from Jon Heyman in Sunday’s Newsday :

Omar Minaya and his execs have seen St. John’s reliever Craig Hansen (above) so much, you’d think it’s a done deal at No. 9. But some insiders suspect the Mets are watching the local product (Glen Cove) partly for positive press and might take Florida prep outfielder Andrew McCutchen, 6-7 Wichita State righthander Mike Pelfrey or University of Miami third baseman Ryan Braun instead. USC catcher Jeff Clement is moving up but might go to Milwaukee (fifth) or Toronto (sixth).

One scout is convinced the Mets will take Pelfrey (above) after Minaya saw him in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. “The Tigers [picking 10th] are absolutely sick. He was throwing 95, 96 all game,” the scout said.

Mets VP of player development and scouting Gary LaRocque’s draft power has been diminished. The problem isn’t first-rounders (burgeoning star David Wright offsets all the misses) but rounds two and down, which have produced little.

The night after the Red Sox punished Yankee pitching to the tune of 17 runs and 27 hits, it was crucial that the Pinstripes received a solid outing from Mike Mussina (above). It figures then, that Moose exited after just 3 innings and 3 home runs allowed, two of ’em on bombs by David Ortiz, another by the suddenly resurgent Edgar Renteria. After serving up a pair of first inning HR’s to Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield respectively, David Wells, seems to have settled down, though no 4 run lead is safe with the 2005 version of the Sultan Of Sloth on the mound.

With both teams’ starting pitching woes, I’d call the Red Sox and Yankees the AL’s premier softball sides, though such a dubious honor do a disservice to this year’s Rangers…and Texas have some serious pitching, with the oft-maligned Chan Ho Park (above) finally contributing.