The Brooklyn Cyclones released the first draft of their roster on Wednesday and begin their 2014 Friday night. Minor league baseball rosters are always malleable, and this one will change as more 2014 draftees (hint: Michael Conforto) sign.
There will be plenty of talent by the Coney Island boardwalk this summer. Here, we give you a few players to watch by position.
|2||ABREU, Adrian||C||R||R||6′ 0″||185 lbs|
|7||NIDO, Tomas||C||R||R||6′ 0″||200 lbs|
|15||MOORE, Tyler||C||L||R||6′ 2″||213 lbs|
|26||ARRIZURIETA, Luis||C||R||R||5′ 8″||160 lbs|
Moore is this year’s sixth round pick out of LSU. The Mets went a little bit over slot to sign him ($280,000 versus a slot of $254,300). He hit .301/.381/.484 for the Tigers in 53 games with a very Metsian 18 walks against 21 strikeouts. He’s a solidly built 6’0″, 215 lbs, and will turn 21 on August 8.
The Mets went overslot ($250,000 vs $136,900) in the eighth round of the 2012 draft to to sign Nido away from a Florida State commitment. Nido shows some arm strength and natural pop, but he just has not hit in pro ball. Last year, as a 19-year-old, he hit .185/.218/.261 with four walks against 21 strikeouts in 33 games for the Cyclones. He turned 20 in April.
|1||ROSARIO, Amed||IF||R||R||6′ 2″||170 lbs|
|3||CHAVEZ, Anthony||IF||R||R||6′ 2″||185 lbs|
|13||URENA, Jhoan||IF||S||R||6′ 1″||190 lbs|
|22||PONCE, Dimas||IF||R||R||5′ 11″||165 lbs|
|24||DIEHL, Jeff||1B||R||R||6′ 4″||195 lbs|
This is fun. Rosario and Urena are the names to follow here, at this point.
Rosario, a consensus Mets top prospect (MetsMinorLeague Blog – #9, ESPN – #10, Baseball Prospectus – #5, MLB.com – #5, Baseball America – #7), is the guy to watch on this infield. He signed for $1.75 million, the largest international bonus in Mets’ team history, and the Mets challenged him with an assignment to the Appalacian League as a 17-year-old last year. Still just 18, they gave him a taste of full-season ball by sending him to Savannah for two weeks this year. He’s a wiry shortstop for now who shows impressive pop in batting practice considering his age and frame. The best swings I’ve seen from Rosario in games have been outs – but they were outs driven hard to right field.
The Mets hope he can turn into a middle of the order bat and a plus shortstop. The downside projection sees a wildly inconsistent swing and player who will move off of short if his body fills out enough to be a middle of the order threat. For now, just enjoy watching an 18-year-old who would be young for a college freshman. I have this theory (one not echoed by the Mets) that if Rosario had hit more with Savannah, he would have been a Gnat in the second half because the Gnats will have openings on the infield at second and third with the expected mid-season promotions of 2B LJ Mazzilli and 3B Jeff McNeil. However, Rosario hit .133/.161/.300 (4-for-30) and more damningly struck out 11 times to one walk in his seven games with the Gnats.
Urena, at third base, is another big-bonus international who the Mets signed for $425,000 in 2011. He turned 19 last September 1, and hit 299/.351/.376 in the GCL in his American debut. Both Baseball America’s Ben Badler and Jeff Moore, (now at Prospectus) praised Urena last year for his size, strength and powerful swing.
|5||THARP, Tucker||OF||R||R||5′ 10″||195 lbs|
|9||TUSHCAK, Joe||OF||L||R||6′ 0″||185 lbs|
|27||BERNAL, Michael||OF||R||R||6′ 1″||195 lbs|
This outfield will be a lot sexier when Michael Conforto, the Mets first round pick this year signs, and reports to Brooklyn. Players drafted as highly as Conforto, have needed three weeks to a month in short-season-A, before graduating to full-season baseball. While it’s normal enough that he starts in Brooklyn, his performance should merit a promotion to either Savannah or St. Lucie. Falling short of that marker is an ominous sign.
Tharp was the Mets 30th round pick this year out of Kansas.
Tuschak, the Mets’ 6th round pick in 2011, has never hit much as a professional, putting up a combined .232/.312/.310 line in the GCL and Kingsport the last three seasons.
|10||OSWALT, Corey||P||R||R||6′ 4″||200 lbs|
|11||URBINA, Juan||P||R||R||6′ 1″||170 lbs|
|12||MEISNER, Casey||P||R||R||6′ 7″||190 lbs|
|17||REYES, Scarlyn||P||R||R||6′ 3″||190 lbs|
|21||WELCH, Brandon||P||R||R||6′ 1″||185 lbs|
|25||BAY, Shane||P||L||L||6′ 2″||225 lbs|
|28||BALDONADO, Alberto||P||L||L||6′ 2″||160 lbs|
|29||MOLINA, Marcos||P||R||R||6′ 3″||188 lbs|
|31||WIECK, Brad||P||L||L||6′ 9″||240 lbs|
|34||VILLASMIL, Edioglis||P||R||R||6′ 2″||164 lbs|
|35||ACOSTA, Octavio||P||R||R||6′ 0″||165 lbs|
|36||BUMGARDNER, Gaither||P||R||R||6′ 6″||210 lbs|
|40||HEPPLE, Mike||P||R||R||6′ 6″||210 lbs|
Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus loves Marcos Molina, ranking the now 19-year-old his #10 prospect in the Mets system coming into the year. His pluses: “Plus-plus athlete; physically projectable; fast-twitch; big arm strength; very quick arm; routinely worked 91-96 in the GCL; good feel for filling up the zone; turns over a promising changeup; excellent late action on the pitch; commands it;”…. At the same time, he was erratic last year and his breaking ball per Parks was “inconsistent.”
The Mets signed the 6’7″ Meisner, their third round pick in 2013, to a below-slot deal and then he went out and threw 93-94 in the GCL. He impressed the Mets with the progress he made with his curveball and changeup. For what it’s worth, Meisner’s numbers got much better last August over his final four outings than they were over his first six appearances in June and July.
Brad Wieck, the Mets’ 7th round pick out of Oklahoma City College has signed quickly. The Mets have typically carefully limited the innings their college pitchers throw in their first professional year. Wieck, a hard-throwing lefty, has not thrown in game action since May 12 and has only thrown 69.2 innings this year, so he might get to throw a little more than some other recent collegiate draftees.
The Mets went $328,400 over slot to sign Oswalt in the 7th round in 2012, paying him a total of $475,000. He’s an interesting arm. He got off to a nice start with Kingsport last year over two starts and one relief appearance and put up decent secondary numbers (11 K/1 BB), but did not pitch after July 10 and eventually has season-ending knee surgery.