The Kingsport Mets, the Advanced-Rookie affiliate of the New York Mets, have released their preliminary roster for the 2018 season ahead of Tuesday’s season opener against the Princeton Rays. The collection of farmhands is headlined by Mark Vientos, one of the organization’s top prospects who made a cameo in Kingsport at the end of the 2017 season.
Sean Ratliff, who spent the last two seasons as the hitting coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones, returns to the K-Mets as their field manager. Ratliff was the team’s hitting coach in 2015, following a five-year minor league career in the organization. He’ll be flanked by pitching coach Josue Matos, who returns from the 2017 staff, and former major league outfielder Delwyn Young, whose first assignment as a professional coach will be to serve as Kingsport’s batting instructor.
They’ll be joined on the bench by Cooper Farris, who comes to the organization after a decorated career at the collegiate level.
Phil Capra (15th round, Wagner College)
Hayden Senger (24th round, Miami (OH))
L.A. Woodard (16th round, Middle Tennessee State)
Andrew Ryan (NDFA, UMass-Lowell)
It’s great to see the organization’s aggressiveness with regard to the DSL-to-Kingsport promotions of Newton and Santana, who both posted an OPS around .900 last year as teenagers. Santana has some thump in his bat for someone his size (listed 5’8″, 175), while Newton, a Netherlands native, finished tied for second in the DSL with nine triples.
Returnees to Kingsport are Garay, Vientos, Dirocie, Bryant, and Montijo. It’s a little surprising to see Dirocie here after leading the Appalachian League in home runs last season, but he’ll be looking to cut down on his 39% strikeout rate.
Silva was given a spot start in Columbia at the end of the 2016 season after a solid GCL campaign, but he subsequently missed all of 2017 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Recently drafted pitchers in Kingsport that are scheduled to be activated in the coming days are Mitch Hickey, Andrew Mitchell, Christian Tripp, and Allan Winans.
Hernandez, who was given a $1 million bonus in 2014, finally reaches Kingsport after hitting .207 in two seasons in the GCL.