Scouting Mets Prospect: RHP Steven Cheney

The New York Mets selected the tall right-hander in the 25th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Gulf Coast Community College {FL). In two years with the organization, he has been as steady coming out of the bullpen as any of his peers. Heading into year three, Cheney wants to take his game to the next level. Here is a scouting report on Brooklyn reliever Steven Cheney.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Steven Cheney
DOB: July 3, 1986
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 200
Throws: Right
Bats: Right

During the 2007 season, no bullpen in the NY-Penn League was as consistently effective as that of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Led on the front end by a league-leading starting rotation, the Cyclones bullpen helped round out a staff that guided the squad to the NY-Penn Championship Series. One intricate piece to that puzzle was second-year hurler Steven Cheney. Cheney, a toolsy pitcher who mixes his stuff well, was primarily used as a bridge between the starters and the back of the bullpen and his success in that role should not be overlooked.

He appeared in 18 games last season, compiling a 4-4 record along the way with a 2.70 ERA and .226 opponent's batting average in 40 innings pitched. An important note about his statistics was the fact that the numbers were nearly identical to his production in 2006 with 17 appearances in Kingsport and two more with Hagerstown [4-2, 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched in ‘06]. That consistency speaks to not only the quality of Cheney's pitching, but his focus on the mound.

The development of his control was the lead cause for his greater effectiveness throughout the season. After a tough June in which in he allowed six earned runs in ten innings, he rebounded and allowed seven earned runs over his next 27.2 innings pitched.
"Honestly, I was nervous my first couple outings in Brooklyn. But as my appearances kept coming throughout the summer, I got my confidence, settled down and that led to an unbelievable August. I just challenged hitters, stared them down and said ‘who's going to do it? It's either going to be you or me and I want this more'," explained Cheney.

Additionally, Cheney uses his height to his advantage. Though he does not throw especially hard, he pitches on a downward plane which allows him to say down in the zone.

"Tall guys always seem to have the leverage," he said. "I need to get the extension and that is what [Brooklyn pitching coach] Hector [Berrios] preached to us. I want to get as close to the catcher as I can when I release the ball, so that I'm like 55 feet from the catcher instead of 60."

It has been two very sharp seasons for Cheney, and now he must build on lessons learned during two quality seasons in short-season ball as he heads into what may be a defining season.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2007

Brooklyn

4-4

0

40.0

33

12

39

2.70

2006

Hagerstown

0-1

1

3.0

3

1

2

0.00

2006

Kingsport

4-1

2

29.2

30

6

19

2.73



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup

Fastball: Cheney will not overpower hitters with a fastball that typically sits 90-92 MPH. Yet, what he lacks in velocity he makes with very good control as he is able to locate the pitch down in the zone. He began the year hovering around 89-90 MPH, but as the season went on and he built strength in his shoulder, he gained a few miles per hour which will make a significant difference as he continues to move up to higher leagues.

Other Pitches: Cheney has a quality array of pitches which gives him the ability to mix the timing and eye level of hitters. His curveball is his best option as he throws an arching breaking ball that spins in the mid-70s. He adds in a slider that he throws in the low-80s which he must keep down in the zone for maximum effectiveness. Lastly, he throws a budding changeup between 81-83 MPH which needs more improvement and perhaps a few ticks taken off the pitch to make it more deceiving against his fastball.

Pitching: As stated, Cheney will not throw his fastball by many people, but he does register his share of strikeouts and uses his secondary pitches in bottom half of the zone to induce ground balls. Ideally, he needs to stay ahead of hitters by staying within the strike zone and is more successful when he gets contact earlier in counts.

Projection: Cheney's deep repertoire could allow him to make a spot start on occasion, but his future will remain in the bullpen as a mid-to-late inning pitcher. He can enter games in the middle of innings, but is best used start an inning – usually the seventh inning – to bridge the gap the setup man and closer. If he continues to display consistency, he will move up as a viable candidate for the Mets to call on from the farm in coming years.

ETA: 2010. Cheney's strong season in Brooklyn will certainly make him a candidate to join a long-season squad in 2008. Where exactly he lands will be determined by his spring training performance. It could be a stretch to say he will start the year in St. Lucie and bypass Savannah, but we will make that prediction and leave him two-plus years in the minors before getting his shot in the big leagues.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Steven Cheney
\r\nDOB: July 3, 1986
\r\nHeight: 6'5\"
\r\nWeight: 200
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\nBats: Right
\r\n
\r\nDuring the 2007 season, no bullpen in the NY-Penn League was as consistently effective as that of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Led on the front end by a league-leading starting rotation, the Cyclones bullpen helped round out a staff that guided the squad to the NY-Penn Championship Series. One intricate piece to that puzzle was second-year hurler Steven Cheney. Cheney, a toolsy pitcher who mixes his stuff well, was primarily used as a bridge between the starters and the back of the bullpen and his success in that role should not be overlooked.
\r\n
\r\nHe appeared in 18 games last season, compiling a 4-4 record along the way with a 2.70 ERA and .226 opponent's batting average in 40 innings pitched. An important note about his statistics was the fact that the numbers were nearly identical to his production in 2006 with 17 appearances in Kingsport and two more with Hagerstown [4-2, 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched in ‘06]. That consistency speaks to not only the quality of Cheney's pitching, but his focus on the mound.
\r\n
\r\nThe development of his control was the lead cause for his greater effectiveness throughout the season. After a tough June in which in he allowed six earned runs in ten innings, he rebounded and allowed seven earned runs over his next 27.2 innings pitched.\r\n
\r\n\"Honestly, I was nervous my first couple outings in Brooklyn. But as my appearances kept coming throughout the summer, I got my confidence, settled down and that led to an unbelievable August. I just challenged hitters, stared them down and said ‘who's going to do it? It's either going to be you or me and I want this more',\" explained Cheney.
\r\n
\r\nAdditionally, Cheney uses his height to his advantage. Though he does not throw especially hard, he pitches on a downward plane which allows him to say down in the zone.
\r\n
\r\n\"Tall guys always seem to have the leverage,\" he said. \"I need to get the extension and that is what [Brooklyn pitching coach] Hector [Berrios] preached to us. I want to get as close to the catcher as I can when I release the ball, so that I'm like 55 feet from the catcher instead of 60.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt has been two very sharp seasons for Cheney, and now he must build on lessons learned during two quality seasons in short-season ball as he heads into what may be a defining season.
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

\r\n Year

\r\n

\r\n Team

\r\n

\r\n W-L

\r\n

\r\n SV

\r\n

\r\n IP

\r\n

\r\n Hits

\r\n

\r\n BB

\r\n

K

\r\n

\r\n ERA

\r\n

\r\n 2007

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 4-4

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 40.0

\r\n

\r\n 33

\r\n

\r\n 12

\r\n

\r\n 39

\r\n

\r\n 2.70

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Hagerstown

\r\n

\r\n 0-1

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 3.0

\r\n

\r\n 3

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 0.00

\r\n

\r\n 2006

\r\n

\r\n Kingsport

\r\n

\r\n 4-1

\r\n

\r\n 2

\r\n

\r\n 29.2

\r\n

\r\n 30

\r\n

\r\n 6

\r\n

\r\n 19

\r\n

\r\n 2.73


\r\n
\r\nRepertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup
\r\n
\r\nFastball: Cheney will not overpower hitters with a fastball that typically sits 90-92 MPH. Yet, what he lacks in velocity he makes with very good control as he is able to locate the pitch down in the zone. He began the year hovering around 89-90 MPH, but as the season went on and he built strength in his shoulder, he gained a few miles per hour which will make a significant difference as he continues to move up to higher leagues.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches: Cheney has a quality array of pitches which gives him the ability to mix the timing and eye level of hitters. His curveball is his best option as he throws an arching breaking ball that spins in the mid-70s. He adds in a slider that he throws in the low-80s which he must keep down in the zone for maximum effectiveness. Lastly, he throws a budding changeup between 81-83 MPH which needs more improvement and perhaps a few ticks taken off the pitch to make it more deceiving against his fastball.
\r\n
\r\nPitching: As stated, Cheney will not throw his fastball by many people, but he does register his share of strikeouts and uses his secondary pitches in bottom half of the zone to induce ground balls. Ideally, he needs to stay ahead of hitters by staying within the strike zone and is more successful when he gets contact earlier in counts.
\r\n
\r\nProjection: Cheney's deep repertoire could allow him to make a spot start on occasion, but his future will remain in the bullpen as a mid-to-late inning pitcher. He can enter games in the middle of innings, but is best used start an inning – usually the seventh inning – to bridge the gap the setup man and closer. If he continues to display consistency, he will move up as a viable candidate for the Mets to call on from the farm in coming years.
\r\n
\r\nETA: 2010. Cheney's strong season in Brooklyn will certainly make him a candidate to join a long-season squad in 2008. Where exactly he lands will be determined by his spring training performance. It could be a stretch to say he will start the year in St. Lucie and bypass Savannah, but we will make that prediction and leave him two-plus years in the minors before getting his shot in the big leagues.
\r\n
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