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.
This is a big blow for the pitching prospect, as he had been dominating at Low-A Columbia prior to this incident (2.79 ERA, 27:10 K:BB in 29 innings pitched). 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.
Szapucki tossed six scoreless innings for Low-A Columbia on Sunday, scattering two hits and two walks while striking out 10.
He ended up with a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Kannapolis, but Szapucki still put together his best start of the season so far. The 21-year-old lefty got a late start to his campaign due to a shoulder impingement and will need to avoid further arm issues if he's going to realize his massive upside, but he already has three solid to plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball, sharp curve and nasty slider and could move quickly through the Mets' system now that he's healthy.
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.
Making his season debut after he was sidelined in spring training due to a shoulder impingement, Szapucki was understandably rusty in his return to the mound. The lefty is regarded as the top pitching prospect in the organization, but injury concerns have probably downgraded his stock in dynasty formats relative to where it was at heading into the season. If he's able to steer clear of further injuries for the rest of 2017 and routinely flash his plus fastball and curveball during his subsequent starts, Szapucki could regain some appeal from prospect hounds.
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