Virtually no one would have put their money on Noah Syndegaard to be the last ace standing out of the New York Mets rotation in 2016. It was in fact Syndegaard who was the only member of the vaunted “Big Five” of Jacob DeGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zach Wheeler, who wound up pitching through the season. The reason many would doubt Syndegaard’s health is for the fact that if you were to draw up what a classic Tommy John elbow victim would like it, Thor would be it. Syndegaard checks all the red flag boxes such as being under the age of 27, having the ability to throw extremely hard (average fastball velocity of 98), and for taking a jump in innings from one year to the next. While Syndegaard did have a few scares along the way (and developed a bone spur that did not require removal), he was able to throw 183.2 innings in the regular season, while posting ace numbers. Syndegaard is about as pure a power pitcher as you can get as his 10.68 K/9 rate and 218 strikeouts could attest. Posting a dominant 2.60 ERA, Syndegaard is also the extremely rare young flamethrower who possesses excellent control (2.11 BB/9). That makes it virtually impossible for opposing hitters to get much to hit off of Syndegaard and again only health can derail him. As we look toward 2017, Syndegaard is an easy top ten fantasy baseball ace but his health is an issue that won’t go away. When you make an investment in Syndegaard, you are clearly crossing your fingers and hoping things don’t go wrong with his health. Let’s see how lucky you are.
2017 PROJECTION: 16-8 2.52 ERA 1.14 WHIP 223 K