Cyclones Release Initial 2015 Roster, Who Are These Guys? | Astromets Mind

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cyclones Release Initial 2015 Roster, Who Are These Guys?

Image from the Coney Island fun guide
Reviewing the Cyclones initial 2015 roster.

            Rookie level baseball is about to begin, with the NYPL scheduled to start their season Friday night. The Brooklyn Cyclones will be in Staten Island for a 7:00 PM start against the rival Yankees, and Tyler Badamo is scheduled to start the opener. The Cyclones will likely get more additions to their roster as the season progresses – perhaps some of their 2015 draft picks – but the team has released the following initial 30-man roster.

UPDATE: Catcher Natanael Ramos has been added to the roster
UPDATE: Initial rotation per the game notes:
Tyler Badamo
Gaby Almonte
Michael Gibbons
Matt Blackham
Kevin Canelon
Jose Celas
Closer: Alex Palsha

Pitchers (16)

Almonte has been with the Mets organization since 2011, when he made his debut in the DSL. He first came stateside in 2013, and spent last year closing for Kingsport. Don’t have much on his stuff, but he only had a 12.7 K% last year.

The Mets took opening day starter Tyler Badamo in the 24th round of the 2014 draft out of Dowling College, and played for the GCL Mets last year. He was one of the best DII pitchers in 2014 (per Alex Nelson at Amazin' Avenue), throwing a low 90’s heater and hard slider. Badamo made 4 starts down the stretch last year, allowing just 3 ER over 19 IP, with a 13 K: 3 BB ratio.

Matt Blackham was their 2014 29th round pick out of Middle Tennessee State University. He’s a high-effort reliever with a solid low-90’s sinker (per Nelson) who had a 32.1 K%: 11.5 BB% in 19 IP with Kingsport last year.

They took Nicco Blank with their 25th round pick in 2014, and he can reach the mid-90’s despite being only 5’9”. He was very wild (26% BB-rate) in his 9.1 IP debut with Kingsport last year.

Gaither Bumgardner made 3 appearances with Savannah this year before being sent back to Extended Spring Training. He was the Mets 23rd round pick from 2013, and Alex Nelson essentially described him as a fastball-only pitcher at the time. He was solid for Brooklyn in 2014, allowing a 2.30 ERA over 31.1 IP out of the bullpen.

Kevin Canelon made the jump stateside last year after spending his age 17-19 seasons with the DSL Mets. He was a control maestro in the GCL last year, allowing just 1 walk in his 37.1 IP for a 0.7 BB% - his 21.4 K% isn’t too bad either. After being a starter only in the DSL, he began 2014 in the bullpen, but finished it back as a starter.

23-year old Jose Celas has been with the organization since 2010, and this will be his first time pitching above the GCL rookie level. Half of his appearances have come as a starter, so he might spend some time in a piggyback role.

P.J. Conlon was the Mets 13th round pick this year, and you can read all I’ve found about him here.

Michael Gibbons was signed after the 2014 draft, and recently made a great pro debut for St. Lucie, sitting 93-94 MPH with his fastball over 7 shutout innings. You can read more about him here.

Craig Missigman was the Mets 27th round pick from the 2011 draft out of Olympic HS, and Alex thought he could be pretty interesting at the time. He missed time due to Tommy John surgery in 2012, but he’s had plenty of time to recover from that by now.

Christian Montgomery has been wild and a disappointment since the Mets took him in the 11th round of the 2011 draft. Alex had mixed feelings about him overall, but liked where the Mets took him. He missed 50 games in 2013 for a suspension from a drug of abuse.

The Mets took Alex Palsha in the 27th round of the 2014 draft out of California State University Sacramento, and he quickly signed and went to work on the lower lever rookie leagues. He spent 13 innings relieving with Kingsport, and he had a 34 K%: 6 BB% over the small sample. He’s already gone through TJS, and Alex suggested he profiles as more of a reliever due to his mechanics.

Ruben Reyes has been with the Mets since 2010, making his stateside debut for Kingsport in 2013, and pitching there again in 2014. He’s always had decent-to-good K-rates, but crazy high BB-rates.

The Mets took Corey Taylor in the 7th round this year and signed him cheap. You can read more about him here.

Carlos Valdez started the season with Savannah, but the SAL hit him hard despite his nice 23 K%: 4.9 BB%.

The Mets took Ty Williams with their 35th round pick of the 2013 draft, and he’s mostly pitched in rookie ball (with 2 spot relief apperances for St. Lucie in 2013). He had a low-90’s heater out of the draft, but hasn’t had mixed results in the minors so far.

Catchers (2)

These guys are scheduled to start with Brooklyn, but 2015 8th round Patrick Mazeika could end up getting the majority of the playing time there once he signs – more on him here.

Jose Garcia is a 20-year old catcher who is starting his 4th season in the Mets system. His K and BB rates have gone the wrong way in each of his first 3 seasons, and he doesn’t hit for power, so he better be good defensively. Ben Badler had him in BA's top-40 International targets list from 2011, more from MMO here.

Manuel Hilario is interesting in theory because he’s played everywhere except shortstop on the diamond, but is unknown because he’s a 22-year old who has yet to his stateside.  He first came stateside in 2013, but only played 5 games for the GCL Mets that year.  

Infielders (8)

Jeff Diehl, Will Fulmer, Michael Katz, Branden Kaupe, Zach Mathieu, Pedro Perez, Alfredo Reyes, Vinny Siena

The Mets took Jeff Diehl in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft as a catcher, although he’s never played that position in the minors. Nelson’s initial thoughts were 'the swing is a mess', and Diehl’s poor results thus far have backed that assessment up. He’ll be playing in Brooklyn for a second straight season, likely splitting time between the OF and 1B.

Will Fulmer was drafted as a 2B in the 22nd round last year, although he’d spend some time at 1B and in RF too. He’s a smart player who has ‘out-produced’ his tools to this point, but I think Alex nailed it when describing him as an org player.

Michael Katz was selected in the 9th round of the 2014 draft and got off to a nice start with Brooklyn last year before an injury. He wasn’t showing the power expected of him after a great college year, but he was spraying line drives when I saw him on MiLBtv. He plays 1B and LF, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in Savannah at some point this year.

Branden Kaupe is a small second baseman who the Mets took with their 4th round pick in 2012 out of Baldwin HS in Wailuku, Hawaii. Kaupe has plus speed and a great eye at the plate, but practically no power from his 5’7” frame, with just 8 extra base hits in his first 132 minor league games (477 PA).

Zach Mathieu was the Mets 16th round pick from 2013, and their 2nd pick in 4 rounds out of Franklin Pierce (Kevin McGowan was the other). He’s huge (6’7”, 265 pounds per BB-Ref), and put up a nice .171 ISO for Kingsport last season. Unfortunately, he struck out in 29.6% of his plate appearances. He should play 1B/DH.

Pedro Perez started the year with Savannah, but was a little overmatched over 66 PA, as he had an 18 K: 3 BB ratio while there, and the .233 BABIP didn’t help. He’s still just 20, and made some loud contact with the Gnats (4 doubles, 1 HR for a .113 ISO despite being overmatched), so I think he will be one of the better prospects on the team this year (at least from this initial group). He’s been a 1B/3B in his career, and doesn’t have much obvious competition for the Cyclones 3B job on this list, so I’d guess it’s his unless Vinny Siena starts his pro career hot (or the Mets just like Siena more) – the spot will be David Thompson’s if he signs and the Mets assign him to play 3B for Brooklyn.

Alfredo Reyes is a smooth fielding shortstop who has been the backup infielder for St. Lucie on-and-off over the past few weeks. He hasn’t shown much offensively, but I’ve heard only positive things about his defense.

Vinny Siena is a second baseman drafted in the 14th round of this past draft, and you can read more about him here. He can handle 2B/3B and possibly a corner OF spot, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Mets use him – it should be a utility role, but if the Mets have soured on Kaupe, why not just let him start there?

Outfielders (4)

Considering some of the shots I saw him hit for the Cyclones last year, I'd say Michael Bernal has some of the best right-handed power in the Mets system, but he strikes out at a rate that is never going to let it play.

Oswald Caraballo is a 22-year old outfielder who has been in the system since 2011, and made his stateside debut in 2013. He put up a decent final line with Kingsport in 2014 thanks to a 9.8 K% and .120 ISO.

Tucker Tharp was the Mets 30th round pick from 2014, and he spent last year struggling in Brooklyn over 66 games (.510 OPS over 222 PA). He’s filled in for 3 games between Savannah and St. Lucie this year, which was initially surprising. He’s a speedy centerfielder, but it didn’t look like there was much there last year.

Enmanuel Zabala is a 20-year old in his third season with the Mets. He’s displayed good plate discipline in his first two season of pro ball (2013 in the DSL, 2014 in the GCL), but has only 25 XBH (18 2B, 6 3B, 1 HR) in 110 games, although he does have 25 stolen bases (but the downer is that he was caught stealing 16 times).

            As mentioned above, while these guys are the initial players for the roster, other draft signees or internal promotions could change this list, and it might change dramatically. The pitching appears pretty well set, although I think a few more 2015 picks might trickle in. But the roster is light on position players with upside, and I think a few internal guys could earn a promotion – Milton Ramos is an interesting SS prospect from the 2014 draft, Dash Winningham is an interesting 1B prospect from the 2014 draft, and Brandon Brosher is an interesting catching prospect from the 2013 draft.

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