By Jerry Del Priore
Down in Florida with the New York Mets’ Single-A Florida State League (FSL) affiliate, the St. Lucie Mets, two former Brooklyn Cyclones—right fielder Jeff Diehl and third baseman Jhoan Urena—are off to fast starts, as they’re second and third, respectively, in batting average.
Diehl presently sports a .333 (13-39) average with the Mets. In addition, he has launched two home runs and drove in nine in 39 at-bats through 13 contests in 2017. However, the 23-year-old has fanned 15 times to drawing only seven bases-on-balls—a number in which he’ll need to improve upon going forward.
A Mets’ 23rd-round selection in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Cranston High School West in Cranston, R.I., Diehl spent two seasons (2014 and ’15) with the Cyclones, New York’s short-season Single-A New York-Penn League (NYPL) affiliate.
Diehl posted a .289 average, going yard five times with 20 RBI in 180 at-bats in 58 games with Brooklyn in ’15. The previous year, the six-foot-five, 195-pounder hit .263 with a homer and 13 RBI in 118 at-bats in 36 affairs with the Cyclones.
Urena, 22, is currently hitting .321 (18-56) in 16 contests with St. Lucie this season. Plus, Urena has added two round trippers, seven RBI and five doubles, though he has whiffed 11 times thus far.
The New York Mets inked the Santiago, Dominican Republic, native to a non-drafted free agent contract in 2012.
The six-foot-one-inch, 230-pounder started out with the Mets’ Dominican Summer League team that year, hitting .279 with four homers, 34 RBI and 20 walks in 262 at-bats in 64 tilts, though he struck out 46 times. He did steal 12 bases that campaign.
With Brooklyn in 2014, Urena raked to the tune of .300 with five long balls and 47 RBI in 283 at-bats in 75 games. Still, he whiffed 58 times.
Like his teammate Diel, Urena will need to cut down on that number in the future.