Dunn and Szapucki Next In Line As Great Mets Starter Prospects

By Mets Daddy

March 17, 2017 8 Comments

Photo Credit: Ed Delany

Photo Credit: Ed Delany

Last year, the Mets had plenty of pitching talent throughout their minor leauge system. Many Mets fans became acquainted with the sheer depth of that talent when Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo were called up, and they helped the Mets capture the top Wild Card spot.

What may interest Mets fans is Gsellman and Lugo may not be the pitching prospects with the highest ceilings. In fact, the two pitchers who do were pitching in Brooklyn last year – Thomas Szapucki and Justin Dunn.

The left-handed Szapucki was the Mets 2015 fourth round draft pick. The 20-year old pitcher from Toms River, New Jersey just had a dominating 2016 season in the minor leauges.  In his time between Kingsport and Brooklyn, Szapucki was 4-3 with a 1.38 ERA, 0.885 WHIP, and a 14.9 K/9.

When talking to Mike Rosenbaum of MLB Pipeline, the Mets Director of Minor League Operations Ian Levin said of Szapucki, “He just overwhelms guys with stuff.  The fastball is powerful, sitting in the mid 90s with plus life, and the breaking ball speaks for itself — that thing is a hammer. His changeup has really come a long way, too. He started playing with it last year and made some adjustments that allowed it to take off for him.”

The Mets are similarly enthused about their 2016 first round draft pick Dunn. After splitting time between starting and relieving for Boston College, the Mets began the process of making the electric 21-year old right-handed pitcher from Freeport, New York into a full time starter.

In eight starts and three relief appearances for Brooklyn, Dunn was 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 1.167 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9. Certainly in the short time Dunn pitched last year, he got everyone excited about his prospects. That includes the Mets.

On Dunn, Levin said, “Justin has such good stuff and such an electric arm, so I’m excited — our whole staff is excited — to see what he can do in a full season of pro ball now that he’s gotten that acclimation period over with. He was impressive last year, and we can’t wait to see what he can do this year.”

Seeing both of these guys pitch, Mets fans can hardly wait for them to join the major league rotation where they too will have the same opportunity the Mets pitchers have done over the past few seasons. That is transition from prospect to becoming a pitcher who pitches the Mets into the postseason. Given their dominance, that may happen sooner rather than later.

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  • Buddy3

    Dunn should come fast and reach AA by the end of the year. With his age, Szapucki will start at Columbia, but should be at St. Lucie by mid season if he continues to dominate.
    They should both be ready by 2019 when Harvey is pitching for the Yankees.

  • derek murphy

    The Mets have done a great job developing SP in recent years. This may sound crazy but I believe they now have deeper starting pitching in there system then they have ever had.
    Szapucki
    Gsellman
    Dunn
    Molina
    M. Gonzalez
    Kay
    Flexen
    H. Gonzalez

    Vail I’m also very fond of and this season I think he’s going to take huge strides. He’s added more velocity by cleaning up his delivery. This year if he can repeat his motion there is no stopping him. He can be thor 2.0. 6 foot 9 inches and he can hit 100mph. He is going to be a stud.

  • mr. belvedere

    Anyone know when Kay had his TJ surgery last year?

  • danielm – LGM

    Early October.

  • mr. belvedere

    So maybe making his debut in the Arizona Fall League this year

  • Peter Buell

    Or bagging groceries

  • danielm – LGM

    Could be. Obviously, that depends on if he has any setbacks and, even without setbacks, they may want him on a 16-18 month recovery plan. But, if he’s ready to go, I think there’s a chance of that. Normally it’s for upper minors guys, but Kay is fairly advanced.

  • TexasGusCC

    Hard to believe that I don’t see Molina’s name anywhere here.