2. Jonathan Hernandez
Key stat: 2.90 ERA
Jonathan Hernandez is really good at baseball. The 24-year-old’s standard numbers were all that wild in 2020. But, when you look at his advanced stats, he’s eye-popping.
People just don’t hit the ball hard when Jonathan is pitching. In 31 innings, Hernandez allowed just 2 homers. His expected ERA, BAA, and SLG% all ranked in the top 10 in baseball.
Hernandez passed the “eye test” with flying colors in his breakout year. He relies on 4 pitches, featuring a 98 MPH sinker and a 89 MPH slider that was virtually unhittable.
Expect to hear a lot of Jonathan Hernandez’s name in the coming years. Barring injury or setback, he could quickly become one of the premier closers in the majors.
1. Lance Lynn
Key stat: 3.32 ERA
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It’s no question who the best player was for the Texas Rangers in 2020. Lance Lynn was considered one the best pitchers in MLB all year. In 13 starts, Lynn allowed more than 3 runs only twice.
Lynn entered September with a minuscule ERA of 1.93. Eliminate a pair of bad starts against Houston and Lynn may have taken home the Cy Young Award (ended up finishing 5th).
Chris Woodward knew every time Lynn took the mound, the bullpen was provided with some relief and the team’s odds of winning increased. Lynn completed 6 innings in all but one start.
The big righty has turned out to be a steal after the Rangers inked him to a 3 year/$30 million before the 2019 season. Lynn was rumored to be traded at this year’s deadline, but nothing manifested. Don’t be surprised if the Rangers ship him off to a contender this offseason or next trade deadline if they can identify a good trade partner.
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If Lynn remains a Ranger in and through the 2021 season, Ranger’s fans can continue to boast confidence in the team’s ace.