He’s this year’s Zack Wheeler, the top pitching prospect for the 51s, and by almost any measure Noah Syndergaard’s first weekend in Las Vegas has been a rousing success so far.
He struck out the first batter he faced in his Triple-A debut at Cashman Field Friday night. He struck out four more Fresno batters. He threw 76 pitches in six innings. He hit 97 mph on the radar gun; he was the winning pitcher in Las Vegas’ 11-8 victory.
Yes, Syndergaard allowed six hits and two earned runs. But he did not complain about pitching with dry balls — dry baseballs — as Wheeler did after the Mets called him up last season.
Oh yeah, Syndergaard also drove in a run with a single.
But I think I may have discovered a flaw in his game.
He does not say “Back!” well, or at least not loudly enough.
Syndergaard might be a top prospect and all that, but he’s not too big to coach first base — they don’t have the luxury of first-base coaches in the minors, so one of the players usually has to volunteer.
He was coaching first when one of the 51s — I believe it was Anthony Seratelli — got picked off on Thursday.
The 51s had two guys get picked off first on opening night. I’m not sure if Syndergaard was coaching first base for the first one. It might have been Allen Dykstra, No. 10.
I wasn’t working, and it was $1 beer night. There was a good crowd and the lines for beer and to use the restrooms were long.
Because the 51s still have an old ballpark, it was crowded on the concourses. So when Kirk Nieuwenhuis got picked off first in the home fourth, I could not tell if it was No. 10 who forgot to shout “Back!” or No. 55.
This is one more reason why the 51s need a new ballpark.