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Minor league preview: Kingsport Mets (Rookie)

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Some of the youngest Mets players will be getting their professional starts in Kingsport

The Kingsport Mets
The Kingsport Mets
Jessica Rudman

The 2016 Kingsport Mets season officially starts today, Thursday, June 22, against the Elizabethton Twins. In December, the Mets signed a five-year extension with the Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Kingsport to keep the Kingsport Mets at Hunter Wright Stadium. They have called Hunter Wright Stadium their home since 1995, and with this new agreement, will continue calling it home through 2020.

The manager

Luis Rivera will be returning for his second season as skipper of the Kingsport Mets. Last season, he led Kingsport to the Appalachian League playoffs, winning the West Division with a 40-32 record last season. Joining him will be Ender Chavez, who will be serving as hitting coach, and Royce Ring, who will be serving as pitching coach. Chavez, who spent the last three seasons as hitting coach for the GCL Mets, will be replacing Sean Ratliff, who was promoted to hitting coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones. Ring, who spent the last two seasons as pitching coach for the GCL Mets, will be replacing Jonathan Hurst.

Players to watch

The pitchers

Most noteworthy in the Kingsport Mets' starting rotation are Max Wotell, their third-round selection in the 2015 draft, and Thomas Szapucki, their fifth-round selection in the same draft. Wotell was ranked #19 on Amazin Avenue's Top 25 Mets Prospects list for 2016, while Szapucki was ranked #25. Both have excellent stuff, and could realistically force their way into the top 10 with solid 2016 seasons. Additionally, honorable mention Jose Medina has been assigned to the Kingsport roster.

New additions to the organization from the 2016 draft include Chris Viall, selected in the sixth round, Placido Torres, selected in the eighth round, Colin Holderman, selected in the ninth round, Trent Johnson, selected in the 16th round, and Max Kuhns, selected in the 21st round. Additional draftees that have yet to sign will likely be added to the Kingsport roster throughout the year.

The hitters

Raphael Ramirez headlines the Kingsport offense. Ranked #24 on Amazin' Avenue's Top 25 Mets Prospects list, the toolsy outfielder has a great deal of projection in his athletic frame. Honorable mention Ricardo Cespedes, also a toolsy outfielder, has also been assigned to the Kingsport roster. Yeffrey de Aza was a high-profile international signing in 2013, and after a successful season with the GCL Mets last year, may appear on prospect lists with another one in 2016.

New additions into the organization from the 2016 draft include Ian Strom, selected in the 22nd round, and Jeremy Wolf, selected in the 31st round. As with the pitching staff, 2016 draftees who sign in the coming months may well land in Kingsport.

Pitchers

# NAME POS BAT THW HT WT DOB
28 Adrian Almeida P L L 6' 0" 150 2/25/1995
N/A Eucebio Arias P R R 6' 1" 173 9/20/1994
45 Gregorix Estevez P R R 6' 5" 200 4/12/1994
17 Audry German P R R 5' 11" 163 8/16/1992
18 Ronald Guedez P R R 6' 1" 160 1/26/1996
15 Colin Holderman P R R 6' 5" 200 10/8/1995
36 Kurtis Horne P L L 6' 5" 190 8/5/1996
4 Jordan Humphreys P R R 6' 1" 190 6/11/1996
21 Trent Johnson P R R 6' 5" 185 8/12/1996
16 Max Kuhns P R R 6' 3" 210 8/11/1994
25 Jose Carlos Medina P L L 6' 2" 180 8/25/1996
34 Darwin Ramos P R R 6' 2" 195 11/23/1995
6 Jake Simon P L L 6' 2" 175 1/21/1997
19 Thomas Szapucki P R L 6' 2" 190 6/12/1996
27 Placido Torres P L L 5' 11" 160 5/17/1993
33 Adonis Uceta P R R 6' 1" 195 5/10/1994
35 Chris Viall P R R 6' 9" 230 9/28/1995
30 Max Wotell P R L 6' 3" 180 9/13/1996

Catchers

# NAME POS BAT THW HT WT DOB
8 Anthony Dimino C L R 5' 11" 180 8/5/1993
24 Jose Maria C R R 5' 9" 195 11/30/1994
11 Dionis Rodriguez C R R 6' 0" 185 2/15/1995

Infielders

# NAME POS BAT THW HT WT DOB
7 Cecilio Aybar SS R R 6' 0" 165 11/23/1993
29 Franklin Correa 2B R R 5' 9" 180 1/1/1996
12 Yeffry De Aza 3B R R 6' 0" 170 1/14/1997
13 Angel Manzanarez SS R R 6' 0" 152 5/19/1997
1 Santo Marte 2B R R 5' 9" 170 9/30/1993
23 Walter Rasquin 3B R R 5' 9" 160 3/21/1996

Outfielders

# NAME POS BAT THW HT WT DOB
5 Will Barring OF R R 6' 1" 200 4/24/1993
32 Ricardo Cespedes OF L L 6' 1" 160 8/24/1997
N/A Bradley Marquez OF R R 6' 1" 185 12/14/1992
44 Jose Miguel Medina OF R R 6' 3" 170 10/21/1996
2 Raphael Ramirez CF L L 5' 11" 175 12/15/1995
20 Ian Strom OF R L 6' 2" 200 12/12/1994
3 Jeremy Wolf OF L R 6' 3" 220 11/2/1993