Felix Hernandez is the best pitcher in the American League. Maybe he’s the best pitcher in the universe, but that’s largely debatable given the continued existence of one Clayton Kershaw. Maybe Kershaw’s the best pitcher in the universe. I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. But Felix Hernandez is pretty clearly the best the junior circuit has to offer, and now he’s going to start the All-Star Game, as he should.
Felix, of course, is a perrenial All-Star type, the kind of dude who’s always going to make the team because he’s always going to be that good. Felix has been an All-Star every year but one since 2009. In the year when he didn’t play in the midsummer classic, he won the Cy Young. He’s amazing. You know this. I know this. Everyone knows this.
It’s been noted here and elsewhere that Felix is in the midst of his best season ever, which is just bonkers given what he’s already accomplished. Felix, right now, has the best strikeout rate of his career. He has the best walk rate of his career. He has the lowest homer rate of his career. He has the best ground ball rate he’s had since 2007.
His 5.2 WAR have him tied with Troy Tulowitzki for second-best in MLB. Jon Lester is the next-best pitcher, at 4.2. In 2010, Felix’s Cy Young season, his WAR was 5.5. Felix’s 2.04 FIP is the best of any qualified MLB starter by a country mile, with Adam Wainright coming in second at 2.52. Wainright, by the way, will be starting the All-Star Game for the National League. Which means he’ll be the second-best pitcher starting this year’s All-Star Game.
Felix Hernandez is starting the All-Star Game. No Mariner has done that since Randy Johnson in 1997. In 1997, Randy Johnson had a 7 WAR season. Felix is on pace to blow past that. Felix is so amazing we may never truly wrap our brains around his talent. Tomorrow in Minnesota we’ll at least get to try.