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Yu Darvish: 'Felix Hernandez With More Strikeouts'

Does that headline get your attention? If you're a baseball fan at all, it should. If you're a Rangers fan, it certainly should.

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The Hardball Times has an excellent explanation of why the Oliver projection system looks at Yu Darvish so favorably. It's a bit of a long read, but it's certainly worth it.

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Darvish receives two pretty nice comps in the article: Felix Hernandez and Ubaldo Jimenez. Well, those two pitchers -- but with a nice twist:

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Examining several sets of comparable pitchers shows an expected ERA for Darvish anywhere from 2.78 to 3.40, which is from excellent down to merely very good, but no recent major league pitchers have the combination of Darvish's expected home runs, walks and strikeouts. Looking at those comparables and Darvish's pitch metrics give me a personal opinion: I would compare him to Felix Hernandez with more strikeouts or Ubaldo Jimenez with fewer walks.

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Those are pretty lofty comps for Darvish. They might not come to fruition, since Felix is certainly one of the best pitchers in baseball. But for now, it's fun to dream, and it's certainly a comp to get excited over.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.