Meet The Mets….The St. Lucie Mets
Yesterday the St. Lucie Mets (A) of the Florida State League announced their “official” 2012 opening day roster. Their season begins on the road tonite against the Bradenton Marauders, the Pittsburgh Pirates single A affiliate. Although nothing has been announced, the probable starting pitcher for St. Lucie will be fire-balling right-hander Cory Mazzoni, who figures to anchor the staff. Let’s take a look at how the roster shakes out.
Kyle Allen (RHP)
Yohan Almonte (RHP)
Eric Beaulac (RHP)
Hamilton Bennett (LHP)
John Church (RHP)
Angel Cuan (LHP)
Ryan Fraser (RHP)
James Fuller (LHP) D.L.
Gonzalez Germen (RHP)
Erik Goeddel (RHP)
Chase Huchingson (LHP)
Jeffrey Kaplan (RHP)
Adam Kolarek (LHP)
Cory Mazzoni (RHP)
Adrian Rosario (RHP)
Tyler Whitenton (RHP)
Projected starting rotation: Cory Mazzoni, Taylor Whitenton, Erik Goeddel, Chase Huchingson, Johan Almonte.
Petey’s Projected closer: Hamilton Bennett
The lights just got turned up a lot brighter for this young, untested pitching staff. 2011 2nd round draft pick, 22 year-old Cory Mazzoni is the “ace” of this staff, and has pitched only 7 innings in the Florida State League at the very end of last season.
Taylor Whitenton had a very good season last year at Savannah where he led the South Atlantic League in ERA. He’s not a hard thrower, but knows how to pound the lower part of the zone and and throw off a hitter’s timing.
Erik Goeddel a 24th round pick in 2010, has a huge upside with three advanced pitches, but has been unable to log more than 78 innings in a season so far in his career due to a balky shoulder. This year pitching in the Florida sun, should help as the Mets try to stretch him out to get him through an entire season healthy.
Huchingson was an awesome swing-man last year at Savannah in his first year as a pro after going undrafted at the end of his college season. Making 8 starts and 19 relief appearances, Chase put up a record of 7-2 with a 1.82 ERA. He also has one of those funky lefty deliveries which makes the ball very hard to pick up out of his hand. It will be fascinating to see what he can do as a starter from the get-go.
Almonte has a lot of talent but has struggled with his command early in his professional career. The Florida State League should be an excellent test for him this year. The bullpen is loaded with hard-throwers, and Bennett brings a competitive, no nonsense attitude to the closer’s role.
Jean Luc Blaquiere
Ryan Ellis – Manager
Phil Regan – Pitching Coach
Benny Distefano – Hitting Coach
Jose Carreno – Coach
This squad exhibits a very interesting and deep pitching staff. If a pitcher were to falter, there are plenty of talented arms to step in and fill a void. The pitching should carry this team far. There is an interesting mix at catcher, and those guys can play a little “D”. The outfield really makes you sit up and take notice, with Vaughn, Ceciliani and Puello representing all-star quality throughout the FSL. The infield starts a couple of highly regarded prospects in Danny Muno and Wilfredo Tovar, and a pair of potential power guys in Lucas and Bonfe. All in all, I like this squad for making another run at an FSL Championship this season.
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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