Jose Fernandez Is Baseball's Forgotten Stud

The Miami right-hander gets looked over, but he's still one of the best young starters in the game.

It's understandable why everyone has been obsessing with Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, Jake Arrieta, Chris Sale and Stephen Strasburg so far this season. All five of those pitchers have been ridiculously good and deserving of all the accolades.

But there is one young starter that tends to get overlooked, even though he is young, talented, and continues to put up eye-popping numbers. He is baseball's forgotten stud.

Miami's Jose Fernandez continues to be amazing.

In 10 starts (60 2/3 innings), he's 7-2 with a 2.82 ERA, an outstanding fielding independent pitching (FIP) of 2.31, and an fWAR of 2.0, tied with Philadelphia's Aaron Nola for seventh-best among qualified starters this season.

Fernandez continues to be a strikeout machine, whiffing 13.35 batters per nine innings (K/9) this season, far and away the best mark in baseball (Strasburg is second at 11.44). Opponents are hitting just .216 off him, and that is with a higher-than-league-average batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .347. He's the only pitcher among the top 20 in opponents batting average with a BABIP over .287.

On Thursday, he was scintillating against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching 7 innings and giving up 1 run on 6 hits with 1 walk and 12 strikeouts.

There has been some talk in recent days about the glut of strikeouts in Major League Baseball, and how the proliferation of the "K" has made the game a little less interesting. With fewer balls put in play, the "pace of action" has been hurt, or so say the critics. But don't tell that to Fernandez, who is the best strikeout pitcher in the game right now.

Fernandez is clearly aided by his fastball, which sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, but it is his devastating slider/curve that has been almost totally unhittable this season. I mean, look at this thing for crying out loud.

Fernandez says he throws both a slider and a curve, but most of the data seems to lump this pitch into one category, a curveball. And this year, opponents are batting just .138 against that breaking pitch. He's also piling up the swings and misses with that offering, as you might imagine.

Fernandez has been especially hot in his last six starts (38.0 IP) in which he has an ERA of 1.89, a FIP of 2.24 and 58 strikeouts to 14 walks. He doesn't get talked about much with the other starters mentioned above, but his stuff is just as good, and he has been just as dominant, as the rest of those guys.

So don't sleep on Jose Fernandez, who for some reason is turning into baseball's forgotten stud.