After a successful half season at Low-A St. Lucie, Jaylen Palmer made his debut for the Brooklyn Cyclones at Maimonides Park Aug. 3, playing center field against the Hudson Valley Renegades. After playing 66 games and hitting .276 with 68 hits, 24 RBIs, 23 stolen bases and 51 runs scored, it was time to bring up the Canarsie-born 21-year-old from Florida to Coney Island to play at the High-A level.
Playing for Brooklyn’s High Heat Kings youth travel team, Palmer excelled at all the club’s levels and followed his travel team coach’s advice to attend Holy Cross High School in Flushing. After being drafted out of high school by the New York Mets in 2018 in the 22nd round, Palmer now ranks as the organization’s 11th best prospect after spending 2018 in the Florida Gulf Coast League and 2019 in the Rookie League in Kingsport, Tenn.
“We’re really glad he’s back in Brooklyn,” said Palmer’s mother Loren before the Hudson Valley game. “We’ve been following him all over Florida so far this season and now he’s finally home.”
Unfortunately, Palmer had an inauspicious debut, going 0-for-4 and striking out three times in the Renegades’ 5-0 win over Brooklyn. Following his debut, Palmer played up more to his billing, getting his first hit and stealing a base along with two walks and a run scored in another 3-2 loss to Hudson Valley. In the subsequent road series in Wilmington, Palmer had his best showing thus far, going 3-for-4 in a 7-4 road loss to the Blue Claws.
When it comes down to authorities on Palmer, former Cyclones manager Rich Donnelly, is very knowledgeable about the fleet-footed 6’3” power-laden prospect. As Palmer’s 2019 manager in Kingsport, Donnelly was very impressed with his talent and potential. “This was a young raw kid at Kingsport,” Donnelly said. “He went through a lot to get better. He made the adjustment to the outfield with a lot of hard work.”
Currently Palmer profiles as a player who makes hard contact with an above average outfield arm, and is looking to make more contact at the plate while cutting down on his strikeouts. Recalling the advice that he gave to Palmer, Donnelly said, “I always told him not to worry about numbers, whether good or bad, just improve every day.”
Donnelly summed up his time coaching Palmer saying, “He’s a great kid from a great family. One of the nicest kids you’ll ever want to meet. He has a high ceiling and is on track to be a Major League player.”