There’s a lot of great buzz on Jeurys Familia down in St. Lucie, where he’s looked very impressive during his bullpens. Today, Noah Syndergaard got all the press during the Mets intrasquad game, but he was outperformed by Familia who tossed two scoreless innings and struck out five while hitting the same 96-97 on the gun as Thor was. Familia was blowing hitters away and allowed just one hit and didn’t walk anyone.
Terry Collins is now sounding as if Familia is a lock for the bullpen. “When he’s in the strike zone, his stuff is at times unhittable.”
“He could close,” Collins said. “He’s got that kind of a sinker. He also has a swing-and-a-miss slider…You can’t find guys that throw 96 to 98 with that kind of movement.”
Chris McShane of Amazin Avenue is covering the Mets in St. Lucie and got a chance to speak to the Mets’ scouting director Tommy Tanous. He shared with McShane what he likes about his two top picks, Dominic Smith (2013) and Gavin Cecchini (2012):
His hit ability. I think he wakes up in the morning, and he’s ready to swing the bat. You know, he’s fundamentally really sound offensively. It was as good a swing as we had seen last spring, and he just keeps building on that. This year, as soon as you see him, you recognize right away he’s gotten a lot stronger, he’s really dedicated in the weight room this year, and boy, you come out here and the ball’s really jumping off his bat. It’s as smooth a swing as you’re going to see.
There’s another guy that when I walked in, he caught my attention with how strong he looks. I thought he had a really good year last, both playing defensively and offensively, so there’s a kid that just keeps getting a little bit stronger each year. His baseball instincts are off the chart, one of the smarter players you’re going to run into. And he has the tools to back that up. I’m looking for a big year out of Gavin this year.
The Brooklyn Cyclones announced their coaching staff for the 2014 season. Tom Gamboa, who has over four decades of experience in professional baseball, will serve as the manager, while Tom Signore joins the team as the pitching coach. Benny Distefano, who served as the Cyclones hitting coach in 2010, will return to the team in the same role for the 2014 campaign.
“We look forward to welcoming the new coaching staff to Brooklyn for the 2014 season,” said Cyclones Vice President Steve Cohen. “They all have a track record of success, and we are hopeful that they will help guide our team back to the playoffs for the 2014 season.”
I know our minor league analyst Teddy is thrilled that his friend Benny will be back in Brooklyn. The two of them worked together when Teddy was with the Mets in the DSL and also in Brooklyn where he produced prospect films for the Mets.
For more on the Mets minors, make sure you check out MetsMinors.net.
(Photo Credits: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports, NY Mets)