In his first spring training start, RHP Noah Syndergaard was more than up for the moment: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Five of the seven guys he faced were real Major League hitters: Jason Heyward, BJ Upton, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis, Ryan Doumit and Tommy La Stella and Mark Hamilton.
– His fastball was 96-98. And he threw, by one count, five changeups, which were around 89 miles per hour.
– He began his outing by fanning Jason Heyward on a 98 mph fastball. Later, Syndergaard struck out Evan Gattis on a 96 mile an hour heater.
– Ryan Doumit, who had the only hit off Syndergaard, had the line of the day, “I didn’t know anything about the kid coming into today, but I sure won’t forget his name now.” (Mike Vorkunov, The Star-Ledger)
– Syndergaard is calling himself Thor, which we heartily approve of. He said he heard the Mets fans and “I heard a lot of ‘Thors’ too,” (Vorkunov).
– Syndergaard still thinks he has work to do. “I think I have a few things to work on. Being more consistent with my pitches, being able to hold runners on better, being a little quicker to home plate. …. One of the pitches I still need to work on is my changeup. My curveball can always be sharper and my fastball command as well.” (Matt Ehalt, NorthJersey.com) So, that’s a little bit of everything.
– Terry Collins praised Syndergaard as passing “a big test” in his two innings against the Braves. “There are certainly some things we’ve got to get him to do better. But, right now, he’s on track to be special.” (Adam Rubin, ESPNNY)
– Andy Martino at the NY Daily News tells a great story of Syndergaard telling Mets’ Pitching Coordinator Ron Romanick “I don’t f—ing cheat” in a drill. Which is great. Other nuggets about Syndergaard in the story, one Mets person said he was better than Wheeler and an evaluator on another team said, “He can get big league hitters out right now.”
– Tim Rohan in the NY Times again revisits the story of high school-aged Syndergaard, and his late growth spurt and velocity increase. And there’s this gem of a quote from Syndergaard, “What else are you striving for if you’re not striving to be the best, for perfection?… The Hall of Fame is the ultimate goal of mine. Get a few World Series in there, a couple of Cy Youngs maybe, and call it a career.”