Many expected the right-handed phenom to be in the Mets’ rotation in 2014, after he made quite an impression in the Grapefruit League two spring trainings ago. The Mets however made the decision to get the young right-hander a little more seasoned and have kept him at Triple-A Las Vegas, until now.
Syndergaard was ranked baseball’s 11th top prospect going into the 2015 season, he was ranked third among pitchers and number one in the Mets’ organization by Baseball America.
Syndergaard has proved himself in Triple-A both last season and this season, going 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts for the 51’s so far in 2015. That includes collecting 34 stikeouts and allowing just three walks in 29.2 innings.
Syndergaard has made a total of 31 starts for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s. He was 9-7 last season with a 4.60 ERA.
Sure, there were a few blips along the way in 2014 but overall Syndergaard still impressed. He learned to handle tough situations and that experience will help him in the show.
“Last year, not getting that call was the best thing for me,” Syndergaard said. “It kind of motivated me. Last year taught me how to struggle and how to handle adversity.”
Syndergaard has spent six seasons in the minors, beginning at age 17. He’s ready for the challenge of a big league contest in which he will be facing the young, but powerful, Cubs lineup. A lineup that includes Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler among others.
But the 6-6 hurler shouldn’t have trouble as long as he can keep his focus. He throws a high 90’s fastball along with swing and miss breaking stuff in a biting curveball and a “freeze-frame” changeup.
Mets manager Terry Collins has complete faith in Syndergaard,
“I’m excited to see this kid pitch because I’m a fan,” Collins said Monday. “But first and foremost, I’m the manager of this team and I think he’s good enough to win here. Or he would not be out there. This is not a show. This is not a Broadway play that we’re going to throw this kid out there and see how he sings. We know how he sings.”
Syndergaard’s stuff is like a song and it’s a chart topper. The question is will it stop the show that is the hard-hitting Cubs lineup.
If you ask me I think the Cubs will have their work cut out for them, of course I have only seen the 22-year-old pitch on television and there is the stress that is any player’s first big league outing.
However, Syndergaard is seasoned, probably to just the right point (the Mets even brought him up to soak up the big league atmosphere on Saturday). He is likely more than hungry to make his debut.
“A guy like that, talking about the proactive nature of pitching, if he’s out there loaded with the down-and-away slider that he executes, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.”
Tonight’s match up between these two young teams, the Mets’ with their mostly young pitching staff of 26-year-old reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, 26-year-old Matt Harvey, who’s nicknamed the Dark Knight and now Syndergaard against the Cubs with their lineup of young sluggers, should be one for the books.
Syndergaard and the Mets will take on Jake Arrieta and the Cubs at 8:05 pm ET at Wrigley Field.