Nothing gets the heart pumping and nerves tingling like everybody’s favourite game like “Can you guess that player?”
Today we will take a look at two pitchers, one (Player A) who is often referred to as the best pitcher in baseball against a guy who is often forgotten by some.
It’s pretty clear both are elite pitchers just glancing at their respective stat lines with well above average strikeout and walk rates and both have sub 3.30 xFIP numbers. Player B had better numbers across the board, including WAR, although only slightly. One of these pitchers was a Cy Young award winner last season, while the other had his season cut short by injury.
Player A is everybody’s wunderkind Felix Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young award winner while Player B is Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson. Now it should be noted that King Felix pitched an unreal 249.2 innings and JJ only pitched in 183.2 as he was shut down for mostly precautionary reasons at the end of the season.
However, even though JJ pitched nearly 70 less innings than Felix he still managed to accumulate a higher WAR rating for 2010, impressive to say the least. Josh Johnson also has the unenviable task of pitching in front of one of the worst defensive teams in the game while Felix Hernandez pitches in front of one of the best.
Both are groundball pitchers (though Felix is slightly better in this regard) and Hernandez is also two years younger but looking at their respective careers thus far, I think it shows just how impressive Josh Johnson has been. Let’s take a look at a few charts (ERA, K/9 and K/BB) to really illustrate this point.
Besides the blip in 2007 when Josh Johnson was injured (and underwent TJ surgery) he has either been step for step with Felix Hernandez or in most cases, better. Both pitchers are among the game’s elite but the comparison at least goes to show that Josh Johnson is truly one of the best pitchers in baseball.