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2019 Minor League Preview: Brooklyn Cyclones

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How will the Brooklyn Cyclones fare this season?

brooklyncyclones_PAULHADSALL Paul Hadsall

In 2018, the Brooklyn Cyclones ended their season with a winning record for the first time since the 2014 season. The Cyclones lost a close game to the Staten Island Yankees on opening day in 2018, but defeated them in the next two games of the three-game series. They went on a roll from there, and won ten of the fifteen games they played in the opening month of the season. Their good fortune didn’t quite carry over into July, with the team going 13-16 during the second month of the NYPL season. The Cyclones picked up the slack from there, going 16-12 in August, and 2-1 in September to finish their season with a 40-35 record. While the Cyclone’s .533 winning percentage was the best they’d achieved since the 2014 season, it wasn’t quite good enough for them to make the playoffs. The Cyclones went into the last game of the season needing to win their game against the Staten Island Yankees, and needing the Auburn Doubledays to lose to the Batavia Muckdogs in order to secure a wild card spot. The Cyclones held up their end of the bargain, defeating the Yankees 5-4 in walkoff fashion, but the Doubledays ultimately defeated the Muckdogs and claimed the final playoff spot for themselves. The Cyclones’ 40-35 record landed them in second place in the New York Penn League McNamara division, five games behind the first place Hudson Valley Renegades.

The Brooklyn Cyclones will open their season at MCU Park in Coney Island on Friday, June 14th against the Staten Island Yankees, the Short-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.

THE COACHING STAFF

Former Met Edgardo Alfonzo will be returning as manager of the Cyclones for his third season. He will be joined by hitting coach Delwyn Young, who spent the 2018 season serving as the hitting coach of the Kingsport Mets, and pitching coach Josue Matos, who will be joining the Cyclones for his first season in Brooklyn after spending the 2017 and 2018 seasons with the Kingsport Mets. Former Met Endy Chavez will also be joining the Cyclones as a coach, after retiring as a player following the 2018 season. This will be Chavez’s first coaching job in professional baseball. Vanessa Weisbach will be embarking on her first season as Brooklyn’s athletic trainer, after spending the 2018 season with the Kingsport Mets.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Joseph Genord

Yoel Romero

Zach Ashford

Jose Miguel Medina

Zach Rheams

Jordan Martinson

Daison Acosta

Garrison Bryant

Matt Cleveland

THE HITTERS

Historically, offense has been the primary issue facing the Brooklyn Cyclones, but the 2018 Cyclones actually excelled at the plate. The team led the New York Penn League in batting average, on-base percentage, and ranked second in slugging percentage in 2018, hitting a collective .258/.338/.368 on the season.

Outfielder Zach Rheams, who was drafted in the 27th round of the 2018 draft and played 14 games for the Columbia Fireflies this season, projects to be Brooklyn’s biggest power threat. He will be joined in the outfield by five players who were already in the organization in Anthony Dirocie, Guillermo Granadillo, Ranfy Adon, Raul Beracierta, and Jose Miguel Medina, as well as one 2019 draftee in sixth round selection Zach Ashford.

Infielder Angel Manzanarez will be returning to the Cyclones this season after hitting .274/.341/.329 in the NYPL last season. He will be joined on the infield by three players who were already in the organization in Wilmer Reyes, Yoel Romero, and Gavin Garay, and three 2019 draftees in Joe Genord, Luke Ritter, and Nic Gaddis.

Catching duty will likely be split between Phil Capra, Jose Mena, and Ariel Yera, a 2019 international signee out of Cuba.

THE PITCHERS

The Brooklyn Cyclones have historically had very good pitching staffs, and the 2019 season looks continue that trend. Daison Acosta has been named Brooklyn’s opening day starter, and is expected to be the linchpin of Brooklyn’s rotation. Acosta will be joined on Brooklyn’s active pitching staff to start the season by eight pitchers in the organization in Garrison Bryant, Matt Cleveland, Nelson Leon, Christian Tripp, Brian Metoyer, Luis Silva, Malky Mena, and Yeudy Colon.

The Cyclones will begin the season with six 2019 draftees on the inactive list, including Jordan Martinson, whose has a strong background in analytics from his time at Dallas Baptist University, Andrew Edwards, Mitch Ragan, Nathan Jones, Justin Lasko, and Daniel Goggin, as well as one undrafted free agent signing in Matt Mullenbach out of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee.