We continue our Season in Review series with a look at right-handed pitcher, Jacob deGrom. The young hurler gave the Mets and the fans all they could ask for and then some in 2014, turning in quality (and sometimes dominating) starts almost every time he took the mound. DeGrom essentially took the National League by storm, and clearly deserves the NL’s Rookie of the Year award.
Sep 21, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
How he fared in 2014
DeGrom began 2014 in Las Vegas, posting a 4-0 record with 29 strikeouts and 10 walks in 38.1 innings pitched. He made his Mets debut on May 15th against the Yankees, tossing 7 innings of 1-run ball, striking out 6 and walking 2. From there, deGrom went on to post the following statistics:
- A 9-6 record
- 144 strikeouts in 140.1 innings pitched
- A strikeout to walk ratio of 3.4:1
- An ERA of 2.69
- A WHIP of 1.14
- An average fastball velocity of 93.5 MPH
- An fWAR of 3.0
- A batting average of .217 with 2 doubles
On September 15th, deGrom struck out the first 8 Miami Marlins he faced, tying a Major League record. He went on to strike out 13 in the game, in one of his best performances of the season.
Areas to improve upon
DeGrom did almost everything well in 2014. At times, he showed his youth by having some control trouble. But these episodes were short-lived, and he showed his maturity by correcting them. If one were to ask deGrom, he’d probably say that he’d like to improve is K/BB ratio to closer to 4 or 4.5 to 1.
It’s worth noting that deGrom did a stint on the 15-day Disabled List last year with shoulder tendonitis. While that scared the fan base (and probably deGrom), he came back as soon as the 15 days were up and did not lose any of his effectiveness. However, it will be an area to watch in 2015.
DeGrom, as a young pitcher, is gradually increasing his yearly workload. Next season, it appears that he’ll be targeted for around 185 innings.
Projected role in 2015
DeGrom will probably begin the season as the Mets’ number 2 starter, assuming Matt Harvey comes back healthy from Tommy John surgery. He and Harvey can give the Mets a dynamic, hard-throwing top of the rotation.
Contract status and trade rumors
DeGrom just completed his rookie season, and will not be arbitration eligible for another 2 full seasons, unless he is given Super 2 status. The Mets are in need of offense, and they have pitching to trade. While it’s possible that deGrom could be traded in a major move for an impact position player, the odds are the Mets will look to trade Jonathon Niese or Dillon Gee, keeping deGrom in Queens.
A final thought on deGrom would be to keep an eye on the post-season awards in November. The Mets haven’t had a Rookie of the Year in a long time. Jacob deGrom will likely put an end to that drought.