From September 24th to October 4th, the Mets will be running their instructional league down at the Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie. There are 49 players attending for the next two weeks, including first-round picks Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, and Gavin Cecchini.
In his first full season of professional ball (extended spring training and Brooklyn), Cecchini had a decent year despite missing a significant chunk of time with an ankle injury. He endured a slow start at the plate before he went on the disabled list, but rattled off a 16-game-hitting streak shortly after his return to the lineup. For a short period of time, his batting average crept over the .300 mark, but he cooled off to finish 2013, ending up with a .273/.319/.314 triple slash, including no homers, eight doubles, and 14 RBIs.
Unlike Cecchini, Brandon Nimmo got off to a quick start for the Sand Gnats in Savannah, hitting .322 in April. Injuries also hampered a significant chunk of his season, playing just four games in the month of May. It took him a while to get back to his April production, and his next time he hit over .250 in a month was August, when he hit .324. For the season, Nimmo hit .273/.397/.359 with two home runs, 16 doubles, and 40 RBIs. He helped Savannah capture their first SAL Championship since 1996.
Dominic Smith had a very successful first season in professional baseball, and Satish R. outlined it nicely in an article he wrote yesterday here on MMN. Upon finishing his year in the GCL with a .287/.364/.407 line, he earned a late-season promotion to experience the Appy League playoffs with Kingsport. He finished the regular season hitting .667 with four doubles in six at-bats.
Once we’re able to find out who else will be at the instructional league next week, we’ll let you know. The only other prospect I’m aware of that’s in PSL is this year’s fourth round selection, L.J. Mazzilli. After spending the spring with UConn, L.J. reported to the Brooklyn Cyclones to be the double play partner for Cecchini. He ended up hitting .270/.329/.381 with four homers, 12 doubles, and 34 RBIs in 273 at-bats.