Noah Syndergaard is making his first start at Double-A Binghamton this afternoon after being promoted from Single-A St. Lucie on Saturday. To make room for Syndergaard on the roster, the B-Mets place Alfonzo Harris on the DL.
The game is underway, and Syndergaard’s first pitch in the game was a 96 mph strike. The B-Mets are on top 1-0 after the first inning of play, thanks to Cesar Puello’s 14th home run of the season.
Syndergaard, 20, was 3-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 12 starts for Class A St. Lucie and has allowed 61 hits and 16 walks while striking out 64 in 63 2/3 innings.
MMO’s John Bernhardt is at Binghamton and will be charting Syndergaard’s pitches from behind home plate, and photographer Gordon Donovan is also there.
We’ll also have an exclusive interview with L.J. Mazzilli later today from Jim Mancari who is covering the Cyclones all season long for MMO.
Yesterday, our newest minor league contributor Kirk Cahill spotlighted him today on MetsMinors.net.
The Mets acquired Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto Blue Jays in the seven player deal that sent R.A Dickey north of the border in December. Syndergaard ranked 3rd overall on the MMN Top 25 Prospects list back in May.
Syndergaard, 20, was originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays out of Legacy H.S in Mansfield, Texas. He grew up playing soccer mostly, and didn’t start pitching until he was 10 years old. Noah went 7-3 in his senior year of H.S, striking out 83 hitters in 59 innings while walking just 18. Despite achieving such success in the highly competitive state of Texas, it was considered a reach when the Blue Jays took him 38th overall.
Noah has been given the nickname “Thor” by his teammates due to his imposing size (6’5″, 250 pounds) and Nordic features (his father’s family is Dutch). It’s that size that has helped him develop his best pitch- a heavy, sinking fastball that he throws in the 92-97 range. He uses his giant frame to create an excellent downward plane, helping the pitch become a groundball machine. Syndergaard also throws an above-average changeup and a curveball that flashes plus. He’s also recently added a slider, which he claims has helped his curve develop into a tighter pitch. Minor League Ball’s John Sickels ranked Noah the 12th best pitching prospect in all of baseball coming into 2013. Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks, who ranked him 28th overall, had this to say about Syndergaard:
“He could be a monster; has potential for a near-elite fastball, two above-average secondary pitches and some pitchability.”
“Overall Future Potential: 7; high-end no. 2 starter.”
“I’m able to tune things out pretty well,” said Syndergaard himself to MiLB.com, “When I was in school, my mom would ask me if I could hear yelling and I said, “I’ve never heard you once from the stands.” The other day, when I was throwing my live BP, I didn’t notice anything but the catcher.” He was quoted in the same interview to say that he had a fondness for Josh Beckett, and may have modeled himself after him as well.
With Zack Wheeler‘s recent promotion, and Travis d’Arnaud‘s continuing inability to stay on the field, it isn’t a stretch to say that Syndergaard is the Mets new number 1 prospect. He’s currently pitching very well with St. Lucie ( 2.60 FIP, 9.05 k/9, 2.26 bb/9), and could soon earn himself a promotion to Binghamton. For a player who won’t turn 21 until August, Noah appears to be on the fast track to the majors.
You can follow Noah on Twitter @Noahsyndergaard as he continues his path to Queens.