By Jerry Del Priore
With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training just days away, I decided to take a look at three former Brooklyn Cyclones whom I believe have the goods to make it to “The Show” one day.
While all high draft picks, it’s not a guarantee that they will all make it the game’s top level because of where they were picked. Injuries play a factor, especially for pitchers, and each higher level presents tougher competition.
Nevertheless, here are my selections:
Peter Alonso (Mets’ No. 13 prospect, MLB.com)
Selected in the second of the 2016 draft, New York’s third pick, Alonso began his professional career in Brooklyn of the NY-Penn League. The six-foot-two, 225-pound right-handed first baseman slugged .321 with five homers, 21 RBI, 20 runs scored and 11 walks in 109 at bats for the Cyclones before a broken right pinky finger curtailed his season.
Alonso did make the NYPL all-star team before his season-ending injury, however.
Furthermore, Alonso, 22, is known for solid work ethic and selfness. The Tampa, Florida native rushed to return early from an injury, just days before the MLB amateur draft, potentially hurting his stock.
Instead of backfiring on him, though, Alonso led the University of Florida to the 2016 College World Series with a 16 for 32 performance, with five dingers and 13 RBI, after his stint on the disabled list.
Desmond Lindsay (Ranked fourth in the Mets’ system by Baseball America)
Lindsay’s overall career minor league numbers aren’t overall eye-popping (.284, five HR, 30 RBI). But his 2016 stat-line showed why the Mets chose him in the second round of 2015 draft out of Out-of-Door Academy High School in Sarasota, Fl.
The six-foot, 200-pound outfielder raked to the tune of .303 with four round trippers, 17 RBI and 25 base on balls in 122 at-bats in 37 tilts between two stops.
Lindsay’s best performance came with short-season A Brooklyn against West Virginia as he went three-for-five with a homer and double and tied Brandon Brosher’s club record with seven RBI in a 14-7 win.
At only 20 years old, the righty-hitting and -throwing Bradenton, Florida, native is a raw talent with room to develop.
Justin Dunn (ranked third in Mets’ system by Baseball America)
A local player out of Freeport, New York, the right-handed Dunn, New York’s top pick last season (19th overall), posted a 1-1 record with a 1.50 ERA in 30 innings of work in 11 contests.
Though only one short season of pitching under his belt, minor league baseball guru Keith Law ranks Dunn (Boston College) as the 84th best prospect in baseball in January.
Dunn must prove he can handle a full season of starts, in my opinion, before he moves up the ranks in the Mets’ system. But he possesses a good fastball, that registers 93-96 mph on the radar gun, with movement. Dunn also has a plus-changeup.
He’ll also need to fill out his 6-foot-two, 184-pound frame to handle the rigors of a full season of throwing a baseball.
Right-handed hurler Harol Gonzalez.