“Our pitching staff has been lights out for us and has carried the team,” said Cyclone first baseman Jeff Diehl after a recent 6-3 Cyclone win over Hudson Valley. But sooner or later, the Cyclones’ lead on first place had to slip with the team’s offense hovering at the bottom of the league.
After completing a 1-5 six game road trip to Lowell and Burlington last week, the Cyclones finally surrendered first place to Staten Island as the Yankees beat up the division’s last place Hudson Valley Renegades. With the 25-22 Yankees surging to first place in the McNamara Division, the 24-24 Cyclones have dropped to second place, 1.5 games behind Staten Island.
In addition to a divisional race and a local rivalry, the minor league experience gives the fan bragging rights to say, “I saw him back when.” Such was the case for last season’s standout Cyclone first round draft pick Michael Conforto, who after his recent July call-up from Double-A Binghamton has provided the New York Mets some much-needed offense and defense in left field.
Similarly, a number of successful former Cyclone pitchers at the higher levels of the Mets’ farm system have proven to be valuable assets as they were scouted and requested in trades that have recently helped the New York Mets to reclaim first place in the National League East Division.
Coincidentally, just two weeks ago, Cyclone Manager Tom Gamboa was touting the success that 2014 Cyclone pitcher Casey Meisner was enjoying now at High-A St. Lucie after a lackluster season in Brooklyn. “A year ago Casey Meisner was just 0-3, but I kept telling everyone that he was a big league prospect. He won 10 of his last 12 starts and now he’s in St. Lucie,” said Gamboa.
In fact, the 6’7”, 20-year-old Meisner did so well in his last 18 games, compiling a 2.35 ERA, that he was traded on a one-on-one basis for veteran Oakland Athletic relief pitcher Tyler Clippard who quickly strengthened the Mets’ bullpen staff.
Additionally, other former Cyclone pitchers were also dealt in trades helping to bolster the New York Met offense, as John Gant (2011) and Rob Whalen (2012) were traded to the Atlanta Braves for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. Similarly, Michael Fulmer, the Mets’ number 7 prospect and Luis Sessa, the number 16 prospect, were traded to the Detroit Tigers for the talented Yoenis Cespedes.
With talented pitching prospects that started out in Brooklyn, the Mets have been able to improve its club, which is a testament to good scouting and good draft picks according to Manager Gamboa. Backing up Gamboa’s claim, “Baseball America” ranks the New York Met farm system as the fifth best in Major League Baseball.