Noah Syndergaard's transition from one organization to another has gone off without a hitch. But that doesn't mean there is no difference from being a top prospect with Toronto to one with the New York Mets.
"It's a big market and you have eyes on you all the time," the St. Lucie pitcher said. "The attention is definitely different. It's something you have to get used to. It wasn't like this with the Blue Jays."
Of course, Syndergaard was simply a supplemental first-round pick trying to work his way to Toronto. Now with the Mets, the 6-foot-6 right-hander from Texas is someone acquired as part of a deal for the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
In fact, Syndergaard is the lone prospect still on the field from the R.A. Dickey deal with catcher Travis d'Arnaud is sidelined at Triple-A Las Vegas with a broken foot. No wonder New York fans are interested.
"You try not to think about it, but there is definitely a little more pressure after being traded for a Cy Young winner," said Syndergaard, the Mets' No. 3 prospect and ranked No. 29 on MLB.com's Top 100 list. "Hopefully, I can live up to it."
So far, the 38th overall pick in 2010 Draft is showing his new organization just what it hoped to see.
Syndergaard's third start in the Class A Advanced Florida State League was a rough one, but he has been nearly flawless in his past two outings.
Syndergaard allowed three hits and an unearned run over six innings at Charlotte on April 23 in a no-decision, then worked a career-high seven innings at Tampa on Sunday en route to his first victory. He allowed five hits and an unearned run against the Yankees, striking out seven and walking one.
On the mound, the big difference for Syndergaard is the workload. The Blue Jays tightly monitored his innings and often shared starts last season for Lansing in the Class A Midwest League. He had pitched six innings only once before this year.
"I'm definitely not a fan of piggybacking or inning limits," said Syndergaard, who was 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA last season with Lansing while working just 104 innings. "I'm happy to have the opportunity to go deeper into games."
But Syndergaard had to ease into it a little bit after being limited to three innings of work during Spring Training because of lat tightness.
"I did OK my first two games, but then that time I missed caught up with me," said Syndergaard, who allowed seven runs in three innings to Fort Myers' potent offense on April 18.
Syndergaard, though, didn't let one bad outing derail him.
"You have to have a short-term memory," he said. "You're not going to have your best stuff every game."
When Syndergaard does have his best stuff, it is very impressive. His fastball, which regular hits 95-96 mph, can reach 98 mph, and he is making good progress with both his curveball and changeup. He had two strikeouts with each against Tampa.
In his 25 innings over five starts, Syndergaard has a 3.24 ERA, even with the one bad outing, and 26 strikeouts to 10 walks.
Obviously, the Mets are happy that Syndergaard was part of the Dickey deal. So is the young pitcher, although he was caught off-guard at the time.
"I was pretty shocked," he said. "I went to bed the previous night, before the rumors with my name started, and I thought it would just be Anthony Gose and d'Arnaud. The next afternoon I saw my name was in the mix. I called my agent, and he said it's probably just a rumor. About 30 minutes later, he texted me and said, 'It might go down.' A couple days after that, I got the call that they'd traded me. It was pretty exciting."
In and out: Palm Beach would have quite a one-two punch in the outfield if the Cardinals had Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey in the lineup together more often. Right-fielder Piscotty came off the disabled list April 18 and center-fielder Ramsey went on three days later. Piscotty, the 36th overall pick in the 2012 Draft out of Stanford, was hitting .359 with four homers and 11 RBIs through 17 games. Ramsey, taken with the 23rd pick in the first round out of Florida State last June, had a .357 average through 16 games before landing on the DL with a strained hamstring. Ramsey is the Cardinals' No. 16 prospect, while Piscotty is ranked No. 17.
Off to late start: Center fielder Jake Marisnick, ranked as Miami's No. 3 prospect, made his season debut with Jupiter on Sunday after recovering from a broken left hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch during the Marlins' Grapefruit League game against St. Louis on March 6. The 22-year-old came to Miami along with Jupiter left-hander Justin Nicolino as part of the trade that sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to Toronto. Marisnick, who was 2-for-9 in his first two games, is expected to move up to Double-A Jacksonville after a short stint with the Hammerheads.
No suspension: Center fielder Mason Williams, the New York Yankees' No. 2 prospect, was not suspended after his arrest on a misdemeanor DUI charge and returned to the Tampa lineup a day later. According to police, Williams failed a field sobriety test after he was pulled over at 2:45 a.m. last Thursday in Tampa, but his blood-alcohol level was under Florida's threshold of 0.8. Williams, 21, returned to the lineup Friday at Clearwater and was 2-for-17 in his first four games back, dropping his average to .241. He is ranked No. 41 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects.