NEW YORK -- If Long Island is the Mets' backyard, Connecticut is at least in the neighborhood. So the Mets had plenty of familiarity with their compensation-round pick in Thursday's Draft, left-hander Anthony Kay, a Long Islander from the University of Connecticut. Both Kay and the Mets' first-round pick, Boston
NEW YORK -- If Long Island is the Mets' backyard, Connecticut is at least in the neighborhood. So the Mets had plenty of familiarity with their compensation-round pick in Thursday's Draft, left-hander Anthony Kay, a Long Islander from the University of Connecticut. Both Kay and the Mets' first-round pick, Boston College right-hander Justin Dunn, followed the route from New York to New England and back.
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Kay, 20, is the latest on a growing list of Huskies to make waves in the Draft, joining Astros outfielder George Springer, D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed, Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes and others. Last June the Mets selected UConn second baseman Vinny Siena in the 14th round; Siena is now a South Atlantic League All-Star.
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The Mets hope that Kay can also become a factor on that list. A graduate of Ward Melville High School, the alma mater of Steven Matz, Kay posted a 2.65 ERA over 17 starts this year at UConn, with 111 strikeouts in 119 innings. If that innings total seems large for a 20-year-old, it did not give the Mets much pause.
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"Anthony's in really good shape," scouting director Tommy Tanous said. "He's never had a velocity drop or anything like that. So we felt OK with the amount of innings, and will just obviously over the summer watch that.
"He was an advanced high schooler to begin with, so it's not like Anthony had a long way to go. What he did do was develop an already advanced changeup into a better changeup. He certainly has a feel for the pitch, threw it with confidence, threw it ahead in the count, threw it behind in the count, and it was certainly a weapon for him."
Kay has also demonstrated success in the Cape Cod League and for Team USA, featuring a fastball that runs as high as 95 mph. The 31st overall pick that the Mets used to select him was compensation for second baseman Daniel Murphy leaving as a free agent.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.