If you read some of the reports coming out of Port St. Lucie yesterday, you would think everyone just crawled out from under a rock. I can’t remember the last time a bullpen session caused so much buzz. Noah Syndergaard, the Mets’ No. 1 prospect, put on an incredible show yesterday.
What was everyone expecting?
You can rewind to about 25 different articles on Metsmerized Online covering his dominating performances in 2013. On April 1, 2013, I wrote a piece entitled Syndergaard Could Be Mets No. 1 Prospect By All-Star Break. Here is what I said about Syndergaard after seeing some bullpen video from 2013 spring training:
Syndergaard is a tall and imposing figure on the mound, and standing in at 6-feet 6-inches is an intimidating presence. I had the chance to watch a bullpen session on Syndergaard and love what I see. His mechanics are effortless and the ball explodes out of his hand (High-90s fastball). His changeup is great, and while there have been some knocks on his curveball in the past, it looks like it is developing nicely. This kid is the goods.
Sound familiar? The only difference is that his curveball is no longer getting knocks, it is being called the “hook from hell” by Mets’ manager Terry Collins.
Everyone was gathered around to get a glimpse of the pitching phenom yesterday. He did everything he could to back up his outstanding 2013—he was bringing the cheese, the knee-buckling curve, and showing to everyone that his stuff is for real.
Syndergaard’s first bullpen was an awesome display—even more impressive due to the fact that everyone was watching—coaches, media, owners, and other players. A pitcher can’t have more pressure for his first 40-pitch bullpen session of the season. But that’s what comes with the territory of being crowned the organizations’ top prospect.
While there was no hitter opposing him, Syndergaard rose to the occasion. His impressive bullpen session validated his outstanding on-field performance in 2013—and as Collins alluded, it’s what he does on the field that counts.
Photo by Howard Simmons, Daily Newsby