Showdown: DeGrom vs McHugh

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Showdown: DeGrom vs McHugh

This season is full of intriguing two-player “Showdowns” that beg comparison and invite debate. In each Showdown we pit two players from the same position against each other, scrutinize their age, injuries (if applicable), and statistics, with only one coming out on top.

The 9th ticket on our Showdown Supercard features two sophomore northpaws who had tremendous debuts in 2014. Now entering the ring its: DeGrom vs McHugh.

We’ve already made comparisons to these two in our Sleepers – Arms post, but there are many parallels here. We had to come back for more:

  • Little did we know, even after we decided to compare these two, that they share the same birthday – June 19. (It would be downright eerie if it was the same year, but not quite – Degrom’s is 1988 and McHugh’s is 1987)
  • They both finished in the top 4 in Rookie of the Year voting
  • They were both drafted by the Mets (McHugh in 2008 and Degrom in 2010)
  • They both spent time in the Mets Minor League affiliates – AA (Binghampton) and AAA (Las Vegas)
  • They had mirror-image seasons in 2014
  • And finally, get ready for this one: it would take just over 47 gallons of fuel for each of them to drive from their respective home stadiums to their home birthplace. Now that’s some sick fantasy relevance right there. (sorry, getting geeked out here, but check it out: Degrom’s Drive & McHugh’s Drive. And, no, I do not have a lot of time on my hands – at all. I am getting spooked though.)

(a few hours later…)

Did somebody roofie me again? Maybe, I inhaled too much gas. Onward, Christian Soldiers…

Let’s take a look at their mirror-image seasons:


It’s safe to say that if McHugh was still pitching for the Mets, or any other team on the Senior Circuit, he would have given DeGrom a run for his money. (Why do I like that word so much… “Money”? It can’t be because I’m a Fantasy Baseball advisor – that’s for sure… must remember all these taglines that arise… At Caveball we give you a run for your Money… At Caveball we’re on the Money… At Caveball we are Money… goot, yaa. very goot. And, no, I’m not from Fargo)

What is wrong with me today? Stay the course, Jackie Boy. Stay the course.

Jacob Degrom – The secret is out. DeGrom is a good pitcher. Can he live up to the hype created by his Rookie of the Year award? Well, his spring numbers spin a wicked web, and would lead you to believe he can:

15 IP / 10 H / 5 R / 2 BB / 17 K / .189 BAA / 3.00 ERA / .80 WHIP 

However, with this kind of slashing, combined with a potential sophomore slump that seems to prey upon ROY winners, Degrom’s ADP should be pumped way beyond his actual value.

You simply cannot ignore his more pedestrian stats from his Minor League career:

323 IP / 333 H / 267 K / .265 BAA / 3.62 ERA / 1.28 WHIP


Collin McHugh – is no secret either. He was the 4th highest vote-getter for Rookie of the Year in the more competitive A.L. crop. Jose Abreu (ROY), Matt Shoemaker and Dellin Betances, all finished ahead of McHugh. However, he certainly doesn’t share the same hype as Degrom, because only the award winners get that honor – and subsequent stigma.

McHugh has had an interesting Spring. Despite a higher ERA, which is bound to happen in small sample sizes, his other stats fall in line with his breakout 2014 season:

16.1 IP / 15 H / 10 R / 4 BB / 19 K / .242 BAA / 4.19 ERA / 1.16 WHIP

McHugh seems to be an experimenter when it comes to Spring Training, as he has had poor numbers in previous S.T.s.

I love to see the high strikeout rate in combination with a low WHIP – and McHugh finished 6th in all of baseball in WHIP among pitchers with 25 or more starts. Only Kershaw, Hernandez, Cueto and Arrieta finished better than his 1.02 WHIP.

The Decision

Just to make the decision a little tougher, Their numbers mirrored each other’s even more closely after the All-Star break:

Degrom6-162.3 47722.160.93
McHugh7-17259642.12 0.93

McHugh suffered some poor run support in the first half considering his 4-8 record, but otherwise his numbers were solid. He was even a little better in the second half.

Degrom was noticeably better in the second half, especially in the WHIP column where he improved by 40 percentage points. He seemed to have learned how to pitch as the season wore on, and his spring numbers seem to back this up.

From a “who has more value as far as his ADP is concerned” perspective, there is no question that McHugh has the edge. Keep this in mind on draft day.

From a pure “who will finish with better numbers” perspective, I’d have to give the nod to Degrom. He’s pitching in the weakest-hitting division in baseball in a pitcher’s ballpark. 

Winner by “Split” Decision: Degrom




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