Summer is approaching, and in Brooklyn that means baseball is imminent. Tonight, the Brooklyn Cyclones open up their season in Staten Island with Amed Rosario expected to start at shortstop. The 18 year old Dominican is in his second professional season and is currently the Mets’ fifth highest prospect according to MLB.com. The major leagues is not exactly on Rosario’s radar as he makes the next jump from the Rookie Appalachian League to the Single A New York-Penn League, but he should have more eyes on him than any other Cyclone player tonight.
Rosario’s tools and potential are obviously coveted by the Mets front office after they signed him for $1.75 million dollars last season, the highest bonus the team has ever paid out to an international free agent. Though still raw, it will be interesting to see how his development progresses compared to fellow shortstop prospect Gavin Cecchini, the Mets first round draft pick in 2012. Cecchini played in Brooklyn last season and had a so-so season. In 51 games playing shortstop, Cecchini batted .273 with 0 HR and 14 RBIs while making 8 errors. The 20 year old Cecchini is in Low-A Savannah this season and so far has shown similar results. He’s hit for more power but has made a few more errors. Rosario is being moved up to Brooklyn to play full time after a few weeks of games getting ready in Savannah. With Cecchini’s development still teetering in mediocrity, a good season by Rosario in Brooklyn could jolt his prospects considerably. Mets fans will be watching too, maybe even more so now that the team in Queens has begun to frustrate and irritate with sub-par play.
Last season in 58 games for Kingsport, Rosario batted .241 with 3 HR and 23 RBIs while making 14 errors at shortstop. He’ll be playing this year with many of his former teammates along with a few of this year’s draft crop.
Fifth round pick Josh Provost out of Seton Hall and seventh round pick Brad Wieck out of Oklahoma City University are two players who should stand out considerably when they take the mound at MCU Park this season. Provost, standing 6’8” and Wieck, 6’9”, are both hard throwers with imposing statures that should draw wide eyes on first appearance. The lineup will consist of sixth round pick Tyler Moore, a left handed hitting catcher from LSU and ninth round pick Michael Katz, a right handed, power hitting outfielder out of William and Mary. Of course, once first round pick Michael Conforto signs, there’s a good chance he’ll be chartered to Brooklyn and instantly become the main draw.
So as Mets fans wallow in despair as another season looks uninspiring and bleak, close by Coney Island can offer glimpses of the future within a fun and enjoyable venue. Rosario and hopefully Conforto in the coming weeks should be exciting to watch as the Cyclones showcase some Citi Field hopefuls. As per usual, the future always seems brighter.
Follow Sean Flattery on Twitter @SeanFlatts