Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New York – Penn League Preview: Staten Island Yankees

Staten Island Yankees - 2008 PreviewIt’s a tired cliché: Hope springs eternal on Opening Day.

Nowhere is that overused turn of phrase more true than at the minor league level, where players’ big league aspirations fuel the kind of “give it all” style of play fans love and an organization can appreciate.

Staten Island vs. Brooklyn CyclonesThe Staten Island Yankees open their 76-game season tonight in Brooklyn’s KeySpan Park at 7:00pm. The Cyclones are the New York Mets short-season “A” affiliate.

The teams play each other three times in two ballparks this week, offering local fans a first glimpse at several big league hopefuls, including 2008 MLB draftees David Adams (2B), Addison Maruszak (SS) , and of course, switch-pitcher Patrick Venditte.

New Coach

Pat McMahon, Staten Island Yankees ManagerThe Yankees have handed the reigns to baseball lifer Pat McMahon. Drafted by the Mets out of high school, McMahon instead attended Stetson University where he would later get his first coaching job.

After 15 years as an assistant coach with various high school and college teams, McMahon was head coach at Old Dominion then Mississippi State. In 1998, he became only the second coach in SEC history to guide a team to the College World Series in his first season in the league.

In 2001, McMahon became the head coach of the USA Baseball National Team.

During his coaching career, McMahon has coached some prominent MLB names (Rafael Palmerio, Jonathan Papelbon, Jeff Brantley, and Bobby Thigpin).

New BloodRHP Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

Out of this year’s draft class Andrew Shive, Luke Greinke, Brad Rulon, Pat Venditte, Brandon Braboy, Clint Preisendorfer, Jeff Nutt, Michael Lyon, Addison Maruszak, Ryan Wilkes, David Adams, Daniel Brewer, Raymond Kruml, and Erik Lovett all should play between the lines at Richmond County Ballpark.

Staten Island fans could also see the likes of Yankees first-round pick Gerrit Cole later this summer. Cole, 18, throws 93-96 mph. His out-pitch is a late-breaking curve with good depth.

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