2017 Rebound Candidate: Felix Hernandez

2017 Rebound Candidate: Felix Hernandez

This article is part of our Rebound Candidate series.

As of the conclusion of the 2014 season, Felix Hernandez had long been considered a de facto fantasy ace, rattling off a 3.06 ERA or lower in five of the previous six seasons and finishing in the top-10 overall fantasy players in three of six seasons – including when he sparkled with a 2.14 ERA in 2014.

He slipped in 2015, with a 3.53 ERA, which included a second-half stumble highlighted by a 6.60 ERA in August.

Hernandez looked like he was fixing those issues through his first nine starts last season, in which he posted a 2.21 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 57 innings. Despite that hot start, I argued for selling him. After all, he had 25 walks in that time (a whopping 3.95 per nine innings), and his velocity was questionable.

Naturally, he gave up six runs in his next start and soon after landed on the disabled list with a strained right calf. So much for flipping him to an unsuspecting owner.

After he returned on July 20, King Felix mostly looked like a jester, with a 4.48 ERA and just 69 strikeouts in 90.1 innings – while unfortunately keeping terrible control at 3.89 BB/9.

He ended with ugly numbers:

3.82 ERA (highest since 2006)
1.32 WHIP (highest since 2008)
7.16 strikeouts per nine innings (career low)
3.82 walks per nine innings (career high)
1.88 K/BB (career low)
1.12 HR/9 (career high)

Is he capable of turning things around as he turns 31 this season?

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Tim Heaney
Tim has cultivated award-winning and industry-recognized content in fantasy sports publishing for more than a decade, during which he's captured several industry-league titles (including Tout Wars) and Fantasy Sports Writers Association honors for podcasting. The New York native started with KFFL.com, which eventually linked up with USA TODAY Fantasy Sports, where he contributed football and baseball analysis to Sports Weekly and on the web. Since 2016, he's worked for RotoWire as an editor, Senior Writer and podcaster (NFL and MLB) and has written weekly football and baseball tips for ESPN; he's been lead Editor of the Fantasy Black Book series since 2018.
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