2008 GCL Mets Recap:
The 2008 GCL Mets finished 27-27 (3rd place in the GCL East division), 5.5 games out of 1st place.Some of their better players this year are not mentioned here and will be covered on the recap of the team they finished the season with. Examples are P Robert Carson, and IF Luis Nieves.
There were some definite pleasant surprises, including P Kyle Allen (who was signed out of Portugal), P Julio Bello, a late signing 2007 draft pick, 2B Alonzo Harris, P Chris Hilliard, P Jeurys Familia, P Mitchell Houck, and LF Mark McGonigle.
But the star was 3B Jefry Marte. This is the kid everyone would be writing about if there wasn’t someone named Wilmer Flores in the organization.
The following are a list of players that will eithermove on next season to a team higher up the chain, or return to the GCL team for another season. They have all earned it:
3B Jefry Marte – (Mack’s Prospect # 8) R R 6-1 187 6-21-91 La Romana, D.R.
Marte was signed as an international free agent in 2007. He did not play DSL ball and was sent directly to the GCL Mets squad for the 2008 season. In 2008, Marte played a full season with the GCL Mets, hitting .325/.398/.532/.930 in 154 at bats, which included 14 doubles 3 triples, 4 home runs, 24 RBIs (in 44 games), and 19 errors. He turns 19 next June.
Observation: This really looks like the real deal. He played 2 years ahead of his age and will probably be assigned to either Savannah or Brooklyn for the 2009 season.
RF Cesar Puello – (Mack’s Prospect #14) – R R 6-2 195 4-1-91 La Romana, D.R.
Puello signed as an international free agent in 2007. He did not play DSL ball and was sent directly to the GCL Mets for the 2008 season: .305/.350/.364 in 151 at bats. He turns 19 next April.
Observation: Another great 2007 International signing, Puello had no trouble skipping DSL ball. Look for him either at Brooklyn or Savannah in 2009.
2B Alonzo Harris – (Mack’s Prospect #54) – R R 5-11 170 1-16-89 McComb H.S. (Miss.)
The Mets drafted Harris in the 39th round of the 2007 draft. He signed with the Mets just before the deadline and was assigned to the Instructional camp in Florida for the remainder of the 2007 season. 2008 was a great first year for Harris. He played for the GCL Mets, hitting .308/.379/.510/.889 in 104 at bats, which included 5 HRs. Harris turns 21 in January.
Observation: No fanfare for Harris, but he played damn well. There’s a logjam at 2B right now in the system, so I see him at Kingsport in 2009.
SP Jeurys Familia – (Mack’s Prospect # 32) – R R 6-3 185 10-10-89 Santo Domingo, D.R.
“Family” signed with the Mets during the October 2007 International signing period. He played no DSL ball and was sent directly to the GCL Mets for the 2008 season. It was a good sign. 2008 stats were: 2-2, 2.79, 1.14 in 11 starts. He quickly became the dean of the staff. Familia turns 21 next October
Observation: Can’t have enough starting pitchers, right?I think they’ll love him in Brooklyn in 2009.
OF Mark McGonigle - R R 6-3 205 8-6-85 New Orleans College
McGonigle was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2008 baseball draft. He played LF for the 2008 GCL Mets and hit .297/.397/.396 in 111 at bats.
2B Jordany Valdespin – L R 5-10 150 San Pedro de Marcoris, D.R.
Valdespin played the 2007 season for the DSL Mets, batting .245/.369/.338 in 139 at bats. He graduated to the GCL Mets in 2008, hitting .284/.319/.440 in 134 at bats, including 22 RBIs in 34 games
P Kyle Allen – R R 6-3 195 2-12-90 Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal
Allen was another player that skipped DSL/VSL ball to come stateside directly to the GCL team in 2008. He went 1-1, 2.12, 1.00 in 11 games (5 starts). This included 45 Ks and only 10 BBs in 34.0 IP.
P Julio Bello L R 6-5 175 10-16-86 Santa Domingo, D.R.
Bello played for the 2006 DSL Mets, going 0-3, 5.76 in 13 games (2 starts). He returned to the DSL Mets in 2007, pitching in 12 games (6 starts) and posting a 1-2 record, with a 1.45 ERA. He also had 43 Ks in 37.1 innings. In 2008, Bello played for the GCL Mets, going 2-1, 2.50, 1.36 in 11 appearances (5 starts).
RP Johnathan White – R R 6-1 205 1-19-88 Dyersburg State C.C. (Tenn.)
The Mets signed White as an undrafted free agent in June 2008. He was immediately assigned to the GCL Mets team. Hewent 1-0, 2.55, 1.05 in 8 appearances (1 start) and struck out 25 in 24.1 IP.
RP Luis Rojas – R R 6-1 165 7-29-89 Santo Domingo, D.R.
Rojas pitched for the GLM Mets in 2007, going 1-2, 13.50, in 11 relief appearances. (This is a different ‘Luis Rojas’ who is catching for the VSL Mets). Rojas pitched for the GCL Mets in 2008: 3-2, 2.19, 1.38 in 17 relief appearances, 24 Ks, 24.1 IP.
RP Chris Hilliard – L L 6-0 175 10-26-87 Itawamba, J.C. (MS.)
The Mets drafted Hilliard in the 38th round of the 2008 draft. Hilliard pitched relief for the GCL Mets in 2008, going 1-0, 2.87, 1.28 in 10 appearances. This included 17 Ks in 15.2 IP.
RP Mitchell Houck - L L 6-1 200 5-26-87 Univ. Central Florida
Houck was drafted in the 17th round of the 2008 draft by the Mets. He pitched most of the 2008 season for GCL, going 2-2, 1.08, 0.84 in 6 appearances. He was called up to Savannah for the last week of their season.
C Kai Gronauer – R R 6-1 196 11-28-86 Germany
The Mets signed Gronauer while he was playing with the Solingen Alligators in Germany. At the time of the signing he was considered the top German baseball player. He made his debut for the GCL Mets in 2008.
1B Giovanni Ortiz – R R 6-5 230 5/11/88 San Lorenz, Puerto Rico
The Mets signed Ortiz as an undrafted free agent out of Wallace Community College (coach was ex-Met Mackey Sasser) in June 2008. He hit .350/.447/.350 in 40 at bats late in the season.
C Tyler Howe – L R 6-0 200 2-7-86 Univ. Kentucky
Howe was drafted in the 41st round of the 2008 draft. Howe got his feet wet with the 2008 GCL Mets, hitting .306/.444/.444, in 36 at bats.
Ex-Prospects On The Bubble:
SS Miquel Tejada – R R 6-1 175 11-11-90 Constanza, D.R.
The Mets signed Tejada as an international free agent in 2007. He skipped DSL ball and made his pro debut with the GCL Mets in 2008: .220/.275/.250 in 100 at bats.
P Lachlan Hodge – L L 6-2 185 2-3-89 Australia
Hodge came out of the MLB Academy on the Gold Coast in 2005, when he was 16 years old. He held out from immediately signing a big league contract, and continued to work with his coach, Barry Holland. The Mets got a slight glimpse of Hodge in April 2006, but he returned to his finishing school back in Australia to complete his schooling. Hodge did resurface in 2008 for the GCL Mets, going 0-1, 8.10 in 11 games (5 starts).