Noah Syndergaard accomplished two important things on Sunday. He picked up his first win of the season and he pitched seven innings for the first time in his professional career. That according to Jonathan Raymond who got a chance to get up close to the Mets pitching prospect in his last start.
Syndergaard is trying to put that one bad start when he allowed seven runs over three innings completely behind him and he seems to be doing a heck of a job of it too. Since that forgettable outing all he’s done was manage to toss two starts without allowing an earned run. Combined he thrown 13 innings and held the opposition to just eight hits and three walks while striking out 11 of them.
“He really located his fastball really well over both sides of the plate. Kept the ball down and was pretty much in command of all his pitches,” St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan said. “He also had two strikeouts on curveballs and two on changeups, and these are the things we have been working on.
“And he went seven innings. It was an interesting thing, someone mentioned to him it was the first time he went seven innings this year. And he says, “Yeah, it’s the first time in three years, since high school.’”
After Sunday’s performance, Syndergaard has lowered his ERA to a respectable 3.24 ERA while striking out 26 and walking ten in 25 innings pitched this season.
“He’s really coming along well. I think he’s making a lot of strides,” Regan said. “He’s understanding a lot about pitching and he’s just a tremendous kid, soaks up knowledge and wants to learn. I think he’s done exceptionally well for his age and where he’s coming from. He’s not afraid, he goes right after hitters, aggressive on the mound. I think he’s got confidence in himself, and that’s all part of it.”
As we said in our Prospect Spotlight back in February, “Syndergaard is a perfect physical specimen for a pitcher and really looks like he can become a perennial all-star. Although there are some things that come into question – his command at times, his stamina, and as always, furthering the development of his third pitch, there is a lot to love about Noah Syndergaard.”
The seven innings pitched certainly shows positive gains with regard to his stamina, and Regan says that his curveball and change have improved and are becoming effective weapons as his command. That’s exactly what we were hoping for.
“He is aggressive on the mound and stays relatively emotionless,” is what we about said about him in our MMO Top 25 Prospect rankings. We also said:
If Syndergaard makes the move to AA during the 2013 season, I have faith that he will breeze through it. It is important not to put too much pressure or to rush the young prospect, as he represents a new wave of pitching prospects…or a changing of the Gaard. See what I did there? Good.
So far, out of our Top 5 Prospects, Michael Fulmer and Travis d’Arnaud are still on the disabled list, Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores are both trying to figure out the PCL for entirely different reasons, and Syndergaard has looked and played the part so far in the early going.
I know it’s early, but if I were handing out Monthly Report Cards like they did in Catholic School:
Syndergaard Gets an A-
Flores gets a B
Wheeler gets a C+
Fulmer and d’Arnaud get Incompletes.