Jacob Degrom has been one of the most durable pitchers for the New York Mets for the majority of his career. The Mets seem to be cursed with injuries every year but this is a bit different with new ownership in charge. The organization is committed to Degrom as he can opt-out after the 2022 season.
However, putting the contract and commitment aside, is Degrom the best pitcher of all-time at this stage of his career, only being 33 years old. Degrom is currently dealing with an injury but only gave up one hit, struck out six, and dominated on the mound for five innings. Degrom has been breaking records left and right, and one can wonder what he can do next on the mound every five days.
In this generation alone, I have had the privilege to watch other pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander dominate for years. However, does Jacob Degrom have what it takes, or is he currently the greatest pitcher of all time in this stage of his career?
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Jacob Degrom was brought up to the majors at the age of 25, nearly 26 at the time. In his rookie campaign, he had a 9-6 record, and just a 2.69 ERA, and a 1.14 WHIP in 140.1 innings pitched. Degrom was destined to be a part of the Mets’ plans as he continued to improve his game.
Despite just entering the league, Degrom added another pitch to his arsenal. He learned how to perfect the changeup from the 2x Cy Young winner and 4x All-Star Johan Santana. With it, he struck out so many batters.
Jacob Degrom has a record of 77 wins and 53 losses for his career so far and was a key part of their World Series run back in 2015. After the 2016 season, the Mets have struggled to stay competitive in the loaded NL East, but that did not faze Jake at all as he gave it his all on the mound every night. Sometimes he would have to take it upon himself and drive in some runs with the bat to give himself a lead to work with.
Degrom has been one of the bright spots and has lived up to his contract extension worth 137 million dollars over five years. He has also won two straight Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019. He was very close to a three-peat as he was third in voting in the National League behind Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish in the shortened 2020 season.
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT HIS NUMBERS
Every time Degrom takes the mound, the offense as a unit has failed on numerous occasions to give him the run support he needs to win. Degrom has a lot of no-decisions in his career and a fair share of one-run losses.
Degrom has the 51st best ERA of all time and a career ERA+ which is ranked fourth all-time. The only active player on the list who is ranked higher is Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw. With a strikeout rate of 10.5793 per nine innings, Degrom currently sits in fifth-place all-time in this category.
Jacob also has the 6th best WHIP of all time. He also has the third-best strikeout to walk ratio. The only active player who is higher on that list is Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox.
Degrom also set the record for the most strikeouts through the first four starts to a season with 50 K’s. The previous record of 48 strikeouts had been held by Nolan Ryan (1978) and Shane Bieber (2020). Jacob also has the best ERA this season with a 0.50.
I still believe that he can become the greatest pitcher of all time, but if he gets one more Cy Young, he will tie late legend, Tom Seaver. This does not matter too much, but the only thing that is essientially left on his resume is a World Series title. There is a lot of baseball to be played in his career before labeling him as the GOAT.