(Photo via sportsonearth.com)
First, there was Tom Seaver. Then there was Doc Gooden. And now, in 2016, the Mets appear to once again have one of the best pitchers in baseball. On December 17th, 2012, the Toronto Blue Jays traded top prospects Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard to the New York Mets in exchange for the reigning CY Young award winner R.A. Dickey.
At the time, D’Arnaud was considered the best player the Mets got in the deal and while d’Arnaud is the Mets current starting catcher and still has a ton of potential, with every passing day it is looking like the Blue Jays will dread giving up the fire baller from Mansfield, TX. Syndergaard debuted on May 12th of last season and he immediately impressed. In 150 innings pitched, he went 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA all while averaging an astounding 97.1 mph on his fastball.
Coming into the 2016 season, Syndergaard was expected to improve and be a great pitcher, but he has exceeded those already high expectations. In three starts so far, the man they call “Thor” is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.90 ERA. He also has 29 strikeouts in just 20 innings pitched so far. Just looking at these numbers shows you how good Syndergaard has been, but in order to truly grasp how dominate his stuff has been, you have to delve deeper into the numbers.
His fastball/sinker average velocity is an unbelievable 99 mph, by far the highest in all of baseball. His off speed pitches are off the charts as well. His slider averages 93 mph, yes, that’s right, 93 mph. That’s harder than most starters throw their fastball. His changeup and curve are also impressive in their own right, sitting at an average of 90 and 83 mph respectively. It’s one thing to come out of the bullpen for one inning and let it loose throwing 100 mph, but what’s so amazing about what Syndergaard is doing is the fact that he is sustaining this astounding velocity over 6 or 7 innings every start. Syndergaard is only 23 years old and is the talk of the league right now. There is good reason to believe that the chatter will last for a very long time for the one they call Thor.
– D. Celauro