New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole is Baseball’s Best Pitcher

Ryan Garcia
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
Mar 5, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts on the mound during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The common notion is that the best pitcher is in Queens with the Mets in Jacob deGrom. The back-to-back Cy Young winner in both 2018 and 2019, he is no doubt a superstar pitcher. He’s been the consensus best arm in all of the MLB and had a 1.70 ERA in 2018 over 217 innings. He followed that up with a 2.40 ERA in 2019, so this should mean he’s obviously baseball’s best pitcher yes? Well while that may be a compelling argument to make at first, it’s objectively wrong to believe that Jacob deGrom is better than the real New York ace, Gerrit Cole.

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2019’s Best Arm, No Doubt

In 2019 we saw Gerrit Cole pitch like no one else could. He had the second-best ERA in the MLB at 2.50, the second-best FIP of 2.64, and the greatest K/9 in a single season of all time. His 7.4 fWAR captures the crown as baseball’s most valuable pitcher, yet he didn’t win the Cy Young. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t win it however, the voters for these awards are some of the most inconsistent voters in the sports world, so I didn’t expect them to get that right. His fastball sits at 98, with it cranking up to triple digits, so he has no trouble blowing pitches by hitters. You can’t find a pitcher in baseball who strikes out hitters as Cole does, and you can’t find a pitcher who could produce like that in a run-heavy environment as Cole can.

What About deGrom?

Let’s make one thing clear: deGrom isn’t as good as Gerrit Cole. Sure he’s got two Cy Youngs, but that doesn’t make him automatically better. Rick Porcello has more Cy Youngs than Nolan Ryan, but who’s the better pitcher? You’d be absolutely asinine to say Porcello, so you have to look at context and statistics, not awards that are voted on by some people who are incompetent. Gerrit Cole had a better FIP than deGrom in 2019, better fWAR, better K/9, better WHIP, and better ERA-,(which factors in park-adjusted numbers). There is no debate who was better in 2019, Cole leads in so many of the crucial stats, which objectively gives him the better 2019 and the crown of the MLB’s ace.

Postseason Monster

Gerrit Cole’s dominance doesn’t end in September, it carries into the bright lights of October as well. He has a 2.60 ERA in October with a 3.31 FIP. This is over 65.2 innings, and he also has 78 strikeouts and a 0.87 WHIP to pair that with. He isn’t just a regular-season ace, he is the assassin, the cold-blooded killer, the stopper the New York Yankees have been yearning for. He is the epiphany of dominance and shows his ability to perform in the brightest of stages.

There simply isn’t a pitcher who can do what Cole does, and he is the definition of what an ace should be, dominant, powerful, and born for the big stage. There’s objectively no pitcher who in 2019 could compete with that, and to ignore stats and facts is ignoring the truth: Gerrit Cole is the new ace of not just New York, but of the entire baseball world right now.