Mack Ade – Noah Syndergaard


Connie Landrey of Fangraphs wrote a great story, entitled  We Still Haven’t Seen the Best of Noah Syndergaard . A highlight of that story is –

If you’ll allow me to make whatever the opposite of a hot take is, I’ll go ahead and assert that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the majors. This is almost a law of the universe, at this point — a law I don’t intend to contradict here. As for who’s next on the list, though, there’s more room for reasonable debate. One might ask, “Who’s the second-best pitcher in major-league baseball?”

In fact, I did ask it. According to the highly unscientific poll I took of my Twitter followers, Max Scherzer is an extraordinarily popular answer – and for good reason! Over the past four seasons he’s posted a 2.95 ERA, 2.90 FIP, averaged 263 strikeouts a year, and won two Cy Young Awards. You could also make cases for guys like Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, and the always underappreciated Johnny Cueto. For any of those pitchers to be the second-best pitcher in baseball, though, they’d have to surpass the guy who generates exceptional results while commanding what I might argue is the most jaw-dropping starting pitcher repertoire we’ve ever seen: Noah Syndergaard.

Look, it’s no big secret that Syndergaard has quickly become the darling of the Mets fans in Queens, but I don’t think the rest of the baseball world was ready for what this kid (he pitched last year as only a 23-year old) is accomplishing. Read this story. It breaks out all the categories that Syndergaard leads other starters, like Scherzer.

In simple terms, he’s only pitched in 54 professional games, 53 of which he started. His stat line over that period is 2.88, 1.10, 334-IP, 384-K. He has one more season before he begins his arbitration years, so this would be a great time to sit down with his representatives and try to work out a 4-5 year deal that both parties would go home happy with.

I asked ex-Mets pitcher, current SNY announcer, and good friend, Nelson Figueroa Jr. about his thoughts on Syndergaard:

    "It's rare you see a pitcher this young, this soon in his career, reinvent himself", said Figueroa. "He was a 3-pitch pitcher and really only a 2-pitch guy the first season in The Bigs. He now is a legitimate 5-pitch pitcher who can do it all. Adding the slider and 2-seamer to his already high octane arsenal now gives him the chance to continue dominating the 3rd and 4th time through the lineup. Now if he could just hold on runners."

Figueroa added, "seeing a guy with elite velocity not afraid to pitch backwards at times, and use his change-up in fastball counts successfully, is rare and what really sets him apart."

Metsmerized' John Coppinger had a different spin:

"Noah Syndergaard seems to be in the top five among starters in everything in 2016, whether it be traditional stats, advanced stats, velocity, what have you. The only reason I wouldn't extend him this year is that I wouldn't want to extend both he and deGrom at the same time, because Syndergaard would command so, so much more money and years."

The Mets have great pitching. Jacob deGrom is quietly becoming the two in the 1-2 ace staff of Syndergaard and himself. Steven Matz has a lot of talent for someone with a fragile arm and the Mets have to figure out an innings plan that can keep the kid from Long Island off anymore disabled lists. There’s even good signs that Matt Harvey may come back and repeat what he showed us he was capable of producing when he first hit Queens.

The big question mark continues to be Zack Wheeler, though the surprise emergence of both Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo gives the Mets the rotation depth they need for 2017, and probably years to follow.

But, in my book. The Mets coffee in the future will be stirred by the spoon named Thor.

If the Mets are a future pennant contender, it will be Syndergaard, not Yoenes Cespedes, that takes this team to the promise land. 


Tom Brennan said...

Thor is phenomenal. If he stays heathy long term, he is a Hall of Famer who started his career with the Mets. That ain't bad. Thanks, Toronto...now, can we work out a trade so the Jays can take back d'Arnaud?

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Happy New Year.

D'Arnaud isn't deplorable and will do until something better comes around, which shouldn't be this year because of the teams need for a centerfielder ad middle reliever.

Watch for Tomas Nido to be fast tracked this year in Binghamton.

Tom Brennan said...

You too. Mack.

Somewhere, Kevin Plawecki is regrouping (or at least trying to)..

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

The Mets catching is pretty set right for 2017 with d'Arnaud and the signing of Rivera.

Read what Fig said about Syndergaard going deep into the game with success. That takes a catcher that knows how to mix his 5 pitchers and keep the batters guessing through the 3rd and 4th time they come up in the game. That is not a pitching skill... that is a catching skill and that is what Rivera brings to the table.

I do not see Plawecki getting a shot unless someone gets injured.

That Adam Smith said...

I will be watching Nido in Binghamton very closely. Catchers generally need more time to develop (there's a lot that you have to do well if you're going to truly help a winning big league club back there), so I am assuming that they'd like to leave him upstate all season, rather than rush him to Vegas. That said, there's a very good chance that cat her remains a pressing need for this club, and it's not out of the question that by mid-season, they start to point him toward an opening day '18 assignment in Queens. If that's the case, my guess is that they ditch TdA and look for a savvy vet type to split time and take Nido under his wing next season. Maybe that's Rivera. I don't have a good read on whether he'd be good in the mentor role. Though his work with Noah points to yes.

Tom Brennan said...

I tend to agree, Adam...if Nido stays healthy, and he should come a long way in 2017, and perhaps be ready OD 2018. A big ingredient with Thor as catcher is a guy who can cut down base stealers - you can't have his inability there coupled with a weak throwing catcher

Reese Kaplan said...

What worries me about Syndergaard (besides his health) is his maturity as a person, not as a pitcher. There was an incident in the minors when he used social media to call someone a "faggot" and now the recent one in which he called Bryce Harper a "douche". Someone needs to tell him how adults behave and that he's not in a junior high school locker room anymore. Someday someone will hurl a fastball at his head when he's in a batter's box to retaliate.

Anonymous said...

Syndergaard is the defacto ace of the Mets. However, someone should tell him to stop posting stupid things on Tweeter. Maybe he should just cancel his account along with Trump?

Kind of wish that the Mets had offered Matz for Cespedes instead of Fulmer.

Looks like the BP will be short again due to the resident "Genius" offering 17M to Walker and not being able to take advantage of the many BP arms that are available still.

The Mets should extend deGrom first since he will take less money and years. Then and only then approach Syndergaard. If Harvey pitches well, the Mets should make an offer knowing full well that it will be declined. That opens the door for a trade later on.

Teams want to be strong up the middle. So why is it so bad if Lagares is the starter most days? He may not hit much these days but his glove is still there. Saving runs with defense is still important right? Besides, he may still surprised some and start hitting like he did in 2014. He was hitting well towards the end of the year before he got hurt.

So we have a LF that belongs in RF. A RF that belongs in LF and no CF because the Mets don't want to play Lagares there. Trouble ahead?


Mack Ade said...

Viper -

Lagares would be a good defensive choice in CF every day... if... Conforto can produce big numbers with his bat

bgreg98180 said...

Lagares would be a good defensive choice if he was not part of the Perennial Mets Mash Unit.
It is hard to play centerfield from the trainers room.

Tom Brennan said...

Agree, Bob...Juan Lagares should sue himself for reckless endangerment. His goal is to be the highest paid Met on a per-game-played basis...he trails only David Wright.

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