Former Mets prospect traded 5 years ago is now emerging as his new team's ace

He was still a teenager when the Mets dealt him at the trade deadline.
Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros
Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

Twice traded before making his MLB debut, Simeon Woods Richardson is at one point a member of the New York Mets farm system. Drafted in the second round in 2018, he only spent a limited time as a member of the Mets organization. In his second professional season, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Marcus Stroman deal.

Mets fans—no scratch that, ALL fans—have the habit of freaking out over any young talented player getting dealt. Something about the idea of a homegrown future All-Star intrigues us all. When this deal happened, it was Anthony Kay more Mets fans seemed concerned about. He was the other player shipped to Toronto for Stroman. He has become a complete afterthought with the way Woods Richardson is pitching for the Minnesota Twins this year.

Former Mets prospect Simeon Woods Richardson is having a breakout year for the Twins

Want to feel young? Woods Richardson is still only 23. Drafted straight out of high school, he was always meant to be a slow riser through the minor league system. Exactly whose farm system he’d work his way through was always the question.

The Blue Jays packaged him at the 2021 trade deadline in a deal with the Twins for Jose Berrios. He was in the midst of a rocky season in Double-A and would finish off the season with just a 5.91 ERA in 53.1 innings of work.

Minnesota didn’t give up on him. He immediately rebounded the next season, now 21, tossing 107.1 innings with a 2.77 ERA in the minors. In his MLB debut, Woods Richardson allowed 2 earned runs in 5 innings of work. He celebrated his 22nd birthday less than a week before the first MLB outing.

This season has gone brilliantly for him. With just 9.2 innings coming into the 2024 season, Woods Richardson is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts. He has found his control, walking batters at a rate of just 2 per 9.

Woods Richardson is working his way toward becoming the ace of the Minnesota starting rotation. Joe Ryan is the only other starter they have with an ERA below 5.00 after 10 starts.