Mets draftee Orze is a two-time cancer survivor

June 12th, 2020

He's got a mid-90s fastball and a good split-finger as his out pitch, but neither of those is nearly the most impressive thing about right-hander Eric Orze, whom the Mets selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft on Thursday.

Orze, 22, has beaten two forms of cancer.

In the middle of his 2018 season with the University of New Orleans, Orze was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had a tumor and swollen lymph nodes removed. But just as he was about to return to baseball, doctors found skin cancer in a malignant mole on his back.

Determined to get back to a long life ahead, as well as get back on a mound, Orze overcame the disease on both occasions and impressed Mets scouts enough to be selected Thursday.

"Having that taken away from me opened my eyes to how much I appreciated and loved the game, and how much I'm willing to do for it," Orze told

The Mets are thrilled to have found a talented right-hander who has overcome so much off the field.

"What we've done here is look to talent but also see what kind of purpose kids have when they do face adversity," general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told SNY. "He's motivated, and he wants the challenge of professional baseball. And we're glad to be able to give him that opportunity."