The New York-Penn League has announced rosters for the 2015 NY-Penn League All-Star Game. Three players from the Brooklyn Cyclones made the roster: Pitchers Gaby Almonte and Alex Palsha and infielder Vinny Siena.
Almonte, 22, was signed by the Mets as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic during the 2010-2011 signing period. The right-hander spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Mets' Dominican Summer League affiliates, posting a 2.70 ERA in exactly 100 innings. He made his U.S. debut in 2013, pitching for the Kingsport Mets and the GCL Mets, posting a 2.22 ERA in 52.2 innings over the two levels combined. He spent the entirety of the 2014 season with the Kingsport Mets, but was considerably less successful, posting a 5.00 ERA in 54 innings.
Promoted to Brooklyn for the 2015 season, the soon-to-be 23-year-old has posted a 3.73 ERA in 50.2 innings. While Almonte has a breaking ball that is relatively more advanced compared to many other NY-Penn pitchers, he has problems controlling it at times, making him overly reliant on a fastball that is not particularly special. In addition, he has simply not had swing-and-miss stuff thus far in his career with any of his pitches, exhibited by a low career strikeout rate.
Palsha, 23, was drafted by the Mets in round 27 of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of California State University at Sacramento. He made his professional debut that season, pitching for both the Kingsport Mets and GCL Mets out of the bullpen, posting a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings with 11 saves over the two combined levels. The right-hander was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones for the 2015 season and has been even more successful. Through 16 games and 18.2 innings, Palsha has not allowed a single run, converting 11 saves in the process. He sits around 90 MPH with his fastball, maxing out at around 93 MPH. His repertoire consists of a curveball—a solid offering with good drop that is his primary secondary offering—and a fringy, still-developing change-up.
Siena, 21, was drafted by the Mets in round 14 of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Connecticut. The scrappy infielder played all 60 games at second base for the Huskies, finishing the season batting .362/.424/.519. After signing with the Mets, he was assigned to Brooklyn and seamlessly made the transition from amateur to professional ball, hitting a blistering .343/.412/.363 in his first month with the team.
The length of the college and Short-A seasons combined, as well as adjustments made by opposing pitchers, have caught up to the Connecticut native, as he is now batting .289/.356/.318 through 46 games. Despite the dropoff, Siena has advanced tools for a pick selected so late in the draft and still projects to have a chance at legitimately developing into a player with value at the MLB level.