New York Mets pitcher Jacob degrom is having himself some kind of season so far. maybe losing out to Trevor Bauer last year for the Cy Young Award pissed him off a little bit. Up to this point, he’s sporting an unheard of 0.50 ERA. And he’s done it with three pitches coupled by increases velocity. His approach has been classic K. I. S. S. (or keep it simple stupid). It hasn’t always been like that though.
The following graphs chart DeGrom’s evolution as a pitcher over the course of his 8 year career. (Note: With a career record of 77-53 it’s amazing how close to .500 he is. He can thank the Metropolitans’ lack of run support for that.)
Here are his three go-to pitches this season.
Earlier in his career he threw a greater variety of pitches.
As DeGrom concentrated on fewer types of pitches, the spin rate on his slider and changeup increased. This is reflected in the vertical movement of his pitches.
He also upped the velocity of his four-seam fastball.
The combination translated to a higher strikeout percentage and lower amount of contact.
Of course, there’s more to it than shown here. If you’d like a detailed discussion, this article goes in greater detail.