The One and Only Nickname for Now: Thor
The Review: Noah Syndergaard allowed four earned runs five times, and allowed no earned runs only four times. The velocity on his four-seamer has decreased from 98.9 (2016) to 99.6 (2017) to 98.1 (2018).
He missed two months with a strain in his right index finger, and right after he came back, he was diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease.
None of this would be alarming if he hadn’t also missed most of last season with a torn lat muscle.
Syndergaard’s major issue, other than staying healthy, is controlling the running game. He allowed 32 stolen bases in 2018, which was actually an improvement over his 48 in 2016. Still way too high, and it causes him to split his attention with runners on base.
Before the season, Syndergaard was rated the number seven starter in the Top Ten Starters Right Now episode on MLB Network, and Jacob deGrom did not make the cut. John Smoltz did have deGrom on his top ten and left off Syndergaard.
In 2018, Syndergaard was mostly very good when he was pitching, but not as great as he could be. Is this who he is moving forward?
The Pitching stats (with ZIPS projections in parentheses):
- G 25 (25)
- GS 25 (24)
- IP 154.1 (141.7)
- ERA 3.03 (2.86)
- FIP 2.80 (2.61)
- WHIP 1.21 (1.08)
- K/9 9.04 (10.74)
- BB/9 2.27 (2.03)
- HR/9 0.52 (0.76)
- GB% 49.0 (N/A)
- WAR 4.2 (4.7)
The Offensive stats: PA 52 .128/.143/.170/.313 (OPS was less than half of 2016)
The Defensive stats: Allowed 32 stolen bases
The Value: $33.4 million Actual salary $3 million
The Grade: B- (the minus is for somehow contracting hand, foot, and mouth disease)
Notes: Is he humble enough to ask for help to get back to where he was/should be? Can he tolerate being the number 2 or even number 3 starter on this team?