Appreciating what Jacob deGrom did for the Mets as a hitter

Jacob deGrom was a better hitter than a lot of bench players are today.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Elsa/GettyImages

It’s crazy to think of how great of a pitcher Jacob deGrom was for the New York Mets without even acknowledging how truly of an impactful hitter he was at times. Seeing some current and past numbers of Mets everyday players, we get a truer appreciation of what a productive batter he could be.

The lifetime .204/.238/.251 slash line doesn’t even do him justice. Outmatching what multiple catchers in baseball are offering their teams, it’s easy to forget some of the more fantastical numbers deGrom posted as a hitter before the universal DH took away one of his most unique abilities.

Jacob deGrom had some of the most ridiculous offensive numbers for a pitcher

In 2021 before the DH joined the National League, deGrom slashed .364/.364/.394 in 33 plate appearances. The lone season where he didn’t draw a walk, deGrom was swinging freely and connecting with base hits. The 6 RBI he’d finish with for the year matched his previous high from 2019 when he swatted a career-best 2 home runs as well.

deGrom’s numbers were results-driven. His exit velocity measured at 83.1mph. This doesn’t include his rookie season before this was tracked. The hard-hit percentage varied with a high of 33.3% in 2019.

Oddly, the final year of swinging a bat in 2021 where he batted .364 also included two amazingly unproductive StatCast numbers. The 79.4mph exit velocity was his lowest of any year. The 16.7% hard-hit percentage was only lower one other time in his career when in 2018 he was at 12.1%.

deGrom had a knack for helping himself out. The 2021 season remains the most unique of all with those 6 RBI versus 7 wins on the year. 

A lot was accomplished by deGrom during his time with the Mets. One personal achievement he never had was a hit in the postseason. Going 0 for 7 in 2015, that big postseason hit like Jesse Orosco had never came from deGrom. If only he had a few more chances. 

The end of pitchers hitting has been most accepted by fans at this point. We’re used to seeing the Mets with a DH now. What deGrom could do with a bat in his hands was a bonus we’ll grow to appreciate and actually already do seeing how some position players perform.