Sunday, July 14, 2013
Mets excited by 'glimpse into the future'
By Mike Mazzeo
Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard lit up the radar gun, and the hearts of Mets fans, on Sunday.
NEW YORK -- New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson was impressed with what he saw from pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, who each threw scoreless first innings before departing in Sunday’s Futures Game.
“My guess is they both started because we’re at Citi Field, but they both distinguished themselves and they both would’ve pitched regardless,” Alderson said after the U.S. Team beat the World Team, 4-2. “They both threw well, and we’re excited about both of them.
“It was a glimpse into the future. Not just for us but for our fans, and that’s a real positive.”
Syndergaard faced the minimum for the U.S. Team, highlighting his extremely brief outing by striking out Arismendy Alcantara with a 96-mph fastball. The 20-year-old right-hander, whose heater was regularly clocked between 95 and 96 mph and also featured a solid curveball, allowed a two-out single to Xander Bogaerts, but Bogaerts was caught trying to steal second for the final out of the frame.
“It was awesome,” Syndergaard said. “I got my inning in, then watched for eight innings. I can’t wait to get here and hopefully I become as good as [Matt] Harvey and [Zack] Wheeler.”
Montero, pitching for the World Team, responded with a 1-2-3 inning -- inducing two fly outs and a ground out. The 22-year-old right-hander’s fastball was regularly clocked between 93 and 95 mph. Montero also featured a slider, but didn’t have a chance to show his change-up or sinker.
“It’s something incredible, it’s a really beautiful thing,” Montero said through a translator. “I’m incredibly thankful that I got the chance to pitch here, and maybe one day I’ll have a chance to pitch here [in the big leagues].”
Alderson is especially impressed by Montero’s demeanor on the mound.
“For a young guy without that much experience -- although he’s in Triple-A now, he’s really moved quick -- he’s done it in-part because he has the kind of demeanor that you’re looking for on the mound.”
Alderson said he feels Syndergaard is improving.
“He was somewhat reticent when he came in, somewhat withdrawn, but I think that’s disappeared over time and he’s made lots of progress too.
“We’re very high on him, as are a lot of people in the game. We’ll just let him continue to mature and get more experience.”
• Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first-round pick in 2011, entered in left field in the fifth and went 0-for-2 at the plate, lining out to shortstop and grounding out to second.
“It’s a nice little stepping stone, a nice little reward,” Nimmo said.
“It was everything that I was looking forward to. What a beautiful ballpark and what a great welcoming from the fans. I just had a great time and really enjoyed it.”