Crown Him: Felix Hernandez Wins the 2010 AL Cy Young Award

Today is the coronation day for Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. Dubbed King Felix since his arrival in MLB as a ridiculously talented 19 year old in 2005, Hernandez wowed BBWAA voters and fans alike with his MLB best 2.27 ERA over a league leading 249.2 IP, striking out 232 men in the process (2nd in MLB). Ten years ago, Hernandez's mediocre 13-12 record would have meant that his Cy candidacy would have been on life support, but the fact that his other numbers were so good and that his run support was so poor (in his 12 losses the Mariners scored 7 runs total).

Hernandez got 21 out of 28 possible first place votes to get 167 points while David Price and CC Sabathia split the remaining first place ballots to get second (111 points) and third (102 points) respectively.

As Rob Neyer pointed out today, this isn't so much a win for sabermetrics as it is an admission by the BBWAA that they simply don't value W-L record very much these days. Otherwise, pitchers like Cliff LeeFrancisco Liriano, and Jered Weaver would have received more consideration. After all, Hernandez placed only seventh in the AL in FIP, seventh in K/BB ratio, third in xFIP, and third in WAR. It was the more traditional categories of ERA, IP, and Ks that he excelled in.

Still, today's vote is a refreshing change in Cy Young voting -- a Brave New World in which Bartolo Colon and his 21 wins wouldn't win the Cy Young today over a more deserving Johan Santana (as he did in 2005). And really, it's about time, because pitching wins are virtually meaningless when determining the value of a pitcher.

Here's how the Purple Row staff voted a month ago (with lots of analysis).

Full Results after the jump.

2010 AL Cy Young Award Voting

 

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

Points

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

21

2

3

1

1

167

David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

4

15

7

1

 

111

CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

3

10

12

2

1

102

Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

 

 

1

9

12

33

Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

 

1

2

6

2

24

Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox

 

 

2

5

4

20

Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners/Texas Rangers

 

 

1

1

1

6

Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay Rays

 

 

 

1

3

5

Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics

 

 

 

1

2

4

Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals

 

 

 

1

 

2

Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins

 

 

 

 

1

1

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

 

 

 

 

1

1

Twelve pitchers were listed on voter ballots with Soriano and Soria being the only relievers to receive votes. Cliff Lee and Francisco Liriano were criminally unsupported by the electorate considering their dominant performances.

Stay tuned next week as the MVP awards are announced.

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