The short-season Brooklyn Cyclones begin their 2013 season tonight.
As a general rule, the Cyclones get way too much attention because they are: 1. based in Brooklyn, 2. the games are great fun, 3. they usually win while 4. the players are years from the big leagues. That does not mean things that happen at MCU Park do not matter.
The Cyclones’ roster will be an evolving document as many of the 2013 draftees have not joined Brooklyn yet. The full roster is here in pdf and html.
SS Gavin Cecchini – The Mets first round pick in 2012, at #12 overall. A shortstop who the Mets think will be an average defender who will hit at the top of the order, Cecchini was my #7 ranked prospect pre-season. He hit an unexceptional .246/.311/.330 in 53 games last year for the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachian League. When I saw him briefly in 2012, I recall liking Cecchini’s swing more than I expected to, but thinking that he needed to get stronger. He says he got stronger all winter. I was expecting to see a little more pure speed out of Cecchini and when I saw him in the Appy League, on a wet track, he was at best an average runner. I’m curious how his footspeed looks in Brooklyn.
The Starting Rotation
RHP Robert Gsellman
RHP Miller Diaz
RHP John Gant
LHP Carlos Valdez
RHP Seth Lugo
LHP Dario Alvarez
The 19-year-old Gsellman, who gets the Opening Day nod, held his own in Savannah, working 88-92 with a changeup. His breaking ball is rudimentary.
Miller Diaz throws hard, but is pretty raw. I missed him in Kingsport last year.
John Gant was a 21st round pick in 2011 out of high school when he was throwing 85-87 mph. At 6’4″, 200lbs, he has a nice frame and has added a little velocity. I’m curious about what it looks like in games coming off a 2012 when he ran a 4.55 ERA with a 47/19 K/BB in 55.1 innings in the Appy League.
Alvarez, who is 24, is a cast-off from the Phillies system.
Lugo has been going by Jake Lugo and was a late (34th) round pick out of Centenary in 2011.
Cecchini’s double-play partner will be L.J. Mazzilli. He’s a fun story for the Mets’ ties, and I expect him to hit a little in the NYP, but as one of the oldest players in the 2013 draft, who will turn 23 in September, he’s more name than prospect for now.
Eventually, 7th round pick Matt Oberste will play first for this unit.
At the moment, the outfield is all 23- or 24-year olds waiting for the 2013 draftees to sign. In particular, 5th round Jared King (who has not signed yet) and 9th rounder Patrick Biondi who has signed (for an undisclosed bonus) will make this group much more interesting.
Tomas Nido is the name here. Last year’s eighth round pick out of high school in Florida, the Mets paid him $250,000 to sign, $113 overslot to skip a committment to Florida State. He’s a young 19. There’s some power in his swing and enough arm to catch although his receiving is raw. He hit .242/.307/.339 in the Appy League last year with a 12/23 K/BB ratio in 38 games.
The Mets have signed the 48th overall pick Andrew Church, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.
Church signed for $850,000, Callis said. The Mets were slotted for $1,138,800 for their second-round pick.
Here’s what was said about Church when the Mets drafted him out of high school.
The important context for this signing aside from adding a pitcher who is interesting on his own merits is how saving $288,800 against the pool impacts the shape of the Mets’ draft class. The table below has the bonuses and slot amounts for the Mets’ picks in the Top 11 rounds.
|Slot||Bonus||Player||+/- Bonus||As % of Slot|
|Total Slot Used||2,926,700|
|Over/Under Slot for Signed Picks||+123,200|
If one compares ONLY the amount for which publicly available draft picks have signed against ONLY those slots, the Mets appear to be over their pool allotment. However, that is way too narrow a perspective. The Mets will sign Dominic Smith for under slot, likely a little over $200k under. Senior draftees L.J. Mazzilli and Patrick Biondi will sign for well under slot too. The Mets will have enough money to sign all of their guys in the top 10 rounds and really, almost all the way through the 39th round.
In a perfect world, the Mets might even husband enough money – like $500,000 – to make a run at 40th round pick JB Woodman, who Baseball America reported wanted third round money. I doubt that will happen, but that’s a best case scenario.
Gabriel Ynoa pitched on Sunday for the Savannah Sand Gnats, so he will be replaced in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.
Ynoa’s teammate, Beck Wheeler, will take his place on the roster.
Wheeler has a 1.65 ERA and 0.878 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings for Savannah. He’s picked up six saves, while striking out 40 and walking only seven.
The Cyclones begin their 2013 campaign against the Staten Island Yankees Monday night at 7 pm.
A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 8, Greenville Drive (BOS) 0
RHP Gabriel Ynoa rolled through five innings. He allowed just three singles, did not allow a runner to third or a walk and fanned six. The Mets had Ynoa (pictured), who turned 20 at the end of May, on a 80-85 pitch count, and he was lifted after finishing five innings at 76 pitches. I was told there is “no way” he will throw in the SAL All-Star game, to which he was elected, on Tuesday in Lakewood. So, the Mets limited his workload. Why? Does this portend a promotion to St. Lucie in short order, or is the team just starting to manage his workload already? I was told by a scout that Ynoa was 92-95 and sitting 93-94 in his previous start, last Monday, but did not get velo on Sunday’s outing. That increase in velocity from a year ago, combined with a slider and changeup will bring him a whole lot more attention by season’s end. Ynoa’s last six starts: 41.1 IP, 30 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 32 K. That’s a 1.52 ERA and a .194 opponents’ batting average (30 H/155 AB).
1B Jayce Boyd finished up a ridiculous series against Greenville by going 2-for-2 with three walks. The 22-year-old has hit safely in his last eight games, but in the four games against the Drive, he reached base safely in 17 of 19 plate appearances as part of a 11-for-13 binge, with a triple, two homers and six walks to boost his season line to 361/.441/.494 in 65 games in the SAL. I would be shocked in Jayce Boyd did not fly directly from the SAL All-Star Game Tuesday to the Florida State League on Wednesday.
CF Brandon Nimmo’s first four plate appearances came against LHP on Sunday and he was 1-for-3 against the southpaws. Facing Greg Larson, a 6’8″ right-handed reliever, in the eighth, he rifled a single back up the middle that almost decapitated Larson. The 20-year-old Nimmo is hitting .302/.404/.420 overall in 42 games.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 5, Bowie Bay Sox (BAL) 4
Walk-offs weren’t just for the big leaguers on Father’s Day. In AA, LF Joe Bonfe connected on his first homer of the year to give the B-Mets’ their eight win in their last nine games. Bonfe, now 25, has hit .293/.333/.397 in 22 games in AA this year after splitting last year between St. Lucie and Binghamton.
RF Travis Taijeron was 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. In seven games in AA, the 24-year-old is hitting a silly .367/.406/.900 (!) with four doubles, four homers and 11 strikeouts. That’s a great week, but I need to see Taijeron keep it up for a whole lot longer to begin to change my opinion on him.
Darrell Ceciliani played centerfield for the first time since May 31, while Alonzo Harris slid over to left. I thought this was coming. If Ceciliani (.265/.315/.386 – 57 games), who turns 23 this week is going to provide big league value, centerfield defense is going to be part of his package. After a quick start to the year, the 24-year-old Harris has settled in at .230/.284/.329 in 56 games. While Harris is the faster of the pair, Ceciliani, who is a year and a half younger, looks like he will have a better chance to hit enough to pass as a fourth/fifth outfielder.
Robert BrenderColorado Springs Sky Sox (COL) 9, @ Las Vegas 51s 7
Trailing 6-0 in the 8th inning, the 51s offense rallied for six runs on five hits to tie the game. However, the tie was short lived as struggling reliever Robert Carson surrendered three runs in the top of the 9th, eventually taking the loss in a 9-7 Sky Sox victory at Cashman Field.
Chris Schwinden started for the 51s and was awful again: 5IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 1BB, 3K, 2HR. His era went from 5.97 to 6.18. It’s the sixth time in 14 starts this season the right-hander has given up five or more runs. In many ways, he’s lucky to have an era that low considering the 95 hits he’s allowed in 71 1/3 innings.
Vegas only had three hits on the board until the 8th inning, when they suddenly came alive for five knocks, leading to their six run outburst. No one in the lineup had more than one hit in the ballgame and only Ike Davis and Brandon Hicks were hitless.
Zach Lutz (pictured) finished the day 1 for 3 with a homer (7), three rbi and a pair of walks. His hot stretch since returning from the DL June 11 gets better by the day; 8 for 20 (.400), three homers, two doubles, a triple and nine rbi in five games.
Andrew Brown was 1 for 4 with a homerun (8) in the big 8th inning. He now has 41 rbi, second most on the team behind Wilmer Flores. Brown leads the 51s in BA (.349), OB% (.431), SLG% (.676) and OPS (1.107).
Speaking of Wilmer Flores; he was 1 for 4 with a pair of runs driven in, giving him a PCL best 52 rbi this season. The 21-year-old has collected 13 rbi in the last 10 games, a stretch which has seen him knock in at least one run in seven of those games.
AA: Bowie Baysox (31-33) @ Binghamton Mets (41-26) Listen
Sunday 1:05 ET – RHP Devin Jones (3-2, 4.72) vs. LHP Mark Cohoon (3-3, 4.60)
Devin Jones allowed 4 runs (2 ER) on 6 hits over 5 IP in his last start. He has struck out 49 and walked 19 over 61 IP at the AA level this year.
A: Greenville Drive (22-46) @ Savannah Sand Gnats (42-26) Listen
Sunday 2:05 ET – LHP Cody Kukuk (3-6, 4.64) vs. RHP Gabriel Ynoa (7-2, 2.97)
Cody Kukuk faced Savannah on May 28th, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits over 4 IP, striking out 3 and walking 2.
Gabriel Ynoa faced Greenville three starts ago, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits over 8 IP while striking out 6 and walking none. Over his last 4 starts he has allowed 5 runs on 21 hits and 2 walks while striking out 20 over 30 IP.
AAA: Colorado Springs Sky Sox (37-30) @ Las Vegas 51s (35-32) Listen
Sunday 3:05 ET – LHP Drew Pomeranz (7-1, 4.75) vs. RHP Chris Schwinden (3-6, 5.97)
Drew Pomeranz has allowed at least 4 runs in his last five starts, a 7.24 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 15.
Chris Schwinden fared well against the Sky Sox in Colorado on April 20th, allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5, good enough to pick up the win.
A+: St. Lucie Mets (34-30) off for the Florida State League All Star Break
St. Lucie returns from the all star break tomorrow, hosting a 3 game set against Charlotte (29-35) before the second half officially starts on Thursday.
AA: @ Binghamton Mets 7, Bowie Bay Sox (BAL) 3
RF Travis Taijeron was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer in the fourth inning that put the Mets ahead 6-1. In six games in AA, Taijeron has eight hits including three doubles and three homers to go along with two walks and 11 (!) strikeouts. Something does not seem sustainable in there.
Logan Verrett (8-2, 3.80) was fine: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.
Scott Atchison threw on his second-straight day, which is usually one of the last hurdles a reliever needs to clear before returning to the big leagues.
A+: FSL South All-Stars 8, North All-Stars 1
The Mets and the South won the FSL All-Star Game. Noah Syndergaard scooped up the win for a scoreless fourth inning in which he allowed a double, but nothing more. TJ Rivera was 0-for-5 at secondbase while LF Dustin Lawley was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while playing leftfield.
Minor league All-Star games are like their big league cousins, a fun exhibition. There’s no sense in putting any special weight on the results of the game. Noah Syndergaard is one of the Mets’ best young arms in the minors – like Top two once Zack Wheeler makes his MLB debut – but that status does not change based on one scoreless inning in the FSL All-Star Game.
A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Greenville Drive 2
Speaking of All-Stars, 1B Jayce Boyd, one of five Gnats’ All-Stars, is enjoying what is likely his final week in Savannah. The 22-year-old 1B was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Saturday. In three games against Greenville, Boyd (pictured) is 9-for-11 with three walks, a triple and two homers. After going 14 games coming into this stretch without an extra-base hit, Boyd is right back up to .356/.431/.490 with 32 walks against 32 strikeouts in 64 games. He will likely play in the SAL All-Star game on Tuesday in Lakewood, and then fly to Florida to join St. Lucie.
Boyd has a nice, easy swing and is comfortable going to right field or getting out and yanking a pitch over the leftfield wall. The issue he faces is simply the extremely high bar to be a productive MLB first baseman. He’s on the old side for a prospect in either the SAL or the FSL, and likely will not really face a age appropriate competition until Opening Day 2014 in AA when he will already be 23.
Luis Cessa had a nice outing for the Gnats: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. It was fourth-straight outing of six innings or longer for the 21-year-old from Mexico. On May 19, Cessa allowed six runs on 11 hits in Augusta. Since that start he has been very good: 27.1 IP, 22 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 31 K – 0.98 ERA. Cessa does not throw very hard – (
I think he was sitting 90-91, but will have to double-check), but he throws strikes, and has feel for a changeup and can spin a breaking ball. That’s plenty of stuff to have success in a-ball. Ok, so apparently Cessa was 91-95 with his fastball Saturday night, while sitting 92-93. That’s a materially important difference from 90-91 where he had been last year and even early this year. Anyway, that, combined with his feel for his changeup makes him a lot more interesting. He calls his breaking ball, which can have an inconsistent shape, a slider.