MD: Darrell Ceciliani had monster a season for Brooklyn. Does he have enough defensive ability to be an impact type big league CF? What would you say his ceiling is?
KG: I'm going to start with a quick comment that applies to nearly all of your questions. You're asking about short-season guys, and it's such a nascent time in these players careers that we're projecting a LOT. These players can go in a ton of directions from here, many of them good, many of them bad, and we can just go on what we know. Onto Ceciliani, I wouldn't call him an impact defender, but he can play the position well, and that gives him a huge leg up, as you can't say that about most minor league center fielders. What he did offensively this year was a very pleasant surprise, and did wonders for his stock. He does need to work on his approach, as he's a bit of a pitch chaser, and he needs to work on his base running, but he can hit and I like him quite a bit.MD: Cory Vaughn displayed an above average power/speed combination in the NYPL. Do you feel he can continue this at higher levels of competition?
KG: I want to say yes, but I can't do it without a bit of trepidation. Look, this guy has oozed tools forever, but he never quite translated them into results during his college years, so you have to be a bit nervous, as history is littered with guys who did things in the New York-Penn League never to be heard from again. There's still a truckload of swing and miss in his game, but the power and speed are very real and as a scout once said to me many years ago, “always bet on the tools.”MD: Juan Urbina showed an ability to miss bats for a young raw left-hander, and throw strikes consistently. What are your thoughts on his progress moving forward?
KG: He's younger than most eventual 2011 high school draftees, so my thought on his progress going forward is that he should move forward. I'm guessing that he'll pitch in Brooklyn next year after another spring in extended, but sure, there's very real potential here. He could end up with special velocity for a lefty, and his secondary pitches at least show promise. His ceiling is sky high, but the gap between that ceiling and what he is now is the size of the Grand Canyon.MD: Akeel Morris, young raw right-hander from the Virgin Islands, dominated in his short stint in the GCL. Is he a diamond in the rough?
KG: Wow. Great call, Mike. There's something there, and a lot of people think he would have went higher in the draft had he gotten more exposure. He's sitting in the low 90s already and flashing considerably more at times, and the curve and change both show potential. Combine that with the ability to throw strikes and he's an outstanding sleeper.MD: Between High-A and AA, Sean Ratliff slugged over .500. Will he be able to make enough contact to become a big league regular?
KG: Big leaguer? I could see it. Regular? Probably not. He's not a center fielder, so he's going to have to fit in a corner and while I like the bat, for a corner it's not going to be enough. He's not going to hit .300 in the majors based on how many bad pitches he still swings at, and the power is merely pretty good, not great. The fact that he's left-handed helps his chances as a potentially nice bench outfielder.MD: Which of the Mets minor leaguers have made the most progress this season. In terms of moving up as legit prospects?
KG: Ceciliani comes to mind for sure after what he did in Brooklyn, and I think a guy like Kirk Niewenhuis gets a lot of credit for doing it at the upper levels to prove 2009 was for real. A healthy season from Reese Havens would have put him on the list, but that didn't happen, as good as he was when he played. I think you have to throw Lucas Duda into the conversation, as well, obviously. Notice how I haven't brought up a pitcher? It was a way better year for hitters than arms down on the farm.