The meteoric rise of UConn alumnus Anthony Kay through the minor league system continued on Tuesday, as he earned a promotion from the Mets’ Double-A affiliate, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, to the Triple-A Syracuse Mets.
“We love what we’ve seen so far,” Mets’ manager Mickie Callaway told reporters earlier this year. “It’s feasible to say he’s going to be a candidate at some point this year if need be.”
It’s been a huge week overall for the 2016 31st overall draft pick. Kay crept into the MLB top 100 prospect list on Friday a day before putting on a show in Dunkin’ Donuts Park: He struck out nine and allowed just three hits in a scoreless 5.2 innings against the Yard Goats.
Simply trying to get his legs underneath himself in 2018, Kay was kept on a pitch count after Tommy John surgery with a 7-11 record and a 4.36 ERA.
But he’s pitched a level above his opponents since his promotion to AA with an unreal 1.49 ERA through 12 starts, allowing just 11 earned runs all year, striking out 70 and allowing just 23 walks. His fastball has held steady in the mid-90’s and his knockout curve and changeup have been as strong as ever so far this year.
Even though he’s raced through the minors, his road to join UConn alumni George Springer, Matt Barnes, Scott Oberg and Nick Ahmed in the majors might be a little more complicated. The Mets starting rotation is completely healthy for the first time in what seems like a decade and there’s the question of throwing him into their always-volatile clubhouse atmosphere. But the left-hander remains on the Mets’ radar, according to Callaway.
Kay first appeared on the Mets’ scouting report out of high school in East Setauket, New York, the same as their current starter Stephen Matz. They drafted him in the 29th round during his senior year, but the left-hander made the decision to play for Jim Penders at UConn instead, to whom he owes much of his success.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without going there for three years,” Kay told the Hartford Courant.