Keith Law’s Thoughts on Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo, and Steven Matz

By Joe D.

September 13, 2013 3 Comments

steven matz

Yesterday, I posted one Mets related question on Mets Merized from Keith Law’s chat on ESPN on Wednesday – the one about Mets fans possibly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. I’ll include that one again along with some other questions he fielded regarding the Mets.

Chris: Josh SatinLucas DudaAllan Dykstra….how nauseous does it make you when people recommend them as starters at 1B for Mets?

Klaw: It’s baseball’s Stockholm Syndrome – fans of bad teams latch on to mediocre players when that’s the best they’ve got. And then they accuse me of hating their teams when I point out that, hey, Junior Lake isn’t anything to get excited about.

Jack: Klaw, I saw that John Manuel said that scouts he talked to in the FSL preferred CJ Edwards to Syndergaard (better breaking ball, better secondary offerings, also throws hard). This seems crazy to me. Wasn’t Syndergaard posting triple digits? What do you think about those 2 pitchers?

Klaw: I didn’t see John’s piece, but I can completely understand that point of view. Velocity doesn’t make the pitcher and Edwards has a far better breaking ball. Syndergaard is much further along, which balances things out somewhat.

James: Brandon Nimmo is showing no pop and he isn’t stealing bases. If he is destined for a corner OF position, has his stock gone off a cliff this season?

Klaw: Savannah is a brutal place for power. I’d stay off the ledge for a bit.

Kevin: I know he was old for the level, But Steven Matz had a nice year. Could there be a solid #4 starter there if he is healthy.

Klaw: I haven’t seen him post-surgery, but given his delivery, especially the head-whack, and subsequent injury, I’d say he’s more likely a reliever than a starter.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I think it’s way too early to write Matz off as a reliever. He’s responded and performed well post-surgery and is in the top ten in the league in many pitching categories. He’ll be over a year removed from surgery next season and after a Winter of rest, I suspect he’ll start the season in St. Lucie and end it in Binghamton much like Syndergaard has.

I haven’t seen Edwards pitch so I’ll leave it to the experts as to which pitcher is better, but I love what I’ve seen from Syndergaard thus far. Next season will be his biggest test.

I’m concerned about Nimmo… I don’t like what some scouts are now saying about him, and the Mets might have to move him to a corner outfield position next year because he lacks range. Most likely left because his arm doesn’t play well in right field either. He doesn’t have the power many expected. It’s hard enough to develop a teenager who did come from a baseball program, so the odds on Nimmo were always long and even DePo admitted it was a crapshoot based on ceiling. I’m thinking we can now call it a Hail Mary pass.

Thoughts from Matt M.

I actually agree with Joe on all the points he made above.

With regard the Matz, it’s way too early to write him off as a starting pitcher. After his injury problems and surgery, he put together a solid season down in Savannah (5-6, 2.62 ERA, 121 Ks in 106.1 IP). He also looked dominant in his seven shutout innings last week against Augusta. I hope he’ll help the Gnats clinch the SAL Championship tonight. I think his performance next year will tell us whether his path to the majors will end up as being a starter or reliever.

Like Joe said, he’ll likely start 2014 in St. Lucie and hopefully progress well enough to get to Binghamton before the year is over. How he adapts to the competition and how his body holds up another full season removed from surgery will be the determining factor in his future progression as a pitcher. I’d rather hold on to him as a starter as long as I can because outside of Darin Gorski, there aren’t any legitimate left-handed starting pitching prospects in our system.

As for Noah Syndergaard, people can say whatever they want about who they’d rather have. I don’t want anyone else coming up through our system.

I’m also concerned about Nimmo, and the injury he suffered at the end of April wrecked a little havoc on any potential progress he was poised to make after a big first month. He didn’t look like the same hitter again until the calendar turned to August. It will be interesting to see what the Mets do with him next year; he’ll likely be starting the season in St. Lucie. I wonder if they’ll keep him in center field for a little longer, or start the transition to a corner outfield spot.