Syndergaard Setting Up His Foundation

Standing at 6-foot-6 with a fastball that can touch 98 MPH at times, Blue Jays' prospect Noah Syndergaard is a bona fide power pitcher. A supplemental first round pick for the Jays, selected 38th overall in this past draft, Syndergaard, 18, has spent the beginning of his first full professional season at Extended Spring Training in Dunedin, Fla.

"I've been doing really well," Noah Syndergaard said of his time in EST so far. "I'm finding a few things to work on and I think I'm improving quite a bit. [I'm] just looking forward to the season to begin."

Before the season got underway, Syndergaard, a graduate of Legacy High School in Mansfield, Tx., said he tried to improve upon a few different things in spring training.

"[I worked on] locating my fastball and hitting my offspeed [pitches] over the plate and just fine-tuning being able to repeat my delivery," he said.

Despite his draft status, Syndergaard said he was not at all upset that he didn't make a long-season team this year. Moreover, Gulf Coast League Pitching Coach John Wesley, who is working with Syndergaard in Dunedin during EST, said that the first-rounder was aware of the organization's plan for him following the draft.

"He's a young guy and we've got to set our foundation for him so he has the ability to build the house," Wesley said. "Right in our level here, he has to learn all the bunt plays, learn the Blue Jay way; learn what we want him to do so this way when he moves (up), he has the foundation."

Wesley described Syndergaard as a big, strong right-hander with a power arm and an explosive fastball. He explained how the coaching staff and he are trying to make the fastball an even stronger pitch for Syndergaard.

"He has a great plane on his fastball. We're trying to develop more of a plane," said Wesley. "He's angling it down, making the hitters hit the top of the ball."

Syndergaard also has a changeup and curveball to utilize on the mound. The changeup hits the mid 80s while the curveball lives in the upper 70s. Coach Wesley feels as though Syndergaard's changeup is his second best pitch, while the curveball is improving nicely.

"He came into us from high school with a curveball and we're just trying to develop it into a better pitch; we're trying to tighten the spin, get more consistent break so he can command it better and throw it for strikes more often," Wesley said.

With speed on his side, the spotlight is focused on improving Syndergaard's location.

"We want him to throw his pitches to the bottom of the zone and be consistent in the bottom of the zone," said Wesley. "We're not trying to get him to hit corners or anything right now. We're just trying to get him to throw a bunch of strikes down the middle and down."

Wesley said Syndergaard's draft status alone makes him a solid prospect in the Blue Jays' organization, but then he also has a power arm, impressive intangibles and great work ethic. Though it isn't up to him, Wesley believes Syndergaard should have no trouble moving up through the minors barring any setbacks.

"I'm sure if he progresses the way he has been and he stays injury free, I don't see there should be a problem," Wesley said.

For now, though, Syndergaard is enjoying his time in Extended Spring Training.

"I just try to relax and have fun out there," he said.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I've been doing really well,\" Noah Syndergaard said of his time in EST so far. \"I'm finding a few things to work on and I think I'm improving quite a bit. [I'm] just looking forward to the season to begin.\"
\r\n
\r\nBefore the season got underway, Syndergaard, a graduate of Legacy High School in Mansfield, Tx., said he tried to improve upon a few different things in spring training.
\r\n
\r\n\"[I worked on] locating my fastball and hitting my offspeed [pitches] over the plate and just fine-tuning being able to repeat my delivery,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nDespite his draft status, Syndergaard said he was not at all upset that he didn't make a long-season team this year. Moreover, Gulf Coast League Pitching Coach John Wesley, who is working with Syndergaard in Dunedin during EST, said that the first-rounder was aware of the organization's plan for him following the draft.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a young guy and we've got to set our foundation for him so he has the ability to build the house,\" Wesley said. \"Right in our level here, he has to learn all the bunt plays, learn the Blue Jay way; learn what we want him to do so this way when he moves (up), he has the foundation.\"
\r\n
\r\nWesley described Syndergaard as a big, strong right-hander with a power arm and an explosive fastball. He explained how the coaching staff and he are trying to make the fastball an even stronger pitch for Syndergaard.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has a great plane on his fastball. We're trying to develop more of a plane,\" said Wesley. \"He's angling it down, making the hitters hit the top of the ball.\"
\r\n
\r\nSyndergaard also has a changeup and curveball to utilize on the mound. The changeup hits the mid 80s while the curveball lives in the upper 70s. Coach Wesley feels as though Syndergaard's changeup is his second best pitch, while the curveball is improving nicely.
\r\n
\r\n\"He came into us from high school with a curveball and we're just trying to develop it into a better pitch; we're trying to tighten the spin, get more consistent break so he can command it better and throw it for strikes more often,\" Wesley said.
\r\n
\r\nWith speed on his side, the spotlight is focused on improving Syndergaard's location.
\r\n
\r\n\"We want him to throw his pitches to the bottom of the zone and be consistent in the bottom of the zone,\" said Wesley. \"We're not trying to get him to hit corners or anything right now. We're just trying to get him to throw a bunch of strikes down the middle and down.\"
\r\n
\r\nWesley said Syndergaard's draft status alone makes him a solid prospect in the Blue Jays' organization, but then he also has a power arm, impressive intangibles and great work ethic. Though it isn't up to him, Wesley believes Syndergaard should have no trouble moving up through the minors barring any setbacks.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm sure if he progresses the way he has been and he stays injury free, I don't see there should be a problem,\" Wesley said.
\r\n
\r\nFor now, though, Syndergaard is enjoying his time in Extended Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just try to relax and have fun out there,\" he said.
\r\n
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