In the latest installment of his column "Future Shock", Kevin Goldstein highlights the Mets' Philip Humber:
While Pelfrey and Alay Soler have graduated to the majors after beginning the year at St. Lucie, righthander Philip Humber has returned from Tommy John surgery and earned some rave reviews. "He has two big power pitches with the fastball, which is 90-94 mph, and that curve which is just a hammer and a real out pitch," said one National League scout about the third overall pick in the 2004 draft. "He also has a power changeup--and I love those--it's not a touch/feel pitch; its velocity is in the 80s so it gets there with some speed and just bottoms out." Having just returned after missing nearly a year, Humber still struggles with his location, but the scout didn't see it as a long-term concern. "It's really going to depend on command and control with him," the scout added. "It has to improve, but that's always an issue for guys coming back from TJs--there's no reason it shouldn't improve."
Humber, who is currently with St. Lucie, had another great start today, going five strong innings while allowing four hits and no walks and striking out nine.
Over at THT, John Walsh breaks down the Mets' first-half report card.
Well, I think the performance by the offense is 100% legit. Carlos Beltran is simply doing what he has done in the past. If anything, his 2005 was fluky (bad), not his 2006. As for the Mets' other slugger, it seems to me that David Wright is just living up to his rather lofty expectations. I don't see either one regressing significantly in the second half. I also happen to think that Jose Reyes' recent improvements are going to stick, for the most part. I don't know that he's a true .300 hitter, but the increased walk rate and power (his ISO is up to to .181 from .114 last year) are most likely real gains. Of course, Wright and Reyes are both still very young and can be expected to improve significantly over the next few years.For reference, you can go back and read John's Mets Preview from March.
Source = Hardball Times.
And finally, Jeff Passan has a great writeup of the Mets' team attitude and Carlos Beltran in particular:
Perhaps those who don't scrutinize every step of third baseman David Wright, not a New York creation by any stretch, or shortstop Jose Reyes, Wright's likeness in age at 23 and superior in pure excitement, have noticed that Beltran these days sports a goatee. There had to be a reason, as there always is with Beltran's idiosyncrasies, like his insistence upon his wife, Jessica, cooking ham-and-cheese sandwiches for breakfast during the 2004 playoff run with Houston in which Beltran smacked eight home runs and solidified his standing among the game's elite.Source = Yahoo! Sports