Yesterday a firestorm was started when Terry Collins was asked about the promotion of Noah Syndergaard. His non-commitment to an answer worried fans that maybe Syndergaard would not be promoted this season. A little bit later in the day, a report surfaced that a scout inside the Mets organization believes that Syndergaard should stay in Las Vegas for the entirety of the 2014 season. Even more backlash surfaced from that report. Fans are concerned that they won’t get to see a part of the future in a year that is turning sour quickly.
When looking at Syndergaard’s minor league numbers in comparison to other top pitchers like Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey, Syndergaard is not that far off. Syndergaard in Vegas has a 9.17 K/9 rate with a 2.85 BB/9 rate. Wheeler in Triple A had 9.57 K/P rate and 3.54 BB/9 rate while Matt Harvey had 9.64 K/9 and 1.56 BB/9 rates. So in terms of walks and strikeouts, Syndergaard is right with Wheeler and Harvey. Syndergaard’s HR/9 rate is also really high, which partly can be a result of the ballpark that he pitches in. So in terms of struggling, Syndergaard isn’t having an easy time like Matt Harvey but he isn’t that far off.
Now that doesn’t mean Syndergaard should be called up ASAP. There are scouts and front office executives that are paid quite a bit of money to determine when Syndergaard is ready. When they make that determination, then that will be the time for him to be in Flushing. If staying in Vegas for the rest of the year is more beneficial that going to the big leagues, then that should be the course. Either way, it’s clear that Syndergaard will be a part of the 2015 opening day roster. With the way the big league team is playing, Syndergaard may not want to be exposed to the circus that surrounds the team while he is still working out some issues.
Prospects need to be protected in a way. When a player plays in New York they have to be ready to handle the criticism on a big level. But a young prospect shouldn’t have to deal with the criticism of the rest of team, as that can have a very negative approach. Sandy Alderson knows this. He is hoping that when he calls up these prospects the mental approach is there. Syndergaard’s pitching talent is there. Everybody knows that. It’s the mental approach that keeps a player from being a superstar. And when you are playing in New York, it’s that mental game that either keeps you in New York or makes you pack your bags and move elsewhere.