Felix Hernandez received a lot of hype when he first arrived in the majors, but it seemed that he never quite lived up to the lofty expectations. Until now. So far in 2009, he's sporting a 2.53 ERA, a 9-3 record, and a K/BB ratio of over 3-to-1. He's behind only Greinke and Halladay in the Cy Young conversation.
The thing about Felix that's very easy to forget is that he's still really young. He turned 23 shortly after Opening Day. He'd almost been written him off as a disappointing, merely good pitcher before many people his age had even started their big league careers. Felix has pitched 791 innings in the majors, with a fairly impressive 3.60 ERA. He's a few months older than Phil Hughes. He's younger than Joba Chamberlain, David Price, and Clay Buchholz. He's two years younger than Jon Lester; two-and-a-half years younger than Edwin Jackson. He's younger than rookie-of-the-year candidates Ricky Romero, J.A. Happ, and Brad Bergesen.