Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets’ Top Prospect: Noah ‘Thor’ Syndergaard


 

 

New York Mets’ prospect Noah Syndergaard is one member of the organization who is participating in this year’s Spring Training. MLB.com Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo ranked Syndergaard as the 11th-best prospect and the best prospect in the team’s organization.

The Toronto Blue Jays selected 17-year-old Syndergaard out of Legacy High School, Mansfield, Texas, with the 38th-overall pick, first round, in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft, according to baseball-reference.com. He achieved some success as a member of the Blue Jays for three seasons, 2010-2012.

He recorded an 18-10 record with an Earned Run Average, ERA, under three, a Walks Hits per Innings Pitched, WHIP, under 1.15 and had 196 strikeouts in 176.0 Innings Pitched. He was able to work his way from the Rookie League to Class A in that time period.

On Dec. 17, 2012 the Toronto Blue Jays traded Syndergaard and catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud for Mets’ starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Shortly after this trade, Mayo ranked Syndergaard as the 12th-best prospect and the best prospect in the Mets’ organization for the 2013 Prospect Watch.

Syndergaard had a good season for the Mets in Class A+ and Class AA.

He had a 9-6 record with a 3.06 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and struck out 133 hitters in 117.2 Innings. This success contributed to the Mets’ inviting him to this year’s Spring Training and Mayo giving him a high ranking among the 2014 Prospect Watch; as aforementioned.

On Jan. 10, the Mets officially invited 20 non-roster players to participate in the team’s Spring Training. Syndergaard was among the players invited that would join the team in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

The Mets’ players reported to Spring Training on Saturday. Syndergaard’s performance this Spring has already drawn praise from Terry Collins; the team’s manager, according to Rubin.

Syndergaard threw a 40-pitch bullpen session on Monday. Collins gave a rave review of Syndergaard’s bullpen session, according to Rubin.

Let’s face it — great stuff,” Collins said after Syndergaard tossed a bullpen session on the first day of official pitchers-and-catchers workouts, with owner Fred Wilpon, the front office and a horde of media watching. “… This kid is throwing 97 mph today with a hook from hell. Really impressive.”

It is a great sign for Syndergaard to already impress his eventual manager. According to DiComo, Syndergaard is most likely to start the year in Class AAA.

Syndergaard, the Mets’ top overall prospect, will follow the path that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler established in recent years, ostensibly competing for an Opening Day job while more realistically ticketed for Triple-A. If all goes according to plan, Syndergaard will receive a taste of the big leagues this spring before coming up for good around midsummer.”

He does have the skill set to eventually be a very good starter with the Mets. DiComo wrote a brief review of Syndergaard in his 2014 Prospect Watch.

Syndergaard is a classic power right-hander and uses his big frame to throw downhill and induce ground balls. His fastball regularly reaches 98 mph and runs inside on right-handed hitters. His 12-to-6 curveball is his best secondary pitch, though his changeup has the potential to be a third plus pitch in his arsenal. He has excellent command and posted a 4.75 K-to-BB ratio in 2013.

Syndergaard has the potential to be a frontline starter in the Major Leagues and is on track to follow the path Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler blazed to Queens as soon as this summer.”

There are YouTube videos of Syndergaard where he dominated opposing hitters. His fastball and curveball are able to overwhelm opposing hitters or make them look foolish.

He also was the United States’ starting pitcher in the 2013 Futures Game, according to Baseball America. The Futures Game typically features the best young players from the U.S. and the World.

Syndergaard started that game for the U.S. He only pitched one inning, but he allowed only one hit and struck out one hitter, according to Baseball America.

He told New York Post columnist Steve Serby that he thinks he has thrown a 100 mile per hour, mph, fastball on a few occasions. He also told Serby his approach on the mound.

I try to be a real big presence on the mound, try to intimidate some hitters, try to make ’em afraid to step into the box.”

It helps that he is six-feet, six-inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, according to DiComo.

Syndergaard is taller than the average pitcher. This forces hitters to adjust to different arm angles that they are not used to from a tall pitcher.

Future MLB Hall of Famer Randy Johnson was great with three different teams because of his height. He was six-feet, 10-inches tall, according to baseball-reference.com, and this helped him to be a very intimidating and effective pitcher during his 22-year career.

Comparing Syndergaard to Johnson because of their heights is completely ludicrous. The Mets are probably stalling Syndergaard’s MLB debut for financial reasons, according to Ernie Palladino of newyork.cbslocal.com.

True to Mets form, they’ve all but decided the right-hander will start in Triple-A as a contractual matter to delay arbitration and the onset of his free agency by a year.

It’s basically the same reason (Zack) Wheeler wasn’t here last year until June, and why the electric (Matt) Harvey was brought up late in 2012.”

Harvey was called up on July 22, 2012, according to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger,  and had a very good rookie season. He made 10 starts and finished the season with a 3-5 record, a 2.73 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 70 strikeouts in 59.1 Innings.

Wheeler was not called up until the 2013 season.

He was called up on June 18, according to Erik Matuszewski of bloomberg.com. Wheeler was very good as well in his rookie season, but Harvey posted better statistics.

In 17 starts, Wheeler posted a 7-5 record with a 3.42 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and struck out 84 hitters in 100.0 Innings. Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013, so he is unlikely to pitch in the 2014 season, according to Noah Jarosh of SB Nation.

Mets’ fans could be able to see two, Syndergaard and Wheeler, of the best young starting pitchers in baseball this summer. Despite not being in the Majors yet, Syndergaard already has a nickname, according to metsblog.com.

I think it’s based on my last name. The home planet of Thor is is called Asgard, which is like my last name,” he told John Harper of SNY’s Mets Hot Stove. “It just kind of stuck with me. I guess a Mets fan gave it to me, and I’m not going to say, ‘No.’ It’s not a bad name to have.”

It is a great sign for Syndergaard that the fans appear to like him. ‘Thor’ did have an enthusiastic message for the Mets’ faithful, according to Serby.

I’m just really looking forward to pitching in New York in front of all the Mets fans. They’re awesome, and I think there’s some good things to come in 2014.”

As soon as this summer, Syndergaard could be able to show the fans how awesome the upcoming year will be.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard

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