Mets missed out on a decade of multiple Rookie of the Year winners
By Tim Boyle
The 2010s could have been a decade for the New York Mets featuring multiple Rookie of the Year winners. Instead, they may come away with only one.
In 2014, Jacob deGrom won the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Considering he didn’t make his debut until May 15, the odds were stacked against the New York Mets rookie.
How did he do it? deGrom made 22 starts that year. He finished with a 9-6 record along with a 2.69 ERA. For a kid or a veteran, these numbers are superb.
The 2014 campaign featured a rather weak class of National League rookies. Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds finished a distant second in the voting. deGrom’s teammates Travis d’Arnaud and Jeurys Familia received mild consideration, but not nearly enough to challenge him.
By winning the award, the Mets began what could have been a streak of Rookie of the Year winners. Unfortunately, their preference has been to call up players midseason.
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Noah Syndergaard was a rookie in 2015 when he finished fourth in the voting. Thor made 24 starts for the Mets that year, delivering a 9-7 record and 3.24 ERA. Though Kris Bryant took the award unanimously, Syndergaard would have been a solid challenger without the Chicago Cubs star third baseman in the picture. Only Matt Duffy and Jung Ho Kang finished higher in the voting than Syndergaard. If he had a full season, perhaps things would have ended differently.
Steven Matz also debuted in 2015. However, he didn’t pitch enough innings to lose his rookie status.
The following year, Matz made 22 starts. He went 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA. This was good enough for a sixth-place finish on the ballot. Once again, the limited number of appearances hurt his case.
Let’s go back for a second to 2012 when Matt Harvey made his big league debut. In typical Mets fashion, he came up midseason. This eliminated him from winning the award. Through his 10 starts in 2012, the Dark Knight went 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA.
If your math is any good, you’ll know because the Mets didn’t have any notable rookie in 2013 that even if Harvey had won in 2012, he wouldn’t have been a part of the streak.
The Mets haven’t had much luck with rookies in 2017 or 2018. Amed Rosario is coming along slowly and Dominic Smith is clinging to relevancy. Yet another midseason call-up with prevent Jeff McNeil from qualifying for the honors in 2019 as he will surely accumulate enough at-bats before the season is through.
deGrom is something special. On a team that has had several notable star rookies over the past few seasons, he’s the lone ranger to walk away with the Rookie of the Year Title Belt.
Maybe one day soon we’ll talk about the streak started by Peter Alonso, Andres Gimenez, and David Peterson.
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Let’s cross our fingers.