NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s hard to be intimidated when you’re 6-foot-6, 240 pounds and throw a “hook from hell.”
We’re talking about New York Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, who’s starting to build a reputation in Port St. Lucie as anything but soft.
“It’s obvious he has got the arm,” pitching coach Dan Warthen told the New York Post. “But dozens of guys have the arm and not the other stuff. I’m excited because he has the other stuff and only turned 21 last August. He is only 21 and he doesn’t get afraid, you sense no intimidation whatsoever.”
The right-hander apparently isn’t afraid to bring the intensity with his coaches, either. The New York Daily News described a moment this spring when minor league pitching coordinator Ron Romanick told Syndergaard not to “cheat” by getting a head start during infield drills.
“I don’t (bleepin’) cheat,” Syndergaard fired back to the delight of club staff, the Daily News reported.
Syndergaard told the paper that generally it takes awhile to unleash his “full personality” — unless he’s on the field.
“Things like that, people don’t expect from me, me being spontaneous like that,” he said. “People don’t know really what to expect.”
Syndergaard threw two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut against Atlanta on Monday, striking out two and allowing just one hit.
“He’s got all the traits of the good ones,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s going to be a really, really good pitcher. … He’s on track to be special.”
Syndergaard, known at Mets camp as “Thor,” is expected to start the season at Triple-A, where he’ll wait out the Super 2 deadline. The Mets handled Zack Wheeler the same way last year, ensuring they’d have the young pitcher on a discounted rate for an extra season.
“You see a lot of guys that throw 96 and 97 mph during the season, that they’re not throwing 96 or 97 right now,” said the Braves’ Ryan Doumit. “I didn’t know anything about the kid coming into today, but I sure won’t forget his name now.”
Syndergaard, acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade, went 9-4 with a 3.06 ERA and 133 strikeouts last season in Single- and Double-A.
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