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Tip Cap to Mets’ Scouting and Player Development For Finding Danny Muno

26-year old utility infielder Danny Muno has received very little publicity.

Danny Muno (USA Today Sports)

Danny Muno (USA Today Sports)


We all know that the Mets’ minor league system is flush with young talent and we are starting to see a lot of that talent appear in Queens this season. Noah Syndergaard has looked like an ace to be during his four big league starts. Kevin Plawecki has done an admirable job filling in for an injured Travis d’Arnaud. Dilson Herrera once again showed flashes of his immense potential before breaking a finger. Even out in the bullpen, youngsters Hansel Robles, Erik Goeddel and Jack Leathersich have shown that they are almost ready to be steady contributors.

But another young Met who is quietly starting to make his mark, is 26-year old utility infielder Danny Muno, who has received very little publicity during his five years in the Mets’ organization. His hitting style perfectly fits the front office’s philosophy, which helped make him the first draftee from the Sandy Alderson era to reach the big leagues as a Met. At Fresno State, the switch-hitting Muno set the school’s career walks record midway through his junior season and during his time in the minors he has amassed a career .392 on-base percentage.

“Dating back to when I first got at Fresno State they really wanted me to see pitches and get on base. That was my philosophy and it kind of developed into my game,” said Muno, who credits Bulldogs head coach Mike Batesole with instilling that mentality in him. “I’ve used it and it’s been very successful for me in the minor leagues and the Mets have really liked it.”

As a college freshman, Muno hit .332 with 62 runs in 77 games, was named Freshman of the Year and helped lead a lower-seeded Fresno State to victory in the 2008 College World Series.

“That was a great experience in my life because nobody expected us to win. We were an underdog team and the lowest seeded team to ever win a National Championship,” said Muno, who didn’t become a full-time switch-hitter until his sophomore year of college. “We beat some great teams along the way and it was just a great group of guys working together.”

During his sophomore campaign, he batted .379 with 25 doubles and 74 runs in 62 games and was named All-Western Athletic Conference at second base. In his junior year, he hit .329 with 68 runs in 63 games and became the career Fresno State walk leader, with 167. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 26th round of the 2010 draft, but chose to return to college for his senior season. As a senior, he hit .348 with 47 runs, 52 RBI and 46 walks in 56 games. He was in contact with the Mets current scouting director Doug Thurman and was taken by New York in the 8th round of the 2011 draft.

He signed a contract and started his pro career with the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he led the New York-Penn League in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS. He was also a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star and Baseball America said he had the best strike zone discipline in the Mets system. The following season, he was promoted to St. Lucie, but in May of 2012, he was suspended for testing positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone and was banned for 50 games.

“I learned from it. It was a tough time in my life, but you learn from mistakes and I realized that’s the wrong way to go about it,” Muno told me in the Mets locker room. “Ultimately it made me a stronger and better person.”

In 2013, Muno hit .249 with 86 runs, 27 doubles, 15 stolen bases and 92 walks for the Binghamton Mets. He began spent last season in Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting .259 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs last season for the 51s. This spring, Muno made a run at making the clubs Opening Day roster and if Daniel Murphy had started the season on the disabled list, he would of most likely broke camp with the big club. A few weeks ago, the Mets called up Muno and on his first day in the big leagues, he recorded his first big league hit with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning and swiped a base.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Muno, who provides the team with some versatility off the bench, as he can play second base, shortstop or third. “You dream about first AB in the major leagues getting a base hit and just to be able to do it and get that hit was an amazing experience.”

Muno had just six plate appearances before being sent back down to the minors. Last week, the Mets recalled him for the second time this season in an attempt to shake up their bench a little and allow for some more balance on the roster. Since being brought back up he has gone hitless in eight plate appearances with a walk, but he has continued to progress and for an organization that is starting to show how ripe with young talent they are, Muno is just another example.

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