Jun 22, 2016

2015 NL Champion Mets Italian / American Reserve Outfielder: Darrell Ceciliani (2015)

 Darrell Ceciliani was born on June 22nd 1990 in Tracy, California. At a young age he moved to Madras, Oregon, growing up there on a family cattle ranch. In the off season he still works at the Family Farm.

The six foot one left hand hitting outfielder, attended Columbia Basin College at Pasco Washington. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 4th round of the 2009 draft. Ceciliani is a good swift runner known more for speed & contact hitting rather than his power.

He spent 2009 in the Rookie League at Kingsport, getting promoted to A ball Brooklyn Cyclones in 2010. He had a fine year there, making the All Star team & finishing with the highest batting average in Cyclones history, batting .351 with 21 stolen bases & 12 triples in 68 games. He credits former Met Wally Backman, the Cyclones manager at the time, as well as coach Benny Distefano for bettering his hitting.

In 2011 he went to the Savanah Sand Gnats falling off to a .259 average, hitting more doubles than usual with 23. In 2012 he was at A ball St. Lucie, having a fine year hitting .329 but constant leg injuries limited him to just 23 games.

In 2013 he was promoted to AA Binghamton, having his healthiest season. Ceciliani played in 113 games, mostly in centerfield (58 games) & left (48 games). He hit .268, never a power hitter, he hit just 6 HRs, with 17 doubles & a career high 44 RBIs. On the base paths, the swift Ceciliani stole 31 of 38 bases and had six triples.  

Ceciliani got a surprise chance to play with the Mets at Spring training in 2014, donning one of the highest uniform numbers #93. He appeared on Sunday March 22nd, going 0-1 grounding into an 8th inning ending double play in the Mets 3-1 win over Washington. He spent 2014 at AA Binghamton batting .289 with 7 HRs 16 stolen bases & 54 RBIs while scoring 59 runs in 106 games.

He began 2015 with the AA Las Vegas 51's under his old Cyclones Manager; Wally Backman. After 37 games he was batting .336 with 5 HRs 7 doubles 17 RBIs & six steals. That got him promoted to the Mets big league squad in mid May.

On May 19th he made his MLB debut appearing as a pinch hitter & collecting a base hit off Michael Wacha of the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. On May 24th he got his first start going 0-4 at Pittsburgh in a 9-2 Mets loss. Thru the rest of May he went 0-6 as a pinch hitter, as his average fell to .125.

On June 1st he drove in his first run, a base hit at San Diego in a 7-0 Mets loss. On June 11th he started a personal four game hit streak that brought his average up to .270.

On Sunday June 14th, he hit his first career HR, it came in a 10-8 Mets comeback win over the Atlanta Braves, keeping the Mets in first place by 1/2 game. That day he also threw out Cameron Maybin at the plate to save a run. That week he got five hits in ten at bats.

He remained on the roster until July 5th when he was sent back to AAA Las Vegas.
In 39 games for the Mets he batted .206 with one HR & 3 RBIs. In February of 2016 he was sent to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash or player to be named later.

 Trivia: Ceciliani has six tattoos, some of which include "strength & loyalty' down his arms, which he credits to his mother. He also has a Bible quote rom Philippians 4;13 on his ribs: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

From his young cattle ranch days, he is also branded with; Rocker 3 Ranch on his chest.

Ceciliani claims he has worn the same sox in all his big leagues games so far.

Quotes: Darrell Ceciliani- I try to play the game with a chip on my shoulder. Go out and play hard all the time. I play with a football mentality. Just a chip on my shoulder. I go out and battle. It's a dog fight."

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