With the Brooklyn Cyclones 2019 regular season nearing a close and the playoffs right around the corner, there are a handful of players who have showed that they can compete at the next level. Stand out center fielder Jake Mangum has emerged as not only one of the best players on the Cyclones roster, but one of the best in the Mets farm system. Going into the All-Star break Mangum finds himself slashing a modest .255/.341/.315, but numbers don’t tell the whole story behind his game.
The adjustment to pro ball started off rough for Mangum, averaging only .232 and striking out 12 times in his first 20 starts. Coming fresh out of college and being new to using wood bats, his timing and bat speed clearly seemed to be off.
“The first couple of games were a big adjustment for sure, but over time you start to get used to it,” Mangum said in a post-game interview after Mondays 5-0 win, “It’s a completely different ball game from college to the pros, but the bat is the biggest adjustment at the end of the day.”
Even though his rough start at the plate was frustrating, it didn’t affect the way he played defense.
Mangum has always been known throughout college baseball to be a speedy above average defender with a good arm. Many fans and scouts were excited to see if his electric defense would excel in pro ball like he did at Mississippi State.
Mangum did just that but better, playing over 40 games in the outfield recording 91 putouts and 3 assists with only having 1 error over that time.
“He’s tremendous,” said manager Edgardo Alfonso. “He can really go get it (the ball), every time he goes out on the field, he does something special that helps us win.”
There’s not much Mangum can’t do in the field. Met fans should be excited for what’s to come because this kid is something special.
What makes Mangum the complete package is his blazing speed, every part of his game has his speed factor attached to it. His quickness allows him to get to balls no one else could get to in the gaps and his closing speed allows him to make diving plays that fans have never seen before. His speed allows him to create plays on the base paths as well, manufacturing run scoring chances and keeping opposing pitchers on edge when he’s on base.
“If you practice full speed the game will slow down for you,” he said. “if you practice half speed the game will be too fast for. I just go out there and play hard every day and let the ball roll its way.”
After his first 20 games he finally settled in and found some success at the plate, the fourth-round draft pick has been hitting over .300 in his second half of the season.
He said, “Ever since I’ve gotten over the hump, I’ve felt very relaxed at the plate and have been seeing the ball a lot better.”
Mangum has a sweet line drive swing and a great eye at the plate making him a perfect leadoff hitter for any team he plays for. His approach at the plate is more developed than many hitters at this level, he knows what he wants to hit at the plate and always knows the situation he’s in before he gets up.
With a full season using a wood bad against minor league pitching, Jake can move up in the Met’s farm system and develop into one of their top 20 prospects.
With Mangum being drafted two times prior to the 2019 amateur draft and electing to go back to school both times he is seen as one of the more experienced prospects for the Mets.
With a big playoff push coming up for the Cyclones I think we can really see Mangum take off and put on a show, by using his experience from the games he played during the College World Series he can help lead Brooklyn to the playoffs.
With all of Mangum’s tools starting to come together there is a good possibility we will see a promotion for Jake in the near future.