The New York Mets have very few high ceiling minor leaguers at the higher levels of their organization and Monday this depth took a major hit: Jenrry Mejia has torn his medial collateral ligament in his right elbow, according to various reports. This was confirmed through an MRI Mejia had with the Mets' doctor, David Altchek, who also recommended that the 21-year-old have surgery.
Even though Mejia will seek a second opinion, it's almost certain that he will need Tommy John surgery, meaning he will miss the next year of action. The Mets' top pitching prospect felt discomfort in his last start for Triple-A Buffalo on April 29. He was 1-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings and had been drawing some rave reviews for refining his secondary stuff to the point that the team would have called him up to replace Chris Young when he was out had Mejia's day in the rotation aligned.
Despite Mejia struggling in his cup of coffee with the big league club last year -- 39 innings, 46 hits allowed, 22 strikeouts, 4.62 ERA and 1.69 WHIP -- he was still widely regarded as the Mets' most promising arm. This is a huge blow to his development, but he is still just 21 years old and has plenty of time to regain his pre-injury form, as most pitchers nowadays do after Tommy John surgery.
The Mets' minor league depth has become that much weaker -- and now there really is no close-to-major-league-ready young arm in the system. New York will have to hope Matt Harvey continues to progress at the lower levels.