Mets Prospect Syndergaard Explodes on Twitter


Before I engage in this discussion, I would like to clarify that I have no questions regarding the talent of Grading on the Curve’s No. 10 prospect Noah Syndergaard. We’ve all heard about his blazing fastball, “hook from hell”, and physical build of a true workhorse. Further, every insider I’ve interviewed has pegged Syndergaard as the safest bet to succeed out of the Mets top prospects. Thus, I believe any argument that 22-year-old righty cannot succeed at the major league level due to sheer talent level is erroneous.

Nevertheless, mental composure is just as critical as ability, if not more important, in establishing a successful major league career. And Syndergaard’s recent exhibition of his composure has been very underwhelming. 

He struggled with his focus last season, admitting that he “paid way too much attention” to a major league call-up in 2014. At the time, I simply attributed this lack of concentration to a young player who was tantalizingly close to fulfilling his dream. No harm no foul.

Then there was the locker room situation this Spring. According to reports, Noah decided to eat lunch right in the middle of a Mets’ ballgame. David Wright proceeded to trash Syndergaard’s meal and lead the youngster to the dugout. I simply put this occurrence up to a misunderstanding. Barely the legal drinking age, it is conceivable that Syndergaard did not understand the significance of his actions. 

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But when I came across a dialogue between Syndergaard and a Mets fans on Twitter last night, my doubts about the fireballer’s composure came forth once again.

Rising Apple, our Fansided affiliate for all things Mets,  tweeted that Syndergaard’s would miss his next start due to illness, causing a Mets fan to refer to Syndergaard as “soft” and state that a gamer like Steven Matz would never allow illness to prevent him from pitching. Syndergaard himself then swooped into the conversation and began defending himself. Here are the screenshots of his tweets. 

On one hand, I commend Noah for sticking up for himself against an online heckler. No fan has the right to question the character of a young man who has worked his butt off to position himself as a top prospect.

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But on the other, as a representative of the Mets organization, Syndergaard must take the high road in these situations. Would Mets captain David Wright, the exemplar of a professional ballplayer, ever respond in such a manner to a critic over social media?

Noah should have completely ignored this tweet, and in my opinion, delete his Twitter if it causes him such concern.

We could decide that last night’s responses just caught Noah at the wrong time. However, this was not the first time that a fan tweet prompted a response from Syndergaard. Below are screenshots detailing another conversation between a fan and Noah. The fact that Syndergaard chose to acknowledge another hater is concerning, to say the least.

What most concerns me about Syndergaard’s behavior is not necessarily his degrading responses, but his apparent anxiety towards people’s opinions of him, even if those opinions come from an uneducated fan.

When Syndergaard inevitably makes his debut with the Mets, no doubt will be under significant scrutiny from the press and fanbase alike. Should he struggle in first few starts, can we trust that he will handle negative media questions or boos from the crowd with professionalism in light of his twitter correspondences?

It takes a special type of ballplayer succeed under the bright lights of New York City. And as a young player’s performance often fluctuates through the season, it is imperative that rookies to focus solely on improving their game and disregard the critics.

I’m not saying that Noah Syndergaard, who is only 22-years old, cannot mature into a player that can thrive in the Big Apple. He very much stands the chance to be an elite pitcher in the world’s top league.

However, starting pitching requires mental acumen, concentration, and composure that Syndergaard has failed to demonstrate over the last calendar year.

At the very least, I believe his checkered past, pushed over the top by recent Twitter activity, has raised significant concerns regarding whether Syndergaard’s has focus to play in New York.