Coming off an excellent rookie season that earned him the National League's Rookie of the Year award in 2014, it wouldn't have been a shock if Jacob deGrom didn't pitch quite as well in 2015. Instead of taking a step back, however, deGrom was even better in his second major league season than he had been in his first.
deGrom's season got off to a relatively inauspicious start. Through May 11, he had a 3.46 ERA, and three of his seven starts hadn't gone well. The overall results were far from terrible, but they weren't up to par with what he had shown in twenty-two starts in his rookie season. But from that point of the season on, deGrom pitched exceptionally well.
In twenty-three starts through the the remainder of the regular season, deGrom had a 2.49 ERA. Total everything up, and he finished the year with a 2.54 ERA and 2.70 FIP, both among the best marks in all of baseball for starting pitchers. Like Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard, he had his turn skipped in the rotation to limit his workload for the season, which is why he finished the year with 30 starts and 191 innings pitched.
He pitched more in the playoffs, and while it didn't look like he had his best stuff for those starts, he threw 25 innings over four starts with a 2.88 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and 8 walks. Unfortunately, the worst of those four starts came in the World Series, as he allowed four runs in the fifth inning of Game 2 against the Royals, a game the Mets eventually lost 7-1.
But dwelling on that World Series start would be foolish. Whatever doubts might have existed about deGrom's ability to hang among the best pitchers in the game after his rookie season was erased, and moving forward, he seems to have as good a shot as any of the Mets' young pitchers of being the ace of the staff. Given the level of competition for that distinction, that's pretty, pretty good.