Mets' Muno Strives To Prove Other 29 Teams Wrong





NEW YORK—The chip on second baseman Danny Muno's shoulder arrived sometime over a three-day stretch in June 2010.

Muno followed the draft for 25 rounds as all 30 teams expressed sentiments he had heard in whispers for years: He was too small for pro ball at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds. He couldn't handle an everyday infield role. His gaudy statistics at Fresno State—he hit .379 as a sophomore and slugged .500 as a junior—wouldn't translate to pro ball.

Muno knew something was wrong when the 15th round came and still his phone remained lifeless. The free fall didn't end until the Cubs selected him in the 26th round. Muno didn't sign.

"I thought I was going to go a lot higher than I did," Muno said. "So that kind of made me mad. It definitely lit a fire underneath me."

The snub spurred him to return for his senior year, and the Mets selected him in the eighth round last June. He signed for $10,000 and played shortstop every day for short-season Brooklyn, batting .355/.466/.514 with 23 doubles and 43 walks in 220 at-bats.  

While Muno, 23, does not profile as a future star, he has hit throughout his career. He's a switch-hitter with a refined plate approach. Paul DePodesta, the club's vice president of scouting and player development, speaks fondly of him. Minor league field coordinator Dick Scott called Muno "the poster child for what we're talking about" in terms of knowing the strike zone.

"You've got to trust your plan," Muno said. "You can't get into panic mode when you get a strike on you. You've got to trust yourself and trust your plan, your approach."

To that end, Muno had drawn nine walks in his first 11 games for high Class A St. Lucie.

"You've just got to think back when people tell you you're not good enough," Muno said. "Or they tell you you're too small, you can't field. And you just use that as motivation every day when you're playing."

METAMORPHOSES

• The Mets are using six-man rotations at Class A Savannah and St. Lucie this season to help acclimate pitchers to the grind of pro ball.

• Righthander Matt Harvey got rocked in his first three starts for Triple-A Buffalo, allowing 12 runs in 13 innings while allowing 28 baserunners and striking out nine.