2002 Kingsport Mets Season Preview

The K-Mets are the Mets' rookie farm team. The Appy League plays a 68-game schedule beginning June 19th thru August 28th. The K-Mets play in the West Division with Bristol, Elizabethton, Johnson City, and Pulaski. The division winners play a best 2 out 3 game championship series. The teams have 30 players on the roster, but only 25 are in uniform and eligible to play in any given game.

A team may have no more than 12 players who are 21 or older (of those only 2 can be as old as 23), and no more players with more than 2 years of experience.

Coaching Staff: Joey Cora (manager), Ken Berry (hitting coach), Mike Devey (pitching coach).

The 2001 Season in Review – The K-Mets finished in 4th place with a 31-36 record. The team started slowly, but when the draftees arrived the Mets made a run at first place reaching 1 game of first place until a late season collapse of the bullpen led to a tailspin.

The Prospects. The players to watch include Aaron Balderis (3B), Rafael Castro (RHP), Johan Camacho (1B), Ryan Danly (LHP), Adam Elliot (RHP), Jamar Hill (OF), Tanner Osborne (RHP), Celso Rondon, (RHP), Roberto Solano (OF), Derran Watts (OF), Jason Weintraub (RHP), Jason Weir (LHP), Brandon Wilson (C).

Outfield. Jamar Hill, Rashad Parker, Roberto Solano, and Derran Watts should compete for the starters slots. Laron Wilson and William Garcia will be in the mix. The injured Justin Sassanella might return later in the season.

Infield. Camacho, Balderis and Justin Wendt (1B/3B/DH) should rotate in the corner positions. Jesus Linares (3B/2B) will be in the mix at 1B and 3B. Luis Martinez (SS), David Housel (2B), Yllish Soto (SS/2B0 and Linares will rotate in the middle infield positions.

Catcher. Brandon Wilson and Danilo Reynoso will share the catching duties. Yunior Garcia should back up.

Starting Pitching. Adam Elliot, Ramon Castro, Maikel DeLeon, Taylor George, Tanner Osborne, and Jason Weintraub will compete for the starter positions. Recent Signee Matt Lindstrom might compete for a starters position.

Bullpen. The talented Jayson Weir, Celso Rondon, and Ryan Danly will head up the bullpen. The bullpen should also include Matt Lindstrom, Ivan Maldonado, Sean Farrell, Domingo (Anthony) Acosta, Bryan King, Julio Frietes, and Domingo Morban.

Outlook. The starting pitching keys the success of the 2002 version of the Kingsport Mets. Weintraub, Osborne, and Elliot have very good arms. Once the starters consistently reach 6 innings, the bullpen headed by Weir should be more capable of holding leads than the 2001 team. Watts, Parker and Garcia will rotate in the top spot. Hill is also hitting at the top of the order. Solano, Camacho, and B. Wilson will provide most of the power. The team could make a run at the West Division title, but that might depend upon who gets promoted to Brooklyn.

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