Noah Syndergaard is as electric as they come in Major League Baseball. He has the personality of a mythical protagonist, and the type of velocity on a pitch that makes hitters shiver in their boots when they face him. After an astounding 2016 campaign, he was projected by many as the unquestioned ace of the New York Mets pitching staff. He went into the season with that mentality, and his hubris grew large. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Syndergaard is an elite pitcher, and that when he returns from injury he will excel. There is one thing that Syndergaard is not. He is not the ace of the Mets staff. That title belongs to Jacob deGrom.
Coming up through the farm system of the Mets, deGrom was never expected to be the type of pitcher that he is today. He was called up on May 12, 2014 to fill in for injured starter Gonzales German. From there, deGrom ran with what was handed to him. He received Rookie of the Year honors for the 2014 season, and earned an All-Star nod in the 2015 season. So far, deGrom has absolutely wreaked havoc on opposing teams. He is 12-3 with a decisive 3.30 ERA. deGrom has been elite this season, and there is no doubt about it.
The biggest factor to him being the pitcher he has been this season is unquestionably his consistency. deGrom has not lost a game since June 12th, and besides a skid with two off-par starts, he has been terrific. He is currently on an eight game winning streak. During that stretch, he has only went less than seven innings once. He has also struck out 59 over that span. If you look in statistical ranks for pitchers in the National League, deGrom consistently appears in the top ten. While Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw may be the front-runners for the N.L Cy Young award, deGrom has undoubtedly put himself in the conversation for the award.
deGrom has set himself from the rest of from the rest of the Mets starters this season in many ways, especially in performance and statistics. The most important way he has set himself apart has been his health. deGrom has been the only Mets starter to avoid a stint on the disabled list this season. To have six injured starters over the course of a season is incredibly taxing to a team. When pressure was put on deGrom to carry the load, he delivered.
deGrom has been the number one starter for the majority of the season for the Mets. His streak of consecutive wins has been simply astounding to watch. If it wasn’t solidified before, it is certainly crystal clear now the he is the ace of the staff. For the past three seasons, no Met starter has been able to provide the type of elite consistency that deGrom brings to the plate. When he takes the mound, you expect to receive a solid outing. While the Mets may have Syndergaard, they need to realize that deGrom is just as special as a starter, and undoubtedly deserves to be the ace of the staff.