Jacob deGrom has won two National League Cy Young awards in a row with the New York Mets. Truth be told, he has been pitching in that level ever since he broke in the major leagues, back in 2014.
Last season, he accumulated 7.0 fWAR by virtue of his 2.67 FIP. He accumulated a 2.43 ERA and a 3.11 xFIP, with 204.0 innings covered in 32 starts. Both his 11.25 K/9 and his 1.94 BB/9 were, as always, elite marks, as were his 0.84 HR/9. He was once again in the conversation with the likes of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole for being the best pitcher in baseball.
While the Mets are going to enjoy yet another season of deGrom’s prime, they haven’t been able to provide him with much run support in the last two years. That has resulted in 10 and 11 wins, respectively, in 2018 and 2019.
Fortunately, as he looks for his third straight NL Cy Young Award, he has something working in his favor. Voters have evolved and now understand that wins are among the worst categories to evaluate pitching talent.
The Mets’ homegrown ace
That’s why Jacob deGrom, at 31 years old, stands a very good chance of becoming the first pitcher to win three straight NL Cy Young Awards since Randy Johnson did it from 1999 to 2002, four consecutive times.
Sure, he will have, once again, to fend off Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer. The righty is a very good candidate to snap deGrom’s streak. Other pitchers with a chance are Stephen Strasburg, Trevor Bauer, Jack Flaherty, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Soroka and not many more.
Despite the competition, deGrom and Scherzer are a step above everyone else. Strasburg and Buehler are not far behind, but the Mets’ and Nats’ aces are just so good.
deGrom is armed with four plus pitches (fastball, slider, changeup and curveball) that he can throw for strikes almost at will. He frequently toys with hitters, so why would he stop now? He has a chance to make history, and is in good position to succeed. The New York Mets are rejoicing.