A Deeper Look at the Cy Young Season of Jacob deGrom

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Jacob deGrom
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets in action against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on August 23, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Giants defeated the Mets 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

While the New York Mets struggle to put some wins together this season, Jacob deGrom is having one of the best seasons he’s ever had since making his major league debut back in 2014. The 30-year old, who transitioned from shortstop to the mound during his time at Stetson University, has had quite the big league career to this point. He was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2014 in his first full major league season, while also being named an All-Star the same year.

A Deeper Look at the Cy Young Season of Jacob deGrom

This year, deGrom is one of the main candidates for being named the NL Cy Young award winner. He’s compiled an astounding 1.68 ERA this season; the lowest among every starting pitcher in the bigs. deGrom was also one of the Mets lone selections for 2018 All-Star game in Washington DC.

An in-depth look into his brilliance

Despite his major league-low ERA, DeGrom has just an 8 and 8 record. He’s lacked run support from his offense, as the Mets sit 12 games under .500. But in 188 innings pitched, deGrom has struck out an impressive 230 hitters. That translates to 11 K’s per nine innings. The hard-throwing righty has held opposing lineups to a dismal .204 average while walking just 42 batters all year long. He’s been in the zone all season and has been a strike-throwing machine.

Everything that deGrom throws is hard. He relies on his four-seamĀ fastball, which he’s thrown 41.7% of the time this year. It sits comfortably in the mid 90’s, and he’s even ramped it up to triple digits at times this year. His delivery is so effortless, with the ball jumping out of his hand towards the hitter. The heater is relatively straight thanks to his arm slot, but at times he gets a little bit of arm-side tail. His fastball has been practically unhittable this year, with hitters registering a lackluster .199 average off deGrom’s go-to pitch.

His number one off-speed pitch is the slider, which deGrom has thrown 23.5% of the time this season. It sits in the 89-92 mph range with a very tight, sharp break. He’s done a very good job tying up left-handed hitters with the slider by throwing it in on their hands on the inner half of the plate. It’s a very quick pitch considering it’s an off-speed offering, averaging at 90.0 mph this year. Opposing lineups are hitting just .217 off the slider this season.

Deceptive

deGrom also throws a changeup, sinker, and curveball, however, he doesn’t throw any of them very often. The changeup would be the one he uses the most, usually when he’s trying to put away hitters. It’s a relatively quick changeup that sits in the high 80’s but it has some great depth and drops right out of the zone. He’s only thrown the change about 16 percent this year, but he’s struck out 40 batters with it, proving it’s one of his go-to pitches when he’s up in the count and looking to sit a hitter down via the strikeout.

deGrom has outstanding stuff on the mound, but his deceptive delivery makes it very hard for hitters to square him up. Combine the fact that he throws all his pitches very hard, hides the ball well, and has outstanding command makes deGrom one of most difficult pitchers to hit in the majors.

The case for a Cy Young award

Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola and Washington’s Max Scherzer are also having Cy Young-type seasons, with Scherzer leading the big leagues with 271 strikeouts in 202 innings pitched. He’s also 17 and 6 with a 2.31 ERA. Nola has been outstanding as well, compiling a 2.29 ERA with a 16 and 4 record. The 25-year old has also struck out 196 hitters in 188 innings.

Both are have had outstanding seasons as well, and their records are much better than deGrom’s. But you have to take into account that both of them have had a lot more offensive support when they’re on the mound than deGrom has had.

It’s definitely a toss-up to who will be named the National League Cy Young award winner, but deGrom’s brilliant season shouldn’t be ignored considering how much his team has struggled this year. Jacob deGrom has been one of the lone bright spots for the New York Mets in 2018.

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