Rich MacLeod, Fan Post:
Tonight against the Marlins, Jenrry Mejia will make his now much-anticapated second start of the season.
In his season debut last week, Mejia hurled seven shutout innings, while striking out seven and walking none, against the Nationals. He surprised fans with a dazzling debut, but it was just a few short years ago when this type of start would have been expected from the young pitcher.
Prior to the 2010 season, Keith Law ranked Mejia, who was 20-years-old at the time, at No. 23 on his Top 100 Prospects List for ESPN.com. Law went on to say, “If the Mets slow him down a little and let him spend all of 2010 (and maybe some of 2011) in the minors to improve his command and consistency of his changeup and curve, they have a chance for a No. 1 or No. 2 starter.”
However, after a handful of impressive showings in Spring Training that March, the Mets called up Mejia and used him out of the bullpen. He went 0-2 with a 3.25 ERA in relief. After being shuffled between the majors and Triple-A that season, he moved back to the starting rotation to make three sub-par starts.
The next season, Mejia was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. Then — coupled with the additions of the two big pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler — that he became a forgotten man…
Now, in 2013, Mejia is back; and, while it may seem like a lifetime since his major league debut, he’s still only 23-years-old (which is a year younger than Harvey and just five months older than Wheeler). There were little to no expectations for Mejia in the major leagues this season, so it’s easy to forget that he was viewed in the same say that Wheeler, Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard are viewed now.
The Mets decided to keep Mejia in the majors after his success in Game 1 of a doubleheader split with the Nationals. They plan to go with a six-man rotation, which will give him a shot to revive a once promising career.
If the Mets can get anything out of him, their stockpile of young pitching will become that much stronger.
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