The New York Mets have an eye towards the future since this season has been disappointing. While the prospects have been better on the offensive side this year, with Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith close to big league call ups, the Mets do have some intriguing young arms down on the farm. One of the most intriguing pitchers in the Mets’ system is lefty Thomas Szapucki, who had a dominant year last season, going 4-3 with a 1.38 ERA in nine starts over two levels. The Mets had high hopes for Szapucki, but he has hit a major roadblock on his way to the majors, which we will look at in this week’s edition of Minor League Mondays.
Szapucki started this season in Low-A Columbia, going 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA in six starts for the Fireflies. MLB.com has Szapucki rated as the Mets’ fourth best prospect, raving about his plus fastball and sweeping curveball, but health has been an issue. Szapucki started this season on the disabled list with an elbow impingement but only made six starts before suffering a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. The injury required Tommy John surgery, ending Szapucki’s season and potentially knocking him out for all of 2018 as well.
This is a significant setback for Szapucki, whose development will be delayed as he recovers from the surgery. Szapucki had the potential to be a rapid riser through the farm system, but now he will have to simply focus on getting healthy.