Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #14 Noah Syndergaard

Photograph provided by W. Sanders Photography - Wes Sanders

One of the many pitching prospects chosen high in the 2010 draft that could someday turn out to be an ace of the Jays staff is next in the big Texan…..

#14: Noah Syndergaard

Right Handed Pitcher /  18 years old / 6’5″ 200 lbs

Born: August 29th 1992, in Mansfield Texas

Bats Left   Throws Right

High School Team: Legacy High School, Mansfield Texas

College: Had a commitment to Dallas Baptist University before signing with the Jays.

Drafted: in the 1st sandwich round, 38th overall

Signed: for $600,000, $258,000 under MLB’s slot recommendation. Jim Callis of Baseball America notes that he got similar money to what would be expected had he been drafted in the 4th or 5th rounds, where he was expected to be drafted. He is represented by Xclusive Sports Management.

Quick Facts:

  • He has Dutch, German, and Scottish ancestry.
  • His parents weren’t big on baseball until he started playing it, but his dad did help him learn the game with the help of an instructor from age 7.
  • He only started playing organized baseball after being spotted playing soccer at age 10, and soon after quit soccer to concentrate on baseball.
  • Noah was the first 2010 draftee to sign with the Jays.
  • The players he models himself after are Roy Halladay and Roger Clemens, both of whom are hard throwing pitchers, with Clemens being from Texas – just like Noah.
  • His favorite baseball movie is Major League and he likes to have a sub from Quiznos before games.
  • He credits his friend, Allen Davis, for helping him out as he has learned to play baseball with some brotherly advice, some of which is included in the Jays Journal interview linked below.
  • The most memorable game of his pre-professional career was against Birdville High School, when he struck out 15 hitters while relying on his newly learned curve ball instead of his fastball (it was a quarterfinals game).
  • Only learned to throw his already plus rated curve in 2009.
  • Wants to add a splitter to his arsenal and has already learned the basics of the pitch.
  • Notes that his fastball actually gains some speed as the game goes on, that he once hit 98 MPH on the radar gun, and that he could add some speed to this already impressive pitch.
  • Noah is confident that he can reach the majors in 3-4 years and is more than ready to put in the work required to make that happen. He notes his work ethic as a major reason that he’ll be able to reach his goal.

Jersey Number#76 for the GCL Blue Jays.

Stats:

Date ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
12-Jul 0.00 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
17-Jul 4.50 1 1 0 2 4 1 1 0 1 2 0.500
23-Jul 0.00 1 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 0.111
29-Jul 0.00 1 1 0 4 2 1 0 0 2 0 0.154
10-Aug 11.57 1 1 0 2.1 4 5 3 0 0 1 0.333
Totals 2.70 5 5 0 13.1 11 7 4 0 4 6 0.229

Interviews/Videos:

  • I interviewed Noah in June of 2010. The link is available here and includes a video at the bottom.
  • Another video of Noah from Youtube is available here.

Extra Information and previous experience:

  • As a Senior in HS, he threw 59 innings, went 7-3 with a 1.42 ERA, 18 walks, and 85 Ks

There’s a very good reason that Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays used a sandwich pick on him, but it seems that he is still buried slightly amongst the many pitching prospects the Jays gathered in 2010. Noah Syndergaard is one of only 3 Jays prospect pitchers I can honestly see as an automatic number two starter so long as injuries don’t come into play. I would love to have him in the top 10 prospects, and fully believe that he’ll be in the top 5 in 2012, he’s just that good and driven to succeed. If scouts and draft evaluators would have gotten over the fact that he did blossom as close to the draft as a prospect can without being ignored altogether, they would have done as the Jays did and ranked him in the top 30-40 of the draft. That’s what his stuff and potential dictated as a ranking.

Here we have a 6’5″ 200 lbs pitcher who works anywhere between 90 and 95 MPH at only 18 years old. He has hit 98 MPH on the radar gun, and could still add enough strength to work steadily between 93 and 96 MPH with the ability to reach for more when required. His curve ball is advanced despite having thrown it only for a short period of time, and he is also looking to work steadily on his splitter. That’s already a pretty advanced arsenal for someone coming straight out of High School, and you have to wonder if the Jays struck gold simply based on this information.

But wait, there’s more! Jim Callis of Baseball America noted that Syndergaard may have the best change up of any of the top 4 Jays picks from 2010 in the long run. Well that’s the last bit of information I needed to put him ahead of some of the other pitchers drafted in 2010, even if the others are rated higher on this prospects ranking list. If he can actually work in an average-to-possibly plus change up, along with his already plus curve and plus fastball, and have a splitter to throw in once in a while, that’s a recipe for a true #1 starter.

Well, hang on now, some people will say that what’s between the ears will matter a ton in either making him a major league pitcher or a minor pitcher, never mind a true #1. True, but if you read the interview linked above, you can see a focused young man that is entirely aware that he won’t be handed anything, and that he’ll have to earn a spot in the rotation ahead of some very hefty competition. Add in the fact that he has the work ethic, build to become a workhorse, an easy and effortless delivery, and you’ve got an ace in the making if he can bring it all together.

Whether Noah Syndergaard is able to capitalize on the opportunity he has to develop himself as one of the best pitching prospects the Jays have had since Roy Halladay will be determined over the next 2 years, but I can tell you that he kicked things off on the right foot. As the youngest pitcher on the GCL Blue Jays in 2010, for a short stint, Syndergaard put up the stats listed above over his 5 starts. I decided to list his stats for all 5 starts, because it shows us how dominant he was through his first 4 starts. Over those initial 4 starts, he threw 11 innings, allowed 7 hits, 4 walks, struck out 5 and only allowed 1 ER. It is a small sample size, but it’s definitely an encouraging one.

He was particularly effective against left-handed batters as well, allowing only 1 hit and 1 walk over the 9 LHB he faced. It is definitely as small a sample size as you can get, so it’s hard to put into context, but the important point to take away from this is that he got his feet wet and will be better prepared to face hitters in 2011 as a result. If he truly plans on keeping his time-line to the majors short, he needed to grab that opportunity and to do well. Now we get to see what he’s able to bring to the table, a year older, a little stronger, and more focused than ever.

Due to his limited innings pitched in 2010, it’s likely that the Jays will keep him on a shorter season squad with the possibility of a promotion to LoA at the end of the minor league season.

Expected 2011 Team: GCL Blue Jays and/or Vancouver Canadians

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: #1 Starter, with Roy Halladay type potential

Syndergaard has the chance to have 4 pitches that grade as average to plus, has an easy, effortless, and repeatable delivery, and has the build to be durable as can be. Of all of the pitchers Alex Anthopoulos and the Jays drafted in 2010, he carries the most risk because he was drafted so high and is so young. But, with his potential being a true #1 pitcher that a franchise can build around to challenge for a championship, he’s more than worth the risk.

– MG

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Tags: Aaron Sanchez Asher Wojciechowski Deck McGuire Noah Syndergaard Roger Clemens Roy Halladay

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