Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom wants to pitch into his 40s

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Jacob deGrom pitches at Citi Field
Jacob deGrom pitches at Citi Field

Almost defying logic and how the human body works, Mets ace Jacob deGrom is getting better and more powerful as he ages.

DeGrom, who has been the best pitcher in baseball since 2018, has averaged a ridiculous 99.1 mph on his fastball so far this season at age 32 after the pitch averaged 98.6 mph in 2020.

In 2019, deGrom's average fastball was 96.9 mph.

And as deGrom continues to dominate as he goes after his third Cy Young award, he believes he can pitch at this level for a lot longer.

"I want to pitch into my 40s," deGrom told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

"I believe I can still compete at this level at that age," deGrom added. "To become an inner-circle Hall of Famer, I'm gonna have to play that long."

As the idea of wins and losses as a stat that matters for pitchers slowly goes away (as it should be), deGrom's Hall of Fame chances are already starting to look very strong.

Apr 5, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Apr 5, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

DeGrom is in the middle of a stretch that rivals the best in the history of the sport, and if he keeps it up for another few seasons, he's likely a Hall of Fame lock. If he keeps it going for another six or seven seasons? He could reach his goal of being an "inner-circle" Hall-of-Famer.

"I think I'll be able to pull off being a power guy that long," deGrom told ESPN about pitching into his 40s. "I can play this game for quite a while longer at a high level. It goes back to how I approach it. Making adjustments throughout my career to get where I am now. Knowing I'm a little bit off and fixing it. Learning my mechanics. Always working on them. I'm trying to perfect my delivery. Really studying the game to get hitters out."

And when it comes to deGrom pitching at this level for a lot longer, time could be on his side due to him debuting at a later age (26) after converting from shortstop and being delayed due to Tommy John surgery. There's simply not a lot of mileage on his arm.

As the Mets and their fans continue to enjoy deGrom every fifth day, there is also the matter of his 2022 opt-out hanging over the situation.

But it will be stunning if the Mets don't work something out with deGrom before it gets to that point, perhaps tacking on more years at a much higher annual value than he's getting now while making him a Met for life.