Anthony Kay, the Mets’ second selection and the 31st overall pick in the 2016 MLB draft, has undergone Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his left elbow. The southpaw did not appear in any games in the Mets’ organization in 2016. He was most recently assigned to the Mets’ Instructional League roster in the team’s instructional complex in Port St. Lucie. Given the timing of his surgery, Kay will likely miss the entire 2017 season and should return to the mound in 2018, barring setbacks.
Kay, who turned 21 in March, was born in Stony Brook, Long Island, and went to Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, the same high school that Mets southpaw Steven Matz attended. The Mets drafted Kay in 2013 in the 29th round of the 2013 draft, but he passed on signing with them and instead attended the University of Connecticut, where he compiled a 22-12 record over three years. Three years later, Kay was still on their radar, and the team drafted the southpaw for the second time.
The left-hander did not sign until late and was one of the last high-profile draftees to sign with a team before the July 15 deadline. With a first-round slot value of $1,972,100, he and the Mets agreed to an under-slot $1,100,000 signing bonus. It is believed that it took so long to sign Kay, and that he signed for under-slot value, because of concerns that showed up in his elbow during his physicals. Specifically, x-rays showed fraying in the UCL ligament in his left elbow.
While we do not know the exact causes as to why he sustained the injury, Kay’s heavy workload may have played a role. In 2014, he pitched 67 innings for the Huskies and an additional 39.1 innings with the Wareham Gatemen, his Cape Cod League team. In 2015, he pitched 100 innings for the Huskies and an additional 8 with the Gatemen. In 2016, he pitched 119 innings. Before he was drafted by a professional team, the 21-year-old had over 330 innings logged on his arm.