Brooklyn Cyclones Tab Carl Stajduhar with Player of the Week Honors


By Jerry Del Priore

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Carl Stajduhar with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The Brooklyn Cyclones haven’t been hitting much this season, resulting in a 11-22 record through 33 games. But one player, infielder Carl Stajduhar had a very good offensive week earlier in July, slugging .333 (9-27), including going yard twice, ringing up two doubles and driving in five runs.

As result, the Cyclones named him as their player of the week, the team announced on Twitter.

Stajduhar, the New York Mets’ 18th round selection in the 2017 June MLB amateur draft, is currently batting .209 with a .395 slugging percentage through 43 at-bats in 13 games.

The six-foot-two-inch, 215-pounder played ball at the University of New Mexico, where he amassed a .344 average with 44 home runs and 188 RBI in 727 at-bats in 179 contests in three seasons before entering this year’s draft.

The Mets inked Stajduhar on June 19th and shipped him to Brooklyn on the 24th to start his professional baseball career.

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New York Mets’ Prospect Peter Alonso Getting Back on Track


By Jerry Del Priore

peter-alonso

Peter Alonso,  New Mets’ second round pick in the 2016 draft. Photo: Brooklyn Cyclones.

After missing the first six weeks of the 2017 season with an injury, St. Lucie Mets first baseman Peter Alonso is now hitting .255 with seven home runs, 29 RBI and 11 doubles in 165 at-bats in 45 games.

The one glaring aspect of his game that seems to plague him, however, other than injuries, is Alonso’s high strike out-to-walk total, which is 40 to 12 this year.
Moreover, baseball insiders believe Alonso, 22, needs to raise his batting average in order to project as an everyday big league first baseman.

It’s something the six-foot-three, 225-pound slugger did last year with the short-season Single-A Brooklyn Cyclones. Alonso batted .321 with five dingers and 21 RBI in 109 at-bats in 30 tilts before a broken right pinky finger ended his first pro baseball season.
Therefore, Alonso, the former 2nd round pick (64th overall) of the New York Mets in the 2016 draft, has shown he can do it.

However, he’ll need to continue to hit for average (raise his current average as well) as he advances through the Mets’ minor league system, while staying healthy, of course.
Alonso 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 NCAA College World Series with an awe-inspiring 16 for 32 performance (.500), with five long balls and 13 RBI, after his stint on the disabled list.

Alonso amassed a .316 average in with 23 round trippers and 124 RBI in 551 at-bats in 157 affairs in three seasons with the Gators.

Alonso played college ball with A.J. Puk, a pitcher in the Oakland A’s farm system, at the University of Florida, and attended Plant and Jesuit High Schools in Florida.

 

 

Former Brooklyn Cyclones, Current Fireflies Shine in SAL


D Riz

Catcher Dan Rizzie.

By Jerry Del Priore  

Columbia Fireflies catcher Dan Rizzie (New York Mets’ 13 round pick in 2016) extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the eighth inning of their 4-1 loss to the Greensboro Grasshoppers Thursday night at Spirit Communications Park.

This is the longest hit streak of Rizzle’s young professional career.

Andres Gimenez also contributed with two singles, picking up his 17th multi-hit game of the season.

South Atlantic League (SAL) leaders

Pitcher Gabriel Llanes has tossed 100.00 innings, the third most in the league.

Gene Cone, who the Fireflies recently activated from the disabled list, has walked 42 times this season, third highest in the SAL.

Pitcher Matt Blackman leads the league in K:9 IP with 13. He has a total 50 whiffs in 34.2 innings of work.

Closer Adonis Uceta ranks fourth in the league with ten saves.

 

 

Danny Muno Makes Case for MLB Return


By Jerry Del Priore

Danny Muno

Danny Muno, pictured during his days with the Brooklyn Cyclones, is performing well with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

After the Seattle Mariners inked infielder Danny Muno to a minor league contract in May, he has been taking full advantage of the opportunity. The Fresno State University product is hitting a solid .304 with four home runs, 16 RBI, 22 walks and 22 runs scored in 135 at-bats in 42 games with the Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League (PCL).

Muno, a former Brooklyn Cyclone and New York Met, began the 2017 baseball season with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League. The 28-year-old Long Beach, California, native batted .254 while slugging one dinger, driving in four runs, scoring nine runs, and stealing four bases in 59 at-bats in 18 games before signing with Seattle.

Muno had spent Spring Training with the Detroit Tigers, but was cut before the campaign started.

The six-foot-one-inch, 195-pound switch hitter made his MLB with the Mets on April 17, 2015. He went on to hit .148 in 27 at-bats in 17 tilts.

After New York selected him in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB amateur draft, the Mets shipped Muno to short-season Single-A Brooklyn to begin his professional career. He wound up slugging to the tune of an impressive .355 with two homers and 24 RBI along with a remarkable .466 on-base percentage and 22 doubles in 220 at-bats in 59 games with the Cyclones.

Muno’s stellar season earned him a spot on the New York-Penn League (NYPL) All-Star team, and New York named him as the Sterling Award winner for Brooklyn, symbolic of the team’s MVP.

While in college, the Western Athletic Conference named Muno as the Freshman of the Year after helping Fresno State win the College World Series Championship in 2008.

Additionally, he garnered first team All-WAC honors in 2009 and left Fresno State ranked first in school history in games played (259), runs scored (251) and walks (213). Muno also ranked second in hits (332) and doubles (69) and eighth in RBIs (156).

Of note, Muno received a 50-game suspension in 2012 after testing positive for a metabolite of Drostanolone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS).

 

 

Ex-Brooklyn Cyclone Tyler Badamo Returns to Affiliated Ball


By Jerry Del Priore

T. Badamo

Pitcher Tyler Badamo returns to affiliated ball with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After earning four victories with a 2.62 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 61.2 innings with the independent Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to purchase the contract of  right-handed starter Tyler Badamo, Bluefish team officials announced during the week.

The Diamondbacks have assigned Badamo, a former Brooklyn Cyclone and New York Mets farmhand, to the Single-A, mid-level Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League (full-season).

“Tyler has been dominant on the mound all season,” Bluefish General Manager Paul Herrmann said on its website. “We’re very happy that he has received this opportunity and we wish him luck with his new team.”

The Dowling College product had a tough first outing with Kane County, surrendering eight earned runs in six innings of work Friday on the road.

Badamo, 24, a Mt. Sinai, New York, native (Long Island), was a 24th round selection of the Mets in the 2014 MLB amateur draft. He went 5-6 with a 3.10 ERA in 81.1 frames in 14 starts with Brooklyn (short-season New York-Penn League) in 2015.

Badamo is the third Bridgeport player to have his contract purchased by a major league organization during the 2017 season.

 

 

 

New York Mets Minor League Moves: Three Columbia Fireflies Promoted to St. Lucie


By Jerry Del Priore

Michael Paez led Fireflies with two homeruns Thursday night.

Mets infield prospect  Michael Paez gets promoted to St. Lucie.

During the week, the New York Mets announced that they promoted three Columbia Fireflies of the mid-level-A South Atlantic League (SAL) to Advanced-A St. Lucie of the Florida State League (FSL).

After hitting .290 with eight homers and 43 RBI in 224 at-bats in 64 games with the Fireflies, the Mets moved infielder Michael Paez, 22, up a level.

The Miami, Florida, native has gone 3-10 with two RBI in two tilts with St. Lucie.

In addition, New York transferred right-handed hurler Merandy Gonzalez, 21, who started the SAL All-Star game, from Columbia to St. Lucie after amassing an 8-1 record with a 1.55 ERA in 69.2 innings of work in 11 games.

Plus, the Mets promoted righty pitcher Jordan Humphreys, 21, from the Fireflies to St. Lucie.

J. Humph.

Hurler Jordan Humphreys is now with the St. Lucie Mets.

The Floridian was masterful while with Columbia, posting a stellar 10-1 mark with an impressive 1.42 ERA in 11 contests.

However, the former Brooklyn Cyclone didn’t a fare nearly as well in his first outing with St. Lucie, surrendering six runs (five earned) in four frames.

But the Mets bats bailed him out, as they routed the Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays), 19-7, Friday night at First Data Field.

Ex-Cyclones Gonzalez, Paez Shine as Fireflies in SAL All-Star Game


By Jerry Del Priore

All_StarAnnouncings19201080_6672zvad_noalmtdpTwo former Brooklyn Cyclones were on display in the 58th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game Tuesday night at Spirit Communications Park, the home of the Columbia Fireflies.

The game ended in a 3-3 tie after seven innings due to rain.

Columbia right-handed ace Merandy Gonzalez (8-1, 1.55 ERA), a Cyclone in 2016, started for the Southern Division, pitching a scoreless top of the first.

Fireflies infielder Michael Paez (.290/8 HRs/43 RBI), who played with Brooklyn last year, had a single and scored a run.

The SAL named Columbia first baseman Dash Winningham as the game’s MVP, as he doubled in two runs and a drew a walk.

Fireflies reliever Adonis Uceta struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Three Former Cyclones Make SAL Southern Division All-Star Team with Columbia


By Jerry Del Priore

Jordan Humphreys

Righty hurler Jordan Humphreys is an All-Star.

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Columbia Fireflies starting pitchers Jordan Humphreys and Merandy Gonzalez and infielder Michael Paez were named to the South Atlantic League Southern Division’s All-Star squad, the league announced Tuesday.

The 58th annual SAL All-Star game will be play at Spirit Communications Park, Columbia’s home field, on Tuesday, June 20th.

Humphreys, a Cyclone in 2016, has been a beast for the Fireflies this season, compiling an 8-1 record with a league-best 1.40 ERA, while recording 73 whiffs and only seven walks in 57.2 innings of work.

Gonzalez, in Brooklyn last season, has been equally impressive, posting a 7-1 mark with SAL’s second-best ERA at 1.73 along with 56 strikeouts against 10 bases-on-balls. 

M.G.

Merandy Gonzalez has made the All-Star, too.

Paez, a Cyclone in ’16, has been wielding a hot bat, hitting .306 (tops on the club) with six round trippers and 33 RBI.

In addition, the Miami, Florida native has laced 19 doubles, tied for first in the SAL, and is second in the league in extra base hits with 27.

The other players on the Souther Division All-Star team include relief hurler Max Kuhns and infielder Dash Winningham. Plus, manager Jose Leger and three members of his Columbia coaching staff: pitching coach Jonathan Hurst, athletic trainer Kiyoshi Tada and strength and condition coach Tanner Miracle.

Please visit www.ColumbiaFireflies.com for more information on the game and team.

Columbia Hurler Merandy Gonzalez Battles in Seventh Win of Season


By Jerry Del Priore

Merandy G.

Pitcher Merandy Gonzalez with the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Fireflies’ righty pitcher Merandy Gonzalez performed his Houdini act against the Augusta GreenJackets (14-34) Wednesday night at Spirit Communications Park.

Gonzalez worked his way out of bases loaded jams in the first inning and stranded two runners on base in the fourth frame en route to a Columbia (27-23) 4-3 win and his seventh victory of the campaign.

The 21-year-old Cotui, Dominican Republic, native surrendered nine hits and two earned runs while whiffing a career-best 10 batters. Gonzalez tossed 98 pitches in six innings of work in the process.  

Gonzalez, a former Brooklyn Cyclone, sports an impressive 1.73 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 57.1 frames.

While with the Cyclones in 2016, Gonzalez posted a 6-3 record with a 2.87 ERA and 71 K’s in 69.0 innings in 14 games.

 

 

 

 

 

Fireflies Pitcher Jordan Humphreys Improves to Eight Wins Versus Augusta


By Jerry Del Priore

Jordan Humphreys

Righty hurler Jordan Humphreys, with the Columbia Fireflies.

There isn’t much that pitcher Jordan Humphreys has done wrong this season, to say the least.

After the Columbia Fireflies of the South Atlantic League (SAL) trounced the Augusta GreenJackets, 8-2, Tuesday night at Spirits Communication Park, the big righty ran his record to 8-1 and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.40.

The Crystal River, Florida, native allowed just one earned run and fanned eight in six innings of work against the GreenJackets yesterday. Humphreys is tied with MLB’s Houston Astros All-Star pitcher Dallas Keuchel for victories in all of professional baseball.

The 21-year-old ex-Brooklyn Cyclone went six innings for the seventh time in nine starts.

Humphreys, the New York Mets’ former 18-round pick in the 2015 MLB amateur draft, currently owns a minor league career mark of 11-7 with a 2.55 ERA across 144.2 innings in 29 games, 22 of which were starts.

While with the Cyclones in 2016, the six-foot-two-inch, 225-pound hurler posted a 0-1 record with nine strikeouts in six innings.