In his second spring training appearance of 2015, Syndergaard threw for 2 2/3 scoreless innings, struck out five of nine batters, while only giving up one hit. He finished the day with an overall ERA of 3.86; a big jump from the 9.00 ERA in Friday’s game.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Syndergaard threw a mean fastball that reached the upper 90’s.
In just his second season in the Major Leagues, he was dominant on the mound against some of the Marlins best players.
Syndergaard started the day forcing a ground out by veteran Ichiro Suzuki. He managed to strikeout Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Martin Prado along with a fly out by one of last year’s hottest hitters in all of baseball Giancarlo Stanton.
He was a lot more impressive Wednesday than he was in his first appearance of the season when he gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings against the Detroit Tigers.
There’s a reoccurring pattern in Syndergaard’s first two appearances of the season; he has succeeded Mets’ ace Matt Harvey each time.
It could just be a coincidence and that the two pitchers are just on the same schedules.
However, according to NJ.com, the 22-year-old watched Harvey’s first start of the season on Friday to see what Harvey would pitch like after returning from Tommy John surgery.
Syndergaard is most likely going to begin the season at Triple-A, but the Mets could be setting up their “next big thing” for success. He’s one of the Mets top pitching prospects watching the Mets best starting pitcher.
Last year in Triple-A, Syndergaard posted a 4.60 ERA with a 145:43 strikeout to walks ratio.
One thing not included in his Triple-A stats is that he was pitching in Vegas, which is known for being one of the biggest hitter’s parks in the minor leagues.
Each year, the runs scored per game in Vegas supersede most other minor league fields. Not that stats aren’t important, but it is something to consider. The jump Harvey took from college to the Major Leagues is similar to the jump the Mets hope Syndergaard will make from Triple-A.
When Harvey pitched at the University of North Carolina, he recorded a 5.40 ERA and 1.73 WHIP in his sophomore year. He improved his junior year cranking up those numbers to a 3.09 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Harvey went on to pitch even better in the Major Leagues than he ever did in college.
Syndergaard’s numbers are not outstanding, but with the potential speed of his fastball and his near-plus curve, there is a lot of room for the young right-hander to grow.