BLUF: Everything you want in a pitching prospect with number two starter potential.
The Player: Noah Syndergaard (RHP, Toronto Blue Jays) – A 2010 supplemental pick by the Blue Jays, Syndergaard made five starts in the GCL as a 17-year old that year, posting a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings. Split the 2011 season across three levels, posting a cumulative 1.83 ERA in 59 innings, allowing just 46 hits and striking out 68. Has worked as a tandem starter with Lansing (Midwest League) this year, pitching in 19 games with 12 starts. Has a 2.93 ERA and 6-2 record in 67.2 innings with 56 hits and 18 walks allowed, along with 84 strikeouts.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-5, 200): Extra-large frame with really long legs and long arms. High waist. Good shoulder width with room to fill out and add strength. Solid athleticism with good control of his body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Relatively simple delivery that he controls well despite size and long limbs. Consistent landing point and good line to the plate. Arm action gets a little short on the back side but he repeats it well. Some effort throughout drive to the plate and some scouts don’t love it.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 100, Low – 90, Average – 93-95, Grade – 70/80
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 99, Low 90, Average 93-94, Grade – 70/80
Fastball (FB) Movement: Really good plane to the plate because of height and long arms. Good angle makes him difficult to square and helps induce ground balls. Has some boring action at times. Shows ability to add sink as well and should have more consistent ability to do so with additional experience. Grade – 60/70
Overall Fastball: Potential elite pitch with ability to dominate hitters. Raw velocity is already impressive and could reach elite levels with physical maturity and more repetition. Angle and natural life help FB play up right now. Grade – 70/80
Curveball (CB): Really hard CB with good downward break. Stays on top of it well and can show as plus pitch at times. Improving ability to finish out of strike zone as a chase pitch. Potential plus pitch with swing-and-miss potential. Grade – 50/60
Change-up (CH): Shows occasional feel for pitch. Naturally hard pitch but can still get a bit firm with it at times. Feel is intermittent. Sits in mid-80s. Shows occasional sink that can work really well against LHH. Potential average pitch with experience/repetition. Grade – 30/50
Control: Generally shows ability to throw strikes routinely. Repeats delivery pretty well and mild effort doesn’t seem to impede strike throwing. Strikes with CH are hit or miss. Has athleticism and is able to repeat delivery, giving him plus control profile. Grade – 40/60
Command: Will need work. Has athleticism and arm action to profile for average command projection. Well below-average location right now but should improve rapidly with more experience and physical maturity. Grade – 30/50
Summation: Has all the ingredients to develop into a frontline starter with number two potential. Excellent frame and good athleticism. Strong makeup and rarely shows emotion on the mound. Intelligent kid that is quickly learning how to work through a lineup. FB has elite potential. CB should be plus with more experience and CH could be average down the line. Potential number two starter that could be a consistent All-Star.
Relative Risk: High. Always high risk with teenage pitchers in A-ball.
Future: Should spend rest of 2012 season in Low-A and then move to High-A rotation next year. The Blue Jays have consistently been patient with young pitchers and Syndergaard could move a level at a time and may not be on the big league radar until 2015.