The casual baseball fan would look at Cole Hamels' last season and think that he had a great year. Then they would look at this season and think that he was having a down year compared to last season.
Last season, Cole Hamels went 15-5 with a 3.39 ERA, 177 strikeouts, and a 1.12 WHIP.
This season, Cole Hamels has a mediocre 13-9 record. But, if you look past that 13-9 record, you will see how much Cole Hamels has improved this season.
His 3.11 ERA, 214.1 IP, 184 strikeouts, and 1.07 WHIP are all career bests, and he also has time to bring that 13-9 record to a 15-9 record with two wins in his two remaining starts.
Now, I have been hearing some voices say that he may not end up as good as we thought he would. But if you look into him some more, you'll see that he has gotten better each year and is steadily becoming more and more dominant.
His change-up is becoming one of the best in the bigs, and it may become the best in the bigs very soon. Also, he's mixing his pitches more and more, and is getting more batters off balance and getting them to hit the ball into the ground. Plus, he always pitches deep into games and gives you a great strike-ball ratio.
But the best part of this kid is his willingness to win. He knows he's going to win, and he doesn't get down on himself. If he losses one game, he wants to go out there and win the next 10. Some have questioned his will to win, but I think he has more will to win than most pitchers in baseball.
And let's not forget, this left-hander is just 25-years old. He's got plenty of years left, and he hasn't even reached his potential yet.
Expect Hamels to give you 200 innings, 15 wins, and an under 3.50 ERA year in and year out. And soon enough, you should expect a Cy Young or two as well.
Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.