Olney on ‘The Drive': Mets Have MLB’s Best Player, Not Just Pitcher
If I've learned one thing at 104.5 The Team, it's this...Buster Olney does not say things by accident.
There is a purpose to every anecdote, every nugget of information, and every specific choice of words, which I learned today on The Drive when Buster Olney referred to Jacob deGrom not as the best pitcher in Major League Baseball, but the best player.
I had to pause and follow-up with him about it. It's rare to find a pitcher worthy of MVP consideration, but Buster believes in his theory wholeheartedly. I did some digging on deGrom after our interview, to see if his theory held water.
And I have to say, I might be with him.
In eight starts this season, deGrom is 4-2, but has an ERA of 0.71. That's four earned runs in 51 innings of work, which averages out to less than one run per nine innings pitched. Essentially, teams score off of deGrom once every 12 to 13 innings he pitched. Or, for a more fun view, every OTHER start deGrom makes (eight total), he gives up ONE run.
But Dan, he's a pitcher, he's not a complete player. Normally, I would agree, much like how a goaltender in hockey doesn't put up points, a pitcher typically can't hit for anything. deGrom said well, I'm not technically human, so I can hit really well. He has nine hits in 20 at-bats so far this season, good for a .450 average, and an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of nearly 1.000. He's driven in three runs, and only struck out seven times.
Stop me if you've heard this before...Buster Olney might know what he's talking about.