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Jacob deGrom Wins 2014 NL Rookie of the Year Award: Voting Results, Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 10, 2014

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 22:  Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 22, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

New York Mets right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom has been named the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. 

The Mets had the news:

New York Mets @Mets

Congratulations, @JdeGrom19! 2014 #NLROY #deGrom4ROY #deGrominant http://t.co/k0aI9qLEq0

ESPN's SportsCenter account broke down the history of the Mets and the prestigious award: 

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Jacob deGrom wins NL Rookie of the Year award. DeGrom is 5th Mets player to win award, 1st since Dwight Gooden. http://t.co/ydFp1gOLuq

There wasn't a lot to celebrate with the Mets in 2014, but deGrom was a pleasant surprise. The 26-year-old didn't arrive on the scene until May 15 against the Yankees, but he would end the year as New York's best pitcher. 

DeGrom led the Mets with a 2.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while leading all NL rookies in innings pitched (140.1), strikeouts (144) and trailing only Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton in FanGraphs' wins above replacement (3.5 to 3.0). 

The amazing thing about deGrom's season is that he wasn't on the radar coming into 2014. He wasn't ranked among the Mets' top 10 prospects by Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus or ESPN.com's Keith Law (subscriptions required) though the former did list deGrom among potential prospects who could contribute:

With good size (long and lean) and athleticism, deGrom can throw strikes and log innings, using a 90-94 mph fastball with some sink to do most of his dirty work but flashing a quality slider and playable changeup as well. Sources aren't sold that he's a viable major-league starter, but he could find a home in the bullpen—where the 25-year-old arm could offer versatility, pushing the arsenal up a few ticks to work in bursts—or chew innings in a long relief/spot starter capacity.

Enhancing deGrom's case for Rookie of the Year was the way he finished 2014, winning NL Rookie of the Month honors with these stats, via David Lennon of Newsday:

David Lennon @DPLennon

Jacob deGrom named Rookie of Month for Sept: 2-0, 1.67 ERA. 38 Ks, 6 BB. Good momentum surge into what should be ROY award for him. #mets

Baseball voters love the final impression they are left with when making their decisions. Hamilton, for instance, was a valuable rookie for the Reds thanks to his defense in center field but finished the season hitting .200/.254/.257 in the second half. 

The Mets have work to do before becoming playoff contenders again, but their rotation looks strong heading into 2015.

If deGrom can build off his impressive debut season, Zack Wheeler continues to develop and Matt Harvey doesn't have any setbacks in his Tommy John rehab, they should dominate in a division without much depth behind Washington. 

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