5) After not pitching for more than a year, Jacob deGrom made his return in early August.
Our ace made 11 starts and pitched 64.1 innings. He allowed 40 hits, 22 earned runs, eight walks, and struck out 102 batters. His ERA was 3.08, his FIP was 2.13, his WHIP was 0.75, and his ERA+ was 126.
deGrom’s Savant page looks really strong. He was in the 100th percentile in strikeout rate, 99th percentile in walk rate, whiff rate, and fastball velocity, 98th percentile in xERA/xwOBA and chase rate, 97th percentile in fastball spin, and 96th percentile in xBA. He only had two blue dots: 17th percentile in barrel rate and 28th percentile in average exit velocity, which is because...
deGrom had some home run issues this year, particularly in the third time through the batting order. It’s normal for a pitcher to lose some sharpness as the game goes on, even though we aren’t used to seeing that from Jake. In the first two times through the order, he holds opponents to a .484 and .390 OPS, respectively. In the third time through, more-than doubled to .936, largely due to a .650 slugging percentage against. Yes, it’s a smaller sample size (42 plate appearances compared to nearly 100), but it’s still noteworthy.
To sum it up: he was good, but he wasn’t up to the level of deGrominance we’ve become accustomed to, and he only pitched a third of the season. I still think he’s the best pitcher in baseball, but for this year, he gets a B.