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A summer with no minor league baseball: How are prospects adjusting?

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(WBNG) -- For Mets pitching prospect Tony Dibrell, a canceled minor league season means missing out on a year of development.

"A lot of us have been working so hard to make a name for ourselves, and this was going to be a big season," said Dibrell.

Dibrell spent the second half of 2019 with the Rumble Ponies, and was ranked 29th on MLB's Mets Top Prospects list.

"As a starter, I've been throwing 135 innings a season just around about," said Dibrell. "This year without getting all those innings, I feel like that's going to set me back for next year."

Dibrell likely would have started the season with the Rumble Ponies this year. Instead, he's making the most of what he has around him in his home state of Georgia.

Dibrell said he's lucky enough to have a number of pro players working out at the same gym as him. They get together a few times a week to play games at local fields.

"It gets pretty competitive," said Dibrell. "I like it, it gets me ready. I think it will help me out when the season finally comes back."

Dibrell said the Mets have done a great job staying in contact with him. He hears from coaches, including Rumble Ponies pitching coach Jonathan Hurst every week.

He also said it was a relief when the Mets committed to paying minor league players through the normal length of the season.

"It makes it a lot easier to go get my work in and not have to worry about getting a job or anything," said Dibrell. "Some of my buddies I work out with, they have to leave the gym to go to work just because they have to pay bills and their team isn't paying them that little stipend, so I think it's been huge."

Aside from baseball, Dibrell used his free time to finish college. Dibrell said he graduated yesterday from Kennesaw State University which is where he played baseball. He finished with a degree in communications, and said if baseball doesn't work out down the line, he wants to go into sports broadcasting.

Dibrell said there's been some talks of an expanded fall league, but nothing is official. While he waits to return to the mound, he's keeping things in perspective.

"I think for a lot of us, we don't realize how blessed we are to be able to play this game," said Dibrell. "I think it getting taken from us will probably open a lot of peoples eyes to just how fortunate we are to play and motivate a lot of guys to really try to give it everything they have."

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Nicole Menner

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