Justin Mears, Sportswriter

MLB | MiLB | NFL

Justin Mears is a freelance sports writer from Long Beach Island, NJ. Enjoys being frustrated by the Mets and Cowboys, reading Linwood Barclay novels, and being yelled at by his toddlers. Follow him on twitter @justinwmears.

Baseball Prospectus Mets

A BP Mets conversation with Fireflies’ Giovanny Alfonzo

The Alfonzo surname is obviously a prominent one in the New York Mets’ organization. Edgardo Alfonzo logged more than 1,100 hits as a Met en route to being named to their all Amazin’ team at second base. His older brother Edgar spent 17 years as a coach in the organization. And with any luck, another Alfonzo could soon become a more well known name in the minds of Mets fans. Edgar’s son, and Edgardo’s nephew, Giovanny, is currently a 25-year-old infielder for the Mets Single-A affiliate in Colum
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Cowboys Under Microscope After Botched Dez Bryant Departure

Last Friday, after months of speculation, the Dallas Cowboys released three time pro-bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant following a long awaited sit down discussion with owner/president/GM Jerry Jones. The motivation for the decision was apparently money, as Bryant was due to count $16.5 million against the cap in 2018, and by releasing him now Dallas will save $8 million in the upcoming campaign. The decision to cut Bryant was going to be controversial and met with criticism regardless, but the way

Newcomb's Promotion is Just the Beginning for Up and Coming Braves

During the Atlanta Braves doubleheader with the New York Mets this Saturday, young left-hander Sean Newcomb will make his Major League start, a development that will supply Atlanta fans with their first look at one of the young arms the club hopes will soon headline their return to prominence. The Braves acquired Newcomb from the Los Angeles Angels as the headliner of a November 2015 trade that sent shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the West Coast, and while Simmons is a strong two-way player, the

10 prospects to know ahead of the MLB trade deadline

Mejia has long been one of the jewels of the Cleveland system, but despite a plus bat he's been unable to crack Cleveland's MLB roster with any regularity, in large part due to Tribe starter Yan Gomes' defensive prowess. Gomes is nowhere near the type of offensive player Mejia has the potential to be, but he is masterful behind the dish and Indians pitchers love throwing to him. In an effort to get his bat to the big leagues, Cleveland has begun to introduce Mejia to both third base and the out

Drew Smith stands alone among young bullpen hopefuls

When the Mets were selling off their veteran pieces last summer, the returns the organization was looking to bring back were consistent: Young, controllable, power bullpen arms. New York imported Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista, Stephen Nogosek, Jacob Rhame, Eric Hanhold, Ryder Ryan and Drew Smith as they shipped out anything that wasn’t nailed down, but it is Smith who has, without question, been the one who has broken free from the pack when the Mets begin sizing up their 2019 relief corps.

Why Earl Thomas should be headed to the Dallas Cowboys

It all started last December when after the Seattle Seahawks had defeated the Dallas Cowboys in what was essentially a playoff game in the NFC postseason race, safety Earl Thomas stunningly ran towards the home locker room and emplored Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to “come get me”. The All-Pro’s public display of interest in playing for a different organization sent shock waves across the NFL landscape, but eight months later it is clear Thomas knew something then that we all didn’t. His time wi

Five players most likely to be moved at the MLB trade deadline

We’re currently about a month into the 2018 Major League Baseball season, and while there is obviously a long way to go, it is not terribly difficult to imagine which teams might be contenders into the summer and which ones won’t. For struggling clubs, the easiest and quickest way to change their long-term outlook is to trade their marketable pieces for young prospects who can become contributors to them sometime in the near future. Let’s take a look at five such players who will be hot trade co

Amed Rosario is quietly blossoming

It could be that some pressure was lifted once the Mets fell out of a postseason race, it could be that his mental health break a few weeks ago has worked, or it could just be that he’s gotten more comfortable in the Major Leagues. But one thing has been evident over the past couple of weeks: Amed Rosario looks like a different player. For the first three months of 2018, the 22-year-old shortstop looked nothing like the player who had twice been named the Mets’ MiLB.com Organization All-Star. N

How long can the Mets justify carrying Jose Reyes?

Part of the reason the Mets have been successful early in 2018 is their overall team depth. It’s been well documented how converted starting pitchers Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have transitioned into key cogs in the bullpen, but a similar story can be found on New York’s bench. Wilmer Flores’ bat could earn him an everyday opportunity on a lot of different teams in baseball, and the fan favorite  has contributed two clutch home runs in the past week, including a walk-off winner last Sunday.

Moves each team could make by the MLB trade deadline

Well, folks, it is currently July 18th and in the world of Major League Baseball, that means all everyone is thinking/talking about is the July 31st non-waiver deadline. This promises to be one of the most interesting trade deadlines in recent memory, as the two leagues are currently aligned in almost polar opposite positions. In the National League, the probable playoff field has in large part been set due to dominant starts by the likes of Los Angeles, Arizona, and Colorado in the West, Washin

How well have the Mets drafted in recent years?

Tonight, At&T Stadium in Dallas will play host to the NFL draft, easily the most publicized draft of all of the major sports. All 32 professional football teams will be looking to add players who can make an immediate impact, which got me thinking about how different things work in Major League Baseball. The MLB draft is the hardest one in professional sports for the teams, because you’re drafting in some cases high school kids, and projecting what they will be four or five years down the road.

The 2018 MLB all-rookie team

Whether they are blue-chip prospects or less-touted minor leaguers just trying to make a name for themselves, first-year big leaguers provide intrigue in every MLB season. And this season has been no different. While some of the youngsters on this list are already well on their way to super stardom, some lesser-known guys really found a way to break through and contribute to their teams as well. Let's take a look at the Yardbarker 2018 MLB all-rookie team. Catcher is seemingly the most difficu

Is the Mets GM hire crazy enough that it could work?

Before the New York Mets could embark upon improving a team that finished 77-85 and in fourth place in the NL East in 2018, their first order of business had to be determining the individual who would replace Sandy Alderson as the club's general manager. Alderson had led New York's front office for eight seasons before stepping down last summer when his previously in-remission cancer unfortunately returned. He had overseen two postseason appearances and a 2015 National League pennant. The vetera

Why trading Jacob deGrom is easier said than done

We are now roughly six weeks from the MLB trade deadline, and while it’s obvious stars like Manny Machado and Mike Moustakas will be wearing new uniforms come August, the most fascinating unanswered question is the status of Mets ace Jacob deGrom. It’s understandable why the Mets would at least consider listening on deGrom, but as New York’s first-year pitching coach Dave Eiland eloquently said last week, pitchers like deGrom don’t grow on trees, and to move him would be asinine. In a season th

Dom Smith’s Last Best Shot

The Adrian Gonzalez experiment officially reached its conclusion Sunday night when the Mets released the veteran following their 2-0 series finale win over the Yankees. At 36 years old, Gonzalez was unlikely to revert back to his prime following an injury riddled 2017 season in Los Angeles, but at a league minimum salary, New York felt there was little to no risk in bringing him in over the winter. The five-time All-Star had a few moments as a Met, most notably an early season grand slam in D.C
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