For the sake of perspective, consider that his fastball speed is merely tied for third among Mets starters, trailing Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey.
Yet deGrom, who is 0-0 this season with a 1.50 ERA in two starts, is ranked by Baseball America as the 19th best starting pitcher in the majors and No. 2 on the Mets behind Syndergaard.
The reason for deGrom’s success has a lot to with his competitiveness.
“Jacob doesn’t give in to batters,” Collins told media members this spring. “He’s able to give us a chance to win even when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
“When he has a bad outing, he gets frustrated. But then he digs in and gets ready for his next start. That’s what I like about him.”
The Marlins will counter deGrom with left-hander Adam Conley, who was supposed to start on Friday. However, Conley’s start was pushed back one day after he was used in relief in Thursday’s 16-inning loss to the Mets.
Conley took the loss after his second pitch resulted in a 16th-inning, game-winning homer by Travis d’Arnaud
“There’s not much to say about my outing,” Conley said after his loss. “Sixteen innings of good baseball by both teams to that point, and I just didn’t do my job. That’s the bottom line.”
Before Thursday’s loss, Conley had been 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in six career appearances against the Mets, striking out 28 in 29 1/3 innings.
DeGrom, meanwhile, is 4-3 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins. That 3.56 ERA against the Marlins is deGrom’s highest among NL East opponents.
DeGrom will have to be especially careful with four Marlins batters in particular: Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna.
Stanton, in 18 career plate appearances against deGrom, is hitting .467 with one double, three homers, three walks and five RBIs. DeGrom has struck him out four times.
Bour is hitting .554 against deGrom in 11 plate appearances, and Yelich is at .423 in 28 plate appearances.
Ozuna, in 24 career plate appearances against deGrom, is batting .292 with two RBIs. But what makes him dangerous is how hot he has been this season.
Stanton is the only current Marlins player who has homered against deGrom. But some of the lefty hitters that surround Stanton in the lineup could do damage, and that list includes Yelich, Bour, Derek Dietrich (.300 against deGrom in 11 plate appearances) and Dee Gordon (.278 in 18 plate appearances).
The Mets hitters, meanwhile, are primarily left-handed, so Collins will likely look to start right-handed utility player Wilmer Flores, who crushes left-handers on a regular basis.
Three right-handed hitting Mets who rested on Friday — Yoenis Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud and Neil Walker — should be back in the lineup.
All four of those right-handed hitters have batting averages of .200 or lower against Conley, although in very limited numbers of at-bats.