PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (April 5, 2017) – The St. Lucie Mets are excited to announce their initial 2017 roster, one that features two members of the New York Mets 40-man roster and two of New York’s top three draft picks from last June.
Highlighting the roster are outfielder Wuilmer Becerra and pitcher Marcos Molina, two players who were added to the 40-man in the offseason and are looking to rebound from injuries. Both Becerra and Molina have played for St. Lucie in previous seasons.
Becerra hit .312 in 65 games for St. Lucie last year and was a Florida State League All Star. He was shut down after the All Star game and underwent surgery to repair his throwing shoulder.
Molina started the 2015 season with St. Lucie but ultimately underwent Tommy John surgery that cost him the entire 2016 minor league season. Molina was able to pitch in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.
Newcomers to St. Lucie include a few high round draft picks from 2016. Pitcher Justin Dunn (first round, 19th overall), first baseman Peter Alonso (second round) and shortstop Colby Woodmansee (fifth round) were all assigned to Brooklyn upon being drafted last year and are skipping over Class-A Columbia.
Andrew Church, the Mets second round draft pick in 2013, will join Molina and Dunn in was promises to be a talented rotation. Church pitched well in a brief stint with St. Lucie last year. He has been tabbed as the Opening Day starter.
Nabil Crismatt, who pitched well for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic, is also on the staff. Joe Shaw started 23 games for Columbia last year and averaged a strikeout per inning.
The bullpen is anchored by Alex Palsha, Tyler Bashlor and Johnny Magliozzi. Palsha and Bashlor both earned promotions from Columbia to St. Lucie last season. Palsha was 18 for 18 in save chances between Low-A and Advanced-A in 2016.
Other familiar faces from last year’s team are outfielder John Mora, third baseman Jhoan Urena and second baseman Vinny Siena.
The catchers on the roster are Patrick Mazeika and Dan Rizzie. Mazeika was a Sterling Award winner for Kingsport in 2015 and he batted .305 in 70 games for Columbia in 2016. The Mets are on a good run with catchers, as a St. Lucie backstop has made the FSL All Star team three consecutive years.
The Mets are under the tutelage of first-year manager Chad Kreuter, who was a major league catcher for 16 seasons. Marc Valdes returns as pitching coach and Luis Natera takes over as hitting coach.
The Mets will open the season on Thursday at home against the Palm Beach Cardinals. First pitch at First Data Field is 6:30 p.m. There will be $1 Bud and Bud Light (8 oz. cans), $1 hot dogs, $1 soda and $1 popcorn. Call 772-871-2115 for tickets.
Pitchers (14): Tyler Bashlor, Justin Brantley, Kevin Canelon, Andrew Church, Nabil Crismatt, Justin Dunn, Chase Ingram, Johnny Magliozzi, Thomas McIlraith, Craig Missigman, Marcos Molina, Alex Palsha, Joe Shaw, Josh Torres.
Catchers (2): Patrick Mazeika, Dan Rizzie
Infielders (6): Peter Alonso, Dale Burdick, Nick Sergakis, Vinny Siena, Jhoan Urena, Colby Woodmansee
Outfielders (4): Wuilmer Becerra, Jeff Diehl, John Mora, Enmaneul Zabala