By Jarrod Patterson @J_M_Patterson on July 8, 2014
Seattle Mariner Felix Hernandez has been the most dominant starting pitcher in MLB this season. While King Felix has always been an absolute superstar to the fans of Seattle, this year he's on an entirely different level. In fact, he could very well be in line for another Cy Young Award. Regardless, Hernandez was appropriately voted to the AL All-Star Team this year, and here are 5 reasons he should be their starter.
Since his arrival in 2005, King Felix was mostly perceived as a great pitcher who often lacks run support. Despite posting quality performances game after game, he rarely received more than a run or two offensively until recently. That explains his mediocre win/loss percentage over the course of his career (120-88). Luckily for Hernandez, this year has been different. With added run support, he is 10-2, giving him the highest W% in the AL (.833).
Hernandez is dominant in many aspects of his game. With a fastball in the mid 90s, he is capable of overpowering hitters or deceiving them with junk. That's what keeps him at the top of the leaderboards each and every year in strikeouts. So far this season, he has 145 Ks, second only to David Price (159) in Tampa Bay. That's a sexy stat because for pitchers, a pretty strikeout is kind of like hitting a home run.
Despite pitching the second-most innings in all of MLB so far this season, Hernandez's 2.11 ERA ranks first amongst pitchers in the American League. That shows that he is playing quality innings late in the game. In fact, Hernandez ranks third in all of MLB in ERA to this point which is likely a product of his many years without run support in Seattle. It is his ERA that truly separates Hernandez from every other AL All-Star pitcher.
Perhaps the most important statistic for pitchers (along with ERA) is their WHIP, which reflects a pitcher's tendency to allow batters to get on base either by getting a hit or taking a walk. Therefore, the lower the WHIP, the better the pitcher. Once again, Hernandez ranks first in the AL (amongst pitchers with at least 100 IP) with a 0.89 WHIP. In addition to not allowing hitters to reach base, he has given up a mere four home runs all season.
It's odd to see a pitcher as the face of a franchise these days. That title is usually designated for hitters. Finding a true "ace" is incredibly difficult with modern hitters' ability to adapt at the plate. However, King Felix has managed to do just that. Even with the blockbuster addition of second baseman Robinson Cano this past offseason, Hernandez remains the face of the Mariners. After all, he threw the first no-hitter in Seattle history.
September 5, 2015 by Mike Gibson
Darnell Sweeney’s three homers in the 12 games he has played since coming over from the Los Angeles Dodgers makes him this month’s most intriguing member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Read More
September 4, 2015 by Evan Massey
Dexter Fowler has been a huge piece of the Chicago Cubs' 2015 success, but they need to make sure to get a new deal done with the talented outfielder this coming offseason. Read More
September 4, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
The Rookie of the Year race in the National League is among the most intriguing award races to follow down the stretch. All five of these candidates are worthy of the award. Read More
September 4, 2015 by Tucker Rekucki
Didi Gregorious originally struggled after taking over as the Yankees everyday shortstop, but ever since the All-Star break, Gregorious has been one of the best shortstops in baseball. Read More
September 4, 2015 by Dave Holcomb
The Pittsburgh Pirates have lost four straight for the first time since May, and much of that has to do with the team's struggling top two hitters. Read More
September 4, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is having one of the greatest seasons of all time for any player, let alone a 22-year-old. Read More
According the reports, there is a disagreement between the New York Mets and Matt Harvey's camp on an innings-limit. Could this situation cost the Mets down the stretch? Read More
September 4, 2015 by Nick Vorholt
There are five Astros call-ups who will help fend off Texas for the AL West. Read More