Is Jacob deGrom Actually Good?

I shared my deep thoughts on New York's ace.

Yes.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar LeftyNation says:

    I was like “this can’t be a real article”. haha got hem.

  • Avatar Charles Leroy says:

    Great April Fools article!

  • Avatar 4BasesShortOfABallpark says:

    This was a compelling read Nick, thanks for sharing your in-depth thoughts on DeGrom! I agree with the capitalized “Y” when you wrote out the word “Yes”, to encourage us to ponder the why or why not of whether his pitching can hold up in the ever-evolving modern baseball era. Statistics have been such an integral part of the analysis in recent years, it’s almost refreshing to see you take the more minimalistic and old-fashioned approach to this deep dive. With less emphasis on raw numbers, it lets us take a step back and consider what kind of pitcher he is.

    However, there is one aspect of your discussion I do disagree with. Following the word “Yes”, you placed a period after that, as if to imply that there is no open-endedness to this and your perspective is absolute. While that does come off as somewhat arrogant, I do respect that you stand by your word and do have the confidence to lay it out before us. This being a public place of discussion, naturally, you do leave yourself open to comments at least.

    Since I’m the one calling out your intentional placement of the period, I think it’s only fair that I share some of my thoughts on deGrom, as a counterpoint to your perspective. While I do believe it’s important not to over-emphasize statistics, some of the underlying numbers do have me concerned. If you take a look at last season’s numbers, you’ll see that his W, G, GS, IP, and strikeouts in 2020 had a massive drop-off compared to 2019. While his W-L%, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, H9, HR9, BB9, SO9, and SO/W all still looked somewhat tolerable on my phone’s screen, at minimum brightness while wearing sunglasses in a dark cave, it’s hard not to notice his other declines. Some may attribute the discrepancy to the shortened season, but I’m sure we can all agree that’s not relevant to how I want to frame these facts.

    From here, we should take a broader look at some underlying factors involved with his pitching style. Notably, he’s right-handed. This means there’s an inherent bias to use his right hand. This suggests a lack of flexibility and cross-dynamic engagement with both halves of his cerebral cortex, as his left side slowly becomes deteriorated and inhibited, and at worst promotes the advancement of psychosis. While some may point out that he bats left-handed to prove a balanced usage of his encephalon, that assumption is not correct. Being left-handed when batting as a pitcher is a sign of self-gratifying intolerance towards the subconscious aspirations of the first baseman, as the half-a-step is meant to assert provincial dominance by flaunting a false sense of abbreviated speed. These intimidation tactics, which deGrom clearly supports through his abhorrent behavior, are quite effective. This is proven by the league-wide below-average defensive performance of many first-base players not named Evan White. Some may suggest the lacking defense is due to putting weaker defenders in the least difficult spot, in exchange for getting stronger bats in the lineup, but I believe that’s irrelevant and can be completely ignored.

    At age 33, and nearing 34, he practically has one foot in the retirement home. It’s important to keep in mind that 100% of people who are age 34 or over are not age 33. This is a very high percentage, and at this rate, he will be a year older following his next birthday. Also, when was the last time any of us has seen a physical copy of his birth certificate anyway? Never. It’s quite possible that after his next day of birthing celebration, while his opponents will expect a decrepitate aging 34-year-old husk of his former strikeout gourmandizing self, he may still actually be 33 for weeks or even months after. We have no way to truly know, which makes him a risky player to have on your fantasy team, especially if you’re banking on him lying about his age for the entirety of the season and not just until the all-star break. Once he publicly admits to being 34, then he’s that much closer to being 35 and it’ll only continue to escalate year after year.

    To further rationalize the impending doom of his physical well-being, you’ll notice that he’s commonly listed as being 6 foot 4 inches, at 180 pounds. At first glance, this appears to be a very reasonable and healthy BMI of 21.9. However, we need to factor in that professional athletes have a higher-than-average muscle mass. This normally results in someone having a greater than standard BMI, making the traditional scale less relevant. Now compare this to a very similar player: Max Scherzer. At 6 foot 3 and 208 pounds, with a pitching arm that can only be described as throwing a 3-ton shark out of a howitzer, has a BMI that comes out to exactly 26. That elevated is considered fairly baseline for an athlete. This creates a 4.1 BMI difference between the two players, and we should all be alarmed about that. Completely arbitrarily and with no medical or scientific backing, if you subtract 4.1 BMI from deGrom’s current one to act as the normalization to counteract his muscle mass, it drops him to 17.8 BMI. This is considered underweight by the highly respected National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which has been directed by the acclaimed Dr. Gary H. Gibbons since 2012. This non-relevant accreditation further supports the evidence suggesting the elevated frailness of his body.

    Now if the poor 2020 stats, lack of physical vitality, and the regressive psychiatric tendencies suggested by his left-handed batting weren’t enough to have you worried, there’s one more thing to keep in mind. His first start is scheduled to be today on April 1st, which is a Thursday. Last season, he didn’t win a single game on a Thursday. In fact, he hasn’t won a single game on a Thursday since July 25th in 2019! If you round that up to this upcoming July, then selectively extrapolate it by adding 8 years with the optimistic projection of no additional wins, then he’s only won a singular Thursday game in a decade. Aside from the fact he’s only had 2 Thursday games between July 25th of 2019 and now, this is a troubling sign, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed this.

    So with all of that in mind, I have to ask myself the same question you proposed with this article: Is Jacob deGrom Actually Good? This isn’t an easy question, as already shown in your article. While it’s difficult to say with certainty, as there are so many factors involved beyond the handful discussed here, for the time being I can at least say: Yes.

  • Avatar Greg says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Right to the point! My ace!

  • Avatar Anonymous says:

    Aaaaah you got me

  • Avatar Jody says:

    Someone please post a TLDR version

  • Avatar Jason says:

    is he good? you’re a moron if you need to ask that

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