2011 Brooklyn Cyclones Preview
Brian harrison returns to Brooklyn in 2011
Brian harrison returns to Brooklyn in 2011
Posted Jun 16, 2011

Each June brings the start of the short-season in Brooklyn. The Cyclones, one of the Mets’ most regularly successful affiliates, typically suits up a number of new draft picks and younger players that have yet to break through with a full season club. The Cyclones kick off their season on Friday night against the rival Staten Island Yankees, but before that, here is a look ahead the 2011 Cyclones.

All statistics are for the 2010 season

Nelfi Zapata: (KNG) .247, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 46 H, 17 R, 6 2B, 17 BB, .327 OBP, .639 OPS
Amauris Valdez: (KNG/BRK) .240, 3 RBI, 6 H, 2 R, .143 OBP

(SS) Brandon Brown: (KNG) .209, 14 RBI, 32 H, 12 R, 12 2B, 9 BB, .262 OPS, .550 OPS
(3B) Brian Harrison: (GCL/BRK/SAV) .284, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 48 H, 29 R, 15 2B, 12 BB, .346 OBP, .884 OPS
(SS) Daniel Muno: 2011 8th Round Draft Pick
(INF) Ismael Tijerina: (KNG) .259, 10 RBI, 30 H, 15 R, 5 2B, 12 BB, .331 OBP, .632 OPS
(1B) Luke Stewart: (KNG) .255, 8 HR, 31 RBI, 55 H, 38 R, 12 2B, 23 BB, .353 OBP, .784 OPS

Chase Greene: (KNG) .228, HR, 9 RBI, 33 H, 18 R, 6 2B, 14 BB, .298 OBP, .588 OPS
Javier Rodriguez: (SAV – ’11) .209, 4 HR, 4 RBI, 18 H, 10 R, 3 2B, 9 BB, .284 OBP, .691 OPS
Charles Thurbur: 2011 39th Round Pick
Travis Taijeron: 2011 18th Round Pick
Jonathan Clark: 2011 17th Round Pick

Chris Hilliard: (BRK/SAV) 10-2, 3.61 ERA, 16 G, 14 GS, 84.2 IP, 53 K, 16 BB, .254 OBA
T.J. Chism: (KNG/BRK) 4-0, 0.70 ERA, 23 G, 25.2 IP, 29 K, 9 BB, .200 OBA
Jeremy Gould: (GCL) 1-2, 3.12 ERA, 13 G, 17.1 IP, 11 K, 7 BB, .233 OBA
Marcos Camarena: (GCL) 3-3, 2.68 ERA, 10 G, 43.2 IP, 24 K, 7 BB, .244 OBA
Jeffrey Walters: (KNG) 0-2, 8.10 ERA, 3 G, 10 IP, 9 K, 6 BB, .310 OBA
Guillaume Leduc: (SAV – ’11) 1-2, 12.96 ERA, 7 G, 8.1 IP, 9 K, 5 BB, .415 OBA
Carlos Vazquez: (GCL/KNG) 4-3, 4.22 ERA, 13 G, 59.2 IP, 50 K, 11 BB, .260 OBA
Eduardo Aldama: (GCL/KNG) 3-4, 5.53 ERA, 13 G, 42.1 IP, 37 K, 13 BB, .262 OBA
Steve Winnick: (GCL/KNG) 1-2, 3.58 ERA, 17 G, 3 SV, 27.2 IP, 13 K, 8 BB, .284 OBA
Hunter Carnevale: (KNG/BRK) 3-1, 6.35 ERA, 17 G, 28.1 IP, 35 K, 12 BB, .308 OBA
Orlando Tovar: (KNG) 4-0, 3.43 ERA, 13 G, 44.2 IP, 40 K, 9 BB, .288 OBA

There are comparatively fewer rookies on this year’s club than in years past and that may have to do with the organization’s decision to go heavy on prep draft picks during the first full day of the draft. The roster listed above is official as of Thursday night, but currently lacks the presence of guys I would expect to be on the Brooklyn roster at some point this season – notably 3rd and 4th round picks Logan Verrett and Tyler Pill who were major conference hurlers in college. Otherwise the roster is loaded with players who have experience in the Mets’ system, having spent at least one year in the organization with others entering their third year.

The coaching staff is notably different than last year, with Rich Donnelly taking over the managerial duties. However, the most recognizable name on the coaching staff is pitching coach Frank Viola. Viola, who spent three years of his 14-year career with the Mets, is assuming coaching duties for the first time in his post-retirement career.

The Cyclones pitching staff is something of a mixed bag with young talent coming up from rookie ball in 2010 with more established pitchers who should buoy the staff as a whole. The more notable arms to look out for include Chris Hilliard, who was arguably the most reliable pitcher in Brooklyn last year. However, it is the more intriguing Marcos Camarena and Carlos Vazquez that will likely garner the most attention from scouts. Eduardo Aldama may be the most recognizable name on the staff. The slender right-hander has bounced around a number of levels in recent years, but between a shoulder injury and a lack of repertoire development, he has yet to break through to higher levels.

T.J. Chism was Kingsport’s best reliever a year ago and has a chance to be as valuable for this year’s Cyclones team. Jeremy Gould, the Mets’ 28th round pick in 2010, is a converted infielder, but was drafted after showing scouts he could reach the low-90s with his fastball.

Brian Harrison returns to Brooklyn after he was one of the Cyclones’ most productive players last summer. It remains a surprise to me that Harrison was not included on a long-season roster. He has shown suitable power and a maturity for the game that exceeds returning to Brooklyn for a second straight year. Luke Stewart, who was one of Kingsport’s most productive hitters last summer, was bumped up a level where a first baseman is a position of need. Chase Greene enters his third year in the organization, but the 21-year-old, 2009 7th round pick, is in a position where he needs a big year to get on the radar. He has shown flashes of being a good contact/speed asset, but has yet to put it together and comes off an injury-plagued 2010 season.

Javier Rodriguez finds himself that if he is going to make any sort of impression, now is the time. The 2008 second round pick began the year in Savannah, where he appeared in 26 games. However, despite four home runs in 86 at-bats, Rodriguez soon found himself back in extended spring training. With Brooklyn, the 21-year-old Rodriguez should have the opportunity to start on an everyday basis. If he is to establish a concrete future for himself in the organization, he cannot spend the summer meandering through the New York-Penn League.

The Brooklyn Cyclones have regularly been the organization’s most competitive affiliate in its respective league. It is difficult to predict exactly how this year’s Cyclones’ roster will finish in the New York-Penn League, yet it is fair to say that this team should be competitive. For better or worse, the front office has made a quality Brooklyn a priority throughout the years and it is difficult to see that changing in 2011.

Related Stories
Down the Homestretch: Short-Season Leagues
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Aug 14, 2011
Rodriguez Quietly Improving
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Aug 23, 2011
MMLN – Catching The Cyclones
 -by InsidePitchMagazine.com  Sep 3, 2011

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