Frank Viola, his pitching coach in 2013, explains that Matz needs to improve his curveball: “He’s got a two-seam, four-seam fastball and changeup that will challenge anybody — I’ll go to my grave with that one. The biggest thing he needs to do is get a consistent slide on his curveball and be able to repeat that. Once he’s able to do that and mix it up with the fastball and changeup, he’ll go fast.”
- Jeff Moore at Baseball Prospectus watched a few Mets farmhands - Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario, Dilson Herrera, Luis Guillorme and Gavin Cecchini and offered scouting notes. On Smith, who he notes is "physically developed":
This is both good and bad for Smith. It's an advantage now that gives him a leg up on low minor-league competition, but at six foot even, there's not a ton of projection left in his body. He's not physically imposing so much as he's just solidly built.- Jake Seiner at MiLB.com looks at the ZiPs projections for rookie pitchers for 2014, and finds once again, that ZiPS really likes Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero.
With the bat, everything Smith does is smooth. He has a fluid left-handed stroke that stems from a quiet set-up and stance. He may struggle at first with quality breaking stuff (when he eventually faces some) due to an elongated weight-transfer that is as much lunge as it is a stride, but it's a simple fix. He doesn't need as dramatic of a weight transfer to generate power.
Smith's power comes free and easy from the natural loft in his swing. He generates backspin without forcing it and the ball carries. Because he doesn't have to swing hard to generate power, he is able to control the bat within the strike zone.
- In the Times, Tim Rohan writes about L.J. Mazzilli's day in camp on the minor league side. It's almost less about Mazzilli than a standard minor league camp day.
- At MLB.com Anthony DiComo wrote a tear-jerking story about Anthony Seratelli and his close knit-family. Seratelli, trying to make the Mets and the Majors for the first time this year, lost his father in a tragic car accident three years ago, and his grandmother this year.
- More Minor Leaguers are suing their former teams and MLB for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. At Sports Illustrated, lawyer Michael McCann breaks down some of the players' novel arguments and odds of success. Remember, the MLBPA only covers big leaguers and guys on the 40-man rosters. Curious aspiring lawyers can read the full amended complaint here.
- Former Mets statistical guy, Ben Baumer, who created the team's analytics department, and is now a college professor, talked to Amazin' Avenue.