– In the New York Times, Billy Witz does an outstanding profile of Mets’ first round pick Dominic Smith.
– Writing at Baseball America, Mike Kerwick goes through the Mets’ first half in the minor league system and tabs Zack Wheeler as the system’s best player, Cesar Puello as having the Biggest Leap Forward and injured Travis d’Arnaud as the Biggest Disappointment. Dinging a guy strictly for injury is tough as d’Arnaud was productive in his 12 games in Vegas (6 XBH, 12 BB, 8 K). The good news for the Mets is that most of the guys in the top of the rankings have had solid seasons. It’s hard to pick a disappointing among the my pre-season Top 15, that has not been impacted by injury. Guys who have missed some time due to injury from the Top 15 of my rankings: Nimmo (#5), Fulmer (#6), Cecchini (#7), Domingo Tapia (#10) Jeurys Familia (#12), Aderlin Rodriguez (#13) and Luis Mateo (#14). I was higher on Jacob deGrom (#8) than most, and while his AA numbers were unexceptional, he’s done just fine in AAA – that’s hardly a disappointment.
– At Baseball Prospectus, Russell Carlton proposes that the mental side of baseball, especially prospect development, is much more nuanced than can be captured by the simple term “makeup,” and proposes a series of psychological tests that should be valuable to baseball teams.
– At Fangraphs, Dave Cameron strongly makes the case that the Mets should trade Bobby Parnell. He points out that among the Top 10 relievers under 30 in 2010, there have been seven surgeries, two DFA’s and a general major performance decline. I’m on board. Given the variability in reliever performance, the Mets should turn Parnell into a young asset, or a set of young assets.