Mack – A Look Ahead to the 2020 Affiliates – Columbia Fireflies


Good morning.

Predicting what minor player will be assigned to what team is not an exact science, but you can rely on two things:

1.    Players that play well at one level will start the season at the next level up the ladder.


2.    Projected prospect stars, even if they card out above par, will get another shot at either the same level they played, or one up if management believes they can handle the promotion.

This post is  the fourth in a series of predicted roster leaders for the start of 2020. There will be plenty of other players. Some that didn’t fare that well in 2019. Some that haven’t been drafted yet. But these guys are the meat and potatoes of our system right now,

We covered the 2020 GCL Mets, Kingsport, and Brooklyn projected teams in the past three Sundays.

Next up… the 2020 Columbia Fireflies. 

RHSP Matt Cleveland – Cleveland was a 21/yr. old when he went 3-3, 3.78 in 14-starts for Brooklyn. The only question here is his low K/9 ratio (5.58 four season average). In addition, 42 walks last year in 66.2 innings is not going to make it in the long run.

RHSP Matt Allen – Matt was considered the top high school pitcher in the 2019 Draft but he came with signing issues. The Mets drafted him in third round and paid the bucks to sign him. His pro career has been purposely slow but I have him playing Columbia next opening day.

RHSP Garrison Bryant – “John From Albany” pointed out to me that Bryant finished 2nd in the NYPL in ERA, 6th in strikeouts, and led the league in WHIP and opponents average. He did all this as a 20/yr. old. I could probably spend more time on this guy, but these numbers alone have warranted a bump up to a full season team.

RHSP Frank Valentino – Valentino was signed as a free agent around halfway through the Brooklyn season. The former N.I.T. (NYC) grad went 2-4, 3.41, 1.12, with 63-Ks in 58-IP. The 24/yr. old has earned a bump up.

RHRP Matt Mullenbach – Boy, some Mets scout is doing his homework this past year regarding un-drafted free agents. The 22/yr. old Mullenbach went 2.84/1.07 in 19-appearances (26-K, 25.1-IP). How do you not promote him to Columbia?

RHRP Mitch Ragan – The 22/yr. old righty, out of Creighton, had two bad games where he gave up 7-ER in 3.2-IP. Past that, he gave up 5-ER in 31.1-IP. Like Mullenbach, he earned a promotion to South Carolina.

LHRP Andrew Edwards – Frankly, I expected more from the 22/yr. lefty out of New Mexico State, but his 3.30/1.23, 30-IP, 35-K (14-BB) still will earn him a pen spot for Columbia. I still predict big things from this guy.

LHRP Connor Wollersheim – Need some help here. We draft the 6-2 lefty in last year’s draft. He makes 14 appearances for Kingsport/Columbia and goes 2.25. But here is the rub… he had 8-K and 11-BB in 16-IP. What do we do, what do we do? Well, I’m sending him to Columbia to get those walks down.

C Jose Mena – There are a lot of projected prime catchers currently in the chain and, though the 22/yr. old Mesa is not one of them, he is holding his own after going .299 in 97-AB for Brooklyn. Should start before Andres Regnault or Francisco Alvarez comes along.

1B Joe Genord – ‘John From Albany’ raves about this kid and that’s enough reason for me to promote him to full-season Columbia. This  23/yr. old UCF grad hit only .204 form Brooklyn this past season but he did hit 9-HRs (5th in the league) and someone has to play first here next season, right?

OF-2B Wilmer Reyes – I have to say that this is another one of the guys that have caught me off guard this past season. He’s now my numero uno dark horse. The Mets have moved him to second and the outfield and it has not hurt his hitting at all: .325 (5th in the league) /.350/.441/.792, 5-HR for the Cyclones in 229-ABs. I’m not sure where I’ll play him but he will be high up in my Fireflies lineup.

OF Jake Magnum – Magnum is on a fast track by the Mets for two reasons. One, he has done nothing but impress so far as a professional and, two, we all know how thin the team is in future outfielders. The 23/yr. old hit only ,229 this past July, but got his game together in August, hitting .286. We have to move him along.


Tom Brennan said...

Those are a good group of Columbian additions, if it shakes out that way. Add those to the kids left back from last year, and it looks to have the makings of a good team.

I just wonder if 3rd rounder Matt Allan AND 2nd rounder Josh Wolf both go to Columbia. Allen got a bit ahead of Wolf in 2019, but not so much.

Mack Ade said...

Probably Allen while Wolf goes to Brooklyn

Mike Freire said...

Hopefully the 2020 team is better then this year’s version!

Anonymous said...

Another view.

I see the main "must-do's" heading into the 2020 season as these three.

1. A new third baseman who hits for average and 20+ homeruns and can field with range.

2. A lefty late inning reliever.

3. A right fielder who can hit 30+ homeruns and maintain a .285+ BA.

From within additions.

1. One more bullpen reliever who has a definite outpitch and control. Maybe Blackham. Maybe Gilliam. Maybe Uceta. One really is all that is needed to be added in with those already here and accomplished: Lugo, Wilson, Brach, Diaz, and Gsellman. Then, you add in the lefty late inning reliever from outside the organization via a trade.

2. A backup catcher who can field the position, has an arm, and can hit for an acceptable batting average.

3. A new beefed up bench. Guys that can sub-in for injuries over a stretch of time if needed, or pinch hit well.

Anonymous said...

New Manager or Not?


Look, bringing in Regan, Davis, and Riggleman was absolute brilliance. This was a young and inexperienced team first half and like every other young and inexperienced team it showed.

With the additions of the three amigos I just mentioned above, it was a perfect recipe for success and all the younger players (which actually make up the crux of this team's core now) had the experience they didn't first half in MLB.

Sure, we can think whatever here, but the NY Mets team responded to the manager and all his coaches really well. It became a fine-tuned team with very outstanding team chemistry through thick and thin.

Every aspect of this team had improved from manager down to the players, the only aspect that hurt them from making the WC was probably the bullpen.

This is a much better team than this organization has had in a long, long time. And I believe it is on the exact right track. To change this with a new manager and possibly new coaches might set this all back some. I stay the course, make the player personnel moves just suggested and get out your tuxedos.

The fans love this team. It just needs a few more corrections easily enough made. LGM! Thanks for a ton of fun in 2019!

Anonymous said...

Pitching, pitching, and more.


Definitely back should be deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler. These three are solid. Every time they pitch this team has a really good chance of winning that game.

Eliminating the question marks has to happen this off season. Simply enough said, I go with these three. The team needs to realize now that there is a big difference between hoping and wanting a ball player to be good and stay gelled, may just be hoping and wanting on their part. It's sad to say goodbye to the players we all were wishing on, but to be Champion, you have to be willing to make these very difficult decisions.

I first turn to the MiLB Mets starters. There are several, although none have AAA experience other than the very impressive Harol Gonzales a right hander with a nice 5-0 at Syracuse. But they also have Tom Szapuki, David Peterson, Kevin Smith, and Corey Oswalt. The rest, I probably would not count on too heavily because they really have had several chances to establish themselves at the MLB level but have not as yet.

Look, the Mets have three of the top right handed starters going in all of MLB right now. Jake, Noah, and Zachary. Wouldn't it be something, to have two fabulous and young lefties, or one fabulous young lefty starter and maybe a young Harol Gonzales too in their starting rotation. This is why maybe sending them all to AFL makes some sense now.

In this way, the 2020 NY Mets would be getting not only younger at their rotation, but hopefully better and for a longtime to come.

Anonymous said...

The Bullpen

Just me maybe, but I would rethink the conventional seven man formulation for a bullpen to include a new angle and twist. Conventional was good for the past 100 years, but this isn't a convention, it's a new way, a better approach perhaps.

Two units of three relief pitchers who are all good. All have a definite outpitches, no soft tossers or relievers who are sometimes good when they are having perfect control. That's too conventional and it hasn't worked here in sometime. Then after the two units of three relievers who are all interchangeable coming in at any point in the game (because they are really good) one alternate reliever who can come in if need be in games absolutely requiring a fourth reliever. Like 13 inning games and such. This alternate would also serve as the team's sixth starter when needed, perhaps after an injury to one of the five starters or if a starter has been struggling for whatever reason.

Who would I like to see in these two units of three for the 2020 NY Mets. Wilson, Lugo, Gsellman, Brach, Diaz (Mickey is right on here with Edwin), and possibly Familia if Jeurys can be smoothed out a bit and is 100% come ST. He can be and looked good his last relief appearance in 2019. It's just that one hard throwing lefty late inning guy this team eeds added in here.

Two units. One alternate.

Anonymous said...

What about that Daniel Jones people?

Like I said here awhile back, a team's fan base when in loud agreement and concert, always know. It's because they only know and see the games being played. They are not so close to the players that they cannot just go by purely the player's own performance game to game.

Fans in agreement always know before the team's management what's the best course to go. It's weird, but true.

With Daniel Jones starting this season, I think 3-1 would be possible right now. Daniel plays like a veteran QB, can throw beautifully and run, yes run. He has a veteran's intelligence about him.

Anonymous said...


What about bringing Dominic Smith to AFL, with the possibility he plays in the 2020 NYM outfield? He missed some games second half with that injury.

What a HR the other night he had. Smooth like syrup.

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