Opinion: Despite Injury Concerns, Syndergaard Worth the Gamble

Justin Downs
Justin is an MLB contributor for the Infinity Sports Network since February 2020. He also contributes to the affiliated Crush City Station (Houston Astros blog) and is an athletics reporter for the East Tennessean newspaper.

Noah Syndergaard is a model of consistent productivity on the mound. Syndergaard is definitely the type of phenom you’d want your favorite MLB team to take a chance on when he hits free agency after the 2021 season. 

Syndergaard falls short of the monster contract level he once was. But the right-hander, affectionately nicknamed “Thor”, still sports elite talent that any club in need of pitching should be on the lookout for. 

Injury Concerns

The New York Mets’ star underwent successful Tommy John surgery on March 26th, as reported by ESPN.com. Syndergaard should return at some point in 2021. This is certainly not his first run in with injuries during his stellar MLB career.

Syndergaard suffered a partial right lat muscle tear derailed his 2017 campaign. Injury and viral illness negatively affected his 2018 season. Syndergaard’s performance indicates not only his dominant pitching displays in the past, but also what he has the potential to accomplish beyond the 2021 season.

Syndergaard’s stat sheet since joining the Mets in 2015 will do all the talking for him in free agency after next year.

Performance Breakdown

Still only 27, Syndergaard holds a lifetime ERA of 3.31. Even his career-high ERA, last season’s 4.28 over 197 innings, is serviceable for a guy who doesn’t need to be the Mets’ do-it-all type player. (Assuming ace Jacob deGrom remains in the picture).                                                    

Carrying an imposing 6’6″, 240-pound physical presence, Syndergaard possesses the type of filthy stuff that leaves batters looking foolish. The man throws a change-up that averaged 91.1 miles per hour in 2019.

Don’t sleep on his slider, either. Despite slightly less velocity out of his slider last year, it served as even more of a strikeout pitch. One good enough for a 32.1% putaway percentage for the 2019 season.

The Bottom Line

Should the New York Mets choose to extend Syndergaard, in addition to hanging onto deGrom, they’ll give themselves a chance in a wide-open NL East race. That kind of one-two punch in the rotation stands arguably unmatched at the Major League level right now.

But the more likely scenario is the Mets letting Syndergaard hit the open free agency market. There will be no shortage of interest from the surrounding MLB market. If I’m a fan of any other MLB team vying for a solid starter on the right side of 30-years old, Noah Syndergaard would be my guy. Thor is worth every penny he’ll get.

Check out our other Baseball coverage, and don’t forget to follow @ISNblognetwork on Twitter.

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