Mets 2019 projections: Jacob deGrom

Today starts the seventh year we’ve been doing projections for the top players on the Mets. In the past this was a group project, with the hope that the wisdom of the crowd would be better than just one person’s opinion. While I still believe that, my goal is to get out of the “cat herding” portion of things here at the site. So, this year’s projections will be strictly my own. However, my hope is that everyone will weigh in on what they think. You’ll have more credibility later on about how you “knew” that Player X was going to have a breakout year if you say it before the games have started playing.

Just to state the obvious, these forecasts are pure projection and opinion on my part. There is no vigorous and non-biased systematic approach here. But you can get those computer projections from numerous systems out there.

It’s almost a given that we have to start with Jacob deGrom, the reigning CY Award winner. Everyone knows how magical deGrom’s season was and it’s terrific that those who weren’t old enough to see Dwight Gooden or Tom Seaver pitch got to see greatness up close last year. But how will deGrom follow up his big season? Here’s how the other Met hurlers to win the award did:

R.A. Dickey
2012: 20-6, 2.73 ERA, 1.053 WHIP, 4.26 K/BB
2013: 14-13, 4.21 ERA, 1.237 WHIP, 2.49 K/BB

Gooden
1985: 24-4, 1.53 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, 3.88 K/BB
1986: 17-6, 2.84 ERA, 1.108 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB

Seaver
1969: 25-7, 2.21 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, 2.54 K/BB
1970: 18-12, 2.82 ERA, 1.077 WHIP, 3.41 K/BB

1973: 19-10, 2.08 ERA, 0.976 WHIP, 3.92 K/BB
1974: 11-11, 3.20 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, 2.68 K/BB

1975: 22-9, 2.38 ERA, 1.088 WHIP, 2.76 K/BB
1976: 14-11, 2.59 ERA, 1.063 WHIP, 3.05 K/BB

The previous five times a Met pitcher won the top pitching honor, they followed up with a higher ERA all five times, a higher WHIP four times and a lower K/BB ratio three times. Now, to be fair, some of the marks in these category were outstanding and to expect Gooden to beat a 1.53 ERA in 1986 just wasn’t feasible. But it’s important to keep that in mind when we look at deGrom. No one should expect him to come close to his 2018 ERA. And other numbers from a season ago. Here’s his 2018 line:

217.0 IP, 1.70 ERA, 269 Ks, 46 BB, 10 HR

One thing that gets lost in the shuffle was how good deGrom was in limiting the gopher ball. In 2017, he allowed 28 HR in 201.1 IP for a 1.3 HR/9. Last year he cut that HR/9 to a league-leading 0.4 mark . He also reduced his walk rate (2.6 to 1.9) and upped his strikeouts per nine (10.7 to 11.2) – put it all together and we see his FIP going from 3.50 in 2017 to 1.98 last season.

So, what do the computer projections expect from deGrom in 2019? We’ve yet to have the ZiPS forecasts for the Mets released. Two years ago, they were one of the last teams to appear and last year they were one of the first. So far, five teams have had their ZiPS forecast appear at FanGraphs, the last being the Phillies on Dec. 20. Hopefully we’ll see them soon. Here are the two we do have:

Marcel — 189.0 IP, 2.76 ERA, 217 Ks, 51 BB, 17 HR
Steamer – 208.0 IP, 2.93 ERA, 252 Ks, 52 BB, 20 HR

Both expect his ERA to go up more than a full run, which is not surprising. Both see his walk rate in the same general ballpark from a season ago. But Marcel sees his strikeout rate dropping. And both see a HR increase, with Steamer predicting twice as many long balls as he allowed in 2018. Compared to what we saw earlier from the team’s previous CY award winners, these seem right in line.

And here are my completely biased predictions:

198 IP
2.54 ERA
240 Ks
55 BB
16 HR

This projection series will run on Thursdays this year. Check in next week when we turn our eye towards Michael Conforto.

9 comments for “Mets 2019 projections: Jacob deGrom

  1. Chris F
    January 3, 2019 at 11:37 am

    deGrom by the 2s for 2019

    > 200 IP
    > 2 ERA
    > 200 K
    > 20 HR

    CY # 2? Hopeful, but unlikely.

  2. Eric Bloom
    January 3, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I think DeGrom confounds expectations and starts a Koufax like 4 yr run.
    ERA 2.35
    267 k
    45 BB
    16-3 record.
    He wont win the c.f. again however. He ‘ll finish 2nd to Thor.

  3. Name
    January 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    He’s now 31 and shows why the Mets were glad they waited to extend him for less years and dollars.

    202 IP
    3.25 ERA
    119 ERA+
    1.08 WHIP

    But he has his finest season as a hitter and has a better slash line than Plawecki.
    .250/.270/.310 with 1 HR.

  4. TJ
    January 3, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    This guy deGrom, he’s just a .500 pitcher, why all the fuss?

    • José
      January 3, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      Them is fightin’ words!

      • TJ
        January 4, 2019 at 7:43 am

        Ha. I’m just messing around, Jose. I expect Jake to pick up where he left off. 200 IP
        2.50 ERA/FIP
        225 K/ 60 BB
        15 HR
        19-6

  5. MattyMets
    January 3, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    230 IP
    2.25 ERA
    270 Ks
    48 BB
    13 HR

    I’m with Eric. I think DeGrom entrenches himself as one of the top 3 or 4 pitchers in baseball with another great year and possibly a back to back CY. Like Scherzer has and guys like Maddux, Johnson, Pedro, etc. JDG is about to go on a monster 4 year run.

    Knuckle ballers are flukey and Gooden discovered coke that season. Seaver was still awesome but didn’t get the same run support and/or gloves behind him from year to year.

  6. January 3, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    202 IP
    2.30 ERA
    260 K’S
    48 BB’S
    12 HR’S
    18-5 W-L
    I think the offense will be better and since the bullpen blew how many of JDG’s game last season? He should up his win total by at least half. I think maybe someone hacked TJ’s email?

  7. TexasGusCC
    January 4, 2019 at 8:40 am

    2.6 ERA
    21-5 record
    231 innings
    259 strikeouts
    51 walks
    0.97 WHIP
    18 HR’s

    Jacob, Zack and Noah split the votes and Vargas sneaks passed them and wins CY award.

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