Joe Suozzi is ready to live out a dream. The Glen Cove native and son of U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi (D—Glen Cove) wasn’t selected in the five rounds of the MLB Draft recently.
However, the younger Suozzi, who attended Boston College, signed with the New York Mets shortly after the draft as part of the MLB’s revised selection process. The MLB shortened the draft to just five rounds this year, enabling hopefuls to sign with teams for $20,000, which is exactly what Suozzi did.
“It’s really surreal,” Suozzi said on a Zoom call with the media last week. “It was kind of a pinch yourself moment. Everything in my room is Mets stuff. I have David Wright and Pete Alonso posters. It really is just a dream come true.”
The Mets have had some notable local players over the past few years, with the likes of Steven Matz (East Setauket) and Marcus Stroman (Medford) currently comprising 40 percent of the team’s starting pitching rotation.
In addition, fans have seen New York natives, such as Mike Baxter (Queens), Joe Panik (Yonkers) and T.J. Rivera (Bronx), put on a Mets uniform over the last decade.
Suozzi was in the middle of his third season with the Boston College Eagles before the COVID-19 pandemic ended his season quickly.
“You can’t do anything about it, so I just try and stay busy,” Suozzi said. “I just achieved a lifetime goal playing with the Mets, so that’s nice but it’s a little bittersweet. Obviously, I’m so excited to play for the Mets organization, but it stinks how it ended at Boston College.”
In 15 games prior to the season’s end, the outfielder hit .414/.471/.638 with one home run, four doubles, three triples and 16 RBI. He also had a 14-game hit streak.
Over his three seasons with the Eagles, the smooth-swinging right-handed hitter registered an .830 OPS and showed improvement in each season. In 2019, Suozzi hit .282/.363/.423 over 48 games.
While the former Chaminade High School player is thrilled to be playing professional baseball, that alone isn’t going to make him content. It is time for him to prove he can play in the majors, making the most of this $20,000 deal.
“When I walked on to the Boston College baseball team, I wasn’t satisfied just being a walk-on,” Suozzi said. “I really wanted to play. I think I have that same attitude even amplified now. I don’t just want to say that I’m part of the Mets organization. I want to rise my way up through the organization, and I believe I can do that.”
While he hopes to make a name for himself in the baseball world, his father is well-known in the political realm as he represents New York’s third Congressional district in the House of Representatives.
Prior to that, the Democrat was the mayor of Glen Cove and served as Nassau County executive.
The younger Suozzi is now going to try to make the family known in the world of baseball, with the shot of getting to play for his favorite team just a few miles away from the home he grew up in.
Suozzi has a long road ahead to get to that point, but if he gets to don orange and blue at Citi Field, he’ll be living a dream that even most major leaguers never get to.