Ceciliani heeding advice in Arizona Fall League
Healing center fielder making most of consistent playing time with Saguaros
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There is a lot of upside with Darrell Ceciliani. One attribute that could be a springboard, according to his manager in the Arizona Fall League, is that he listens and then uses that advice to get better.
Ceciliani, an outfielder who was a fourth-round pick (134th overall) in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, used what he learned in '11 while with Class A Savannah, and despite being nagged by injuries this season, he showed flashes of what could be a bright future.
Hamstring issues limited Ceciliani to only 23 games, but facing better pitching at Class A Advanced St. Lucie of the Florida State League, he hit .329 with a home run and 10 RBIs and had two stolen bases.
Jason Wood, the manager of the Surprise Saguaros, likes what he sees in center field from Ceciliani, whose speed is a big part of his game. As Ceciliani continues to work through the injury issues, he was hitting .238 with a home run and three stolen bases through Wednesday's games.
"Darrell's doing a good job," Wood said. "We're putting him in different situations as far as where he goes in the lineup -- sometimes we're leading him off, sometimes we're hitting him in the six-hole. He's got a lot of thunder in his bat.
"He can hone down his defensive skills out there in center field. He still makes some young mistakes, but I think the mistakes he makes, he's learning from them. He's being taught what to do and how to do it the right way, and he's open to suggestions and that's the biggest thing."
Getting the opportunity in the Fall League has given Ceciliani the chance he wanted within the organization.
"I love being out here," Ceciliani said. "It's been an honor to get invited to play here, playing with some of the best guys in the Minor Leagues. I think it's just helping me trying to get more consistent at-bats, consistent playing time.
"It's been good for me to see what I'm going to start facing at the next level as I move up the ladder."
In that brief stint at St. Lucie, Ceciliani said all he was trying to do was hit the ball hard and not overthink any at-bat. All he was trying to do, he said, was get a good swing on the balls he liked.
Ceciliani is not thinking much beyond this next season. The main objective, he said, is staying healthy, and "whatever the Mets have in mind for me, we'll see what happens."
"I'm just trying to become more consistent in every part of the game -- defense, offense, using my speed to my advantage, trying to stay healthy," Ceciliani said. "That's my biggest goal, and that's been going against me for the last couple years.
"I'm just trying to figure out way to stay healthy and stay on the field."
So far, Wood has not seen any indications that the hamstring problems have caused much of a stumbling block in Ceciliani's progression.
"He's shown that he's healthy, he's running well and hitting the ball really well," said Wood. "So he's got a long future."
Mets hitters in the Fall League
Danny Muno is the Mets' 20th-ranked prospect by MLB.com. The second baseman, who was an eight-round selection (252nd overall) in the 2011 Draft, is getting some additional playing time in the Fall League after missing 50 games of the season due to testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He entered pro ball after a standout career at Fresno State, where he helped the Bulldogs win the 2008 College World Series.
Cesar Puello is an outfielder from the Dominican Republic who is rated the club's No. 6 prospect. He hit .260 at St. Lucie this past season in 66 games and stole 19 bases. Puello has been successful in five out of six stolen-base attempts in the Fall League through Wednesday.
Mets pitchers in the Fall League
Ryan Fraser, a right-hander who was selected in the 16th round (482nd overall) in 2010, spent half the season in Double-A in 2012 with Binghamton of the Eastern League. He was used strictly out of the bullpen this season and appeared in 26 games with four saves, a 2-2 record and an ERA of 3.48 at the higher classification. Fraser struck out 25 in 33 2/3 innings. Through Wednesday, he was 1-1 in Arizona, with a 2.00 ERA.
Chase Huchingson is a 6-foot-5 lefty who was 8-7 at St. Lucie this season, making progress as he struck out 102 batters in 120 2/3 innings, while starting 22 of the 24 games he appeared in. The previous season in Savannah, he pitched in 27 games, starting eight times. Huchingson has had a difficult time in the Fall League -- in his first 6 1/3 innings spread over six games, his ERA was 8.53.
Adam Kolarek, a left-hander who was the Mets' 11th-round pick (332nd overall) in the 2010 Draft, spent most of 2012 with St. Lucie after beginning the season at Binghamton, where he was 2-0 with a 5.68 ERA and a save in six games. He was called upon 44 times in a relief role in St. Lucie, collecting 18 saves and posting a 1-1 mark. Kolarek's ERA was 2.37 over 57 innings, and he struck out 70. Through his first 8 1/3 innings with the Saguaros, he had eight strikeouts and a 2.16 ERA.
Greg Peavey was a sixth-round choice (182nd overall) in 2010 and pitched with Binghamton this season. In his 25 starts, which included two complete games, he was 8-8 with a 5.06 ERA. Through Peavey's first five games in the Fall League, encompassing eight innings, he had a 1.13 ERA.
Jim Gintonio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.