In only one start in 2017, New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom has already surpassed his max velocity from all of 2016.
97. This is the number that has all New York Mets fans in a tizzy at the immediate moment. Jacob deGrom is the man responsible for this said number.
In his first start of the spring, deGrom topped out at 97 miles per hour, surpassing any of his max velocities from a season ago.
Although he threw just 26 pitches, deGrom looked sharp in his team’s 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros in Grapefruit League play on Saturday. It took him just 26 pitches to move through six-straight Houston batters in two innings.
Apparently, deGrom made a mechanical adjustment this past offseason, via Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
“When I saw the 97, I looked at [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] and said, ‘That’s a little special today,”’ said Mets manager Terry Collins. “I really think it was important for him to go out there and know that his arm is back. We don’t put a [radar] gun on them in the bullpens, so when they go out there and see the velocity is back, I think it’s a tremendous confidence builder for them.”
19 of his 26 pitches went for strikes and he hit 97 on the gun several times. This is a huge change from the 95, 94.3 mph mark we saw a season ago, a season that limited him to just 148 innings of work.
“It’s nice to get in a game and feel good,” deGrom said. “You throw bullpens and say you feel good, then live batting practice. But to get out there in a game and actually get some guys out is a plus for me.
“I get nervous before every start in the season, and not normally that much in spring training. But I was a little nervous getting out there and having the adrenaline going for the first time since surgery. I’m glad I got out there and was able to throw the ball where I wanted.”