Noah Syndergaard
Mark Suleymanov

Brooklyn Cyclones players had an ‘unreal’ experience watching and learning from the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard on Sunday.

Noah Syndergaard tossed five innings of one-run ball for the New York Mets organization on Sunday evening, but his biggest impact was not on the mound. Rather, the 25-year-old right-hander made waves just by pitching in the Borough of Trees.

Syndergaard’s presence was felt by fans, players and staff, all of whom flocked to the ballpark to watch the star major leaguer make a rehab start in Class A Short Season. Syndergaard didn’t disappoint. In five innings, he allowed just two hits and one run, an impressive stat line given that he hadn’t pitched in an organized game since the end of May.

“Overall the finger was holding nice,” Syndergaard said. “Can’t wait to get out there in a big-league setting.”

With trade rumors swirling and a full-capacity crowd chanting his name, Syndergaard was in the spotlight — but so were his teammates.

Nick Meyer was penciled in to catch Syndergaard on Sunday evening, less than a full month after hearing his name called in the sixth round of the draft.

Meyer earned Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018, but he had never caught anyone like Syndergaard at Cal Poly. He believes that this opportunity was “unreal,” and that it should do wonders for his confidence.

“It was just really cool to see that I could handle a top-5 pitcher in the league,” he said. “It was just really cool to see him. You have a guy that good, catching him is pretty easy.”

Meyer should have the opportunity to catch Jason Vargas when he rehabs in Staten Island on Tuesday night. Says Edgardo Alfonzo, “I think it’s going to be good for him.”

“It’s huge for him because game wise, I think Noah felt comfortable catching with him today, and I think it’s another plus for him to grow up as a guy.”

Chandler Avant was the Cyclones’ designated hitter on Sunday afternoon, but he was also excited to learn from Syndergaard, who he had big praise for.

“It’s different, obviously,” he said about Syndergaard starting under the bright lights of Brooklyn. “He’s a big leaguer, so he does everything the right way, and just watching him and taking after what he does, you’ll be alright.”

Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo spent 12 years in the major leagues, so he understands the value of a guy of Syndergaard’s stature in the Cyclones’ locker room.

“I told the guys to try to get as much as they can from that guy [Syndergaard] because he’s one of the best pitchers in the major leagues right now,” Fonzie said following the game. “Seeing the way he acts, the way he is, that’s going to help a lot.

“To be a young guy, to get as much as you can from this guy who comes and rehabs over here, to have a taste of their routine for each game.”

There is a lot to learn from and a lot to admire if you’re a career minor leaguer, Alfonzo said. This doesn’t just apply for starting pitchers. Everyone can learn a little something from Noah Syndergaard.

“We told the guys — learn as much as you can. Pitchers, infielders, outfielders, catchers. When you see these guys around, you get as much advice as you can to try to learn how to play this game.”

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.