By Jerry Del Priore
As the 2017 baseball campaign quickly approaches, ex-Brooklyn Cyclones continue to find brand new places to call home. Among the players are Nicco Blank, Michael Katz and Luis Allen—all of whom landed with teams over the past week.
Blank, 24, who played with Brooklyn during the 2015 and 16 seasons, has signed with the independent Souix Falls Canaries of the American Association.
Selected in the 25th round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft by the New York Mets, the five-foot, nine-inch, 170-pound hurler recorded a 0-5 record with an impressive 2.40 ERA in 41.1 innings of work in 20 games with the Cyclones in 2015.
In 2016, though he didn’t post a win, nor a lose loss, he registered another solid ERA at 2.45 in 3.2 innings in two tilts with Brooklyn.
Katz, an infielder, outfielder and designated hitter, has inked a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles during the week.
Chosen in the ninth round out of the College of William & Mary in the 2014 amateur draft, the six-foot, three-inch Arlington, VA, native batted .275 with 18 RBI in 153 at-bats in 42 games in his first professional season that same year.
Katz returned to Brooklyn in 2015, and hit .219 with two home runs and 11 RBI with a slugging percentage of .438 in 32 at-bats in 10 contests.
Alen, a catcher and first baseman, has signed a deal with the York Revolution of the Independent Atlantic league.
Alen, 31, played in six games with the Cyclones in 2008, without picking up a hit in 22 plate appearances. However, he is known for his cannon-like arm, throwing out 45 percent of would-be base stealers at three levels during the ’08 campaign.
A native of Venezuela, the Marlins originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He made it as high as Triple-A New Orleans in the Mets’ farm system in 2008 and played with mid- A Savannah (SAL) in 2009 before spending his last seven seasons in the Northern League and American Association, where he combined to bat .305 with a .374 on-base percentage.