Rather than go with Thomas Szapucki in Wednesday’s finale against the Atlanta Braves, the starting pitching-needy New York Mets decided to give Tylor Megill a promotion. The 21st ranked prospect in the system according to MLB.com has leaped over the 10th ranked guy.
The arbitrary listing that’s wrong as many times as it is right may have surprised a few fans. Szapucki has been the guy many of us expected to get promoted next. Instead, the Mets went with much more consistent in 2021 pitcher, Megill.
What Tylor Megill can bring to the Mets
Splitting his time in Double-A and Triple-A this year, Megill has gone 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA. From his stat line, the number that sticks out the most are the strikeouts. He’s averaging 13.2 per nine. Even in his 3 starts in Triple-A, Megill has continually gotten strike three calls.
This has been a constant throughout his minor league career. Whether his ERA was good or not, Megill has been a mound assassin.
Best of all, unlike many young pitchers who can compile strikeouts, he’s not all that wild. He has averaged just 2.7 walks per nine this season. I understand it’s only 40.1 innings of work. However, I do think it’s enough of a sample size to appreciate his ability to throw strikes and avoid free passes.
It’s pretty clear why the Mets decided to go with Megill. But what about our old friend, Mr. Szapucki?
Thomas Szapucki’s season has taken a turn for the worst
Szapucki started off this season strong. Injuries to the starting pitching staff lined him up well to eventually reach the majors. However, with a 4.25 ERA after 29.2 innings and a walk rate of nearly 6 per nine frames, we can see why he was not the top choice.
A member of the Mets organization for far longer than Megill (Megill was drafted in 2018, the year Szapucki missed all of due to injury), we are far more familiar with him as a potential future arm in the club’s rotation. However, he has never really been a top-flight arm to watch within the organization. As a fifth-round draft pick, he got shuffled behind many other guys taken ahead of him in drafts.
Megill, who was drafted in the eighth round his year, may have been overlooked for this same reason.
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The decision to go with Megill over Szapucki this time around comes down to picking the guy playing his best. Right now, it’s Megill. He gets first crack at having an impact. Win, lose, or draw (2021 has been weird enough, why not a tie?), we should all be excited to see what both of these guys can potentially add to the club.