Noah Syndergaard had another dominating start at Double-A Binghamton Friday night. In related news, the sun rises in the east. It’s hard to come up with new words to show how overpowering he’s been. Remember this is a kid who pitched in Lo-A last year and who began 2013 in the Florida State League. His rise has been meteoritic and no doubt the Blue Jays are kicking themselves for giving up a player who has become one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.
The Mets have decided to cut his pitch/innings total. In his last four starts, Syndergaard has not gone past either six innings or 71 pitches. Last night he had this line: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB and 10 Ks. Under this workload restriction, Syndergaard has produced the following numbers:
3-0, 0.43 ERA, 21 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 26 Ks and a .329 opponents OPS
For the year, Syndergaard is 9-3 with a 2.43 ERA and he’s pitched better in Double-A than at Single-A. At the advanced level, he’s 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA with 64 Ks in 51 IP.
Syndergaard joined Binghamton on June 23rd, which is 11 days after teammate Darin Gorski was activated from the disabled list and sent to Double-A. It’s hard to imagine two guys with more different profiles.
The righty Syndergaard was a supplemental first-round pick out of high school while the lefty Gorski was a seventh-round pick out of Kutztown University. Syndergaard has mid-90s heat and is stingy with the HR ball while Gorski relies on a more balanced pitch repertoire and generally succeeds when he limits the gopher balls. Finally, Syndergaard was promoted mid-season to Binghamton while Gorski landed there more as a “demotion,” as he started the year in Triple-A before hitting the DL with a shoulder injury.
While everyone raves – justly so – about Syndergaard’s numbers, few mention how dominating Gorski has been at the same time. Here are his numbers in Binghamton:
4-1 with a 2.05 ERA, a 0.930 WHIP and with 52 Ks in 57 IP.
If offered the above line for Syndergaard on the day of his promotion to Double-A, most people would have signed on the dotted line with no questions asked and have been really, really happy. So, if this would have been outstanding production for one of the game’s top prospects at Double-A, why does it not elicit more joy, more excitement and more buzz for Gorski?
Just to make it crystal clear – Syndergaard has been better at Double-A and is clearly the superior prospect in every way imaginable, especially given the age difference between the two. But the fact we can put Gorski’s numbers against Syndergaard’s – at the same level and close to the same number of IP – and not be embarrassed has to mean something.
At age 25, time is working against Gorski. Also the glut of pitching ahead of him in New York makes it unlikely that he’ll get 30 starts in a season for the Mets. But maybe the club deals two starting pitchers to bring in a big bat and Gorski goes to Spring Training with a chance to win the fifth starter’s job. Or maybe Gorski himself is part of a package to land a coveted outfielder or shortstop.
Either way, when rattling off the list of pitching prospects in the Mets’ system, be sure to include the guy with a 2.05 ERA and a 0.930 WHIP at Double-A. Because Gorski’s earned the right to be included with Syndergaard and Rafael Montero this season.