Los Angeles Angels Sign Noah Syndergaard

by Connor Thomure
2018 Fantasy Baseball Players to Avoid

The Los Angeles Angels have signed 29-year-old right-handed pitcher Noah Syndergaard to a one-year contract worth $21 million dollars.

Syndergaard spent six seasons with the New York Mets. He totaled 777 strikeouts and won 47 games during his time with the Mets.

Now he joins a rotation in Los Angeles that already features Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Sandoval.

Syndergaard was one of Major League Baseball's top pitchers, but now has a lot to prove after pitching only two innings in the last two seasons.

Los Angeles Angels Sign Noah Syndergaard

Angels Preview

Syndergaard is a much-needed addition to the Angels starting rotation. This team features some of the best batters in baseball but hasn't made the postseason since 2014, largely due to their subpar pitching. Shohei Ohtani and Syndergaard should combine to be one of the best starting pitcher duos in Major League Baseball.

Health can be an issue for both of these players, however. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon have also faced injury concerns in their careers and last season. This team appears to be headed in the right direction if they can stay healthy.

Staying Healthy

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This move does come with risk as Syndergaard has pitched only two innings in the last two seasons. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020 missing the whole season and experienced elbow soreness that held him to two innings in 2021.

This isn't the only blemish on Syndergaard's injury history.

In 2017 he tore a lat muscle forcing him to miss most of the season. In 2018 Syndergaard tore a ligament in his finger requiring him to miss over a month of the season.

These health concerns are the biggest risk factors for Syndergaard but, if the Angels feel strong enough to pay $21 million dollars for the risk then Fantasy Baseball managers should be confident in Syndergaard for 2022.

What To Watch For

The two things to watch for from Syndergaard in 2022 are velocity and movement. In 2021 the right-hander threw 11 changeups, eight fastballs, and seven sinkers. The average velocity for these pitches was down from his career averages. His career fastball averages 98.1 MPH, but only 94.4 MPH in 2021. The changeup and sinker were also down by at least two MPH as well. This makes it interesting to see how his velocity will average out over a full season in 2022.

Syndergaard had more vertical drop on his fastball going from 13.8 inches of drop to 17 inches in 2021. He also took some break off his horizontal movement from 6.1 inches in 2019 to 4.5 inches in 2021.

This isn't to say Syndergaard is better or worse with this change in velocity or movement, but it should be watched going forward.

2022 Fantasy Baseball Outlook

In 2021 Fantasy Baseball managers drafted him at an ADP of 262, despite the fact Syndergaard was injured. This put him right below Freddy Peralta and above Chris Sale.

Heading into 2022 I expect Fantasy Baseball managers to draft Syndergaard earlier but, it's hard to pinpoint where exactly. Sale is more comparable to Syndergaard in terms of raw talent and injury history, however, I expect Sale to make the jump over Syndergaard in ADP for 2022. This is due to Sale being able to pitch more in 2021.

Managers should be comfortable drafting Syndergaard in Fantasy Baseball around the 125th spot. Some pitchers picked here a season ago include Lance McCullers, Patrick Corbin, Joe Musgrove, and Sandy Alcantara.


Be sure to check out all the 2022 Fantasy Baseball content as the season gets closer.

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