The New York Mets didn't have Jacob deGrom highly rated on their organizational depth chart headed into the season. deGrom was in the competition for the fifth starter's job in spring training, but was realistically the fourth choice behind Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero, and Noah Syndergaard. deGrom has not only managed to leapfrog all of them in the months since then to grab the Mets' final rotation spot, he has pitched so well that he finds himself right in the thick of the National League Rookie of the Year running.
deGrom started off fast, recording four consecutive quality starts to begin his young career. deGrom remained winless as a result of poor run support, but he appeared to be thriving. deGrom's next few starts were rough ones, leading some to speculate deGrom would lose his rotation spot once Dillon Gee returned from the disabled list. deGrom has turned it around, however, and has been on a tear since recording his first win June 21st in Miami.
deGrom has been on another planet in his last seven starts, lasting at least six innings in six of them and giving up two earned runs or less in all but one. deGrom is 5-1 with a miniscule 1.37 ERA since beating the Marlins on the 21st, and he has helped the Mets' rotation go on one of its best runs of the season. deGrom's strikeout to walk ratio has also improved over this stretch, as deGrom has struck out 49 batters and walked only 13 over his last 46 innings of work.
deGrom has given himself a good shot to win the National League Rookie of the Year award in a field that isn't very strong. deGrom is pretty much the best pitcher on the list in the NL, and the hitters haven't been too spectacular. Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings (.277, 6 HR's, 21 RBI's) has cooled off after a hot start, while Reds' outfielder Billy Hamilton (.272, 6, 40, 41 stolen bases) and Pirates' outfielder Gregory Polanco (.243, 5, 20) haven't met the hype. Of the position players, Hamilton is probably the most likely to beat out deGrom for the honor, but deGrom still has an excellent chance to take home the hardware if he finishes strong. The last Met to take home that piece of hardware was also a young hurler, Dwight Gooden, back in 1984.
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