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Ace Pitcher, Jacob deGrom, a rising star.
Rising Major League star, Jacob deGrom
New York City is the place for a man to be should he wish to make himself into a baseball superstar, and this is where Jacob deGrom finds himself. No, he's hardly the only superstar pitcher in the very competitive National League, but he probably does have the longest hair. I remember a day when the great Don Mattingly was benched for his hair in New York City. Yeah, the Yankees are a different team. Lets thank the heavens for that, nobody is sweating young Jacob for his long hair on the New York Mets.
That he is pitching at all is something not so new to our long haired ace pitcher. He'd thought himself a shortstop. He's not the only such person in the National League to be a staff ace and originally a shortstop, our friend Zack Greinke was once in the same boat, and he's come out just fine.
Stetson University was the place Jacob was drafted from. It was his junior year there in Florida when his beyond the pale right arm brought to the attention of the team how Jacob might be best suited to standing on the pitching mound, throwing bullets past batters. Jacob can reach back and throw the gas, he can, mid to high 90s on the gun he throws the fastballs.
Jacob deGrom's filthy nasty pitches
He stands six feet and four inches tall, yet he only weighs one hundred and eighty pounds. Because he is so lanky and is tall, the long hair makes him appear somewhat like a young, right handed Randy Johnson. He's not the only long and tall, and long haired rocket arm for the New York Mets, they've also got young Noah Syndergaard in their World Series rotation.
Our Jacob deGrom is a power pitcher. His four seam fastball is regularly above the power pitcher's threshold of 95 miles per hour. Though he struck out over two hundred hitters in 2015, he's not a guy who's forever gunning for the strikeout. He throws a heavy two seam fastball a lot too, and this pitch will forever be coming a tick slower than the four seam fastball, and is often hit into the dirt, as a ground ball can sometimes be turned into two outs with one pitch via the double play.
Jacob deGrom has a standard repertoire of pitches, but his fastballs are above average. Also exceptional is his change-up. He throws a curve-ball and a slider. He throws both of these pitches hard and fast. They break downward swiftly, and induce a lot of ground ball outs. His strikeouts are primarily a result of the blazing four seam fastball, or the deceptive change of pace or change-up.
Jacob deGrom's rookie season was in 2014, and he had a fine season then too. Twice that year he won Rookie of the Month. When the year ended he'd win the National League's Rookie of the Year award. What stands out the most with Jacob in the baseball realm of statistics is his superlative earned run averages. After two seasons of Major League Baseball, Jacob deGrom is sitting pretty with a career earned run average of just 2.61. These are numbers super ace Clayton Kershaw would admire.
Jacob deGrom can hit!
So Jacob deGrom won the first Rookie of the Year award for the New York Mets since Doc Gooden had won the thing in 1984, 30 years earlier. Dwight entered into his Big League career at a very very young age. Jacob embarked on his at a more mature age for his having gone to college for four years. As was mentioned, deGrom had been a shortstop and so he's also very acquainted with the handling of the baseball bat. That is to say, Jacob can hit, and he can hit very well at the Major League Level.
A true baseball fan hates to see talent wasted, and so Jacob deGrom is a natural for the National League where the pitchers still are called upon to hit. For the same reasons, that we hate to see talent wasted, we love the American League where someone who is only a marginally skilled fielder but a gifted hitter can make a living playing baseball as a designated hitter.
Jacob is a career .200 hitter. Do not sneeze at this, for this is a very high and productive amount of hitting for someone who's career is going to be made and appreciated for his throwing, or more especially, his pitching. There is especially an incentive to hit when you are also the pitcher. Of course Jacob will often be called upon to bunt. Jacob deGrom can bunt quite well, thank you.
Jacob deGrom's stupendous 2015 season
The 2015 season saw Jacob deGrom to virtual super-stardom in the world of Major League Baseball. Currently the National League is full of amazing starting pitching. It seems to be a fact that the National League has the majority of the truly superior arms. Jacob's earned run average was stellar, but he started the season at eight wins and six loses. It seems clear from his ERA he'd have had a better record with more offense behind him. Still, baseball is forever a team sport, and so we're always looking at so many statistics to attempt to determine who is doing what.
Jacob deGrom would make the All Star team. His 2015 All Star performance is something amazing to see. He struck out the American League 3 batters he faced, and on just ten pitches. No, the performance won't be soon forgotten. Insofar as records go, his was the single most dominant half inning by a pitcher recorded.
Jacob deGrom sees very few base-runners. He allows few balls hit into the air, and this is because most of his pitches sink downward, and induce ground balls. The solitary pitch in his arsenal which does not sink in a vertical manner is his four seam fastball, and being well above the average in velocity and also having movement, that pitch is often swung on and missed. Jacob also walks very few hitters.
Jacob finished the 2015 regular season with a fine record of fourteen wins and eight loses. He'd meet the power pitcher's mark of just over two hundred strikeouts. He'd recall the great Tom Seaver in the National League Division Series with a 13 strikeout performance. So now in his brief career, Jacob has been remembered to or compared to both Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver. Of course Jacob would shine in both the National League Championship series, and the World Series. He'd get a significant pay raise in the off-season, and looking into 2016, how could anyone possibly bet against Jacob improving still. He's entering into his prime, and he has every tool imaginable, and a solid World Series team behind him. Thanks for reading.