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Noah Syndergaard looking like the real deal

Toronto Blue Jays minor league pitcher Noah Syndergaard

Toronto Blue Jays minor league pitcher Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies in an Instructional League game at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla. Credit: AP, 2010

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Mets' No. 3 prospect speaks loudest through body language. Noah Syndergaard is a tanned Texan who talks deliberately. At 6-5, he looks down at almost everyone and owns effortless mechanics.

It never has been easy for Syndergaard to hide, but the 2010 first-round draft pick garnered little attention in the seven-player deal between the Mets and Blue Jays that included Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey in December.

"I had no idea I was going to get traded,'' said Syndergaard, who pitched four shutout innings Sunday in his first start for Class A St. Lucie. "One day I woke up and there was a rumor on Twitter and all of these Mets fans started following me and saying welcome to the team.''

Syndergaard, ranked 28th by Baseball Prospectus, garners the most attention for his 96-mph fastball, which he says has reached triple digits. He also has an excellent changeup and has crafted an 80-mph curveball. Still, the 20-year-old smiles when asked about the blockbuster trade.

"There is always pressure coming into a new organization,'' Syndergaard said. "But it is pretty cool being traded for the Cy Young winner. I just want to go out and try to stay within myself.''

He pitched four no-hitters at Mansfield Legacy High School, outside of Fort Worth. In three minor-league seasons, he hasn't had an ERA worse than 3.00.

"He has a nice fastball and seems to get stronger,'' St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis said. "He only threw four innings but he seemed to get stronger in the third and fourth. His breaking ball is really sharp and he's pitching it with a lot of depth."

Syndergaard, who continues to stretch out a lat injury from spring training, already has drawn major-league comparisons.

"He reminds me of Kerry Wood,'' St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan said. "A lot like him, but a better body. He has that tall Texan style.''

Growing up 15 minutes from the doorstep of The Ballpark in Arlington sealed Syndergaard's Rangers fandom, but the righthander is anxious to pitch in Queens.

"I know being in New York would be incredible,'' Syndergaard said. "I haven't been there. I'm looking forward to getting into Citi Field as fast as possible.''

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