Mets righthanded pitcher Jacob deGrom was named the 2014 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) on Monday.
Jacob, 26, made 22 starts and won the NL Rookie Triple Crown leading NL rookies in strikeouts (144), ERA (2.69) and tying for the league lead with nine wins.
“I’m truly honored to receive this award and would like to thank the BBWAA,” said deGrom. “I wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for the support of my teammates. I’m already looking forward to 2015 and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”
“His journey has been unbelievable,” said Mets Manager Terry Collins. “When we promoted him he was supposed to go to the bullpen but an injury forced him into the rotation. This award speaks to Jacob’s determination and desire to succeed.”
The righty is the fifth Mets player to win Rookie of the Year honors. Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984) are the others.
“I was fortunate enough to see him pitch a few times at Citi Field,” said Gooden. “What impressed me the most was that every time he got into a tough situation he always made the pitch he needed to get out of the jam. I love the way he competes.”
Jacob was able to tie the modern-era major league record with eight consecutive strikeouts to begin his start on September 15 vs. Miami and finished with four double-digit strikeout games during the season. The Mets righthander also established a rookie franchise-record, hurling 67.1 innings from June 5–August 7 without allowing a home run.
“When I saw that he had struck out eight straight I just said to myself ‘Wow, this guy almost broke my record and all of his were to start the game,’” said Seaver, who holds the major league record with 10 straight strikeouts at any point during a game. “That’s impressive. I made sure to find his boxscore whenever he pitched.”
deGrom was named the NL Rookie of the Month for July and for September by Major League Baseball and went 6-1 with a 2.16 ERA (16 earned runs/66.2 innings) in 10 starts after the All-Star break.
“He is enjoyable to catch because he is always around the strike zone,” said catcher Travis d’Arnaud. “I just hold up my glove and he hits the mitt. He never gets rattled no matter the situation. He’s just going to get better and better.”
Jacob was previously named the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year and the National League Outstanding Rookie by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
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