So last day in PSL for me and here are some quick thoughts from the day. My focus was on the minor leaguers and pitchers.
Saw Flores, Lagares, and Tovar take batting practice. Flores is a big, strong guy with a very smooth swing. His upper body is very well developed but he has very thick legs that I wonder about his defense at second base. I agree with people's assessment that his only positions are at the infield corners. Tovar looks like a future utility infielder. Very quick hands but not much power. He projects as a late inning defensive replacement. Lagares hit some towering shots so I am hoping this can translate to some better numbers this year.
Zach Lutz- said he has been told he'll be playing third and right field. Thought the RF part was interesting.
Darin Gorski- asked him if he will start at AA and he said 'they haven't told me yet."
Travis d'Arnaud was gracious to sign autographs for all the kids and you can tell there is a certain buzz in camp over him. Doesn't look like there are any lingering effects from the PCL injury but we can only tell after a full season behind the plate. He has a rocket of an arm so I think the reports on his solid defense are spot on. With his friendly demeanor and approach, he reminds me of a younger David Wright.
Bobby Parnell continued to impress me this spring. I think he looks mentally ready to step into the role of closer and I don't think we could have said that even a year ago. Frank Francisco just looks mentally checked out and he didn't look sharp during his drills. I am hoping he can shake off the rust but something tells me the closer role is Parnell's unless he falters badly during the spring.
Finally I want to add that the influence of John Buck on not just d'Arnaud but the entire team will be profound. He struck me as the consummate professional during our brief conversations. Look for Buck to be the steadying voice in that locker room and a media focal point up in Queens this year. Don't be surprised if Buck is with the team for the entire year because I think Terry will come to value his off field experience and advice.
While the superstars are lacking on this team, you can feel a special camaraderie and bond between the players and hence 2014 onwards look like good times for Mets fans!