Brandon Moore emerged in his 2nd year in Brooklyn
The 2009 Brooklyn Cyclones season resulted in yet another post-season berth, but their run came to an end as the Cyclones lost in the opening round of the New York-Penn League playoffs. Brooklyn was in command of first place of their division before a late-season lull dropped them into the wild card slot, but it was still a season of quality play headlined by many 2009 draft picks.
Second Place – McNamara Division
Playoffs: Lost to Mahoning Valley 2-0
PITCHERS OF THE YEAR:
Mark Cohoon: 9-2, 2.15 ERA, 14 GS, 92 IP, 70 K, 20 BB, .210 OBA
The left-hander spent two-thirds of his 2008 rookie season in Savannah, but by the end of 2009 stood alone as the NYPL leader in wins. Cohoon’s success was a product of consistency as he allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once and surrendered just two earned runs over his last 27 innings. Additionally, he was the Cyclones innings-eater, more than five innings in every start except his final one. His 0.97 WHIP placed him third in the league.
Brandon Moore: 6-3, 2.09 ERA, 13 GS, 82 IP, 71 K, 17 BB, .206
After a shaky debut with Brooklyn in 2008, Moore returned to the Cyclones this season and it took him just two starts to show he was ready for the rotation. Moore allowed just one earned run in his first two starts (14 innings). He hit a bit of tough stretch in late July, but rebounded down the stretch and allowed five earned runs over his final 31 2/3 innings including the Cyclones first no-hitter in club history. Moore finished fourth in NYPL in ERA and third in WHIP (0.97).
Collin McHugh: 8-2, 2.76 ERA, 14 GS, 75 IP, 79 K, 21 BB, .219 OBA
McHugh yet another college-experienced pitcher to spend his second season in Brooklyn. Only an inconsistent month of July kept him from posting one of the best ERAs in the entire NYPL when he allowed 15 earned runs in 31 innings that month. Nonetheless, he was tied with four others for second places in wins and finished fourth in the league in strikeouts after a rather forgettable rookie season in Kingsport in 2008.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Luis Rivera: .297, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 38 R, 14 2B, 37 BB, 13 SB, .402 OBP
The 22-year-old outfielder was the driving force in the Cyclones doing a bit of everything from the cleanup spot. He maintained a .400+ OBP throughout the summer (minus September games) and came through in scoring opportunities time and time again as he hit .309 with runners in scoring position. It was a far cry from his previous season in the NYPL, when he hit .182 with just eight RBI in 42 games for the Auburn Doubledays.
”The Brooklyn Four” - Like the rotation in Savannah, the top foursome in Brooklyn that included Cohoon, Moore, McHugh and James Fuller all figure to land safely in long-season ball next spring. The curious part will be who ends up where. They could all fill in the vacancies left by those in Savannah or could be broken up as roles change.
Moore’s consistent higher velocity and sharper breaking pitches separate him some from the rest of the group and gives him the highest projectability. He still needs to solidify a changeup his 90-92 velocity and wide-breaking slider are intriguing tools.
Cohoon makes up for lesser velocity with pitchability and a strong mound IQ, mixing pitches, changing hitters’ eye-levels and using both sides of the plate. His mound maturity could land him St. Lucie to fill out the back end of the rotation.
McHugh and Fuller could be two bound for a change in roles. Fuller possesses solid velocity (88-91) from the left side and a developed changeup that spell a future in the bullpen for him. He could land in the Savannah rotation next season, but projections indicate move to relief in time. McHugh, like Cohoon, relies on movement and hitting his spots but will likely be placed out of the rotation as he moves up.
Keep Tabs On…
Sam Honeck – The best pure hitter on the Cyclones roster got off to a fine start as he hit .314 through his first 34 games, but hit a cold streak in his final 31 games to finish the summer with a .250 mark. He didn’t produce much power, only one home run (where have we seen this before with Brooklyn first baseman?), but his production is expected to increase as he gets further acclimated to the professional level and endures a full off-season of work.
Robbie Shields: The Mets’ third round pick never found his rhythm at the plate with Brooklyn, but he flashed the promising tools—good game power, contact to all fields—that should help him grow in 2010. Defensively, Shields will likely move around next season in a hybrid role that sees him play some second base, third base and potentially some outfield. (Think Mark DeRosa).
Nick Santomauro: Santomauro didn’t hit for much average (.241), but demonstrated deceptive power and a quick swing that helps him drive through the ball. He’s still a predominant low ball hitter but does a good job of not getting under the ball too much which should help him increase the amount of line drives and thus his batting average. Defensively, he needs to improve his reading of the ball of the bat and his route running, but his athleticism and range are two strong traits to build upon.
Jordan Valdespin: Valdespin has his moments, showing off deceptive power on the inner-third, good speed and a strong arm in the field, but he needs overcome not only mental miscues in the field—like poor base running reads and forcing plays—but his recent track record of misbehavior off the field. The current state of second base in the system allows for anyone to seize control of an opening, but discipline, on and off the field, will play a significant role in his Valdespin’s success. Without it, he will find it very difficult to advance.
Dock Doyle: Two seasons in short-season ball, two rather unimpressive stints have lowered the stock of the 2008 5th round pick. Lack of power, lack of contact to the pull side, drive through the strike zone, and defensive holes spell an uphill climb.
Luis Rivera:: Provided the offense for Brooklyn, but still struggles against secondary pitches and strike zone awareness, combined lacking athleticism spell out low ceiling.
Ralph Henriquez: Catcher that has roved around lower levels of A-ball though is a solid organizational guy who figures to hold onto a job due to willingness to compete, but lacks concrete prospect stature.
Matias Carrillo Jr.: Left-handed reliever has been solid for Cyclones over last two seasons but has failed to emerge at higher levels. Likely to remain bullpen filler in Brooklyn or A-ball next season.