New York Mets prospect Noah Syndergaard was impressive in his Grapefruit League debut today against the Atlanta Braves. The Mets top pitching prospect started the game and pitched two scoreless innings.
Generally I do not put much stock into Spring Training performances, because you are not facing the other team’s best lineup. However, with Syndergaard starting the game against a lineup that included, in sequence, regulars Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Ryan Doumit, I am inclined to give this performance more credence.
Doumit, the Braves catcher, was particularly impressed by Syndergaard, when asked about the Mets starter he responded, “he obviously came out ready to compete. You see a lot of guys throw 96, 97 during the season, but they’re not throwing 96, 97 right now”.
The 21 year old right hander struck out two, walked none and allowed only one hit, a single to Doumit, on 30 pitches, topping out at 98 miles per hour on his fastball.
Syndergaard has a lot to compete for this spring. He is slated to start the year in AAA and Join the Mets sometime during the season, as the club has done with fellow highly touted pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, but if Sandy Alderson is serious about his 90 win prediction, he would be wise to find room in his starting rotation if Syndergaard continues to impress throughout baseball’s pre-season. We are still a long way from that decison having to be made, or Syndergaard showing enough to force his hand, but it’s a conversation Mets’ fans should be excited to have, even if it remains hypothetical for the moment.