Jacob deGrom is about to have a monster year

New York Mets v Philadelphia PhilliesIt’s been said again and again that spring training numbers don’t count, but one number should have leaped off the screen for you last week – 97. As in, 97 mph registered on the Juggs radar gun with Jacob deGrom pitching in his first spring training appearance, and following surgery to relocate the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow to relieve numbness and pain.

By his standards, deGrom had an off year in 2016. He struggled with his velocity much of the season, hovering around 92 mph most of the season, rather than his typical 96. It was revealed late in the season that deGrom was pitching through some elbow pain and he was shut down after his September 1 start. However, despite the pain, and a ridiculous lack of run support that cost him a number of wins, deGrom battled through and delivered a very respectable 3.04 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. The numbers looked a lot better than that prior to his last three starts, when he was really pitching through pain. Up until that point, he’d contributed 16 quality starts through 19 turns through the rotation.

As commendable as that is, deGrom’s 22 starts, like his ERA and WHIP were career worsts for him. Following a dazzling Rookie of the Year campaign in 2014, deGrom turned it up a notch in his sophomore season to the tune of a 14-8 record, with a 2.54 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 191 innings pitched. On top of that, he was a beast in October, going 3-1 in four playoff starts with a 2.88 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings.

By all accounts, deGrom feels great and has rediscovered his high-velocity fastball, which is terrible news for opposing hitters. His pinpoint control and natural movement make his fastball hard enough to hit in the low 90s. Pair that with a biting slider, sinking changeup and some better run support, and we have the makings of a Cy Young candidate. It’s easy to love Jacob deGrom. His easy going nature makes him unflappable on the hill, even in the highest pressure situations. His floppy long hair, skinny frame, and toothy grin make you forget what an assassin he can be on the mound. While all the focus may be on Thor and the Dark Knight, the deGrominator (thanks, Jim Breuer) is poised to have one hell of a season.

9 comments for “Jacob deGrom is about to have a monster year

  1. March 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m a big deGrom fan.

    He didn’t hit 97 – thought I saw one 95 – in his outing yesterday but he had really good offspeed stuff. Years ago they used to say there were two types of radar guns that were primarily used and they would refer to one as the “fast gun.” Perhaps they had the fast gun in his first Grapefruit League game.

  2. Chris F
    March 10, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Before we talk CY, IM just happy to see the release and control and velo look good, without the accompanying pain. Things like awards take care of themselves. Id like to see 33 starts, 190-210 IP, sub 3 ERA, and a sub 1.2 WHIP.

    Nice to see him back. Of all our rotation, I think he has the highest potential. I was listening to Ryan Spilborghs on on the radio some time this winter when the Mets rotation came up. He said he talked to all the Rockies hitters and the vote was overwhelmingly clear: deGrom is the hardest to hit against.

    If he is back, just remember his ASG outing. #seeya

    • MattyMets
      March 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Chris F – That’s really interesting about the Rockies hitters. I never would have thought that. I would have assumed it to be Syndergaard between the velocity and his size. As Dan Warthen pointed out, “he’s like a building coming at you.” deGrom’s fastball has tremendous natural movement – much more than our other starters. Even if you can catch up to it, it’s tough to square up. That’s why he was still effective even with diminished velocity last year. Bodes well for his future. A pitcher with natural fastball movement, good control, and an ability to handle pressure can stick around a long time as we’ve witnessed with Colon.

      • March 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        I think that’s a two-seam versus a four-seam, though. Neither Matz nor Syndergaard really throws a two-seamer, which has more movement. Harvey does and while deGrom’s moves more than his, it’s not a huge difference.

        To me, the thing about deGrom is that he pitches upstairs more than the others.

      • Name
        March 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm

        Sorry, but i find tidbits from guys like Ryan Spilborghs to be of no relevance.

        The Rockies have seen deGrom a grand total of 4 times over 3 years. 2 of those were last year.
        They’ve seen Noah just twice total, once last year. Arenado didn’t even start during that one game.
        Harvey’s seen them 4 times, once last year.
        Matz has faced them once, which was last year.
        The Rockies and Mets don’t play in the same Spring Training league.

        Do the Rockies hitters really have the qualifications to be making these kinds of judgements on the Mets pitchers when they see maybe 3-5 PA/ 10-20 pitches from them a year during the middle of the dog days of summer? Not only that, but it’s also a secondhand report, which is even less reliable.
        It seems silly that anyone would take these kinds of comments as any more than “for what it’s worth”

  3. Chris
    March 10, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I’m a big deGromster fan as well. If he sits 95-96 and can throw his change where he wants to, then he will be nasty and hopefully with run support, have a great year.

  4. March 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    JdG has already shown this sumber he can fire heat when necessary. Now it’s a matter of getting into the swing of things again and joining Thor as the most lethal pitchers in baseball.

  5. Name
    March 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    He better have a great season in 2017, because the clock may be running out for him after that. He’ll be playing 2017 as a 29 year old.
    In 2018 he’ll be starting the majority of his games on the wrong side of 30.

    He doesn’t have the time to waste 1-2 years like Harvey or Wheeler.

  6. March 11, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I believe Jacob to be a great “pitcher” not just a guy who can throw hard. If he is fully healthy the Mets will be in great shape.

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