What do Mets have in pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard?
Just how good is Noah Syndergaard?
Mets Triple-A manager Wally Backman seemed to raise the question himself last Saturday, telling fans at the Queens Baseball Convention that Steven Matz was the team’s best pitching prospect.
Some rival scouts and executives, meanwhile, have expressed concerns about Syndergaard, saying his fastball lacks movement and that he ultimately might project as a power reliever.
So, would the Mets be open to trading Syndergaard, if not now in a trade for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, then possibly later in one for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki or another player?
Baseball America recently rated Syndergaard and Matz 1-2 among the Mets’ top prospects. And a scout who has seen Syndergaard frequently said flatly that moving him to the bullpen would be "the easy way out."
"He’s still young and has aptitude and work ethic," the scout said. "Because his numbers weren’t great in the (Pacific Coast League) at altitude, people want to come off him some. But I think he has a chance to be a No. 2 and at worst a good No. 3."
Syndergaard was 9-7 with a 4.60 ERA pitching at Las Vegas last season. Backman, according to reports, said that Syndergaard "has the stuff to win a Cy Young," adding that the pitcher’s "command is an issue and he’s slow from the stretch, but he has the stuff."