Prospects take steps closer to Big Apple

Nimmo, Cecchini move up Mets chain; Yanks' Judge headed to Tampa

Brandon Nimmo (left) is on his way out of the Florida State League while Aaron Judge will be moving right in.

By Sam Dykstra / | June 19, 2014 5:51 PM ET

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. That's what they sing about the city so nice they named it twice. But in order to make it there, you have to get there first. On Thursday, a number of prospects took steps in the right direction.

Mets prospects Brandon Nimmo, Dilson Herrera and Gavin Cecchini have each been promoted as has Yankees prospect and 2013 first-rounder Aaron Judge.

Nimmo, the Mets' No. 4 prospect according to, and Herrera (No. 9) will move up to Double-A Binghamton and are both in the B-Mets starting lineup Thursday.

Nimmo has enjoyed something of a breakout season with Class A Advanced St. Lucie, putting up a .322/.448/.458 line with four homers, five triples, nine doubles and nine stolen bases in 62 Florida State League games. The left-handed-hitting center fielder has always shown an impressive eye at the plate, with a .399 career OBP since being taken 13th overall in the 2011 Draft, but that trait has reached another level this season with 50 walks (compared to 51 strikeouts) down in the Sunshine State.

Herrera, whom the Mets acquired from the Pirates in the deal that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck the other way last season, will make his Double-A debut after a speedy turn in Class A Advanced. Playing in his age-20 season, the right-handed Colombia native owned a .307/.355/.410 line with three homers, two triples and 16 doubles for St. Lucie. He played mostly at second base but was also featured at shortstop, where he made six of his final 12 starts.

Of all of his skills, Herrera received his highest grade for his run tool from -- a 60, or above average -- and put that speed on display in the FSL, going 14-for-17 on the basepaths. With two more steals, he'll his career high with 16, set in the Venezuelan Summer League back in 2011.

As Nimmo and Herrera exit St. Lucie through one door, Cecchini will come in through another.

The Mets' No. 8 prospect put up a .259/.333/.408 slash line with three homers, four triples, 17 doubles and seven steals in 57 games at Class A Savannah at the time of the promotion. Though Cecchini's production in the South Atlantic League doesn't exactly jump out -- his highest ranking in the circuit was sixth in doubles -- they should be taken with a grain of salt. The 20-year-old's calling card remains his defense at shortstop, where he earned 55 grades on both his field and arm tools from, and that's what should carry beyond St. Lucie so long as his bat remains serviceable.

At the complete other end of the skills spectrum, Judge will be hoping to carry his explosive production at the plate to Tampa. Since being taken 32nd overall by the Yankees last year, the former Fresno State slugger led the Sally League with a .333 average and ranked in the top five in OBP (.428, third), slugging (.530, fifth) and OPS (.958, third). He also added nine homers and 45 RBIs in the first 65 games of his professional career.

There's still plenty of room for growth in the power department for the Yankees' No. 8 prospect, who received a 60 grade for power, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays in the more spacious environs of the FSL.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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