Dec 26, 2019

Rick Porcello: New Jersey Native 2020 Mets Pitcher

Frederick Alfred Porcello III was born on December 27th 1988 in Morristown, New Jersey. He grew up a die hard Mets fan, loving Mike Piazza & the 2000 NL Champions. Porcello was a star high school pitcher in West Orange, New Jersey. In his senior year he was undefeated going 10-0  with 103 strikeouts & tossed a perfect game. 

He was planning to go to college but decided on going right to the big leagues instead. He was the number one ranked prospect but got selected #27 in the first round, mostly because Scott Boras was his agent & teams didn't want to deal with him representing such a young player. 

Porcello was selected by the Detroit Tigers tagged aa special pitcher with the ability to be an ace of a staff. At a total of an $11 million contract, Porcello became the highest paid kid ever out of high school.

He debuted with Jim Leyland's Detroit Tigers on April 9th 2009, in a game against Ricky Romero. It was the first time in MLB history that two first round picks went up against each other in their debuts. He went 5-0 becoming the youngest pitcher since Dwight Gooden to win his first five games. 

Brawl: In an August game against the Boston Red Sox he hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch & then tackled him to the ground after Youkilis charged the mound. That year the Tigers tied the Twins for first place at the end of the season. 

Manager Jim Leyland chose Porcello to pitch the tie breaking game, in which he gave up two earned in runs in six innings, getting no decision. The Twins won the game in extra innings. He went 14-9 that year with a 3.96 ERA coming in third in the Rookie of the Year honors.

He struggled the next season & spent some time back at AAA.

Post Seasons: He spent six years with Tigers, getting to the post season for three straight seasons 2011- 2013. I those years he was on a staff behind Justin Verlander & Max Scherzer. Porcello won ten or more games in each of those years.

 In 2011 he won 14 games (14-9)  getting to his first post season, where he took a loss to the AL New York team in the ALDS. The Tigers won the series & Porcello pitched three games on the NLCS earning no decisions in the series loss to the Texas Rangers.

In 2012 he fell below .500 (10-12) & gave up the most hits in the league (226) . That year the Tigers got to the World Series, losing to the San Francisco Giants. Porcello pitched just 1.3 innings in that post season. 

He had to fight for a fifth starters spot in 2013 & avoided abirritation as well, all before the start of the season. He rebounded with a 13-8 season & career high (up to that point) 42 strike outs. 

Another Brawl: On June 30th, he hit the Rays, Ben Zobrist with a pitch, that was though of as retaliation after the Fernand Rodney had hit the Tigers Miguel Cabrera the night before. It led to a bench clearing brawl & a six game suspension for Porcello. He took a loss in that years ALCS to his future Red Sox team.

In 2014 he went 15-13 with a 3.3 ERA in 204 innings, all his best numbers in those Tigers years. 

Trivia: He became the first Tiger hurler since Jack Morris to throw back to back shut outs that season. In other odd trivia, in is three shut outs that year, one came with no walks & one came with no strike outs. 

That December he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes, Gabe Speier & Alex Wilson. 

He suffered from trice soreness that year & went on the DL for the first time in his career. He struggled in his first year in Boston going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA

Cy Young Award: In 2016 he had his best season, winning the AL Cy Young Award, leading the league with 22 wins (22-4) & the best strike out to walk ratio 5.91. 

He posted a 3.15 ERA (5th  best in the AL) a .846 win % & struck out 189 batters in 223 innings pitched (4th most in the AL) in 33 starts (4th in the AL) with three complete games (3rd most in the AL).In the ALDS he took aa loss to the eventual AL champion Cleveland Indians.

In 2017 he fell to leading the league with 17 losses, going 11-17 surrendering the most HRs (38) & hits (236) I the league as well. 

He posted a 4.65 ERA struck out 181 batters walked 48 in 203 innings of work. The Red Sox won their Second of three straight AL East titles, but lost to the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

In 2018 he was the ace of the Boston staff that won 108 regular season games & their ninth World Series title, their fourth of the 2000's. 

Porcello was 17-7 with a 3.28 ERA on a staff that featured David Price (6-7) Chris Sale (12-4) & Eduardo Rodrigues (13-5). Porcello had a career high in strike outs (190) & hit by pitches (16) in which he led the league. 

2018 Post Season: He came in relief of ALDS Game #1 shutting down the AL New York team in a 5-4 Sox victory. He clinched the series with a Game #4 win, pitching five innings allowing just one run.  

He had another relief appearance in Game #2 of the ALCS at Houston, earning a hold in the 7-5 Boston victory. He started Game #4 but pitched just 4 innings giving up four runs on seven hits.

2018 World Series: In the World Series he started Game #3 in Los Angeles, allowing just one run while striking out five in 4.2 innings, earning a no decision in the Dodgers win. Porcello won his first Championship as the Red Sox took the Series in five games.

After the Championship: In 2019 Porcello went 14-12 with a career high 5.52 ERA. He struck out 143 batters walked 45 in 174 innings while serving up 31 long balls. 

The 2019 Red Sox struggled 84-78 finishing third. He was granted free agency setting his sights to the New York Mets. Although he received other offers, some long term he signed a one year deal with the Mets in December 2019.



Quotes- Rick Porcello: "I'm really excited to be part of the Mets. I look forward to seeing you guys at the ballpark & we got a great year coming up. So come on out, we'll see you down at the yard. Go Mets."

"This team is a team that's built to win now & most important to me as a competitor I want to be part of that."

Personal Life:
Porcello lives in Chester Township, New Jersey. His brother Zach is a pitching coach at Seton Hall University & his younger brother Jake was drafted by the Tigers in 2009. Rick Porcello's girlfriend is Amanda Soucy, a model & digital reporter.

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