Jacob deGrom has been making major league hitters look silly for seven seasons, and Year Eight doesn’t sound like it will be any different.
The two-time Cy Young winner threw some live batting practice on Tuesday morning in Port St. Lucie, facing hitters like Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, and Jonathan Villar.
Luis Rojas was watching as deGrom toyed with hitters, and the Mets’ skipper is now running out of words to describe what he’s seen from his ace.
“I don’t know the number (of pitches) exactly, but it’s getting ridiculous,” Rojas said. “He’s showing up today, he’s throwing 99 [mph], and just easy, having fun out there, and then the rest of his pitches [are] just like he was in mid-season form. I mean, I saw the repetitions and I went to other fields to see other guys, because you just know what you’re seeing, and it’s a version of Jacob deGrom getting better.
“We talked about him competing against himself, just trying to be the best version next time around, and that’s what we saw today, just a better Jacob deGrom.”
DeGrom just missed out on his third straight Cy Young Award in 2020, pitching to a 2.38 ERA with a 0.956 WHIP and career-best 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, finishing third in voting behind Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish.
But if deGrom can recapture the award in 2021, as he’ll almost certainly be in the running to do, he would be the first NL pitcher to win three Cy Youngs in four years since Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw from 2011-14.
And it sounds like he’s already off on the right foot.