Posted by Pete Spiewak at 2:12 PM
The ’09 Cyclones were led to the New York-Penn League playoffs by their strong pitching last season. This year, essentially the entire Brooklyn staff advanced to Savannah to play in the South Atlantic League for the Sand Gnats.
Lefties Mark Cohoon and Jim Fuller have seen similar success to what they had on Coney Island last year, and they have eerily similar numbers thus far. Cohoon sports a 1.62 ERA in 39 IP, while surrendering 32 hits, with 31 strikeouts and 10 walks. Fuller is right behind him with a 1.63 ERA in 38.2 IP, while giving up 31 hits, and striking 37 hitters, while issuing 10 walks.
Righty starter Brandon Moore is also pitching well, with a 2.83 ERA in 28.2 IP, and a dominant 37/5 strikeout/walk ratio. Moore also sports a 0.94 WHIP for the Sand Gnats. Lefty Darin Gorski and righty Collin McHugh have 3.71 and 3.89 ERAs, respectively, in three starts each.
John Church and Erik Turgeon have been effective out of the bullpen. Church has a 1.00 ERA in 18 IP, with 17 strikeouts, 12 hits and five walks for Savannah. Turgeon holds a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 IP with 16 strikeouts, 13 hits and just two walks for the Gnats. Michael Powers and Brandon Sage have also pitched well in relief in the Sally.
As for the hitters, the ’09 Cyclones have not gotten off on the right foot in their new homes in 2010. Jordany Valdespin, who appeared in 18 games for Brooklyn last season (and seemingly played everywhere else, too), has been the most impressive offensive player out of the bunch. He’s hitting .300 right now, with two home runs and three doubles in 50 at bats, so far. He only has two walks, sporting a .327 OBP, but he is slugging .480, for a .807 OPS, impressive for a second baseman. Valdespin is currently on the 7-day disabled list.
Outfielder Alex Gregory is hitting .286 for Savannah, but without much pop nor many walks, as his line is .286/.314/.327. Catcher Dock Doyle is hitting just .175 for the Sand Gnat. Sam Honeck is on the disabled list with a broken tibia and fibula after a collision at home plate. Honeck had just two hits in 22 at bats after being called up from extended spring training.
Nick Santomauro, the outfielder out of Dartmouth, recently returned from an injured elbow. The lefty slugger had hopes of making the jump to High-A St. Lucie, but his injury caused him to miss the first month, and was then sent to Savannah. Santomauro has played in just three games, getting only 1 hit in 18 at bats so far. Last season, he was impressive in Brooklyn, posting an .809 OPS. His sweet stroke from the left side generates good pop, and he should hit well in the Sally. Out of the ’09 Cyclones, he is one of the better hitting prospects. I expect a midseason promotion from him.
Richard Lucas, the St. Lucie third baseman, spent two weeks with the Cyclones last season. He’s struggled mightily in High-A, hitting below the Mendoza line, so far. Scouts love his power, though, and Lucas should recover. The Mets chose to put him in High-A over Jefry Marte, so they have faith in him. He initially struggled in Kingsport, too, so we will see if Lucas can recover from a bad month in St. Lucie. His glove has also been an issue, as he has 10 errors in just 26 games. He has a strong arm and a lot of pop in his bat—the physical tools are there, but he’s had a tough month.
As for the pitchers, the Mets take a lot of heat for drafting too many college pitchers that help their low-level minor league teams win, but can’t develop into major league pitchers. For now, it’s hard to tell when hitters will catch up to Fuller and Cohoon, since they have pitched well everywhere they have been. Fuller is the better prospect, as he has some life to his fastball, even though he is of a small stature.
To check out more on the Cyclones, visit my page at Examiner.com.