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Lara's Hard Work Paying Off

ST. LUCIE, FL – Major League Baseball's farm system is merit based: you produce, you move up. Few have understood this concept better than right-handed pitcher Rainy Lara. The 22-year-old posted eye-popping numbers in his eight games with the Savannah Sand Gnats – a 1.42 ERA along with 51 strikeouts and just six walks in 50.2 innings – and thus earned himself a promotion to St. Lucie in late May.

Six games in, the youngster from Bani in the Dominican Republic is trying to build a case for yet another promotion. When Lara was sent over from Savannah, Mets' manager Ryan Ellis was confident that the right-hander would make the transition to the Florida State League a quick one. His conviction was then confirmed when he saw Lara in person. "I like the kid," Ellis said. "I like his...

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