New York Mets fans have been hearing the name Jenrry Mejia for years, but they’ve yet to see him in the big leagues for an extended period of time, and they’ve certainly never seen him fulfill the promise and potential they’ve been told he possesses as a player who was once the top prospect in the organization.
But, it’s time for Mets’ fans to get excited about Mejia once again.
Mejia was on the Mets’ Opening Day roster as a member of the bullpen in 2010 as part of a last-ditch effort to save the jobs of manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya. That major league assignment stunted Mejia’s growth, and eventually, he was sent back to the minors for more seasoning.
Mejia began the 2011 season as a starter in triple-A, but after a promising start, he was forced to the sidelines after needing Tommy John surgery. Mejia got back on the mound in the second half of the 2012 season, but he was sidelined again by injury during spring training in 2013 as he continued to recover from the surgery.
After missing more than two months at the start of this season, Mejia is pitching well in the minors and is scheduled to make a start for the Mets on Friday during their doubleheader against the Washington Nationals.
Mets fans have a right to be skeptical about Mejia after he’s produced so little over the past few seasons and after his stock has fallen so far, but this time it’s different.
Even though he made his MLB debut back in 2010, Mejia is still just 23 years old and has his entire career ahead of him. He’s more than two years removed from his Tommy John surgery, and he finally appears to be fully healthy and pitching like someone with a promising big-league future.
In his last two rehab appearances for Double-A Binghamton, Mejia threw 11 innings, allowing just one run on six hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. Reports indicate that his velocity during those outings was in the low 90s and that his cutter and curveball both looked like plus pitches — a scouting report that indicates similar traits to the ones that made him a top prospect earlier in his career.
With the arrival of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler as well as the growing anticipation over Noah Syndergaard and other top pitching prospects, Mejia has become a forgotten man. But, there are strong indications that he could still be a part of the contingent of young pitchers the Mets are cultivating.
Friday is his chance to prove that he has a bright future in the big leagues, and Mets fans should be excited about seeing Mejia in the big leagues … again.