Thomas Szapucki
22-Year-Old PitcherRP
Out
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 3/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in late July, Szapucki may not return to game action until 2019. At that point he will be entering his age 22/23 season with just 29 innings under his belt at Low-A. He has a blistering low-to-mid-90s heater with movement, which is at least a plus pitch from the left side. Szapucki also features a wipeout slider. Given that pitch mix and his age and experience, it is logical to project an eventual move to the bullpen. If he were kept on a starter's track, he would likely reach the majors as a 25- or 26-year-old after already being on the 40-man roster for a couple seasons. The lead time and bullpen risk makes him droppable in most dynasty leagues this offseason. He could end up being a late-inning southpaw who competes for saves in four or five years. Read Past Outlooks
Out for season following Tommy John surgery
PNew York Mets  A
July 20, 2017
Szapucki will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in New York on Thursday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
This is a big blow for the pitching prospect, although not an unexpected one given his history of arm troubles, as he had been dominating at Low-A Columbia (2.79 ERA, 27:10 K:BB in 29 innings pitched) prior to being shut down at the beginning of the month. Szapucki will start on the long road back from the operation, likely rendering him unavailable until the latter half of the 2018 season or perhaps even the start of the 2019 campaign.
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2017 Fantasy Outlook
Szapucki was one of the top pop-up prospects in baseball last year, striking out more than 40 percent of the batters he faced across stops in the Appalachian League and the New York-Penn League. A run of three straight starts with double-digit strikeouts with short-season Brooklyn came to an end in mid-August when he was shut down with back stiffness -- an issue he has dealt with in the past. He operates with a mid-90s fastball with late arm-side run, a curveball with the best spin rate in the entire 2015 draft class that he can throw for strikes or use as a chase pitch, and a changeup that is still a work in progress. His low three-quarters delivery allows his pitches to explode on hitters and his left-handedness makes the whole package pretty unfair. There is no question he could be a lethal late-inning reliever, but the Mets will obviously continue to develop him as a starter. If he can prove himself to be durable and can improve his command, the repertoire and delivery would allow him to pitch atop a rotation.
More Fantasy News
Fans 10 at Low-A on Sunday
PNew York Mets  A
June 26, 2017
Szapucki tossed six scoreless innings for Low-A Columbia on Sunday, scattering two hits and two walks while striking out 10.
ANALYSIS
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Makes season debut Sunday
PNew York Mets  A
June 4, 2017
Szapucki (shoulder) covered 4.1 innings in a start Sunday for Low-A Columbia, surrendering three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three.
ANALYSIS
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Dealing with shoulder impingement
PNew York Mets  A
Shoulder
April 11, 2017
Szapucki was held back in extended spring training as he works his way back from a shoulder impingement, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports.
ANALYSIS
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