32 GP, 32 GS, 19-7, 2.69 ERA, 217.2 IP, 151 H, 270 K, 77 BB, .186 opponent avg, 1.04 WHIP
2014 American League Cy Young Winner
Wow, does time fly when you have an elite pitcher or what?
Does it feel to you like the 2014 season will be Yu Darvish' third year with the Rangers already?
It's true, folks.
Darvish is entering his third season in a Texas uniform and his second as the rotation's ace.
He'll be even better this year than he was in 2013. With a truly elite offense behind him, he will win several more games that he should have won last year. Leads might be blown, but the Texas offense will be far more capable of handing Darvish the lead again.
Bold prediction: He will emerge as the victor in a very tight AL Cy Young race with Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer and Jered Weaver, and of course, he will be an easy selection for the 2014 All-Star Game.
Take a look at the video above. Watch what he did to the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Two of those three runs came on Darvish's single bad pitch all afternoon. It was a David Ortiz two-run homer in the first.
Boston was the best team in the league almost all season. Try to tell me a Cy Young is out of Darvish's reach.
He's just about in his physical prime as a pitcher, and 2014 will be the first of Darvish's peak performance years. This season, I expect that he will learn to be more reliant on his mid-to-high 90s fastball.
He'll still throw the dazzling world-class junk, but he'll use just a tad more sparingly. Because of this, he'll strike out a handful fewer batters in 2014.
He won't make any more than the 32 starts he made in 2013. I don't expect him to sustain an injury that costs him more than a start or two, but he will need his rest. It is imperative that manager Ron Washington not burn him out like he did in the Boston game above in that video, even as impressive as he was.
Darvish is a true horse, but he can become a little more efficient with his pitches. If he does that, combined with this suddenly scary offense behind him, he could be primed for a glorious World Series win or two.
He'll still have a few "bad" outings, but overall, expect true greatness from Darvish this season.