Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal knows a little about about baseball, and uses that knowledge to bring us his annual preseason picks for the 2012 Major League Baseball season. Seattle Mariners fans will be pleasantly surprised that Rosenthal has been noticing what's what in the Northwest, predicting Felix Hernandez to win another Cy Young award and Jesus Montero to take home the AL Rookie of the Year.
Make the jump to see what he had to say.
As for King Felix, Rosenthal breaks it down vs. Justin Verlander:
I know what you're thinking: "Man, Ken hates Justin Verlander."
Au contraire - I love Verlander, even if I "only" voted him second for MVP last season. But consider this:
Hernandez's opponents' batting average on balls in play rose from .265 in his Cy Young season two years ago to .308 last season, helping his ERA spike from 2.27 to 3.47.
Verlander, by contrast, had his opponents' BABIP drop from .289 to .237 (second lowest in the AL) and his ERA fall from 3.37 to 2.40.
Verlander is determined to become one of the all-time greats; nothing he accomplishes will surprise me. But let's not discount Hernandez, who says he dropped 15 pounds in the offseason - and will pitch this season at 26.
Hernandez will have his work cut out for him with guys like Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez now in his division, but it won't make much difference to him. As for Montero, Rosenthal made it simple when making this decision:
In fact, I'm picking against those two even though Montero figures to add little value to his candidacy with his catching, which remains a work in progress at best.
So, why go with Montero? Have you seen the guy hit?
Buster Posey did it for the Giants in 2010, in less than a full season no less. Why not Montero this year?
For more on the Mariners, please check out Lookout Landing.