A Brief Look At the Cyclones Opening Day Roster

cycloneslogoThe 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.

Top Prospect
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.

The Infield
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.

The Outfield
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.

The Catchers
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.

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