Previewing the 2016 Columbia Fireflies

Milton Ramos courtesy of mets360.com

This is the fourth article in the series previewing the teams in the 2016 SAL.  Previously I covered the Asheville Tourists, Augusta Greenjackets and the Charleston Riverdogs. Today it’s the Columbia Fireflies as I continue around the league alphabetically.  Columbia SC is the new home of the Low-A Mets, the team had previously called Savannah, Ga home (the Sand Gnats).

In preparation for this article I scoured the Brooklyn, Kingsport and the GCL rosters and came up with a list of names.  I then reached out to talented Mets prospector Michael Mayer(@themainemets) on Twitter to find out how the Mets handle promotions in the low minors. Obviously it’s handled case by case but Mike said ” Most of the guys hit at least two levels but some of the top picks like Dominic Smith basically skipped two levels.  Went from GCL to Savannah (8 games with Kingsport).  They definitely aren’t afraid to skip Brooklyn with hitters or pitchers. DeGrom wasn’t even highly thought of but went form Kingsport to Brooklyn”.  You can find Michael Mayer’s work at Metsmerizedonline.com and MetsMinors.Net and on Twitter @themainemets.  He’s is an excellent resource and I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again.

The official rosters won’t be available until early April so this is me speculating. This is an eyewitness scouting site. I’ll have write ups on most of these guys once I see Columbia play.  As we get closer to the season I’ll be posting some dates on when I expect to see specific teams. Cheers

the Notables:

Milton Ramos

courtesy of MILB

Milton Ramos The Mets 3rd rd pick in the 2014 draft, he’s one of the players I’m most looking forward to seeing this season. By all accounts he’s an excellent glove man at shortstop and he can handle a bat too.

 

Desmond Lindsay

courtesy of justmets.mlblogs.com

Lindsay was the Mets 1st selection in the 2015 draft at pick 59.  The center fielder reportedly flashes five tools and has a high ceiling.

 

Ali Sanchez

courtesy of MILB

Sanchez signed as a 16 year old out of Venezuela, now 19 he’s heralded as a good receiver he’s athletic and handles the running game well.  He can also hit.

 

David Thompson

Courtesy of MILB

Thompson was the Mets 4th round pick in the 2015 draft.  He’s a power hitter with some questions of whether he will hit enough or get to stay at 3rd base.

 

courtesy of pbgametime.com

Thomas Szapucki a high ceiling lefty drafted in the 5th round.  He features a low to mid 90’s fastball and developing secondaries. I listed him 5th because I think there’s a good chance he starts in short season ball this year.

 

Around the diamond: C

Catcher:

In addition to Ali Sanchez there’s also C-1B Patrick Mezeika, Tyler Moore might be back, Darryl Knight, Jose Garcia  could also be in the mix.

Middle Infield:

In addition to Milton Ramos we could also get one or both of Luis Carpio and Vinny Sienna (a great baseball name).  Columbia’s middle infield looks like it will be be pretty talented in 2016. Oliver Pascual seems interesting but he’s likely further away.

Corner Infield:

In addition to David Thompson at 3rd base

At 1st base Dash Winningham (another great baseball name) seems to be the logical choice.  Others in the mix could be Jeffrey Diehl (he also plays both corner outfield positions) and Michael Katz.

Outfield:

In addition to Desmond Lindsay I’m hoping for Ivan Wilson, but since they both play center I suspect Wilson starts in Brooklyn. Also in the outfield mix is Arnaldo Berrios (plays both corners). I think there’s a good chance we get Vicente Lupo back in left field he really struggled to make consistent contact in his first go round in low-A.  9th round Kevin Kaczmarski is already 24 so I think there’s a good chance he skips.  Another player I would like to see is right fielder Jose Miguel Medina age 19 listed 6’3 170 he hasn’t shown any power yet but could be interesting.

 

Starting Pitching:

In addition to Thomas Szapucki will be lefty Kevin Canelon, and righties Tyler Badamo, Gaby Almonte, Andrew Church and Matt Blackham.

The Mets have quite a bit of talent at the lower levels particularly at Catcher, middle infield, and outfield. It was a fun system to explore and I hope you got as much out of this as I did.

Up next on Notes is a preview of the 2016 Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) should be up mid week.

 

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