30 Players in 30 Days: Noah Syndergaard

The Mets young stud could be due for a breakout 2016 campaign.

 

2015 Highlights:   Noah Syndergaard is a power pitcher from Texas in the tradition of previous Texas bred righties, Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Kerry Wood and Jake Arrieta. Noah is an imposing figure on the mound standing 6’ 6” tall with long flowing blond hair and a demeanor that screams toughness and confidence. Of course the ability to throw a baseball at 100 miles per hour from 60 feet 6 inches would make anyone imposing.

 

Syndergaard set a major league record in his rookie season last year with an average fastball velocity of 97.1 mph. This is the highest average fastball velocity of any starting pitcher, minimum of 100 innings, since Fangraphs began tracking fastball velocity in 2002.

 

Syndergaard was called up to The Mets on May 12, 2015.  Although Syndergaard pitched five scoreless innings in his debut, Cubs roughed him up in inning 6 and defeated Syndergaard and the Mets 6-1. Despite the initial loss Noah had an excellent rookie season ending with a 9-7 record, an ERA of 3.24, an exceptional WHIP of 1.05 and 166 Strikeouts in 150 innings pitched. In the post-season Syndergaard won two more games, beating the Cubs in the NLCS and the Royals in the World Series.

 

Contract Situation: Syndergaard will pitch The Mets for something close to the Major League minimum salary in year 2016 and will become eligible for arbitration in year 2018. As a second year player, Syndergaard is under team control through the 2021 season and will first become eligible for free agency in year 2022.

 

Tradeable or Untradeable: The Mets have made it very clear that they intend to keep their stable of young starting pitchers together for as long as possible. In the extremely unlikely event that the Mets were to make Syndergaard available in a trade every team in baseball would line up and make their best offer.

 

2016 Outlook: In addition to his dominating fastball, Noah features a hellacious curveball and a change-up that is still a work-in-progress. Syndergaard still has several things, however, to work on in order to become a finished product. His secondary pitches need refinement and Noah must learn to pitch to contact earlier in counts to induce quick outs. If Syndergaard can master these basic pitching skills he will reduce his pitch counts, which will enable him to stay in games longer and remain stronger in the late innings.

 

Barring a serious arm injury Syndergaard will progress over the next two seasons and become one of the half dozen elite starting pitchers in baseball. For year 2016 it would not unreasonable to expect Syndergaard to pitch 200+ innings, continue to strike out batters at a rate greater than 1 per inning and post 12-13 wins. However, it would also not surprise anyone if Noah were to emerge as an ace this year. In that case expect 17-18 wins per season from Syndergaard , as early as year 2016.

 


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