Baseball America has ranked the top 20 players in the South-Atlantic League this season, and left-handed pitcher Anthony Kay was ranked eighth. With Kay being ranked eighth, he would be the second highest ranked pitcher in the league. In ranking him eighth, Baseball America noted Kay has developed pitches, but he still needs some work:
In his first season back after Tommy John surgery, Kay showed a plus 91-95 mph fastball with above-average command and late life. He showed an ability to cut it and manipulate the spin and movement of his heater. Kay pairs that fastball with a plus 76-80 mph curveball that has excellent spin and depth and that he can locate to both sides of the plate.
Kay’s changeup is less consistent right now but flashes above-average as well. For an experienced college pitcher, Kay’s pitch selection and feel is less advanced than scouts expected, but he has upside as he moves farther away from surgery.
While Baseball America does couch their analysis as this being Kay’s first season back from Tommy John, they did somewhat overlook this being his first professional season. After a heavy workload at the University of Connecticut, Kay would have the aforementioned surgery after being drafted 31st overall in the 2016 draft.
Now that he has a full season under his belt, Kay will have the benefit of spending the offseason making improvements based upon his experience as a professional pitcher instead of rehabbing an injury. This could help Kay make a big step forward in 2019.
While it was not surprising to see Kay as the only Mets prospect among the top 20 prospects from the South-Atlantic League, you could argue right-handed pitcher Tony Dibrell merited some consideration. The hard throwing starter led the league in strikeouts. Even without him being ranked, like Kay he is part of what is becoming a much improved Mets farm system.