Everybody loves a hometown hero. It has been extremely well-documented that Mets LHP Steven Matz was born and raised in the suburbs of Long Island, proudly supporting the organization he now is a part of.
When Matz first stepped onto the mound of Citi Field on June 28, 2015 against the Cincinnati Reds, there was an unprecedented buzz in the air. Family, friends, local shop owners, and everybody in between who reside so close to the stadium flooded the stadium for the matinee.
When it was all said and done, Matz was electric on both sides of the diamond; he accounted for 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball, 3 hits, four RBIs, and one flabbergasted grandfather.
The Mets seemed to have struck gold by putting their faith in a local legend. This leads to one question: Why stop at Steven Matz?
In the most recent MLB draft, the Mets did what they do best; stockpile projectable arms.
With the 19th overall pick, the Mets selected talented RHP out of Boston College, Justin Dunn.
Rounding out the first round, the Mets selected southpaw Anthony Kay, out of UConn, with the 31st overall pick.
Both pitchers hope they too feel that different electricity in the air when they first step on the rubber at Citi Field. Because, like Matz, not only will the two be representing the Big Apple, but they’ll be representing their native towns on Long Island.
Justin Dunn may not have went to high school on Long Island, but he is originally from the town of Freeport. He currently sits as the Mets #8 overall prospect.
Dunn’s career as Boston College was a bit of a question mark for the first two years; he was a reliever with no true role and adequate numbers. Despite this, Dunn’s stuff kept Boston College’s coaching staff , and Major League scouts, patiently waiting for him to put it all together.
In his junior campaign, that is exactly what happened. Making the switch from closer to starter, Dunn dominated with a 2.06 ERA with a 4-2 record.
On January 16th, Director of Minor League Operations, Ian Levin, joined MLB Now of MLB Network to talk about exciting young players in the Mets organization. When asked about Dunn, Levin simply stated, “He is electric”.
This electricity is tough to miss, as scouts say Dunn regularly hits 95 mph and can notch it up to 98 mph.
Justin dunn continued to pile up the praise whilst pitching for the Brooklyn Cyclones. In 11 games (8 GS), he accounted for 30.0 IP, 25 H, 11 R, 5 ER (1.50 ERA), 10 BB, and 35 K.
Left-handed pitcher, attended Ward Melville High School, underwent Tommy John surgery. No, I’m not talking about Steven Matz.
Anthony Kay, from Stony Brook, actually fits these qualifications as well. This was Kay’s second time being drafted by New York; the first coming in 2013, where he was drafted in the 29th round. He decided to attend the University of Connecticut, where he regularly impressed scouts.
In his junior season, his last as a college student, Kay went 9-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 starts. He also finished as UConn’s all-time strikeout leader with 263.
Unfortunately, Kay did need Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in 2016, so he has not pitched at the professional level yet.
The Mets have proven to be patient with their young talent, with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz engrained as enormous parts of the club post-surgery. Zack Wheeler looks to become the next to join this category.
Kay does not posses the same pulverizing fastball as Justin Dunn, but he sits comfortably in the low 90s with plus command.
The Big Apple has proven time and time again to be a powerhouse in theater, business, cuisine, and pitching.