Usually if a player is performing well in the minor leagues, fans only have a few months to watch his development before he moves on to the next level. Such is the case with one of the top Cyclones pitchers this season, Tyler Stuart, who has the lowest ERA in the minors (1.54). After half a season and 15 games with Brooklyn, he has a 4-0 record along with 89 strikeouts in 81 innings and an impressive 1.04 WHIP.
Using a variety of fastballs and a recently developed slider, Stuart earned his promotion to Double-A Binghamton last week after the All-Star break just as the 14-5 Cyclones took over first place in the North Division for the second half of the South Atlantic League season.
Losing one of the anchors in his starting rotation just as the team is on a roll, manager Chris Newell said, “It was very well deserved. He knows where he wants to get to and he works daily on getting there. It’s an opportunity for another guy to step into that role and show what he can do.”
As well as making promotions to Binghamton, the Cyclones have also called up players from Single-A St. Lucie. After the promotion of Brooklyn-born Jaylen Palmer to Binghamton, Rhylan Thomas was called up to Brooklyn to replace him in the outfield. After starting the season at St. Lucie, Thomas’ .303 batting average earned him a spot on the Cyclones roster, where he’s joined former USC teammate D’Andre Smith. As an 11th round 2022 draft pick, Thomas is a part of the Cyclones’ second-half offensive resurgence.
“The second half has been awesome for us so far,” Thomas said. “We are really putting it all together and there is still room to get better while doing so.”
Known primarily for his defense and contact hitting, Thomas hit his first home run for Brooklyn during the series opener at Hudson Valley as part of a 7-4 win over the Renegades.
“It felt great to hit my first home run for the Cyclones,” he said. “I’ve been working hard on putting on strength this season so it was great to see my hard work pay off.”
Besides his improved offense, Thomas really impressed hometown fans during the Greensboro series when he came all the way in from left field to back up an overthrow past third base to save a go-ahead run during a 6-3 win right after the All-Star break.
“My experience in Brooklyn has been amazing,” he said. “The team welcomed me right away and made me feel like I belonged. Having some familiar faces like D’Andre around has also helped me get settled very quickly. I know that we can make a great run this year as long we stay together and play the game the right way.”