nimmo update on this site every day of hte season for the next three seasons? Anyway, the 19-year old was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a strikeout. In 17 games, he’s at .186/.372/.339 with three doubles and two homers with 16 walks against 15 strikeouts.
RHP Rainy Lara: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 9 K. His ERA rost to 3.45, but he’s fanned 23 and walked three in 15.2 innings.
R: K-Mets @ Elizabethton Twins
Rained out. They’ll try two on Friday.
SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 6 (11 innings)
Hi, I’m Jayce
It’s hard to have a better professional debut than first baseman Jayce Boyd (pictured). “I was more excited than nervous, but there was definitely a little bit of tension in there,” he said post-game. “I had to sit and watch for a few days, so I was kinda getting antsy.”
The Mets 6th round pick, a right-handed hitter, doubled on a ground ball down the leftfield line, on a drive inside the rightfield line, and then drilled a line drive triple to the warning track in straight-away center. Then, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning, he lined a sacrifice fly out to rightfield to bring home the winning run. He finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, a run and two RBI. His swing looked clean and balanced and he used the whole field. He’s listed at 6’3″, but that seems a little generous to me.
After a busy week that including traveling from Omaha, where he was playing in the College World Series with Florida State to packing up in Tallahassee and signing with the Mets, Boyd seemed relieved to be back on the field, “It’s been a little hectic,” he said “but [I'm] finally getting to slow down and play some baseball.”
In the bottom of the 11th, the Cyclones used pinch-runner Jonathan Clark at third base for Boyd’s at-bat. Boyd said that Clark, “mighta been the fastest guy I’d seen in my life so all I had to do was hit it up in the air and he was probably going to score.”
Just when I was sitting in the stands in the 9th inning thinking that I hadn’t seen supplemental first rounder Kevin Plawecki
hit a ball hard in the few Cyclones’ games I’d seen this year, he lined an upper 80s fastball over the leftfield wall to tie the game. He was 1-3 with his homer, grounding out and popping out, and taking two hit-by-pitches, the final one right off the the outside of the hand.
He threw out a runner, one at second where it appeared from the stands as though he got the benefit of a phantom tag. I did not get his time to second.
He’s hitting .171/.341/.343 with five walks and two homers in his first 10 games as a Cyclone. Two of his six hits have gone over the wall.
Evans is a Pull Hitter
I think I’ve seen Philip Evans
try to pulled the ball in almost every single at-bat in his three games I’ve seen this year. He pulled a pair of singles through the left side in his first two at-bats, and then grounded out to short twice and flew out to the warning track in left with the winning run at second in the 10th inning.
Defensively, I left the game with more questions about Evans than when I started. In the first two games I had seen him, I had not seen his arm tested at shortstop. Monday, he was tested twice, and I thought looked a little short both times. He ran around his backhand on a softly hit grounder to his right and bounced the throw to first. The friendly umps gave him the call at first. That’s a play big league shortstops need to make more cleanly. In the seventh, on a relay to the plate, he did not get much on the throw from shallow left. I was not expecting him to throw out the runner, but the throw was both off-line and lofted, with little zip.
Off this limited viewing, it sure seems like his arm would play better at second than at short, but there’s no reason to move him anytime soon.
Brandon Nimmo Knows the Strike Zone Better than NYP League Umps
was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday.
In the battle between player and umpire, usually the ump wins. His at-bat in the eighth inning created one of the unintentionally funny moments of the night. The first pitch, which was somewhere near his shins, was called strike one, prompting Cyclones’ hitting coach Bobby Malek to hop out of the dugout to give the umps the business. I suspect Malek was in part reacting to earlier calls as well. Nimmo looked almost ashamed standing a the plate. Strike two and three might well have been off the plate, but Nimmo was not going to get any favors from his man in blue back there. That was a situation where he really did need to get more aggressive, as his manager Rich Donnelly has been preaching.
In the 10th, he was late on a few fastballs at 89-90, fouling them off. From my perspective, I just thought he needed to get his foot down earlier.
His one hit came on an infield grounder to second base in the fourth.
Defensively, he’s fine. In the eighth, with runners on, he got a good jump on a linedrive into shallow right-center, and made a gliding catch.
SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 7, Hudson Valley Renegades 6 (11 innings)
We’ll get to the position guys in a second post.
Luis Cessa: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. I saw Cessa a year ago in the GCL, and the now-20 year old has made nice progress. He was sitting 91-92 with his fastball on Monday, with some 93 and 94 mixed in. He showed a curveball at 74-75 mph. When he rushed it, it came out slurvily at 77 mph. Both his slider and changeup were in the 81 mph range. He mixed all four pitches nicely through the first three innings, but got himself into a fastball rut in the fourth. He faced the minimum through three innings thanks to a a first-inning caught stealing and a double-play by way of second in the second. A double, two walks, and an infield hit helped produce two runs against him in the fourth inning. His curve and change could become average pitches.
Cessa has a nice build at 6’3″ with some room to fill out. It seemed that there was some effort in his delivery, although he repeated solidly through the first three innings. In the fourth, Bobby Ojeda, doing the game for SNY, thought that he lost his “rhythm” and was out of sync, pulling pitches across the plate.
There’s no reason to go crazy, good or bad about Cessa at his point, but make sure to watch his progress. On a team with many bigger names, he’s certainly an interesting arm.
Juan Urbina came out of the Brooklyn bullpen to pitch the eighth inning. It was rather telling that he did not begin the season in the Cyclones’ rotation. He came out tossing fastballs in the mid 80s, with lousy control. The guns had him as low as 82 and but mostly 83 and 84 mph with a few 85 and topping at 86. I saw one 88, but I believe that was off the bat after contact. He threw a few unexceptional curveballs at 75 mph. His line: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. Boy, was that disappointing.
Reliever John Mincone held the Renegades off the scoreboard in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings, twice stranding runners aboard. He was working at 87 mph in the first inning and down to 85 in his third inning of work with a curve at 72-75 and a changeup at 83. He’ll get guys out in the NYP.
The Cyclones will be on SNY tonight for nine innings.
My talking mug will be on for one inning, scheduled for the 4th.
Friday: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 5, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 2
Saturday: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 6, Aberdeen Ironbirds 2
Sunday: Brooklyn Cyclones 3, @ Hudston Valley Renegades (TB) 0
Remember, in the past, the one constant every year in the Mets system was that Brooklyn must win.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 2-for-4 with a grand slam Saturday, his first slam as a professional, and his first two-hit game of the year. The 19-year old was 0-for-4 on Sunday. In 13 games, the team’s first round pick in 2011 is hitting .182/.379/.295 with 13 walks, 11 strikeouts and three extra-base hits. Both MCU Park, Nimmo’s home this year, and Savannah’s Historic Grayson Stadium, his likely home next year, are very, very hostile to left-handed power hitters, so Nimmo’s numbers are unlikely to look great. Ask Ike Davis who hit .256/.326/.326 in 58 games as a Cyclone in 2008 with zero home runs as a 21-year old. Approach and physical skills, that is, how a guy produces his numbers is much more important than pure results in the New York-Penn League for Nimmo, and really all players.
Nimmo shot in the dugout following the grand slam courtesy John Vittas.
Luis Mateo Would Like to Go to Savannah Now
Sunday: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.
Pick your favorite thing from his three start line: 0.51 ERA, 17.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HPB, 2 BB, 22 K.
He showed a plus fastball on the second night of the New York Penn League season, with plenty of slider to handle South Atlantic League hitters. If Logan Verrett were to earn a ticket to St. Lucie with a few good starts for the Gnats, Mateo could easily slide right into that spot in the Gnats’ rotation.
The More Walks than Strikeouts Club
In addition to Brandon Nimmo, this normally exclusive locale, counts five other Cyclones as members.
Philip Evans: .264/.381/.491 – 9 BB, 6 K – 14 games
Kevin Plawecki: .156/.289/.250 – 4 BB, 2 K – 9 games
Stefan Sabol: .316/.447/.395 – 7 BB, 5 K – 11 games
Cole Frenzel: .415/.500/.585 – 6 BB, 1 K – 12 games
Jonathan Clark: .188/.417/.188 – 7 BB, 4 K – 8 games
SSA: Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 5, @ Brooklyn Cyclones 2
RHP Matt Koch, the Mets’ third round pick this year, made his professional debut over 1.2 innings, he allowed three runs, all earned on a hit, two walks and a HBP.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 1-for-3 with a walk, his first hit in his last five games. In 11 games, he’s hitting .167/.400/.222 with six hits, 13 walks and 10 strikeouts.
SS Philip Evans (.244/.380/.439 – 11 G) was 0-for-4.
R: @ Kingsport Mets 4, Bluefield Blue Jays 3
SS Gavin Cecchini was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. He’s off to a solid .286/.324/.371 start (10-for-35) with two walks and eight whiffs in his first nine games.
SSA: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 4, Hudson Valley Renegades (TB) 1
Cyclones’ starter Hansel Robles: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. In 10.2 innings over two starts, Robles (pictured) has 11 strikeouts and one walk.
Dave Gershman at the Penn League Report has a fairly positive review of Robles’ first start, noting that he was sitting 91-92 with his fstball, which touched 94 at times.
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. While going hitless in his last four games, he has drawn five walks and is up to 12 walks against 10 strikeouts in 10 games this year. He’s also 5-for-33 (.152/.391/.212).
R: @ Danville Braves 8, Kingsport Mets 1
19-year old Persio Reyes, who had a 1.95 ERA in the DSL last year is having a tougher time in the Appy League: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
Speaking of rough times, there’s LHP Zach Dotson who, for the second outing in a row, lasted just 0.1 of an inning. His line of .1 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 WP lowered his ERA from 54.00 to 40.50.
SS Gavin Cecchini was 0-for-2 before departing before the bottom of the sixth inning.
SSA: @ Hudson Valley Renegades 4, Brooklyn Cyclones 2
When I open up a Brooklyn Cyclones box score, I look for Brandon Nimmo and Philip Evans first. They were both 0-for on Tuesday night, but Nimmo drew a walk and struck out.
The Cyclones had just seven hits, all singles, including two from LF Stefan Sabol, who also committed an error, his second.
Rookie: @ Danville Braves 5, Kingsport Mets 3
Steven Matz took his first professional loss, but pitched pretty well in his second game: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP.
SS Gavin Cecchini: 2-for-4 with a triple, his first, and an RBI. The Mets’ first rounder this year is hitting .276 (8-for-29) with two walks and eight strikeouts in seven games. Last week, I talked to a scout who had Cecchini in his area and really liked the kid. Cecchini was not an option for his team based on their spot in the draft, but he liked the pick and thought Cecchini would hit.
C Tomas Nido, the Mets’ eighth round pick was 2-for-4. He’s catching every other day, and has hit .294 (5-for-17) in his first four games.