Billy Hamilton has been up all year. He's one of the fastest players in the game. And, he's made an impact for the Cincinnati Reds all year.
But, he shouldn't be the National League Rookie of the Year.
That honor should go to a guy who you might not have heard of.
He pitches for the New York Mets and he's 26.
Can't guess yet?
It's Jacob deGrom, whose last name – yes – starts with a lowercase letter.
Why should he win?
Well, I could give you the argument about how great he has been, but the Wall Street Journal's Jared Diamond probably summed it up best this weekend.
“From a statistical standpoint, deGrom hasn't just been the best rookie pitcher in the NL—he has been one of the best pitchers in the NL, period,” Diamond wrote.
“Among pitchers with at least 130 innings, his 2.68 ERA ranks eighth in the league. His 1.81 ERA since July 8 ranks second, only behind Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who will likely end up being the MVP. deGrom also tied a modern-day record on Monday by striking out eight consecutive batters to open a game.”
deGrom did give up three earned runs in that Monday start, earning a no decision, but he also finished with 13 strikeouts. In the 21 innings over three starts before that, he hadn't allowed an earned run.
"I just go out there and try to pitch my best every time," deGrom told the Wall Street Journal. "If it happens, it happens."
Why is he so un-famous?
It's hard to believe that a pitcher in New York who is lighting it up would be overlooked. But the Mets are bad, really bad, making it easy for the rest of baseball to ignore them. At 26, deGrom is older than the typical rookie and he wasn't hyped as a savior prospect for the organization.
He's just a guy, who was 7-7 with a 4.51 ERA over three levels in the minors last season. In 2012, he was 9-3 with a 2.43 ERA in Single-A.
He wasn't hyped like Noah Syndergaard and deGrom was originally called up to be a reliever.
“I’m not surprised with deGrom," Mets Triple-A coach Wally Backman told NJ.com.
"I really believe that he was a guy that was going to be a dominant type of pitcher. The way he competes. His stuff. He’s got swing and miss stuff. I didn’t want to lose him as fast as I lost him but I knew it was the right move. He’s probably pitched better than a lot of people expected. I’d seen a lot of the things in him that was going to make him good. For him to make that transition as fast as he did probably surprised a lot of people.”
Will he win?
Well, he's starting to garner a lot of support. CBS' Jon Heyman joined the chorus this past week.
“DeGrom deserves the NL Rookie of the Year award, and there shouldn't be much doubt about that (though apparently, there is),” Heyman wrote.
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