The Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect struck out more than half the batters he faced Friday, fanning a career-high nine over five shutout innings in Class A Lansing's 5-4 win over South Bend.
Syndergaard gave up just one hit, a bloop single by Tom Belza in the first, before retiring the final 13 batters he faced.
"I had everything working for me," he said. "I was working my fastball really well, hitting the bottom of the strike zone, and once I got ahead [in the count] I would go to my secondary pitches. My slider was working really well for me tonight, it had a lot of depth. And my curveball was probably the best it's been all season."
The hard-throwing right-hander struck out the side in the second and again in the fourth, allowing only two balls out of the infield. Syndergaard, Toronto's top pitching prospect, said he takes that as a sign he's locating his pitches well.
"I like when I see ground-ball outs," he explained. "It gives me a little feedback that I've had some good tilt on the ball and that I'm throwing to the bottom of the strike zone. That's really good to see."
Short starts are the norm for the 6-foot-5 Texan, who's pitched past the fifth inning once in 27 appearances -- he limited West Michigan to a run on three hits over six frames on July 8. His 2.74 ERA would rank fourth in the Midwest League if he had enough innings to qualify.
"We're just on a five-inning limit right now," he said, "but my arm felt great afterward. It didn't even feel like I did much at all."
Syndergaard, the 38th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, is one part of a loaded Lugnuts rotation that included three of the Jays' top seven prospects. Southpaw Justin Nicolino (No. 6) has been the ace, going 10-4 with a league-leading 2.41 ERA, while No. 7 prospect Aaron Sanchez -- picked four spots ahead of Syndergaard -- would rank third with a 2.49 ERA if he qualified.
Earlier this week, the Toronto Sun called the trio of 20-year-olds the future of Blue Jays pitching.
"We're all pretty much brothers," Syndergaard said. "We all get along just fine and we all have the same goal in mind, and that's getting to the big leagues.
"We do feed off each other, but it's not like we're out there in constant competition. We're all out there with the same goal -- and that's to get better every day. We push each other. We're all each other's fans."
South Bend's Tyler Green (4-9) went toe to toe with Syndergaard in the early going, carrying a two-hit shutout into the seventh before surrendering five runs.
Since Syndergaard left a scoreless game, Brandon Berl (4-7) picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
Kevin Patterson homered in the seventh and Dalton Pompey delivered a bases-loaded triple.