2 GUYS TALKING: Rafael Montero & Noah Syndergaard



For what seems like ages now we have been hearing that we would be building with young pitching. Last summer Matt Harvey showed up and took New York by storm. Now in the summer of 2013 he is joined by Zack Wheeler. Two more names are prominently mentioned as being close to joining them, Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. Both Montero and Syndergaard were recently promoted, Montero to Las Vegas, and Syndergaard is now a car ride away from both of us in Binghamton. As we watch this unfold I am intrigued by both but especially by Montero. Unlike Wheeler and Harvey, he doesn’t possess incredible size or stuff. But his numbers have been phenomenal. Harvey and Wheeler seemed like as sure a thing as a pitching prospect could be, Montero is more of a wild card. If Rafael is for real, things get very promising. Or am I getting ahead of myself? We do need hitters and you have to give to get.


Remember that pretty girl you had a crush on in 7th grade? You’d make excuses to walk past her locker, take the long way home in the hope of catching a glimpse of her while she walked her golden retriever (you knew exactly where and when she walked that dog, the path she took, the corner where she always snuck a cigarette). Then one day on your way to Earth Science you saw her holding hands with the best athlete in the 8th grade, Muscles McGee. You wandered around like a corpse the rest of the day, then sat in your bedroom and listened to Neil Young albums all weekend long.


No, I peaked in middle school. But carry on.


Rafael Montero might be that girl. Or maybe it’s Noah Syndergaard (who I see as next season’s “Super 2″ guy — yes, we can look forward to that!). But dude, it’s wonderful to dream, but I don’t think you are getting them both. Besides, you’ve already got Harvey and Wheeler! What do you think this is, “Caligula”?


That’s logical. So let’s say one has to go. If you get a call and it’s up to you, and the other team values them both the same, who do you want to part with? Montero is closer to Citi Field and has had fantastic results. Syndergaard has performed well too, with a slightly shorter body of work. On one hand every level in a system is a new obstacle to be conquered. On the other, Syndergaard has the prototypical size and arm.


syndergaardMy opinion doesn’t really matter, as it’s based entirely on things I’ve read. I guess I think of Syndergaard as the safer bet. He’s younger and has 6″ and 70 pounds on Montero. Everyone in baseball knows what Sandy’s got, and what he needs, and the Mets’ timetable. They are going to have to put a top-shelf hitter on the table to entice Alderson to give up one of those two guys, otherwise we are falling back into the next tier, prospects like Mazzoni. BTW, Montero gets shut down this year once he reaches 150-160 innings. But come April 2014, he should slot right into the rotation. And goodness, wouldn’t that be fun? Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, and Niese. Here I am again, back in school, hanging by the water fountain, dreaming of the day.

Here’s what Matt Cerrone at Metsblog recently had to say about Syndergaard:

Syndergaard is the guy I can see being traded. I’m not saying he will be, or that the Mets want to move him. I’m just saying, you have to give something to get something, and the buzz around Syndergaard is loud and increasing every time I hear his name. So, if the Mets want a legit hitter, it’s going to be difficult to make a deal without including this kid. In fact, on WFAN, Peter Gammons said he recently spoke to five different scouts who have watched Syndergaard in the last week and they all proclaimed to love him. Gammons believes the Blue Jays almost certainly regret trading him.

If you haven’t heard of Metsblog, you might want to check it out. We get a dime for every reader we send over there.


That’s a nickel each! But I think I’ll just go to the futures game at Citi Field and check them both out for myself. Just bought my tickets. All-Star dilemma solved for me, and I didn’t even have to cancel my vacation to pay for it.




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  1. blastingzone says:

    If the mets trade Syndergaard they will regret it just like they did when they traded
    Nolan Ryan! For all the good SA has done here he will be remembered as the
    GM who traded Syndergaard! I would rather trade Montero than Syndergaard
    who has a chance to be something very special!!

    • Every minor leaguer who throws strikes has a “chance” to be something special. Lets see Snydergaard conquer the AA level before we crown him the next jewel.

      Ultimately look at this very philosophically. Would you have dealt RA Dickey for a major league bat and a top minor league prospect bat? I’d guess yes. Snydergaard in that case is just an intermediary or pawn.

      I want to see him pitch some before making any long term proclamations. Though somewhere nagging in the back of my mind is that he is the guy to keep and the guy to trade was the one who recently debuted.

  2. The key to a lot of this is Michael Fulmer and Steven Matz. Both pitching off very different injuries. Fulmer really only has a shot at getting 10-12 starts in the remainder of the summer now that he is back. The Mets need those to be reassuring if not eye opening and out of mini-minor ball as soon as possible.

    Matz has been solid if nothing else as a 22 year old who has suffered multiple setbacks. I’d like to see him get at least 5 starts in St. Lucie this year too.

    Seeing the “depth” start to settle in will make choices less complex and more doors open.

    But, as I said above, I suspect in the pit of my stomach the guy to trade has already rode in on a white donkey.

  3. Brian Joura says:

    I know JP made a throwaway reference to Cory Mazzoni but he’s been on a very nice four-game run, where he has 34 Ks and 6 BB in his last 24.2 IP. He missed about a month of action with elbow troubles but sure seems to be firing on all cylinders right now.

    • Michael Geus says:

      That’s true Brian, he is firing right now. I saw Mazzoni last year in Binghamton and Jimmy saw him this year. It’s funny, both days Cory pitched well, but neither one of us came away impressed with his stuff.

      He will be interesting to watch, he keeps getting it done.

      I’m sure if I had seen Dillon Gee in Double A I would not have been impressed, and now I’m very happy we have him.

      • I’ve wanted to trade Dillon Gee yesterday for the past 2 years. Not because he isn’t good, but because I think he’s easily replaceable and that he could be part of a package to acquire a hitter. On Mazzoni, he’s doing good things right now, and I thought he looked like a complete pitcher. The way he carried himself, held runners on, fielded the position, etc. Might be a reliever, might be the next Gee, might be part of the next trade. All of those things are good. Rooting for his continued success as he flies under the radar — underestimated, perhaps, by schlubs like me.

  4. For more on Mazzoni, Mets 360 had a good piece recently:


  5. Eric says:

    The Trade Menu is interesting—I believe they need a Big Reload here. Vets like Byrd, Marcum, Parnell, and Murph have to be on the table.

    Those guys will help you compete, and they have been so bad until the past 10 days—it will set the present squad back a bit—-but not so much if you bring back a useable and forward projectable player…a present MLB’er.

    3 years of hopeless pain—-a little more medicine will make it worth it— I look for an August Team with NEW FACES and some missing faces too.

    They have bailed at the trade deadline in the past—Step Up!!!!

  6. I think Parnell is very tricky, to flip him would require great confidence in the young arms coming up, but I like him much more than you do. Ultimately, it all comes back to the return: I wouldn’t trade Murphy for mediocrity. I think the team can and should be BETTER in August than it is today. It’s time to add a real bat to the lineup. And d’Arnaud.

  7. Eric says:

    d’Arnauds Rehab…all at Catcher?…. or do they dh, OF…. 1b????….

  8. Rehab I could see some DH, for sure. I believe his greatest value is as a catcher, there are so few who can actually hit that it becomes a great competitive advantage. Move him to 1B or even OF and you lose a lot of that edge. The Mets traded the Cy Young Winner for a catcher, partly because it was a glaring team need and that he could fill a hole for years. I wouldn’t screw around with it, personally.

  9. One last thought on trading Syndergaard vs. Montero. I guess Rafael had a poor outing in Cashman Field the other day, because everybody does: 3IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 1K, 1HR. So again this is a problem with Vegas. Suppose, like me, you prefered to trade Montero rather than Syndergaard. I suspect that time in Vegas could easily diminish Montero’s trade value. Not ideal.

  10. Eric says:

    Matz had a very interesting Line in his last start— 8 Innings, and I am Positive that it was done with extreme purpose. His year started with extreme limits on innings. His past 10 starts average about 5 innings…suddenly he dropped 8!

    Given health, he could move very quickly— I would hope that they push him to High A immediately. I would guess that he’s going to move quickly/be part of a trade package.

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