The New York Mets may not have the most illustrious history, or even the best players, but one thing they’ve always had are must-see players. Those include names such as Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden, R.A. Dickey and Matt Harvey. Well, here’s another name to add to the list: Jacob deGrom.
DeGrom was the least-heralded pitching prospect in the Mets system heading into 2014, but he has taken the league by storm. On Saturday, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and it wasn’t the first time where he has completely shut down opposing teams. He is the Mets most effective pitcher right now. Every time he takes the mound, the Mets chances of winning the game increase significantly, and that is the highest compliment I can give a pitcher.
With his win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, it’s his fifth-straight win to bring his record to 6-5 on the year. His record really isn’t indicative of how he has pitched this season. In his 15 starts this year, he has had only one bad outing, and that was early on in the season. If he had gotten any sort of run support early in the season, he could be close to double digit wins. In the past month, deGrom has been dominant, giving up only seven runs in his last six starts.
The thing that I love the most about how deGrom pitches is how he pounds the strike zone. He has the stuff to overpower hitters, but he pitches to contact as well, and that allows him to get deep into games. And when Mets starting pitchers can get deep into games, they usually come out on top, especially with the emergence of their bullpen.
Much like Harvey, deGrom is a fastball, slider pitcher. He throws his fastball nearly 65 percent of the time, and he keeps the ball down in the strike zone as well as any young pitcher I have seen lately. Plus, it’s only a matter of time before he hits a home run because he actually knows what he is doing at the plate. On every fifth day, he is one of Mets’ most effective hitters, and that isn’t an indictment of the Mets’ lineup, as it’s more of a compliment to deGrom. He was a college shortstop, and being able to handle the bat is just extra.
DeGrom can dominate the opposition on any night, and given his progression as a top-of-the-line starter, the Mets rotation is set up well for years to come. DeGrom is must-see television, folks. Jump on the bandwagon now.