I don’t blame the New York Mets for holding back pitching prospect Thomas Szapucki from making his MLB debut. The 27th man in their most recent doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies, this soon-to-be-25-year-old lefty is close to graduating from Triple-A for an extended period of time.
Szapucki, a fifth-round draft pick back in 2015, has outperformed his draft spot. Rising up through the farm system, the problem with him has been injuries. He only passed 150 innings pitched professionally this year which is amazingly low for a guy who has been around as long as Szapucki has.
Nevertheless, the franchise and fans remain optimistic about what Szapucki can do. He has pitched well at each level outside of his 2.1 innings in 2015. This includes a nice start to the year with the Syracuse Mets.
What role can Thomas Szapucki play for the Mets?
Szapucki is at the age where we begin to question a man’s prospect-hood. By 25, prospects should have some big league innings under their belt. Otherwise, they are less prospects and more minor leaguers hoping to blossom late.
His case is a little different. The absence of a 2020 season accelerated how soon he could make his Mets debut. Hoping to cash in on something from this promising young southpaw, there are two very important roles Szapucki can play for this team.
In 2021, he could make some starts but that may not happen considering how reluctant the team has been to promote him—instead opting for bullpen games. This year, Szapucki could turn into one of the Mets’ best trade candidates.