Baseball America hosted a chat today to discuss their top 100 prospects list, and Matt Eddy was asked where Syndergaard ranked when compared to Harvey and Wheeler. His answer?
I think he’s more similar in some ways to Wheeler because he can dominate with his fastball and throw a ton of strikes with the pitch. However, Syndergaard has much better control than either Harvey or Wheeler did in the minors. If he refines his curveball and can sustain his performance over 200 innings, then he could be scary good.
Some quick research backs up Eddy’s assertion that Syndergaard has better control than Harvey or Wheeler did at the same point in their development.
After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton last season, Syndergaard walked 2.00 batters per 9 innings pitched – an improvement over the 2.26 per 9 he walked in High-A St. Lucie earlier in the season.
Comparatively speaking, Wheeler walked 3.34 per 9 while he was in Double-A and Harvey walked 3.47 per 9 in Double-A (and had his walk totals spike to close to 4.00 per 9 after advancing to Triple-A).
Harvey is the rare pitcher who vaulted to a whole other level after reaching the big leagues, while Wheeler displayed flashes of brilliance to go along with some inconsistency after being promoted to the Mets.
Syndergaard may profile more like Wheeler as far as where his stuff is at the moment (one true plus pitch aside from his fastball), but his demeanor reminds me more of Harvey.
As Matt Eddy points out, what separates Syndergaard from Harvey and Wheeler – at least at this stage – is his superb control.
If Syndergaard can improve his other secondaries to go along with his curveball – while maintaining his tremendous control – he could quickly turn it to what Eddy predicts he can be: scary good.