Mets Minors: Joshua Lowe and other top draft targets

Joshua LoweThe Mets Have four selections in the top 100 of the 2016 Amateur draft. Looking around at mock draft boards, here are five players the Mets might be considering with each of those picks:

With their first overall pick in the 2016 draft, the Mets will be looking at some interesting names. Joey Wentz a high school lefty who throws 95 MPH, Joshua Lowe who is not only a great option at third but also “the best high school arm to come out of Georgia since Zack Wheeler”, Jordan Sheffield who throws 98 MPH and has three “Plus” offerings, Zack Collins a hit-first catcher with solid 20 home run power and Buddy Reed who is one of the most athletic and best all around outfielders in this years draft.

While they’d all be great assets to the Mets, two names stand out. Lowe and Sheffield are both extremely interesting players. Lowe is not only a capable left-hand hitting third baseman, but he can run and, as I’ve mentioned, pitch. At 18, he’d probably have a longer road to the big-leagues but, that might be well worth it. Meanwhile a pitcher who can notch 98 MPH on a radar gun with a slider and a circle change might be too good to pass up. It should be noted that at 6’0” Sheffield is considered a bit diminutive for the mound which could lead to injury issues.

With their next pick and because of the diminishing health of the Met captain the Mets may look heavily at third baseman (even if they’ve already taken Lowe) with their second pick. It’s easy to see why when there are options like Nolan Jones, Will Craig, Drew Mendoza and Joe Rizzo sitting in the rankings around 31st. One other intriguing name is speedster Taylor Trammel who would instantly become the best base stealer in the Met system.

With the draft leaning to more towards pitching talent than hitting, I’d bet the Mets look at the third basemen and of the four I listed (who are all great) I think the Mets would be happiest with Mendoza. The high school player is a left handed hitting shortstop who experts have already pegged as a major league third baseman. He’s got a strong arm and big potential with his bat.

With their third pick, the Mets could look towards the high school ranks and select a player with a higher ceiling (and difficult to pronounce name) like Skylar Sznyski or Ryan Zefejahn, or they could go with steadier (easier to pronounce) collegiate players like Lucas Erceg, Dane Dunning or Alec Hansen.

If I had my pick of the five I would go with Hansen. Ranked by MLB.com at exactly 64th overall Hansen is an intriguing pitching prospect. Out of high school he was considered a top talent but teams assumed he was not signable. He boasts a 97 MPH fastball and some of the best breaking pitches in the draft. He also is known for having some of the biggest control problems. He’s still well worth a gamble with the 64th pick overall.

With their final pick in the top 100 the Mets will look to get a player that someone may have passed on because they might have been too big of a risk. They might come away with a pitcher, like: Zack Linginfelter, Reggie Lawson or Braden Webb or they might go with the best bat left on the board and select a player like Nick Banks or Carlos Cortes.

Of the options I’m a big fan of Linginfelter whose big frame and velocity give him the best odds of becoming an impact starter in the majors. The high school pitcher doesn’t have great breaking stuff yet but with a fastball that projects to exceed 97 MPH the Mets could do a lot worse picking at 100.

AAA: Las Vegas 51s

Ty Kelly has earned a look – He’s looking like he could be a solid bench player and could supplant Eric Campbell.

T.J. Rivera is on fire – He’s hitting .489 over the last 10 games with 16 RBI.

Brandon Nimmo needs to do more – A .778 OPS will play in the majors but the translation from Las Vegas to Queens won’t be pretty.

Dilson Herrera stumbles – Not his best week but we can hope for better things in the near future.

Josh Edgin is biding his time – He deserves to be pitching in the majors but the Met bullpen has been outstanding so there’s nowhere for him to pitch.

AA: Binghamton Mets

Dominic Smith and Binghamton Bats falling silent – Little good news to report offensively for Binghamton.

A+: Port St. Lucie Mets

Tim Peterson is still amazing – 17.1 IP with 30 Ks, 2 BBs and 7 Hits is nothing short of it.

A: Columbia Fireflies

Patrick Mazeika is back – The Met catching prospect is back on the field and began 2016 with a five game hitting streak.

P.J. Conlon has pulled away – Of the pitchers in Low-A, he’s pulled ahead as the best of the bunch.

SI Yanks Unveil New Home Uniforms for 2016 Season

The Staten Island Yankees unveiled new home jerseys for the 2016 season, featuring horizontal pinstripes. (Staten Island Yankees)

The Staten Island Yankees are flipping the script, or the pinstripes rather, in 2016.

With a few teams in the New York Yankees system donning the iconic vertical pinstripes, the Baby Bombers are going for a unique look this season with horizontal pinstripes. The horizontal pinstripes will help the Staten Island Yankees standout in the fashion world of baseball uniforms and give the team an on-field identity of its own.

The new look is guaranteed to make this year’s crop of talented prospects standout as horizontal pinstripes help give the appearance of being slimmer and more fit. According to Psychology Today, a square composed of horizontal lines appears taller and narrower than an identical square made up of vertical lines, also known as the Helmholtz illusion discovered in 1925.

While many considered the theory outdated, two British psychologists retested the Helmholtz illusion in 2009 using three-dimensional female models, confirming what some in the fashion world unpopularly believed for almost a century: horizontal stripes make you appear thinner.

The Staten Island Yankees will hit the field in this fresh new look for the first time on Saturday, June 18, as they take on cross-bridge rival the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Gamboa, Alfonzo Return to Lead 2016 Brooklyn Cyclones

Edgardo Alfonzo is returning to the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2016 as Bench Coach (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Coming off the first losing season in franchise history, the Brooklyn Cyclones will add a few new members to manager Tom Gamboa‘s coaching staff as Sean Ratliff and Billy Byrk Jr. make their debuts this summer as hitting coach and pitching coach respectively, while former Met Edgardo Alfonzo takes over as bench coach.

Gamboa, 68, returns as manager and will begin his third season at the helm and his 43rd overall in professional baseball, including stints as a major league coach for the Chicago Cubs (1998-1999) and the Kansas City Royals (2001-2003). During his tenure in Brooklyn, Gamboa aided the development of Mets outfielder Michael Conforto and top prospects Amed Rosario and Desmond Lindsay.

Ratliff, 29, drafted in the 4th round by the Mets in 2008 out of Stanford, made his professional debut for the Cyclones as the player that same season, hitting 7 home runs in 201 at-bats and reached as high as Double-A Binghamton before retiring as an active player following the 2012 season after suffering a career-ending eye injury. Ratliff previously served as hitting coach of the Kingsport Mets and will replace Yunir Garcia, who joins the GCL Mets for the 2016 season.

Bryk Jr., 30, an Illinois native, has extensive experience as a coach in independent baseball, beginning in the Cam-Am League in 2007 with the Brockton Rox and served two seasons as pitching coach for the Windy City Thunderbolts in the American Association. Most recently, Byrk was pitching coach for the Laredo Lemurs beginning in 2012 under former major league outfielder Pete Incaviglia and is the son of Arizona Diamondbacks special assistant William Bryk Sr. Bryk replaces Dave LaRoche, who served as pitching coach the past two seasons.

Alfonzo, 42, a fan favorite, will serve as bench coach for manager Tom Gamboa, after spending the past two seasons in a variety of roles including as a first base coach and a roving infield instructor. A 12 year major league veteran, Alfonzo spent the first 8 years of his playing career (1995-2002) with the Mets, leading  his club to the 2000 World Series, batting a robust .324/.425/.542 and is the Mets franchise leader in postseason hits with 26. The Alfonzo name will forever hold a sentimental place in Brooklyn since his brother Edgar managed the Cyclones during its inaugural season in 2001 and led them to a share of the New York-Penn League championship with the Williamsport Crosscutters.

The Brooklyn Cyclones will open the 2016 season on June 17 at 7 PM against the rival Staten Island Yankees at MCU Park.

Yankees Top Prospect #4 – James Kaprielian

New York Yankees first round pick, 16th overall, James Kaprielian  (Robert M Pimpsner/Pinstriped Prospects)
Drafted 16th overall in the first round of 2015 draft, pitcher visit site to read more]

Bialas to Lead 2016 Staten Island Yankees as Manager

Dave Bialas as the Tampa Yankees field manager during the 2015 season.  (© Mark LoMoglio/Yankees)

Yesterday the Staten Island Yankees announced that veteran minor league manager Dave Bialas will lead the team in 2016 as the team’s on-field manager.  Bialas, 61, is entering his second season with the New York Yankees organization after leading the Tampa Yankees to a 66-72 … [visit site to read more]

Staten Island Yankees Announce 2016 Coaches

Dave_Bialas

STATEN ISLAND- As Spring Training approaches, the Staten Island Yankees have been assigned the following field staff by the New York Yankees:

 

Dave Bialas – Manager

Bialas enters his second season in the New York Yankees organization after managing the Tampa … [visit site to read more]

Yankees Top Prospect #21- Thairo Estrada

Thairo Estrada had the first Yankees RBI in the game

Signed in November 2012 as an international free agent for $49,000 along with higher touted prospects visit site to read more]

Yankees Top Prospect #39 – Kyle Holder

Kyle Holder (Robert M Pimpsner)

Drafted 30th overall by the New York Yankees in the first round as a compensation pick in 2015, many experts considered shortstop visit site to read more]

Yankees Prospect Rewind: Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Flickr User: KT King)

Weeden-img-1Before he spent his Sundays under center as a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys, … [visit site to read more]

Alex Robinett Becoming More Than a Bronx Bomber

Alex Robinett (Robert M Pimpsner)

One of the most difficult challenges for any person upon entering college is choosing a career that makes true difference in the world. Few of those professions take on any inherent meaning and serve simply to make ends meet. visit site to read more]