PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – Finally, today, the Mets’ resident Norse god took to the mound.
And he didn’t disappoint.
Noah Syndergaard took the mound and threw 38 pitches with 28 of them for strikes. Although this was his first start of the spring, he looked in midseason form.
“I felt great out there,” Syndergaard said. “It was nice getting out there and getting my feet wet. I was a little amped up, waiting a long way to get on the mound again and compete. But overall, I think it was a pretty solid performance.”
Yes indeed. Unlike the rest of the Fab Four, Syndergaard had little trouble, only allowing a two out double in the third. He was sharp on the day he said he was working on his mechanics and trying to perfect his slider.
It’s early and yes, hope springs eternal, but remember this is Syndergaard’s first spring where he is ensured a spot on the roster. In one year’s time, he went for promising prospect to one of the top power pitchers in baseball, and frankly, he’s only going to get better.
Look at how his two seamer danced around the barrel of the bat today. There was very little solid contact the big righthander staying in command on the mound.
And at 23, he’s just starting out. Matt Harvey may be the bulldog and Jacob deGrom may have more dynamic stuff, they are both in their late 20s and approaching and are in their primes. Matz still is a rookie, but he’s 25.
With that higher ceiling, you have to wonder if “Thor” will be the Mets best pitcher in 2016.
He’s the Mets hardest thrower and has that hammer curve. Add a slider into the mix and watch out.
“I feel like my mechanics are pretty on point right now,” he said. “Being able to work with Dan (Warthen) day in and day out is a true blessing and I owe a lot of thanks to him. I am pretty pleased with the way my breaking pitches came across today.”
Last season, Syndergaard got stronger as the season went along. He looked like an entirely different pitcher in September and October than he did in June and July. There’s a certain confident and bravado about him, which could be deadly for the National League.
“He learned a lot and learned fast in the major leagues,” said manager Terry Collins. “He asked a lot of questions and he asked the right questions. And he got better. He come into this knwoing he is a big league pitcher. Because he asks, he knows he has to work on some stuff. He goes about his job the right way. There is always a debate on who will be the best and this guy has a chance.”
And that’s what is getting everyone so excited. An unleashed “Thor” pitching with high confidence could make him the best pitcher on the staff. His stuff is becoming as dynamic deGrom’s and the Royals learned last year in the World Series that he has Harvey’s same bull dog mentality.
Add to that his 100 m.p.h fastball and you have the formula for a future Cy Young award recipient and a 20-game winner.
He could be dominant. He could be that good.
No one knows who will be the best of the Fab Four, but don’t be surprised if the Mets’ resident Norse god is by the end of the season.