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Michael Hebert

The Mets, via twitter, announced that they cut three more players Wednesday: OF Javier Rodriguez, RHP Michael Hebert and RHP Michael Powers. All three players were drafted in 2008.

Rodriguez is, to whatever limited degree this is applicable to a minor leaguer who never hit in a-ball, the name here. He was a surprise second round pick in 2008, out of high school in Puerto Rico after the Mets first round plus trio of Ike Davis, Reese Havens and Brad Holt. Cost was clearly a motivating factor when the Mets picked Rodriguez with the 22nd pick of the 2nd round; his $585,000 signing bonus was the third-lowest of the round, and the lowest through his spot in the draft. At the time he was drafted, Baseball Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein fielded the following question:

billyho7 (san francisco): The Mets second rounder - Javier Rodriguez.....so obscure I can't even google stalk him. any info or is this an omar minaya special?

Tags: Javier Rodriguez, Michael Hebert, Transactions, Toby Hyde
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@ Savannah Sand Gnats 2, Augusta GreenJackets 0

Ryan Fraser and Michael Hebert combined on a four-hit shutout to lead the Gnats past Augusta 2-0.

Fraser limited the GreenJackets to just three hits over five innings. ?He struck out five and walked two.

Tags: Michael Hebert, Ryan Fraser
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@ Savannah Sand Gnats 4, Lexington Legends 2

Michael Hebert's first SAL start: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. ?He was every bit as good as his numbers suggest working primarily off his fastball which was appeared to be in the low 90s, although I have not seen radar gun readings yet. ?Early, he snuck it by hitters up, but generally did a good job keeping his heater down. ?He showed off the good curveball I liked so much last summer, getting both swings and misses and called third strikes.? It's already one of the better breaking balls on the Gnats' staff. I've probably seen the best two starts of Hebert's career, but there's something here. ?Yeah, it was hot outside (94 at first pitch) and he was working with a big strike zone behind the plate, so he had some built in advantages, but it was still an encouraging first start for Savannah.

Some other progress among the bats:

Tags: Michael Hebert, Savannah Sand Gnats, Toby Hyde
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SS-A: @ Brooklyn Cyclones 4, Aberdeen Ironbirds 3- 10 innings

Darrell Ceciliani (2-5, 2B, HR, RBI) took the Cyclones home in style as he homered in the bottom of the 10th, to cap off a wild comeback to defeat the Aberdeen Ironbirds 4-3.? Brooklyn (42-21) trailed 3-1 in the eighth inning, when an Aberdeen throwing error on an Jeff Flagg (2-3, RBI, 2 SB) steal attempt sailed wayward, allowing Cory Vaughn?(1-2, 2B, 2BB, SB) to score.? Then leading off the bottom of the ninth, William Cherry ?(1-4, HR, RBI) delivered a clutch game tying homerun, to tied the score at 3.? This set up Ceciliani's walk-off blast to lead off the tenth.? Ceciliani (pictured) now bring his season totals to: .350/.405/.524.? Ceciliani leads the NYPL in batting average, runs, hits, triples, and total bases,?and is in the top 10 in 4 other categories.?

A.J. Pinera with another solid start (6 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 er, 1 bb, 6 K).? Pinera is now 2-1, 1.99 ERA in 9 starts for the Cyclones.? Johan Figuereo ?(2 IP, 3K) pitched two?perfect innings to pick up the victory.

Tags: Aderlin Rodriguez, Akeel Morris, Brooklyn Cyclones, Cory Vaughn, Darrell Ceciliani, Gulf Coast League, Kingsport Mets, Michael Hebert
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Saturday night in Kingsport, I saw RHP Michael Hebert's best professional start.? He gave up two unearned runs in eight innings while striking out seven, but more importantly, showed stuff that will play at higher levels.

Hebert, who will turn 20 on Wednesday, worked with a four-seam fastball that sat 91-92 mph and touched 94.?? He held his velocity all night: his 95th and final pitch was one of his hardest at 94 mph.? Hebert explained after the game that the little extra juice on his heater came from excitement about accomplishing something he'd never done before, "that was the first time I threw eight innings in my life.? That was kinda a fun experience... I was really pumped up," he said.? He used it to both sides of the plate, as you can see in the video below.? As a professional, Hebert, the Mets' seventh round pick out of Saugus HS in 2008 said he focused on fastball command before really turning his attention to his curveball this year.

Hebert's second pitch was a curveball at 75-76 mph that flashed the potential to be an average big league offering.? He admitted that his hook is "still a work in progress," exactly as one might expect for a 19-year-old who's thrown under 100 innings as a professional.? The curve has become priority number one for him recently, "It's all I've been working on pretty much, sitting in the apartment, trying to work the grips," he said.? His pitching coach Jonathan Hurst agreed completely, "The curveball has been a project - it's been a lot of work."

Tags: Kingsport Mets, Michael Hebert, Road Trip, Toby Hyde
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