In a minor surprise, Mets ace pitcher Jacob deGrom was selected to the N.L. All-Star team, joining fellow Mets Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. It’s a minor surprise because teams, like the Mets, that are closer to the bottom than the top, don’t usually rate three players on the All-Star squad. Alonso seemed like a lock to make the team with his awesome power, as well as McNeil, now the N.L. BA leader with a .348 mark. The case for deGrom was not as obvious as the others, because he is not dominating like last year, and his won-loss record of 4-7 is not going to wow anybody. Looking at the other stats, though, it does become clear that deGrom was very worthy of making the team.
He has put up a 3.32 ERA this year, off last years’ historic 1.70, but still an excellent figure, good enough for ninth in the N.L. His figure suffers a little for lack of a stellar infield defense behind him. His FIP reflects that with his mark of 3.11, placing him in the fifth spot in the League.
Even though deGrom is in his age 30 season, he still is an elite power pitcher. He has racked up 128 strikeouts, and his K/9 rate is 11.18. He is third in the League in both of those categories. deGrom, in fact is actually throwing harder than he ever has. According to FanGraphs, his average fastball velocity this year is 97.2 MPH, even better than last year’s velocity of 96.7, and also higher than his lifetime mark of 95.7 MPH.
He is also among the leaders in IP with 103, ranked eighth in the League. His Whip figure is 1.11, placing him in the ninth spot this year. Notice that in all these categories cited in this article, deGrom is in the top ten in the League.
One area where deGrom has struggled some is giving up the long ball. This year, at roughly the halfway point, deGrom has yielded 13 home runs. In all of 2018 he surrendered just ten four baggers. Of course this year the ball seems to be flying out of ball parks like it is 1999 all over again
This is deGrom’s third year as an All-Star, he was also picked in the Mets’ pennant year of 2015 as well as last year. You may remember that he pitched one inning in the 2015 game, one inning of near perfection. He faced three batters, he struck out all three on just ten pitches, a near perfect inning against the AL’s best.
It has not been much fun watching the Mets in most games this year, Sunday’s come from behind win over the Braves being an exception. But with three Mets on the N. L. roster and Pete Alonso ready to slug it out in the home run derby contest, it could make for a couple of interesting days of baseball for Mets fans.