The Mets dipped into Long Island once again with their first two picks in the MLB Draft Thursday night.
Seven years after they drafted Steven Matz, the Mets picked Freeport native Justin Dunn with the 19th overall selection and took former star Ward Melville lefthander Anthony Kay with the 31st pick.
“Very excited,” Kay, a junior at UConn, said Thursday night. “Surrounded by 30 of my family and friends at my house here in Stony Brook. I knew the Mets were high on me. I thought I had a shot at the 19th overall pick. When it didn’t happen, we thought another team might pick me before the 31st pick. This is awesome.”
Dunn, a flame-throwing righthander from Boston College who went to high school in Connecticut, is a lifelong Yankees fan, as is Kay.
But Mets fans probably won’t hold that against them if they reach the majors and have the same impact as Matz, who was a second-round pick in 2009 out of Ward Melville.
Dunn is scheduled to start Friday at 5 p.m. as Boston College takes on Miami in an NCAA Super Regional game at A-Rod Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
In his last outing, Dunn struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings last Friday in a 7-2 win over Tulane in the NCAA Regionals.
Dunn, 20, is 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 17 games this season for BC. He is listed at 6-2 and 184 pounds. Dunn went to high school at The Gunnery School in Washington, Connecticut. He was drafted once before, by the Dodgers in the 37th round in 2013, but decided to attend college.
Dunn was a late-bloomer at BC before bursting onto the prospect scene. As a freshman, he had a 7.30 ERA in seven games. As a sophomore, he went 4-4 with a 4.94 ERA with five saves in 20 games (three starts).
But Dunn took off as a junior with a fastball clocked as high as 99 miles per hour. He was ranked by Baseball America as the 22nd best prospect in this year’s draft. MLB.com had him at No. 29.
Dunn may one day join Matz in the Mets rotation, but he listed Long Island’s Marcus Stroman as one of his influences in a pre-draft interview. Like Stroman, Dunn was considered small for a righthander before a growth spurt.
Stroman, who is listed is 5-8 and 180 pounds, is now an ace pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kay, a Stony Brook native who was drafted by the Mets in the 29th round in 2013, decided to attend the University of Connecticut instead, where he blossomed into one of the top lefthanders in the nation.
“What a difference three years make,” Kay said.
Kay is close to Matz, the lefthander who has won 11 of his first 13 big-league decisions.
Kay, 21, is listed at 6-0 and 187 pounds. He went 9-2 with a 2.65 ERA this season. He has a fastball in the low to mid-90s and a changeup that has been an out pitch since his high school days.
UConn was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament on Sunday in a 7-5 loss to Georgia Tech after Kay pitched them to an automatic berth with two victories in a four-day span.