Ever since arriving to the MLB two years ago, pitcher Yu Darvish has made a vast impact on the league. So far in his short MLB career, Darvish has been nothing short of outstanding. In his first year he finished ninth in the American League Cy Young vote, and just one year later was the unquestioned ace of the Rangers staff. In 2013 he led the MLB in strikeouts with 277, as well as Strikeouts per nine innings pitched averaging a ridiculous 11.89. Along with this he led the MLB in WHIP (Walks & Hits Per Inning) and Hits allowed per nine innings at just over six. With all of these categorical victories under his belt he finished second in the Cy Young voting in 2013, only to the Tigers Max Scherzer.
Darvish has a very distinct approach at the mound. Standing at 6’5″, he always throws from the stretch. He has a four seam fastball which he insane control over which stays consistently in the mid 90’s. With this he mixes in a nasty slider in the mid 80’s, along with a sharp curveball which sits in the low 80’s, and a disgusting split finger fastball. Darvish understands that location is everything, and he dominates hitters with that knowledge. Another thing that makes Yu dominant is that he quickly gets ahead of hitters with whatever pitches he has working. He never forces the issue, he uses what pitches he knows he has working in his arsenal to hit advantage. This puts batters into a defensive stance immediately and allows for Darvish to tally absurd numbers of strikeouts.
Thus far in the 2014 season Darvish has stayed just as dominant as in years passed. Darvish hadn’t allowed an earned run through his first two starts. This evening after pitching 16 2/3 innings, Darvish allowed his only two earned runs so far in the 2014 campaign. Through 22 innings Darvish has only allowed 15 hits. He also boasts a ridiculous strikeout to walk ratio of 23:4, which is very impressive. Mind you it is very early in the season, and there are other hurlers I could see taking the award such as the Mariner’s King Felix, the White Sox Chris Sale, or yes even the Yankees newest addition, right hander Masahiro Tanaka. Even with all of these names if Yu Darvish replicates the season he had last year, and or improves, which I think he will, the award is his to lose in my opinion. After using his past seasons, his current start to this season, and statistics backed by baseball-reference.com, it should not surprise you to see Yu Darvish walk away with the 2014 AL Cy Young Award.