As it is just the start of the Cyclones season, there is not much I know about the new guys. I attended the open practice yesterday and was able to piece together a defensive alignment.
Here is a look at what Manager Tom Gamoba has to work with defensively. All the fielders are righty, so plenty of flexibility.
(Another catcher to arrive today. Will post name when received)
Jeff Diehl (can also play RF/LF)
Michael Katz (can also play RF/LF)
Zach Mathieu (According to Edgardo Alfonzo, this guy is my twin)
Pedro Perez (can also play 1B)
Michael Bernal (RF)
Tucker Tharp (CF)
Oswald Caraballo (LF)
Enmanuel Zabala (OF)
So far, there are no left-handed batters or fielders. Last year, only John Mora threw LH while Mora, Joe Tuschak & Michael Conforto hit LH. Only 2 switch hitters (C Jose Garica & INF Brandon Kaupe)
Only 4 men have not played in the Mets Organization before (INF Vinny Siena, RHP Corey Taylor, RHP Michael Gibbons, & LHP PJ Conlon). This means that all but 1 of the fielders know each other from last year and extended spring.
RETURNING FROM 2014:
LHP Carlos Valdez:
Valdez, 24, begins his 3rd stint in Brooklyn. He appeared in 21 games over the last 2 seasons, including 15 starts, posting a record of 4-4.
He started the season with the Sand Gnats, but has giving up 11 ERs in 13 IP. One of the reasons he is back in Brooklyn for now is the lack of LH pitchers on the Cyclones.
RHP Gaither Bumgardner:
Gaither pitched in 12 games last season, posting an ERA of 2.30 to along with a record of 0-2 with 2 saves in 31.1 IP. He struck out 27 and walked 15.
Bumgardner faced some off field issues last season, as his father passed away during the season.
INF Jeff Diehl
A fracture to his 11th rib limited Diehl to just 36 games last year. Diehl hit .263 with 1 HR & 13 RBIs. If his 31 hits, 7 were doubles.
Diehl is primarily a 1B, but can also play RF & LF.
INF Will Fulmer
Last season, 4 men played 2B for the Cyclones. Of those 4, Will Fulmer was clearly the best, as he could hit better than Anthony Chavez & Dimas Ponce and field better than Tyler Moore, who played C in college.
However, Fulmer joined the team in July and suffered a season ending knee injury in August. Will appeared in 24 games and ended his season with an average of .197. He had 14 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer to go along with 8 RBIs.
Will is primarily a 2B, but filled in at 1B & RF when needed.
INF Michael Katz
Michael Katz was another member of the 2014 Brooklyn Cyclones to end his season early with a knee injury. Katz hit .275 with 10 extra base hits and 18 RBIs. He did strike out a lot, but the entire team had that problem. He was a very clutch player late in games, which made him a possible for the 2014 NYPL All Star Game.
Katz is primarily a 1B, but also plays the corner outfield positions.
It should be noted that Katz hit a foul ball right at me that caused me to jump out of my seat to avoid injury. He promised me that this year he will make sure to hit me with it.
INF Pedro Perez
Pedro’s time in Brooklyn was only 22 games, as he joined the team in mid-August when both Diehl & Katz were out for the season. Perez hit .193 in 22 games with 4 RBIs.
Perez started the 2015 season appearing in 19 games with the Sand Gnats, hitting only .177 with 1 HR & 4 RBIs.
Perez spent last season at 1B, but this year will be the 3B. He appeared in 12 games for the Sand Gnats as the 3B.
INF Alfredo Reyes
Alfredo Reyes’ time in Brooklyn last year began with a little over 2 weeks in the season left. He was called up to help with an already depleted IF. Reyes hit .258 in 10 games with 1 RBI.
Reyes appeared in 3 games this season with the St. Lucie Mets, going 1-for-7.
Reyes is primarily a SS, but can also play 2B.
OF Tucker Tharp
Tucker Tharp began the season as the Cyclones everyday CF. However, he lost his playing time to Joe Tuschak when Michael Conforto came to play LF. Due to injuries to Tuschak, he earned back some time.
Tharp hit .213 last season with 6 extra base hits and 6 RBIs. Tharp also went 9-for-14 in stolen bases. Tharp is mainly a CF, but can also play RF. Tharp has yet to make an error in 69 minor league games.
OF Michael Bernal
Michael Bernal had a pretty good 2014 season. He connected for 56 hits in 71 games, 8 of them being doubles, 4 being triples and he tied Urena with 5 home runs. He also scored 29 runs while driving in 36. He led the team with 12 stolen bases. However, Bernal did lead the Cyclones with 95 strikeouts, which resulted in a batting average of .240. He was a member of the 2014 NYPL North All Star team.
Bernal is a RF, but can also play LF.