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Mets Need To Promote Anthony Kay To Syracuse Now

When Jason Vargas on the Injured List and Steven Matz unable to make his start due to injury, the Mets needed to find a starter. Instead of recalling Corey Oswalt or Chris Flexen or making a 40 man move to call-up Hector Santiago or Casey Coleman, the Mets opted to make a trade for Wilmer Font, a 29 year old reliever with a career 6.39 ERA.

When the Mets are making trades to acquire relievers for emergency starts, you get the sense of just how poor this Mets Major League ready pitching depth is. You also see how desperately the Mets need one of their pitching prospects to step up and force their way to the Majors.

Fortunately for the Mets, Anthony Kay has not just been the organization’s best starting pitcher this year, he has arguably been the best pitcher in Double-A this year. In eight starts this year, Kay is second in the Eastern League in ERA while leading the league in complete games and shutouts. He’s second in the league in wins, fifth in the league in strikeouts, and third in WHIP. More than the numbers, he has been dominant.

We saw that again last night. In a complete game seven inning shutout (second game of a doubleheader), Kay allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out eight. In the game, only one batter would reach as far as second base, and Kay would retire 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

When you have a complete game shutout, there are a number of areas where you can draw your attention. When it comes to Kay and his development, the main focus from yesterday should be his issuing just one free pass. In his brief professional career, Kay has had control issues walking 3.5 per nine and 4.2 over his first six starts of the season.

Recently, Kay has had better command. In his last two starts, he has pitched seven innings and issued just one walk. He has gone from throwing strikes 60 percent of the time to throwing strikes 70 percent of the time. His pounding the strike zone has permitted him to befuddle hitters and go deeper into games. When he is pounding the strike zone like this, you really take note of his stuff.

The first thing which stands out is his curveball. According to Baseball America, it has an average spin rate of 3,000 RPM. That’s Seth Lugo territory. In addition to a high spin rate on his curveball, Kay has an excellent spin rate on his fastball. His fastball typically sits in the lower 90s, but he is able to ramp it up around 96 MPH. Combine that with a change-up with a 10 MPH difference than his fastball, and you have the makings of what could be a very good starting pitcher at the Major League level.

Before even discussing him at the Major League level, the Mets first need to see Kay in Syracuse. He needs to work with Mickey Abbott to further hone his delivery and control. The Mets need to see him against a higher level of competition to make a better evaluation of whether he is ready to pitch at the Major League level. Considering how Kay has been dominating in the Eastern League and the Mets not having a Triple-A pitcher they want to slot into their rotation, it would seem the time is now to send Kay to Syracuse.

Once Kay is in Syracuse, the Mets can get a much better read of how he performs against better competition, and they can better determine if he is going to be a part of the 2019 Mets pitching staff in some capacity. Considering the depth, the Mets should find this out sooner rather than later, which is why Kay’s next start should be in Syracuse.

8 thoughts on “Mets Need To Promote Anthony Kay To Syracuse Now”

  1. tom says:

    we also had Justin dunn but the mets decided to trade him for cano…..who we have for 4.5 more yrs

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Speaking of Dunn, he rose about 20 spots on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 rankings

  2. oldbackstop says:

    We have a bunch of starters at AAA….who do you want to sit? And I’m not sure Kay is getting less or poorer attention at AA….baseball hasn’t worked that way for a long time. Your best development coaches are often in AA. Syracuse is sort of a scrum right now…

    I’m thrilled to see Kay doing well at AA, he seems to be getting good coaching in a positive environment for him. He is only a year and a half removed from TJ surgery and was notsohotso at A ball last year, 7-11 with a 4.26 ERA.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The best pitching coach in the Mets system is Abbott, and as a rule, never judge prospects by their stats alone.

      1. oldbackstop says:

        Gosh, your omniscient. Why aren’t you a coach?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          That’s a bizarre response to my point about who the Mets best minor league pitching coach and that minor leaguers need to be analyzed by more than just stats.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            That’s not the point. The point is you discount the factors that I enumerate and others neither of us know and strongly advocate something that the Mets obviously don’t feel is appropriate. So, if it is click bait, fine.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            It’s childish to say an article is clickbait just because I point out how your points are false. That especially goes to your ill-informed point regarding Abbott, which if you’re being honest, was nothing more than a guess.

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