Now that Jacob deGrom has rightfully won the NL Cy Young Award, the Mets may have another “CY” candidate on their roster already. I think Noah Syndergaard is on the verge of having a big season in 2019. At 26 years old, and with four major league seasons under his belt, Syndergaard is heading into his prime and could finally be ready to live up to his enormous potential.
The 6’6” righthander comes off a “down” 2018 season where he went 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA. It was a frustrating season for Syndergaard, who was looking to rebound from a frustrating 2017 season that saw him miss five months because of a lat injury. First, he was sidelined for seven weeks with a finger injury that kept him out from late May until mid-July. After returning for two starts, Syndergaard contracted a viral infection and missed additional time before he came back on August 1st. Meanwhile, the Mets stumbled through a brutal month of June (5-21) to virtually “kill” any chances of salvaging their season.
Syndergaard pitched very well in the final two months and capped it off with his first, career, complete game shutout on the final day of the season. It was a great finish for the Mets righthander but a bitter reminder of what could’ve been in 2018, had Syndergaard been healthy to pair with deGrom’s historic campaign.
Syndergaard’s name surfaced in trade rumors at last season’s trade deadline and lately his name has surfaced in a proposed trade with the Cubs for Kris Bryant. If there is any real validity to that rumor, I would definitely consider it, otherwise, the Mets would be crazy to trade Syndergaard for anything less than that type of player.
Syndergaard has logged four major league seasons. His lifetime numbers: 37-22 won-loss record, 2.93 ERA, 573 K’s in 518.1 IP. Coming into his fifth season, the needle is pointing skyward.
When the Mets sent their previous Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey, to Toronto in December 2012 to acquire Syndergaard and catcher Travis d’Arnaud, I felt the pitcher, not d’Arnaud, was the “key” to the deal. Syndergaard caught my eye in the minors and I thought the Mets made a very shrewd acquisition.
There are times when it appears Syndergaard gets caught up in distractions away from the field. His nickname of “Thor” has led to social media tributes, an appearance on “Game of Thrones,” where he threw a spear instead of a baseball, and a characterization that Syndergaard has tried to live up to at times.
Syndergaard has shown flashes of greatness in his brief major league career but he’s been held back by an inability to stay on the field and an occasional lack of command of his pitches. The Mets still have the big righthander under control for three more seasons, all the more reason to hang on to him and see if the team can maximize his potential.
If he can maintain his health and find the strike zone with a little more consistency, Syndergaard will be a legitimate Cy Young candidate, maybe as early as next season.