The Mets added some starting pitching this offseason, and one of the new arms in their rotation is RHP Rick Porcello.
Porcello is coming off a down year with the Red Sox after posting a 5.52 ERA over 32 starts. However, he brings 11 years of MLB experience to the table as a very valuable back-end rotation piece.
So, as Porcello makes his way back to a very familiar place, here are some things you might not have known about the veteran:
1) Jersey Roots
Coming to New York for the first time in his career is basically a homecoming for Porcello. He was born in Morristown, NJ and grew up in Chester. And he made a name for himself while pitching at Seton Hall Prep during his high school days.
Porcello owned a 20-1 record and 0.88 career ERA in his four years for the Pirates, while also becoming the USA Today, Gatorade and American Baseball Coaches Association national Player of the Year in 2007 during his senior year.
That performance was why he was the 27th overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft to the Tigers, whom he decided to sign with instead of going to UNC to play collegiate ball. So you can say there will be just a few family members and friends at Citi Field when Porcello gets the ball this season.
2) Forever a Jersey legend
Porcello's accomplishments in high school were recognized by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), as he was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018.
He was part of a 16-person group that was part of the induction class.
3) 2016 Cy Young Award winner
Porcello brings a Cy Young Award with him to the Mets, after winning the American League's in 2016. He led MLB in wins that season with 22, while owning a 3.15 ERA over 33 starts.
And this production came after a rough 2015 season that saw a 4.92 ERA over 172 innings. He threw 223 innings in 2016, which is still his career high, and had 189 strikeouts to 32 walks.
4) Porcello's favorite hobby
There are many good spots in the Tri-State area for Porcello to partake in his favorite activity outside baseball. Porcello is an avid fly fisher (check his Twitter bio).
Back in August, Porcello explained that fly fishing is more than just a hobby of his, but something that's crucial in keeping his life balanced. After the 2015 season, Porcello got out on the water a lot, and he said it helped him clear his head. In the end, heading into 2016, he knew what he had to do to rebound.
The result was a Cy Young.
"On the water, fly fishing, that's my release. I get to do it pretty frequently. I'm very blessed."
5) Team Joseph Charity
Off the field, Porcello is a very active supporter of Team Joseph, a non-profit organization that aims to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It's an organization that he keeps in his Twitter bio, and he has participated in multiple events for the charity.