Coney Island

Cyclones come from near and far

June 24, 2022 Jim Dolan
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Each summer, major league hopefuls of varied backgrounds come from all over the U.S. to play at Coney Island and continue the climb up the New York Mets’ minor league ladder, with the goal of someday playing at Citi Field.

Long Islander Joe Suozzi is one of the Cyclones’ pleasant surprises. He had an early-season hitting renaissance and won recent road games with late-inning triples and home runs. As the son of U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democratic candidate for governor, the Glen Cove native is “chasing the dream” with the full support of his father.

“We’ve always supported each other’s goals,” Suozzi said. “From the time I decided to play professional baseball, my father has been totally behind me.”

Suozzi, a senior team captain at Boston College, has become a clubhouse leader at Maimonides Park and is a big supporter of his teammates.

Floridian Branden Fryman, the son of former major-league All-Star Travis Fryman, attended Samford University in Alabama. He hit .323 as a senior and had an overall .290 collegiate average before the Mets drafted him in 2019. Fryman is a good contact hitter known for line drive base hits and his range at shortstop and second base. When he went professional, he was advised that there is a lot of talent in the minors but those who make it to the majors must put in the hard work.

Alabama resident Rowdey Jordan played for SEC powerhouse Mississippi State. He is skilled in many facets of the game and can play at second and in the outfield. He follows in the footsteps of another former Bulldog, 2019 Cyclones outfielder Jake Mangum, who now plays for Triple-A Syracuse. Recently, in Wilmington, Jordan went 3-for-4 and singled in the winning run in the first game of a doubleheader sweep.

Jordan jokes that his family named him Rowdey because he made such a fuss at birth. But when pressed, he admitted his father named him after Rowdy Burns, a character in the 1990 Tom Cruise racing movie “Days of Thunder.”

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