Tom Brennan: MAJORING ON THE MINORS:ST LUCIE METS SEASON PREVIEW
The St Lucie Mets had a lot in common in 2014 with their big brother counterparts in Las Vegas, Binghamton, and Savannah: all winning a real lot.Will the 2015 version of the St Lucie Mets be better or worse? I'd say not only better – but downright fascinating too.
Why fascinating? Well, promoted essentially straight from rookie level Brooklyn, right past Savannah, are 4 top prospects of great interest: the NY Penn League's top starter, Marcos Molina, first round hitting machine Michael Conforto, SS whiz Amed Rosario, and slugging 3B Jhoan Urena.
Joining them and poised to show he's got the goods, 2013 first rounder Dominic Smith at 1B – let’s see some power now that you've left Savannah Graveyard, where long shots go to die. Add in a fine 2B: Jeff McNeil. Plus Matt Oberste, Phil Evans and Yeixon Ruiz round out a talented bunch.
Let's not overlook blazing Champ Stuart, who might be the next Mookie Wilson – except faster. Joining them are Cruz missile Victor Cruzado, plus Maikis de la Cruz and Kyle Johnson. An intriguing outfield. Although I think Kyle got boosted to Vegas to replace the injured Puello.
Starters are looking good for St Lucie: besides Molina, add fine starters named Robert Gsellman, Miller Diaz, and Logan Taylor, and a few others, and St Lucie’s starters ought to improve upon the 2014 contingent.
Catching at this point seems to be the weak link on this team offensively, but maybe that will change. Adrian Abreu, Jeff Glenn, and Colton Plaia make up the trio of mask-wearing marauders.
Shift to the pen, and we have what should be the Florida State League's version of Mariano Rivera in Akeel Morris, whose 2014 in Savannah was totally beyond sensational. Other pen arms are collectively fine, too – Robert Coles, Tim Peterson, fine lefty Kelly Secrest, to name a few.
This team looks very strong in the infield, outfield, starters and relievers.
So, I believe St Lucie is real strong again in 2015, with perhaps a few growing pains early. But they will delight those who care to follow them.