Noah Syndergaard was drafted by the Blue Jays in the supplemental first round (38th overall) of the 2010 MLB draft out of Legacy High School in Mansfield, Texas.
“The day I was drafted was also the same day I graduated from high school so it was very exciting. After graduation I went out to dinner with my family. Then after dinner I returned home for a draft party with family and friends and that’s when I got first word I was drafted,” Syndergaard said, adding, “It was awesome, absolutely the greatest feeling in the world!”
Syndergaard signed in 2010 and joined the Gulf Coast Blue Jays for five games. In the GCL, the right-handed Texan went 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA with six strikeouts and four walks in 13 1/3 innings pitched. In 2011, Syndergaard split his time between the Bluefield Blue Jays, the Vancouver Canadians and the Lansing Lugnuts, going 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 13 games with 68 strikeouts and 18 walks in 59 innings.
“I liked playing in Bluefield. It’s small, so there are not too many fans there, but it has a homelike feeling to it,” he said. “Vancouver was awesome. I spent three to four weeks there and it was the greatest three to four weeks of my life. Great city, awesome fans, loved playing there. Awesome host parents. It’s a big league city.”
Syndergaard returned to Lansing for the 2012 season where he piggybacked starts early in the year with Anthony DeSclafani. The right-hander went 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA in 103 2/3 innings, along with 122 strikeouts to 31 walks.
“The piggyback system taught me a lot about adversity,” Syndergaard admitted. “After a great 2011 season it was a struggle coming out of the bullpen at times earlier in the year, but the experience made me a better pitcher.”
Much of Syndergaard’s success is based on his pitch repertoire. “I use a fastball, changeup, curveball, and I’m working on a slider,” he said. “My fastball is my best pitch it’s usually around 94-95 mph. My season high is 99 mph. I can command my fastball on both sides of the plate. My changeup is my second best pitch I throw that when I need to get back into a pitchers count.”
“My curveball is coming out well. The addition of my slider helped the velocity of my curveball which lacked velocity before adding the slider.”
Lansing Lugnuts’ pitching coach Vince Horsman had this to say about Syndergaard: “Noah is an ugly son of a buck. The maturation of Noah Syndergaard as a thrower to a pitcher has far exceeded my expectations for this year. He’s starting to get it, understand it, and learn how to be successful and not be one dimensional. We saw this in his last start which was probably the best start by any of our pitchers this year. At the beginning of the year, Noah was a fastball, changeup guy we implemented a curveball which was okay. Midway through the season we added a slider which helped his curveball as well and has made him a four pitch pitcher instead of just a two-pitch pitcher.”
Syndergaard is also focused on the Lugnuts’ upcoming playoff run. “Finishing the season strong is a goal of mine. Finishing the season here last year we came up a little short in the Championship Series. Hopefully this year we get back and get another ring out of it.”