- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
A decade ago, current FanGraphs managing editor, ESPN contributor and man-about-web David Cameron, along with others at the popular U.S.S. Mariner blog, gave a Mariners prospect a nickname: "King." That's quite a nickname to give a prospect, especially a 17-year-old Venezuelan pitcher in his first professional season. Calling someone the king has been dangerous throughout human history, frequently ending with a head forcibly disconnected from the rest of the body.
Pitching prospects in baseball are more likely to meet their end looking at an orthopedic surgeon's scalpel rather than a headman's ax, but Felix Hernandez has avoided that fate and justified his moniker in his first decade in the majors. Of course, there is one aspect of his résumé that leaves a little to be desired. Despite a Cy Young award and four All-Star Game appearances (so far), his win total (113 through Tuesday), on its face, won't blow you away. By virtue of dominating at a young age, Hernandez fits the profile of a 300-game winner, but because he's pitched in front of such an anemic offense his entire professional career, his odds of reaching 300 wins are slipping every season.
In fact, we can calculate just how many wins he's lost by virtue of playing for Seattle, and what his odds of winning 300 would look like if he played for a team such as the Yankees.
1dKevin Van Valkenburg