Mets pitching prospect finds his command at High-A Brooklyn

Jonah Tong tossed two scoreless gems at Maimonides Park last week.
General View with Coney Island
General View with Coney Island / Al Bello/GettyImages

The New York Mets are best known for their history of developing young starting pitchers. In the 1960s and 70s, Jerry Koosman and Tom Seaver toed the rubber at Shea Stadium and won a World Series Championship. In the 1980s, Dwight Gooden electrified Queens with his 1.53 ERA in 276.2 innings pitched in 1985. In the Sandy Alderson era, the likes of Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard led the Mets to their fifth National League pennant in 2015.

Since the Alderson era has come and gone, the Mets have failed to develop young pitchers. Aside from Tylor Megill and David Peterson, the Mets have trotted out older pitchers like Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander over the past few seasons. At the upper levels of the farm system, the Mets have found success with top prospects like Christian Scott and Blade Tidwell. However, another arm has erupted in the lower levels this season that we should all be excited about.

Jonah Tong dominated for the Brooklyn Cyclones last week

The Mets have found many success stories late in the draft. Selected in the 7th round back in 2022 out of Bill Crothers SS in Markham, Ontario, Jonah Tong dominated the Single-A competition earlier this season. In 18.2 innings pitched for St. Lucie, Tong allowed just one unearned run while striking out 36 batters and walking only 5. Most impressively, the 21-year-old held his pitch count below 90 in all 4 of his appearances.

This performance impressed Mets officials enough to promote Tong to the Brooklyn Cyclones earlier in May. The right-hander faced a small adjustment period as he allowed 6 runs across his first 12.2 innings pitched. As with many pitchers in the Mets' organization this season, Tong faced command issues as he allowed 9 free passes across his first 3 starts.

However, Tong figured it out in 2 appearances last week at Maimonides Park. On May 21st against the Hudson Valley Renegades, Tong allowed just one run across 6.2 innings pitched and struck out 8 batters. Most importantly, the 21-year-old's command was in check as he allowed one walk and 4 hits.

In Tong's second appearance against the Renegades on May 26th, he pitched two scoreless innings and struck out 3 more batters. Suffice it to say, that Tong wants to prove to Mets officials that he deserves a call to AA Binghamton soon into the future. When his command is right, Tong can pitch deep into games and garner a lot of swings and misses. The only question is, can Tong push any doubt about his control aside and repeat this performance once more?