Former Mets pitcher heaps praise onto Shintaro Fujinami

The ex-Mets hurler believes in Shintaro Fujinami.

New York Mets Workout
New York Mets Workout / Rich Storry/GettyImages

Is Trevor May the future Pat McAfee of baseball? Always interactive on social media even long before he joined the New York Mets, he continues to be in the public eye. A fan-favorite in New York during his brief time in large part because of his personality, May made a recent podcast appearance where he had heaps of praise to toss onto Shintaro Fujinami.

“His ceiling is higher than everyone else. He’s a freak athlete, he’s so strong and he’s always working. He has the stuff and it’s there. He doesn’t have a crazy sinker, he doesn’t have a rising fastball, he throws something in the middle and can throw hard.” - Trevor May

May’s evaluation of Fujinami comes from firsthand knowledge of playing alongside him with the Oakland Athletics last year. It’s a positive takeaway for a teammate who was traded away after posting an 8.57 ERA in 49.1 innings of work. Fujinami remains highly-regarded despite the struggles in his 2023 season. The talent seems to be there. We just haven't witnessed the results in MLB.

Shintaro Fujinami is one of the beta testers in the highly-anticipated Mets pitching lab

Fujinami seems to fit in nicely with what the Mets are attempting to do. This is a year of testing out the new pitching lab and who better to do it with than someone like him? The nastiest of what he can do on the mound is what enticed the Mets enough to bring him here in the first place.

Similar sentiments could be said about some of the other additions the Mets brought in this offseason. Jake Diekman completely turned around his 2023 season after going from the Chicago White Sox to the Tampa Bay Rays. Perhaps the franchise best-known for getting the best out of pitchers, the veteran southpaw is an ideal candidate to benefit from being another one of Jeremy Hefner’s monsters to toy with in the lab.

Jorge Lopez is one more. Although the results on the field have never come close to matching what he did in the first half of the 2022 season with the Baltimore Orioles, the fact that he was able to be such an elite closer seems too wild for him to suddenly lose it all. He’s someone with a ton to prove this year. And if this pitching lab is all it’s cracked up to be, he could benefit, too.

Mets fans were lucky to see Kodai Senga adjust so well to pitching in the majors as a rookie last season. It’s not always the case with players who make the jump from Japan. Along with the pitching lab and Fujinami’s natural talent, a little extra time learning from Senga could benefit the Mets reliever.