We saw Noah Syndergaard establish himself this past season as not just the Mets’ top pitcher but as one of the best starting pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. After dazzling against Madison Bumgarner through 7 innings in the Mets’ final game of 2016, it looks like the Mets ace will get the opportunity to be on the mound when the Mets open 2017. Though not officially announced just yet, the word is that manager Terry Collins will name Syndergaard the Mets’ Opening Day starter during spring training.
After a strong debut season in 2015 culminating in a very memorable Game 3 victory in the World Series, Syndergaard truly threw down the hammer in 2016 and dominated. Over his 30 starts, Syndergaard threw to a 2.60 ERA in 183.2 innings, while striking out an eye-popping 218 batters and walking just 43. Syndergaard also managed to cut his home runs down this past season, allowing just 11 after serving up 19 dingers as a rookie. All of this led to Syndergaard finishing in a tie for the MLB lead in FIP among qualified starting pitchers at 2.30 with the late Jose Fernandez.
It wasn’t all fun and games for Syndergaard this past season, as controlling the running game became an issue early on and he particularly struggled against the rival Nationals. Despite allowing a league-high 48 stolen bases, Syndergaard managed to clamp down on the problem as the season progressed with help from a slightly quickened windup and the strong arm of catcher Rene Rivera behind the plate.
At just 24 years old, Thor has an unbelievably high ceiling and with health, should be in for another dominant season at the front of the Mets rotation.