For the second time this season, Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom has taken home the National League Rookie of the Month award. He also did so in July.
deGrom has been awesome since he was initially called up in May, but his September was particularly exhilarating. During four starts, the 26-year-old allowed six runs (five earned for a 1.67 ERA) in 27 innings while striking out 38 batters and walking just six.
It's hard to pick out which of deGrom's outings was most impressive. Was it his eight-inning effort against the Rockies in which he allowed just three baserunners while striking out nine? Those Rockies struggle on the road, so maybe deGrom's 13 strikeouts in seven innings against Miami were more impressive. He allowed three runs in that game, but the way he struck out the first eight batters of the game was memorable and quite fun.
deGrom finished off his season by punching out 10 Braves in six innings during a win on September 21. That marked his fourth double-digit strikeout start in his first 22 outings. Only six pitchers since 1990 have more double-digit strikeout efforts in their first 22 starts. One of those is Matt Harvey, who had five such games.
The fact that he won Rookie of the Month twice in the last three months of the season makes deGrom a strong favorite for NL Rookie of the Year. He'd be the first Met to win the award since Dwight Gooden in 1984. Billy Hamilton of the Reds is also a strong contender for the hardware, but his poor hitting and inefficient baserunning this season will likely get in the way of an excellent defensive season for the center fielder.