Born and raised in Mount Sinai, NY, it was only right that Tyler Badamo was selected by the New York Mets in the 24th round of last year’s draft from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY.
“There were a lot of emotions on draft day,” he said. “It was a very special day. There was always talk of having the ability to play at the next level, and having the opportunity to do so with a New York team made it even more surreal.”
Badamo pitched to a 1-0 record in ten games in the Gulf Coast League last season. He made four starts and had an ERA of 1.74.
“[Playing in the GCL] was a good learning experience. It gave me the chance to work on my change-up. That’s a pitch I developed a lot in Spring Training this year. This upcoming season my goal is to throw it in all counts and for strikes.”
And it’s the people that Badamo has surrounded himself with that has gotten him to this point. He’ll have around thirty members of his family and friends in attendance when he starts on Opening Day for the Brooklyn Cyclones Friday night against the Staten Island Yankees.
“This opportunity that the Mets have given me is a great honor, it means a lot to not only myself but all of my family and friends that are going to be at the game.”
Manager Tom Gamboa had nothing but praise for the 22-year-old, saying “We chose Badamo to start the opener because of his good poise and control of all his pitches. He is a very good competitor and should handle the excitement of Opening Day and set a good example for the others to follow.”
After missing the playoffs for the second straight season in 2014, the Cyclones look to turn the ship around in the McNamara Division. Led by second year manager Gamboa, Brooklyn’s Opening Day roster features three 2015 draft picks, including 7th rounder Corey Taylor, a pitcher from Texas Tech.
The Cyclones will also welcome back a number of familiar faces. Pitchers Gaither Bumgardner and Carlos Valdez, infielders Jeff Diehl, Will Fulmer, Michael Katz and Pedro Perez, and outfielders Michael Bernal and Tucker Tharp will all report to Brooklyn once again.
Two returnees in particular stand out to Gamboa. “We look for Katz and Bernal to build off their experience here and really do well this season. We should be fun to watch.”
“It’s going to be a fun year,” Badamo said. “We already have a decent amount of team chemistry and we haven’t even played an inning yet.”
The Cyclones open up their season in the New York-Penn League on Friday night in Staten Island, and will play their first game at MCU Park on Saturday against the Yankees.
“We have a lot of good arms and some great bats in our lineup,” Badamo finished. “This should be a fun year full of good baseball.”