MLB: A Case for Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young Award
The Cy Young Award is one of many awards that typically sparks debate over whether or not the right player won; think back to when Bartolo Colon won the award in 2005, a year when he led the league in essentially one statistical category, wins.
This insight (read: tangent) came from my perusing of Baseball Prospectus' On the Beat series, where author John Perrotto provides us with a handful of scout reactions to some Major League players. On August 9th, Perrotto had this tidbit about sure-thing non-Cy Young contender Felix Hernandez,
"The fact that this guy is 7-9 is just further proof that you can't judge a pitcher solely on his win-loss record. He was 19-5 last season and his stuff is basically the same and he's pitching almost as well. Believe me, there's nothing wrong with him that some run support wouldn't help. He's still as nasty as ever."
And really, once you look deeper, Felix truly is having the same season as last year, with an argument that he's performing better. That is, his strikeouts are up (career high), and his walks are down (career low). In fact, Felix is performing at the best level of his career across the board.
Felix is currently tied with CC Sabathia for the highest WPA in the American League. His 3.27 mark is higher then the total he put up in 2009 and the highest mark of his career.
I suppose what this post boils down to is A Case for Felix, as there is a legitimate chance that despite his mound heroics, Felix won't come home with the Cy Young this year. It wouldn't surprise me if his potentially sub .500 record leaves him off the ballot of most BBWA despite being among the most valuable and dominant in the American League.
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