Thomas Szapucki
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
New York Mets AA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
After missing all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Szapucki returned to throw 61.2 innings cross three levels last season. His performance was promising, as the left-hander had K-BB rates between 17-18% and a 2.92 FIP in his nine starts at High-A. Szapucki was initially assigned to the Arizona Fall League, but the Mets ended up scratching him from the AFL. The team said it wanted to "give his arm a rest for a while" and did not specify an injury. That said, it raised an eyebrow and the skepticism regarding the Mets' answer is justified given their history with reporting injuries over the years. Hopefully Szapucki is fine and can build on last season's innings total and success. The southpaw has a very good fastball/slider combo, and if health remains a problem, it would make sense to transition him to a relief role. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Mets in March of 2020.
Option for taxi squad
PNew York Mets  AA
June 5, 2020
Szapucki is a strong candidate for a spot on the taxi squad for the Mets, Tim Britton of The Athletic reports.
Injuries have limited the southpaw to only 145 minor-league innings since being drafted in the fifth round in 2015, but Szapucki has still flashed upside when he's been on the mound, posting a 2.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 72:26 K:BB in 61.2 innings across three levels in 2019. If the 23-year-old does wind up in the mix for the Mets this season, he could make his big-league debut in relief.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Healthy this spring
PNew York Mets  AA
March 19, 2020
Szapucki reported to camp healthy this spring, Anthony DiComo of reports.
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Added to 40-man roster
PNew York Mets  AA
November 20, 2019
Szapucki's (arm) contract was purchased from Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday, Anthony DiComo of reports.
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Scratched from AFL roster
PNew York Mets  AA
September 6, 2019
Szapucki (arm) was scratched from the Arizona Fall League roster after ending the season on the 7-day injured list with Double-A Binghamton, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
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Fans nine at High-A
PNew York Mets  AA
July 23, 2019
Szapucki gave up four hits and two walks over five scoreless innings while striking out nine for High-A St. Lucie on Monday.
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Getting stretched out at Low-A
PNew York Mets  AA
June 29, 2019
Szapucki tossed four scoreless, no-hit innings for Low-A Columbia on Friday, walking one and striking out four.
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