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Announcing...Minor League Mondays! Starting With An Interview With Brooklyn Outfielder Darrell Ceciliani

With the various Minor League seasons winding down and the end of the Daily Farm System Reports in sight, we want to maintain some exposure for the Mets Farm System through the offseason and so to do that we're going to run a new feature here called 'Minor League Mondays'.  As you may have guessed from the name, every Monday we'll try to have at least one piece that relates to a top prospect, one of the affiliated teams or just the farm system in general.  This could be anything from more of the Prospect Spotlights that you've already seen in the Farm Reports to interviews with the players themselves, and that's just how we're going to kick this thing off today. 

Mets 2009 fourth round selection and current Brooklyn Cyclones star outfielder Darrell Ceciliani was kind enough to take some time out to chat with me about his stellar 2010 season, Jacoby Ellsbury & how cattle farming has made him a better ballplayer:

Rob:  Let me start with the question that I get asked about you the most:  Obviously you're having a really great year, do you ever wonder about a possible promotion?

Darrell: No…that’s something I have no control over, so I just go out and play hard every night, and play my game.  If they choose to move me, then so be it, but right now I’m trying to win a championship here in Brooklyn.


How have you liked Brooklyn this year, on and off the field? 

I love it.  It’s been a great experience for me…and a totally new one.  There are more fans in the stands every night than live in my hometown, so that’s pretty exciting.


What is the biggest difference between playing in Brooklyn and Kingsport?

The fans.  Instead of a couple of hundred fans, there are 6-8,000 every night.  Plus, the competition is better, and it’s just a great overall baseball environment.


Obviously you get a lot of comparisons with another Madras, Oregon product, Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury.  Do you know Jacoby personally?  And do you mind the comparisons, I'm sure you've been in his shadow to some degree since high school...

The Ellsburys are good family friends.  I played ball with his younger brothers growing up.  Jacoby’s a great guy to be compared to.  He’s an awesome player, and he’s in the big leagues.  That’s what I’m striving for, so I’ll take that comparison any day.


Can you describe draft day for us?  How did you hear you'd been selected by the Mets, what were you up to, immediate reaction, that kind of stuff.

I was actually in class, taking a final, and I got a call from my head coach.  As soon as I was done with the test , I got the voice mail and went straight to his office, where he told me the good news!


What do you feel are your strengths and your weaknesses as a baseball player?

I pride myself on my defense, and whether I’m hitting or not, I know I can affect a game that way.  I definitely try to use my speed to my advantage, both defensively and offensively.  I want to force the issue with the other team, and make them react to me…not the other way around.


Can you describe what baseball was like for you back as a kid in Oregon?

Just a lot of fun.  I worked on my family’s ranch, so I didn’t really play on travel teams or anything like that.  Baseball was a way for me to have fun and hang out with my fiends.  It wasn’t until my junior or senior year (of high school) that I started to feel like it was something I could be successful at, and then I started to get pretty serious and competitive.


Who was your favorite professional player growing up and why?

Ken Griffey Jr.  He could do it all, and he was a gamer.  I just loved everything about the way he played.


Back to growing up on a cattle farm; for those of us who live in the greater NYC area and have barely even seen cattle, what was that like?  I happen to be the proud owner of a crazy herding dog so I know that had to be fun...

I loved it.  I’m an outdoors guy all the way.  I never wanted to be behind a desk or a counter, so working on the ranch was perfect for me.  I think it also helped with my mental toughness, and taught me responsibility and work ethic.  If my dad went away for a couple of days, I was in charge of the ranch, and that can be a lot of work.


I always like to end these with a few non-baseball, lighting round-style questions to learn more about you off the field:  

Favorite TV show?

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

What's the last movie you saw (and was it any good)?

Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  It’s hilarious.  We watched it on the bus, and I couldn’t stop laughing.

What's your favorite food?

Any kind of Italian food

Do you have a nickname?

Little D…my dad is Big D, or DC

What else do you like to do in your free time?

Hunting, fishing, camping…really anything outdoors.  That’s my whole off-season.  I’m almost never inside!


Well thanks very much for taking to time to chat with me, I really appreciate it.  I'm looking forward to watching your career unfold with the Mets and good luck with that New York-Penn League Championship!




So I hope you guys all enjoyed this interview as much as I did.  Expect plenty more in the coming weeks and months as we've got a bunch more of the Mets top prospects lined up.  And feel free to voice any comments/concerns/criticisms; if there are any other questions you'd really want asked or players you'd really like to hear from let us know and we'll do our best.  See you next Monday!