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Watching King Felix
Posted by Chris Liss at 4/13/2006 6:25:00 PM
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Watched Felix Hernandez pitch today. While one of his fastballs hit 99 on the gun, he hung a few breaking balls, and his pitches were all over the place. He seemed to be alternately nibbling, then overthrowing. Some of the breaking stuff was nasty, but it was ill-timed and often well out of the strike zone. He never had a rhythm and seemed to be pitching defensively much of the time. He didn't throw a lot of first-pitch strikes.

This was annoying because I own him in two leagues. One of them is my home league that I split with my brother. I said to him: "Check out Felix Hernandez today - he's the LeBron James of pitching prospects." (Note that "King" Felix and James both have the same nickname). The thing about James is that he's the rare super-hyped prospect who exceeded the unfair expectations set for him. I'm hoping Hernandez can do the same but after two starts this season, I'm having my doubts.

Can a 20-year old pitcher succeed in the AL? Is it even possible? Or is it like being a rookie quarterback in the NFL? Whatever the case, I'd like to see the Mariners get him to attack the hitters. Throw more inside fastballs, more first pitch strikes and trust his stuff. Today, he looked like Jose Contreras circa 2004.


Comments....

Given the difficulties the Mariners' organization has had with both developing young hurlers and keeping them healthy, watching the M's groom Hernandez is like watching General Dynamics build a state-of-the-art aircraft carrier for the Bolivian Navy ... we could be seeing a great waste of assets here. Who's the one MLB pitching coach that could help King Felix most right now? Is it Mazzone?
Posted by sixsigmagus at 4/14/2006 5:48:00 AM
 
I think there's plenty, but I'll go with Mike Maddux in Milwaukee.
Posted by Erickson at 4/14/2006 11:07:00 AM
 
Hands down the best pitching coach in the bigs right now is Mike Maddux....Mazzone, Duncan and a few others are quality coaches with out a doubt, but Maddux gets potential out of guys with relatively little potential. Duncan lost some credibiltiy with me for not being able to turn around a million dollar arm in Rick Ankiel.. Maddux is second to none when it comes to the mental game and technique. To work with the likes of a young stud like King Felix I would have to believe would only unleash his maximum potential......
Posted by Zenguerrilla at 4/15/2006 10:39:00 AM
 
I whole-heartedly agree with Liss. Felix needs to trust his stuff and not worry about striking every batter out. Hernandez could work just with his fastball and be very successful in Safeco.
Posted by sultanofsmut at 4/16/2006 5:39:00 PM
 

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