Starting Pitcher: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
2018 fWAR: 8.8
Everything Jacob deGrom did this past year was incredible. He led all of baseball with a 1.70 ERA and induced soft contact (25.2%) almost as often as hard contact (26.6%). Similar to Martinez (albeit in a different situation), the right-hander and NL Cy Young frontrunner saw a huge improvement in his changeup.
Opposing hitters struck out against that offering at a 22.1% clip while posting a 105 wRC+ in 2017, but those numbers improved to 30.3% and 4 (!) in 2018. The only pitch that produced a wRC+ higher than 77 was deGrom’s two-seamer, which hitters owned a 113 wRC+ against.