High Expectations for Felix

Jeff · December 26, 2005 at 10:01 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The future of the franchise is hardly news around here, and we’ve seen national attention directed toward The King before. But this from the Baltimore Sun nudges the meter slightly past “props” and toward “exuberance.”

This will be [Felix] Hernandez’s first full season in the majors, and don’t be surprised if he challenges for the ERA title and the Cy Young Award – at age 20.

Note that I’m not disagreeing. Looks like the 2006 Mariners’ storyline for the baseball media is in place.


16 Responses to “High Expectations for Felix”

  1. Chintan Desai on December 26th, 2005 10:10 am

    I’ve already targeted him as my sleeper for next year’s fantasy draft.

  2. JAS on December 26th, 2005 10:30 am

    Undoubtedly, Hernandez superlatives will be par for the 2006 course. However, insinuating that such superlatives will be the best the M’s have to offer this coming season conveniently ignores the fact that few teams actually play as projected. The M’s have a solid chance of playing winning ball. To ignore that chance is disengenuous.

  3. Jim Thomsen on December 26th, 2005 10:40 am

    Not only will it be exciting to see if Felix wins the ERA title and CYyYoung in 2006, but I personally will be sitting on the edge of my seat for these Mariner statistical milestones:

    — 100 strikeouts for any other starting pitcher
    — 100 plate appearances for Chris Snelling
    — 100 pinch-run appearances for Willie Bloomquist
    — 100 times Carl Everett’s name is not written into the starting lineup

  4. Nate on December 26th, 2005 11:22 am

    To me, he doesn’t qualify as a sleeper pick. that would be someone who greatly surpasses general expectations.

    I think he’s getting national coverage enough that everybody thinks he gonna be good, very good.

    that said, he’s gonna be a heckuva pick. like the last half of last year, at the very least we’ve got something real to cheer for every 5th day. (sorry, but I’m underwhelmed by the moves to improve the team so far)
    every time he takes the ball something special could happen.

  5. Mr. Egaas on December 26th, 2005 1:46 pm

    Felix will probably be taken as a top 5 starting pitcher in fantasy leagues. Hardly qualifies as a sleeper.

  6. John in L.A. on December 26th, 2005 2:18 pm

    JAS “Undoubtedly, Hernandez superlatives will be par for the 2006 course. However, insinuating that such superlatives will be the best the M’s have to offer this coming season conveniently ignores the fact that few teams actually play as projected. The M’s have a solid chance of playing winning ball. To ignore that chance is disengenuous.”

    1- are you referring just to the “Storyline” comment at the end?

    2- How do you figure they have a “solid chance” of playing winning ball?

    3- How does that take away from Feliz being their biggest bright spot and shining star?

    4- How, in any event, is it “disingenuous”, specifically? Are you suggesting that Jeff knows something more and is being cagey? Lying?

  7. JAS on December 26th, 2005 3:04 pm

    If Jeff was not, in fact, insinuating that the M’s won’t have any worthwhile storylines for 2006, other than Hernandez, then I apologize. However, as written, Jeff’s statements certainly allow the conlusion that he is pessimistic about 2006. Any team that is focused on individual goals, rather than team goals, will be doing so because they aren’t competive as a team.

    I disagree with any notion that the M’s won’t be competitive in 2006. They may, in fact be terrible. Then again, they may not.

    It is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, if not probability, that the M’s will have a very strong starting 5. If the M’s do get a yeoman’s effort from the collective rotation, they will challenge for the division title. The offense should progress with improvement by Reed, Beltre, Lopez, and Betancourt, and the addition of Johjima. The bench will be better. Defense will be better. The bullpen is excellent.

    All the M’s need is for Washburn, Hernandez, Moyer, Pineiro and Meche to have good years, and every one of them are quite capable of doing so.

    If they do, in fact, perform as they are capable of, the M’s storyline for 2006 will be about team success.

  8. John in L.A. on December 26th, 2005 3:16 pm

    Well, first of all that seems to me an extreme overreaction to what Jeff said.

    Second, you and I have extremely very defintions of either “probability” or “strong starting five”.

  9. Jim Thomsen on December 26th, 2005 3:44 pm

    JAS, you missed what Jeff was saying. He wasn’t offering an opinion about what would be the M’s storyline of 2006 … but only what he thought the baseball media, in its lazy search for “stars” and outsized personalities, would focus on. That’s how I saw it, anyway.

  10. ajp on December 26th, 2005 4:28 pm

    It seem reasonable that the evolution of a talent such as Felix would justifiably overshadow just about any other possible storyline in Seattle baseball for 2006 short of a pennant run, and Felix would likely headline even that story.

  11. Jeff on December 26th, 2005 5:33 pm

    For the record, Jim and John are right. The post is about how Felix is awesome, and the national media are noticing, and that’s probably going to be the first wave of Mariner stories you read in the baseball press. Hence:

    “Looks like the 2006 Mariners’ storyline for the baseball media is in place.”

    We’re working on a roundtable post about how the team is shaping up (a post I’m late on), but that’s for another day.

  12. dan on December 27th, 2005 12:11 am

    #5 i really doubt that. most fantasy leagues take wins into consideration for stats, and felix is pitching on a team that isn’t known for producing offense (and has only marginally improved in that regard since last year). additionally, he is young. really young. still immature in a lot of ways (he had a couple of postgame interviews last year that reflected this) and coming from a farm system that blows out arms at an above average rate.

    nope, if i was in a fantasy league i’d be surprised if he was drafted in the first 20 pitchers. he doesn’t have enough exposure yet to go higher. he’s certainly not a sleeper, but he is likely a good value.

  13. LF Monster on December 27th, 2005 2:39 am


    First off the Felix hype is probably bigger than we’ve seen since…2001 (Ichiro)

    RE; #7 & 8
    A starting five of Garcia, Moyer, Sele, Abbott and Halama/Pineiro can win 86 games (in 155 starts (2001)). None of them are too likely to reach the Hall of Fame (Garcia possibly, Halama & Pineiro w/a miracle late career, Moyer & Sele no way)

    If Felix isn’t capable of putting up close to Garcia’s 1.48 GO/AO, 1.12 WHIP, 6.15 KO/9, 2.17 KO/BB and .225 average against, then I think the discussion ends here.

    Lets assume he can…

    Can Moyer pitch as well at 43 as he did at 39? Probably not, but lets say he’s 75%…

    Sele…FA starting pitcher taken from an AL West rival. Sounds like Washburn to me. Since I agree that Washburn’s 2005 season is better than anyone should expect, let’s use his career avg. rather than last year. Sele ’01 0.90 GO/AO, 1.24 WHIP, 4.77 KO/9, 2.15 KO/BB and .261 against. Washburn 0.65 GO/AO, 1.27 WHIP, 5.45 KO/9, 1.95 KO/BB and .255 Batted against.

    Meche looks comparable to Paul Abbott in 2001. Meche’s numbers are career averages (any reason not to use avg. for Meche?) Abbott had 0.77 GO/AO, 1.42 WHIP, 6.52 KO/9, 1.28 KO/BB. Meche’s avg. year 0.88 GO/AO, 1.44 WHIP, 6.0 KO/9, 1.48 KO/BB…

    If Joel Pineiro in 2005 can’t be comparable to his rookie, ’01, 11 start self and John Halama’s 2001 combined, he’s the worst contract I THINK the M’s have signed. Not that I mean he should get 16 wins, but I’m not saying the M’s should, or even could win 116. What I’m saying is that this staff reminds me of what we had going into ’01. Not much to speak of aside from a few hopes. It sure did turn into something, so you could say that a staff like this could end the season looking like a champion, but we’d still have to discuss the offense…

    Possibility has been realized before…

  14. Replacement level Poster on December 27th, 2005 8:32 am

    One thing to remember though, the starting 5 this year probably will not get the same run support that the ’01 starting 5 got.

    Even if they replicated the stats from the ’01, they most likely will not end up with 86 wins in 155 starts. Even if they pitched better they likely would not end up with that many wins.

    Which is why its folly to judge an individual pitcher, or starting staff, or entire pitching staff on wins and losses. Other players need to score runs, and play defense to get them the victories, this team isn’t close to the ’01 team. Not on offense, not on defense, and not on pitching.

  15. LF Monster on December 27th, 2005 10:41 am

    I said so myself…you’re arguing with agreements?

    “One thing to remember though” we’d still have to discuss the defense…

    “even if they replicated the stats from ’01” I’m not saying the M’s should, or even could win 116

    I’m saying that they are close to the same in every way on pitching. It again looks like the bullpen will be a strength. I’m referring to the ‘guestimate value’ of the pitching staff going into the season. This is nearly the same pitching wise.

    Defensively the club looks similiar as well.

    Like I said “we’d still have to discuss the offense…”
    In fact the offensive contributions from Boone and Ichiro in 2001 were unexpected, so if Lawton were to put up 2/3 of Boone’s #’s and Jojima were to put up 2/3 Ichiro #’s, with Sexson and Ichiro still here we’d be talking about a potent offense. Beltre could put together a season resembling 04, Reed could put it together, with Ibanez continuing to improve…Possibility is there. This could be a championship team. 5 or 6 career years and a bit of luck. The discussion had revolved around possibility, I was just agreeing with the possibility that the starting 5 could be solid…

  16. LF Monster on December 27th, 2005 10:43 am

    I meant to type:
    “One thing to remember though” we’d still have to discuss the offense