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Entries in Felix Hernandez (13)

Thursday
Feb072013

The Fantasy Baseball Diary: Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez is an ideal example of a pitcher who has seen enormous success from locating, mixing and sequencing. For the past five seasons he’s been one of the best starting pitchers in the game because of his durability and domination of hitters. 

During the 2012 regular season opposing batters hit .241 versus Felix Hernandez.

What was the most remarkable about his 2012 season was that he was able to dominate hitters despite moving away from his fastball and its decreasing velocity. 

Felix Hernandez's Trending Fastball Velocity

Source: BrooksBaseball.net

 

Hernandez’s velocity has decreased year-over-year since the start of his MLB career. As the velocity dropped he no longer depended on his plus-plus (well above-average) fastball to get hitters out. Instead, he relied on location and the sequencing of his secondary pitches.

 

In the last five seasons he leads the league in ground ball percentage and is sixth in strikeouts per nine innings among any pitcher with at least 1,000 innings pitched. What was the most remarkable about his 2012 season was that he was able to dominate hitters despite a decline in the speed of his fastball.  

Checkout These Career Numbers

YEAR

IP

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

WHIP

ERA

2005

84.3

8.22

2.46

6.51

0.53

1.00

2.67

2006

191

8.29

2.83

9.19

1.08

1.34

4.52

2007

190.3

7.80

2.51

9.88

0.95

1.38

3.92

2008

200.7

7.85

3.59

8.88

0.76

1.39

3.45

2009

238.7

8.18

2.68

7.54

0.57

1.14

2.49

2010

249.7

8.36

2.52

6.99

0.61

1.06

2.27

2011

233.7

8.55

2.58

8.40

0.73

1.22

3.47

2012

232

8.65

2.17

8.11

0.54

1.14

3.06

The table below shows the percentage of pitches Hernandez threw in 2012 compared to the four seasons prior.

Last season he threw the fastball far less and utilized his secondary pitches more. 

Pitches

2008-11

2012

Fastball

43%

23%

Change Up

12%

25%

Curveball

12%

14%

Slider

11%

14%

Cutter

1%

12%

Sinker

19%

12%

Splitter

2%

-

 

What's Felix Hernandez's Fantasy Value for 2013?

The maturation process of Hernandez from a thrower to a pitcher has largely flown under the radar. Last season was by far his most impressive season of his career because he was able to sustain his dominance without plus-plus stuff. He maintained his level of performance by relying on his command of the strike zone and incorporating more of his secondary pitches.

 

The fences are moving in this year at Safeco Field, but Colin Wyers wrote a great article that moving in the fences will only have a slight impact on the number of runs scored. King Felix pitches in a great pitchers park and the Mariners offense should be improved with the acquisition of Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales, but he’s still going to have a difficult time trying to get wins against the best division on the American League. 

Saturday
Sep012012

Bill Chuck's Nine to Know: August

August was pretty ugly for Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Red Sox Nation but overall it was a pretty cool month considering how hot it was.

Here are nine questions that demand your attention.

  1. Will the Orioles be demanding that today be declared August 32?
  2. Was August an indicator for the Pirates?
  3. Have the 2013 turn-arounds for Kansas City and San Diego already begun?
  4. I know Yovani Gallardo was 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in August, but wouldn't you agree that Felix Hernandez, with a 4-0 record and a 1.08 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP was the pitcher of the month? In 41.2 innings, he allowed 19 hits and just five earned runs; the Red Sox allowed 19 hits and 20 runs in eight innings to the A's last night.
  5. What does Derek Jeter have in common with catchers Kelly Shoppach, Brayan Pena, and Jose Molina? Jeter had 43 hits in August, the same number of hits that each of the catchers have had this entire season.
  6. Is Terry Francona headed for the Indians dugout as their next manager?
  7. The Rays pitchers allowed 2.46 runs per game in August, how can they not be the most feared team if they make the postseason?
  8. How thrilled is Atlanta's Brian McCann to turn the page to September? His .181 average was good compared to his zero homers and two RBI in 72 AB.
  9. July 23 was the last day the Tgers were in first place by themselves in the AL Central, when are we going to start raving about the work about Kenny Williams and Robin Ventura this season?

AL August

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA
TEX 19 10 .655 -- 168 128
BAL 18 9 .667 -- 118 106
OAK 18 10 .643 0.5 146 102
TBR 17 11 .607 1.5 121 69
KCR 17 11 .607 1.5 115 105
DET 16 11 .593 2.0 133 108
CHW 16 12 .571 2.5 128 118
SEA 15 12 .556 3.0 95 106
NYY 15 13 .536 3.5 133 119
LAA 13 15 .464 5.5 156 172
MIN 9 19 .321 9.5 117 138
TOR 9 19 .321 9.5 89 132
BOS 9 20 .310 10.0 139 172
CLE 5 24 .172 14.0 96 179

  NL August

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA
WSN 19 10 .655 -- 137 98
SDP 18 10 .643 0.5 119 109
CIN 19 11 .633 0.5 142 122
SFG 18 11 .621 1.0 157 126
PHI 17 12 .586 2.0 112 108
MIL 16 12 .571 2.5 148 122
COL 16 13 .552 3.0 142 143
STL 16 13 .552 3.0 124 127
ATL 15 14 .517 4.0 119 91
LAD 14 14 .500 4.5 125 111
ARI 13 16 .448 6.0 109 123
NYM 12 16 .429 6.5 83 104
MIA 12 17 .414 7.0 120 123
PIT 11 17 .393 7.5 121 135
CHC 8 21 .276 11.0 111 153
HOU 5 22 .185 13.0 75 149
 
Thursday
Aug162012

King Felix Reaches New Heights by Staying Low

Felix Hernandez froze Sean Rodriguez with a hard changeup at the knees for a called strike three, raised his arms skyward and got mobbed by his fellow M's Wednesday afternoon, throwing the 23rd perfect game in MLB history. That Felix clinched his perfecto with a well-located low pitch was fitting -- he tortured Tampa's lineup all day by keeping the ball down.

Hernandez threw 57 of his 113 pitches (50.4%) down in the zone. Those low offerings generated 11 of his 12 strikeouts. Evan Longoria fanned twice on low curveballs, while Elliot Johnson and B.J. Upton each did so once. Matt Joyce, Jose Lobaton, Johnson, Ben Zobrist and Rodriguez were rung up on changeups. Rodriguez also whiffed on a slider, as did Desmond Jennings on an inside fastball:

Location of King Felix's Ks, 8/15/2012

 

Of the 26 swings and misses King Felix had yesterday, 21 of them came on low pitches:

Location of King Felix's swings and misses, 8/15/2012

 

Felix is usually dominant when he keeps the ball low -- he ranks fifth among qualified starting pitchers in slugging percentage on low pitches (.221) and has the 12th-best miss rate (39.3%) -- but he and the M's might have also known that the Rays struggle when pitchers pound them at the knees. Tampa is slugging a collective .270 on low pitches this season, which is 65 points below the MLB average, and has a 39.2% miss rate (31.5% average).

Even among perfect games, King Felix's was special: According to Baseball-Reference, his 99 Game Score during his perfect game trails just Matt Cain (101 Game Score in June), Sandy Koufax (101 in 1965) and Randy Johnson (100 in 2004) among those thrown since 1918. Strangely enough, the Rays have been on the wrong end of perfect games in three of the past four seasons (Mark Buehrle in 2009, Dallas Braden in 2010 and Hernandez) and now have more perfect games thrown against them than any other franchise in MLB history, despite only being around since 1998.