Syndergaard Working On The Curve

Noah Syndergaard, last year's first round pick, had a tremendous 2011 campaign, going a combined 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA and striking out better than a batter per inning pitched over three minor league levels. The scary part is the then 18-year old did it without a consistent curveball and now that's the focus in his development.

"Overall I thought I did really well," he said. "I was excited that I was able to move up three levels. I kind of shocked myself a little bit, I wasn't expecting to move up three levels. I'm really happy with the way that I performed."

He had a goal entering the season of breaking Extended Spring Training with the Vancouver Canadians in short-season A-ball, but broke with the Bluefield Blue Jays instead. He wound up in Vancouver later in the season, however, mostly on the strength of his power fastball.

It was in Vancouver in fact where it was reported by some that the 6-foot-5 right-hander threw over 100 mph.

"I didn't actually hit 100 mph," he admitted. "Our radar gun [in the stadium there] is a little skewed. We had a radar gun on field and the [stadium gun] said I hit 102 mph but the person doing the radar gun said it was 97 mph."

Also able to throw a quality changeup that is especially effective against left-handed batters, Syndergaard had a nice one-two punch working for him in 2011.

"My changeup is getting pretty good but my curveball is one in the making right now," he said. "I've just got to throw it a lot more often right now, really get the feel back. In high school I didn't really throw it that much."

It's not as if he doesn't throw some good ones right now. It gets the desired break but it can get a little loopy at times, breaking in at the 74-75 mph range. Syndergaard would like to get that up to 80 mph when it's all said and done to make it more of a power curveball.

"It's more of a consistency thing," he said of his curveball. "Sometimes I'll throw a really good one and then sometimes I'll throw one 50 feet. It's not really a grip thing, it's more of a feel thing for me, just getting the feel down, the right arm angle and arm slot."

The curveball remains a work in progress at the moment but neither Syndergaard nor the Blue Jays seem too concerned about its long-term potential. In fact, he knows a third above average to plus pitch will take him very far.

"There's really no telling. Right now I'm working on locating my fastball and mixing in my changeup, but if I get that curveball working my arsenal is going to be real good," he concluded.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"Overall I thought I did really well,\" he said. \"I was excited that I was able to move up three levels. I kind of shocked myself a little bit, I wasn't expecting to move up three levels. I'm really happy with the way that I performed.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe had a goal entering the season of breaking Extended Spring Training with the Vancouver Canadians in short-season A-ball, but broke with the Bluefield Blue Jays instead. He wound up in Vancouver later in the season, however, mostly on the strength of his power fastball.
\r\n
\r\nIt was in Vancouver in fact where it was reported by some that the 6-foot-5 right-hander threw over 100 mph.
\r\n
\r\n\"I didn't actually hit 100 mph,\" he admitted. \"Our radar gun [in the stadium there] is a little skewed. We had a radar gun on field and the [stadium gun] said I hit 102 mph but the person doing the radar gun said it was 97 mph.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlso able to throw a quality changeup that is especially effective against left-handed batters, Syndergaard had a nice one-two punch working for him in 2011.
\r\n
\r\n\"My changeup is getting pretty good but my curveball is one in the making right now,\" he said. \"I've just got to throw it a lot more often right now, really get the feel back. In high school I didn't really throw it that much.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt's not as if he doesn't throw some good ones right now. It gets the desired break but it can get a little loopy at times, breaking in at the 74-75 mph range. Syndergaard would like to get that up to 80 mph when it's all said and done to make it more of a power curveball.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's more of a consistency thing,\" he said of his curveball. \"Sometimes I'll throw a really good one and then sometimes I'll throw one 50 feet. It's not really a grip thing, it's more of a feel thing for me, just getting the feel down, the right arm angle and arm slot.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe curveball remains a work in progress at the moment but neither Syndergaard nor the Blue Jays seem too concerned about its long-term potential. In fact, he knows a third above average to plus pitch will take him very far.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's really no telling. Right now I'm working on locating my fastball and mixing in my changeup, but if I get that curveball working my arsenal is going to be real good,\" he concluded.
\r\n
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