There is a new star shining brightly in Flushing, New York, the home of the New York Mets. It’s Jacob deGrom, a 27 year old starting pitcher and already a young man who is considered to be a co-ace with the team’s top starter, Matt Harvey.
deGrom was promoted to the MLB last season and made an almost instant positive impression. The Mets had hoped to use him in the bullpen, but a need for a spot starter gave young Jacob his chance. He pitched brilliantly against the cross-town rival New York Yankees, giving up just two runs.
The right-hander got a second start and did well again. That was followed by a third quality start … and a fourth … and a fifth. The truth is that deGrom never did pitch in the Mets bullpen. He remained a key part of the team’s starting rotation.
And after the season ended, Jacob deGrom was named the National League Rookie of the Year, a stellar accomplishment.
Mets fans worried that their new star pitcher would fall victim to the dreaded sophomore jinx in 2015. And while he did suffer through a couple of rough starts early this season, he made adjustments and has been sensational in just about every start he has made.
In fact, Jacob deGrom was selected as his team’s sole representative in the All Star game. He opened lots of eyes when pitching one inning against the American League All Stars. That’s because he struck out the side on just ten pitches.
Graphic via gammonsdaily
At this point in the 2015 season, deGrom sports an impressive 10-6 won-loss record and an eye-popping 2.18 earned run average (ERA) which is fourth best in the National League. He has fanned more than one hundred opposing batters and rarely issues walks. And this great young hurler commands four PLUS pitches – a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a change-up. He throws all of them for strikes which is why he has already enjoyed so much success.
Clearly, deGrom is having a great second season in the Major Leagues. And, when one compares his production this year to what he achieved last year, it’s plain to see that he is actually having a better year.
But, can he perform as well in the remaining seventy or so games as he did in the first ninety games? The answer is an emphatic yes. The Mets are pennant contenders and have begun making trades to bring better hitters to their offensively-challenged team.
deGrom’s earned run average is just above two. That means he only gives up two runs per nine innings. If he can get better offensive support from his teammates and roster changes along with the pending return to action of catcher Travis d’Arnaud and possibly team captain David Wright seem to promise that, then there is every reason to believe that Jacob deGrom will finish this season as one of baseball’s top young starters … a rising star.
Graphic via wikipedia