- Gordon Edes, Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com
Editor's note: Hot Stove U. is a six-week course devoted to higher learning, a series consisting of 30 need-to-know topics for 2010. For more from Gordon Edes, go to ESPNBoston.com.
Felix Hernandez was anointed King Felix when he was still 19, the youngest pitcher to start a big league game since Jose Rijo took the mound for the New York Yankees in 1984, 11 days before his 19th birthday. The hype was ahead of his game, but not by much. In an era of special young arms -- a time that has spawned Zack Greinke, Tim Lincecum, Justin Verlander, Jon Lester, Stephen Strasburg and Aroldis Chapman, among others -- the 23-year-old Hernandez, runner-up to Greinke for the American League Cy Young Award in 2009, would be the choice to make if you had your pick of pitchers to build a franchise around.
Sure, there are plenty of talented young pitchers: Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, to name but a few. However, if you were to take just one arm and build a franchise around it, go with the right arm attached to Seattle's Felix Hernandez.