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Thursday, June 2, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JACOB DeGROM STARTING TO LOOK LIKE OLD SELF

For the first month-plus of the 2016 fantasy baseball, the New York Mets rotation served as clear evidence of the growing trend of young pitchers struggling more than a little the season following one where a new high in innings was reached.  While he has not been anywhere near as putrid as Matt Harvey has been, Jacob DeGrom has had his own difficulties going back to spring training when he battled injuries and some off-the-field concerns.  Showing a fastball velocity that was down 3-4 ticks from his Cy Young-worthy 2015 campaign (2.54 ERA/0.98 WHIP/205 K), DeGrom battled through a drastically reduced K rate in April and May with some previously absent control problems as well.  No doubt affected by the 200-plus innings he tossed in 2015, DeGrom was just like in Harvey in terms of having to get outs without his best stuff.  Now in DeGrom's case, he battled enough with his secondary stuff to go into mid-May with a much better 3.07 ERA but still the drop in strikeouts pushed him down past the Cy Young price he cost at the draft. 

Fast forward to Wednesday as DeGrom struck out a season-high 10 batters versus the Chicago White Sox as he gave up just 5 hits, 2 walks, and 1 earned run in 7 innings which lowered his ERA to 2.62.  With the ERA being right back where DeGrom has been since becoming a regular in 2014, in his last three starts now DeGrom has struck out 24 batters in just 19 innings.  That is a great sign here as it looks like DeGrom is finding his lost velocity and in turn becoming that fantasy baseball ace we all anticipated.  While DeGrom has walked a bit too many batters, he is keeping the baseball in the park and his uptick in strikeouts portends good things to follow for the remainder of the season.  Those who drafted DeGrom and stayed patient; although things never really got that bad; it looks like your ace is rounding into his best form for the last four months of his 2016 campaign. 

 

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