If it seems like we discuss Mets phenom Noah Syndergaard in this space on a weekly basis, it's because that's exactly what's happening. The hard-throwing 23-year-old right hander winds up doing something spectacular just about every time he takes the mound.
Through three outings, Syndergaard is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA, striking out 29 batters while walking just four. Impressive numbers, for sure, but they don't encapsulate exactly how dominant he's been thus far. In his first start, he utilized a 95-mph slider to go along with a plus-fastball. The next time out, he induced the highest swing-and-miss rate any Mets pitcher had in a game in the last 15 seasons. And on Monday night vs. the Philadelphia Phillies, his fastball reached triple digits on the radar gun as he notched eight strikeouts.
He may have just 27 starts under his belt in his young career, but the man nicknamed after comic book hero Thor is already becoming the stuff of legend in New York.
“Friends ask me about him,” Mets third baseman David Wright told reporters after Monday's win over the Phillies, via ESPN.com. “I say, ‘Think of it this way: When you used to play video games as a kid, if you build the player that you want to build and put all the abilities up to like max 10, he’s that guy that you build in the video games -- his presence physically, the stuff, the command.’ He throws 100 mph. If he’s not throwing 100, and he’s throwing 96 or 97, he can beat you with hitting his spots and his secondary pitches. When he’s out there throwing 2-1 sliders or 2-1 changeups or 3-1 curveballs, that just makes it completely unfair when he’s got 100 in his pocket."
Want more evidence of how hard Thor drops the hammer? After Monday's game, Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki showed off the imprint left on his chest after having to block one of Syndergaard's pitches.
How hard does Syndergaard throw? Plawecki blocked a pitch w/ his chest. Theres now an imprint where his necklace was pic.twitter.com/Sd52ije5PZ
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) April 19, 2016
Syndergaard's fast start couldn't have come at a better time for the Amazin's. Matt Harvey hasn't looked like himself lately, Stephen Matz has struggled mightily and Jacob deGrom had to briefly leave the team to tend to his newborn baby's health complications. While the hope in the Big Apple is that the rest of the rotation members will eventually perform up to their respective career norms, could Syndergaard emerge as this staff's ace by season's end?