Today, Back Sports Page is taking a look at Jacob deGrom. Why is Jacob deGrom the best pitcher in baseball?
Major League Baseball is full of talented athletes. It can be difficult to determine what separates the greats from the average. But some players have a unique way of standing out. We live in a time where a high 90’s fastball is a normal velocity for many. However, there is one pitcher in the league who continuously proves himself better than the rest.
Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in the game. Not only statistically, but mentally and physically as well. DeGrom has dominated the game, and has been a key part of the New York Mets’ pitching rotation since his major league debut in 2014. Today, Back Sports Page will break down why Jacob is one of the best pitchers currently playing, and potentially one of the greatest to ever toe the slab.
Jacob DeGrom was born June 19th, 1988 in DeLand Florida. He attended Cavalry Christian Academy in high school, where he not only played baseball but also was on the varsity basketball team. DeGrom has always been a talented athlete, and won Most Valuable Player honors in both sports.
Jacob continued his baseball career in college, attending Stetson college. By his last season, he was primarily pitching and playing shortstop. He started 33 games at shortstop, and 12 games on the mound. DeGrom was drafted in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft by the New York Mets. Since his official big league debut on May 15, 2014, he has done nothing but dominate hitters.
DeGrom currently has an outstanding career ERA of 2.60. He is a two time Cy Young winner, and challenged for his third straight award last season. He just fell short, finishing third behind Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish. Regardless of falling short, the fact he won two back to back speaks for itself. If he can secure another Cy Young this season, there is no doubt this talented right-hander will be a strong hall of fame candidate.
The only factor that could keep deGrom from achieving this amazing accomplishment is his age. He is not exactly young, and will be turning 33 years old this upcoming June. Players have a tendency to slow down as they age, but DeGrom does have one key advantage. He has less miles on his arm, due to the fact he didn’t make his major league debut until he was 26 years old.
DeGrom is already off to a good start this season. During his outing against the Philadelphia Phillies he pitched a total of six innings, allowing zero runs and three hits. He racked up seven strikeouts, with a WHIP of 0.83. If he stays on track, he could secure the Cy Young award for a third time, forging his path to the hall of fame.
DeGrom’s velocity and movement are the key factors to his success. With a fastball averaging at 98.6 mph, he dominates the strike zone. DeGrom’s fastball is thrown in the strike-zone 52 percent of the time, which helps him get ahead in the count instead of working behind. He isn’t afraid to pound the zone with strikes, challenging hitters to catch up.
DeGrom’s second most used pitch is a devastating slider. On average, it sits around 92.5 miles per hour. That’s one hard slide-piece! He has over 138 strikeouts with this pitch alone, and it has a Whiff rate of 21.8%. DeGrom’s slider is arguably one of the better breaking pitches in all of baseball.
He also throws a nasty change-up and a solid curveball. What makes these pitches so effective is the fact his delivery and release point do not change despite throwing different pitches. His release point is consistent, making it hard for batters to identify what’s coming at them next. Deception is a major key to being a successful pitcher, and deGrom definitely has that working in his favor.
As previously mentioned above, Jacob deGrom is a rare breed of pitcher. Though he still has plenty left to prove to solidify his place in the Hall of Fame, as of now he is one of the best in the league. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this season, and even how the rest of his career plays out. When Jacob turns out to be a hall of famer, just remember you heard it from Back Sports Page first!
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