Mets' Ceciliani Makes Up For Lost Season In AFL

NEW YORK—The Mets did not send a star-studded crop of prospects to the Arizona Fall League this year, but that doesn't mean those minor leaguers don't bear watching.

Center fielder Darrell Ceciliani, a fourth-round pick in 2009 from Columbia Basin (Wash.) CC, showed promise earlier in his career before being plagued by hamstring injuries for most of the 2012 season.

"He just needs to get at-bats," minor league field coordinator Dick Scott said. "Darrell's a good player, and this was a tough year for him because he just wasn't healthy."

Ceciliani lost much of the season to various ailments and hit .329/.402/.459 in 85 at-bats for high Class A St. Lucie. The 22-year-old missed all of July and most of August.

He authored an excellent 2010 campaign while playing for short-season Brooklyn, batting .351/.401/.531 and winning the New York-Penn League batting title. Those numbers dipped in 2011, when Ceciliani needed a strong finish to hit .259/.351/.361 for low Class A Savannah.

Scott believes Ceciliani's tools can carry him to the highest level, and the center fielder's potential leaves team officials optimistic about his future—but only if he can stay on the field.

"I think if he's healthy, he's going to play in the major leagues," Scott said. "He's athletic. He's got a good swing. He's got a little power. He can run in center field. Those guys are hard to come by.

"I just think that if he has a full season next year, healthy, he's going to have a good year."


• Ceciliani will be joined on the AFL's Surprise roster by outfielder Cesar Puello and middle infielder Danny Muno, a pair of fellow prospects coming off tough years. Puello missed time with injury, while Muno, who impressed team officials with his hitting approach, lost 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

• The Mets began instructional league activity in late September with a few high-profile names in camp, including shortstops Gavin Cecchini, this year's first-round selection, and Amed Rosario, a 16-year-old Dominican who signed for a franchise-record $1.75 million in July.