Tuesday, August 16, 2005
FELIX THE GREAT
Felix Hernandez was simply awesome last night. The Royals are awful but everything about last night was real.
Here is how real. One of my best friends is playing with the Royals and I went to lunch with him today. I asked him what the guys were saying. He told me that he asked one of the guys in the clubhouse, a guy who has played around 8 years in the bigs both in the AL and the NL, what he thought of Felix and after a pause he called him the best right hander he has ever faced. The best right hander he has ever faced. That is insane.
He is that good. A few things that jumped out a me really watching him last night.
First, his back side. He is girth is impressive. Furthermore, he really uses it. He gets down and drive and his hips explode to the mound. That is a lot of his power and you would hope that would keep his arm healthy.
He is down in the strike zone. I mean he may have come about the belt once or twice in the game. I was talking to a former big leager today who was explaining to me that on a hard thrower you have to focus on the top of the ball because it will rise up at contact. But Felix is already bringing the ball on a downward plane so that you have no choice but to hit the top of the ball, which is why he is not allowing extra base hits and why he is not allowing fly balls.
Gil Meche still hasn’t figured how to get on a downward plane the way the 19 year old Felix has.
Another item that jumped out was his command of both sides of the plate. Most young pitchers are able to take one side of the plate and they live on it. More often then not for a right hand pitcher it is the outside to a right hander hitter and the inside corner to a left hander. Felix is commanding both sides of the plate no matter if the hitter is left handed or right handed.
Finally it a post game interview with the Torrealba, Torreabla was asked about a 3-2 pitch and what he decided to throw and Felix told him put down whatever you think is right and I will throw it. That is tremendous confidence.
The dude is real. This beyond hope. The are more steps to be taken but this guy is the unattainable #1 starter that every franchises dreams of.