When the first half of the New York-Penn League’s 2017 season concludes on Sunday, the Brooklyn Cyclones will return home with nearly their entire squad, who in turn will receive two days off. That’s because only two Cyclones, RF Jose Miguel Medina and DH Walter Rasquin, were selected to represent the ‘Clones in next week’s All-Star Game, the league announced Tuesday.
The Cyclones have stumbled to a league-worst 14-33 record, and, as one could assume, feature few players that have put together standout seasons. The two Brooklyn all-stars are the fewest selected to the game since it began in 2005. On four occasions, including the last two seasons, three Cyclones were honored.
Medina, 20, has shown on several occasions why he is so highly regarded by the Mets organization. After beginning the season in Columbia, Medina made a cameo with High-A St. Lucie before assuming the everyday right fielder role with Brooklyn. Through 38 games on Coney Island, the Bani, Dominican Republic native is hitting .277/.348/.365 with the third-most RBI (12) on his team.
Medina has been most notable this season for his performance on the basepaths, however. Although he does not possess lightning fast speed, Medina has utilized great timing and shrewd decisions to steal 20 bases in 22 attempts, which places him second in the NYPL. Although he has been battling foot injuries recently, Medina has a clear path to break the Cyclones’ single-season stolen base record, which Angel Pagan set with his 30 swipes in 2001.
Rasquin, 21, has been Brooklyn’s most consistent hitter in 2017, as he has turned in a pair of hitting streaks that have reached double-digits. The Venezuelan infielder sits among the league leaders in average (.312), hits (45), and stolen bases (17). Should those numbers hold up, Rasquin will have solidified his third season with an average above .300, which is impressive considering he has only played four full campaigns as a professional.
While he has done wonders with the bat, his manager and fellow countryman, Edgardo Alfonzo, was not hesitant when asked what Rasquin needed to improve on, in order to get to the next level.
“He needs to have that confidence to play in the field,” said Alfonzo of his infielder who has only played 12 of 35 games this year as an infielder. “We talk about that a lot. He has to know that if he can play defense, he’s going to move very quickly. It’s really up to him now.”
After the Cyclones wrap up their weekend series in Hudson Valley, Medina and Rasquin will board the bus to Troy, NY, where the NYPL’s best and brightest will showcase their talents at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, the home of the Tri-City ValleyCats.
From there, the duo will help Brooklyn attempt the improbable journey to the franchise’s first postseason appearance in five years.