Posted by Mack Ade at 6:12 PM
Several top Mets prospects to begin the 2015 season in St. Lucie
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. () – The St. Lucie Mets are excited to announce their initial 2015 roster, one that is loaded with several of New York’s top prospects.
Overall, St. Lucie will field nine of MLB.com’s top 30 Mets prospects, including five of the top 12.
Highlighting the roster is Michael Conforto, the Mets first round draft pick in 2014. Conforto is MLB.com’s fifth ranked Mets prospect. He’ll be joined by other highly ranked position player prospects in short stop Amed Rosario (No. 7), first baseman Dominic Smith (No. 10), third baseman Jhoan Urena (No. 12) and speedy outfielder Champ Stuart (No 25).
The pitching staff features the No. 9 Mets prospect in right-hander Marcos Molina. Akeel Morris, the No. 21 Mets prospect and a member of New York’s 40-man roster, will anchor the bullpen. Two other highly regarded pitchers are Rob Whalen (No. 24) and Robert Gsellman (No. 29).
Conforto, a corner outfielder, was selected 10th overall by the Mets last summer out of Oregon State. He was considered the most advanced hitter in college baseball. After being drafted he was assigned to Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League and made a brief appearance in Single-A Savannah at the end of 2014.
Smith was the Mets first round pick in 2013 (11th overall) out of high school. He spent all of 2014 in Savannah.
Rosario, 19, will be one of the youngest players in the Florida State League. He played seven games with Savannah last year but spent most of the season in Brooklyn. This will be his first foray into full season baseball.
Another young player essentially bypassing Savannah is Molina, who dominated in Brooklyn last year by posting a 7-3 record and a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts.
Morris, a native of the Virgin Islands, put up such an impressive performance last year for Savannah that the Mets added him to their 40-man roster in the offseason despite never playing above Single A. With the Sand Gnats last year, Morris allowed just five earned runs all season (0.63 ERA) and saved 16 games.
St. Lucie fans will also see some familiar faces. Pitchers Robert Coles, Julian Hilario, Jake Kuebler and Kevin McGowan, infielders Jeff McNeil and Phil Evans and outfielder Maikis De La Cruz return to the team after solid 2014 campaigns in Port St. Lucie.
The Mets are led by first-year manager Luis Rojas. Rojas spent the previous three seasons managing Savannah. He managed the Sand Gnats to the 2013 South Atlantic League championship and took the team to the playoffs again last year.
The St. Lucie Mets open the season at Tradition Field against the Bradenton Marauders. First pitch is Dollar features $2 beer, $1 hot dogs, soda and popcorn and a $10 Mets solo cup with $1 beer refills.
The opening homestand continues with first pitch against the Marauders also at A fireworks show will follow the game.
Two major events that will highlight the St. Lucie Mets season are the Second Annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game and Florida State League All Star Game.
On , the Mets will travel to historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach to take on the Brevard County Manatees in the Second Annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game. The date is the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson making his Major League debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaking the color barrier.
The game starts at 772-569-4900. All tickets will be general admission and will be sold for $5 each. The net proceeds from all ticket sales will again go to benefit the United Way of Indian River County. For ticket information, call
On , the Mets will host the 54th Florida State League All Star Game at Tradition Field. It will be the first time the Mets have hosted the game since 2004 when Hanley Ramirez, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Liriano and Russell Martin played in the game.
More information will be released on the FSL All Star Game in the coming weeks.