The Arizona Fall League has released preliminary rosters for the 2012 version of the circuit. Teams use the AFL for different players including: as a finishing school for top prospects, as preparation for the transition to a higher level, either AA or AAA, as extra-playing time for a guy who was injured during the season or as an extra audition for a spot on the team’s 40-man roster.
At the moment, the Mets are sending three position players: CF/RF Cesar Puello, CF/LF Darrell Ceciliani, INF Danny Muno and three pitchers: RHP Greg Peavey, RHP Ryan Fraser and LHP Chase Huchingson. In 2012, the Mets will be members of the Surprise Saguaros.
We’ll analyze the position players in this post, and take on the pitchers in part two tomorrow.
CF/RF Cesar Puello
What he is: Big, strong, fast and still incredibly raw. There’s upside here, but he’s still a long way from fulfilling it.
2012: A broken hammate bone has limited Puello, my #6 pre-season Mets prospect, to just 61 games this year. When he’s played he’s shown speed: he’s 17-for-19 stealing bases and some power – his second half isolated slugging percentage of .200 is very strong. However, his walk rate has disintegrated from 6.8% in the SAL in 2010 to 2.6% this year. His on-base percentage has been sustained by 15 hit-by-pitches.
Why He’s Going: Puello falls squarely into the category of an injured guy who needs more time this year. Also, he’s hit .293/.379/.552 in August, so this is a bid, or a chance to solidify his place in the Binghamton outfield on Opening Day 2013.
CF/LF Darrell Ceciliani
What he is: The Mets’ fourth-round pick in 2009, who has been held back by injuries in 2011 and 2012. Some scouts like the swing enough to see an everyday, while more other slide towards the fourth-outfielder side.
2012: Recurring hamstring injuries have limited Ceciliani, my #30 prospect pre-season to 19 games in 2012 after an off-season when he had a stress fracture in his foot. When he’s played, he’s hit, going .324/.388/.451 with six extra-base hits, eight walks and only 12 strikeouts.
Why He’s Going: He just needs to play more in a season in which he will fall short of 30 games during the regular season.
INF Danny Muno
What he is: The Mets’ 8th round pick in 2011 and my #36 prospect preseason, has hit since turning pro playing mostly playing the middle infield. At 23 in advanced-A, he might make it as a backup infielder.
2012: I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of pop in Muno’s swing in spring training 2012. Then, he was busted for PEDs and suspended for 50 games on May 18. He’s got a nearly 1:1 K/BB ratio (49 K/45 BB) this year.
Why He’s Going: He needs the reps.