We’ve gone through the full-season Sterling Award winners including Organization Player of the Year Lucas Duda, Pitcher of the Year Mark Cohoon, AAA winner Dillon Gee, AA winner Kirk Nieuwenhuis, A+ winner Wilmer Flores, and A winner Cesar Puello, so lets move on to the short-season award recipients, starting with Darrell Ceciliania of the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Ceciliani didn’t just win the New York-Penn League batting title by hitting .351, a new Cyclones’ record. He won the NYP batting title by 21 points. He led the League in hits (95) and triples (12), was third in OBP (.410), and tied for third in doubles (19) and in extra-base hits (33) with teammate Cory Vaughn. Oh, and he was the youngest player on the Cyclones.
Ceciliani is not just a hitter. One Mets person suggested to me that that Ceciliani was just about the best defensive CF in the system. That’s high praise.
There’s just so much to like here as a premium defender with a promising bat. Ceciliani didn’t just hit singles, either: he drilled 33 extra-base hits in 68 games for the Cyclones.
Two minor cautionary notes: the 18% strikeout rate is fine, but any further rises would be a little troubling and despite plus speed, he was successful stealing bases in only 60% of his attempts. More success will come with more repetitions.
I haven’t sat down and done my Top 41 rankings, but I think he’s safely into the top ten. With Ceciliani, the only question is how high?