Wally Backman on Brooklyn prospects

I had a chance to talk to Wally Backman for a while at Mets Fantasy Camp. There’ll be more from that here sometime soon. We talked a bit about some of the prospects he had in Brooklyn this year. Here’s what he had to say:

Ted Berg: Obviously Cory Vaughn and Darrell Ceciliani had big years.

Wally Backman: To me they’re both Major League prospects. I think Darrell Ceciliani is going to be a guy that hits for average. Cory Vaughn’s got some power. He’s going to have to worry about his strikeouts — he has got to work on keeping his bat through the hitting zone longer. Ceciliani is real good at that.

They’re both pretty much complete packages. Darrell doesn’t have the power that Cory shows, but he’s a line-drive type hitter. He does have some power — he’s got some pop in his bat. Darrell’s going to be a kid that hits for a high average, and I think he’s going to eventually turn into a left fielder. He’s got great speed but he’s left-handed. Cory will probably stay in right field because of his arm strength.

They have a chance, as long as they stay healthy. I would like to see [the Mets] push those guys hard. I don’t know that they’ll do that, but I’d like to see both those guys go to St. Lucie this year and then possibly end up in Binghamton if they have a good half-year. And then they’re right there.

I think the other guy that has a chance is Ryan Fraser, the pitcher we drafted this last year. He sits at 94 mph with a 60 breaking ball, so if his command continues to improve, I’d put him on a fast track as well. The other kids we had in Brooklyn I think are more level-to-level players.

TB: Anyone else that should be on the Mets fan’s radar?

WB: Yohan Almonte, the young starting pitcher. He reminds me of a small Pedro Martinez, he–

TB: Smaller than Pedro?

WB: He’s smaller than Pedro. He did a great job for us this year. He’s only at 91 or 92 mph but he has got a great changeup and throws his breaking ball for strikes. So he throws all three pitches for strikes, and in the Penn league last year that made him pretty successful.

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