27 Years Old
6th major league season
Bats L/Throws L
The 27-year old Hamels went from a future ace after his stellar post-season in 2008 to a failure in the eyes of Phillies fans after 2009, and back to an ace during 2010. So which pitcher is Cole? Some where in between, but closer to the ace. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2002 draft and made his major league debut in 2006. He had some durability/character issues in the minors (elbow pain, back discomfort, broken arm in a possible fight in high school, and broke a bone in his hand in a bar room fight), but he has a career 60-45 record in the big leagues, with a 3.53 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. In 2009, he was highly unlucky (.325 BAPIP), while his strikeout and walk rates remained the same from 2008. He added a cutter last year, but more importantly his BAPIP regressed to .289, and he saw his ERA drop from 4.32 in 2009 to 3.06 in 2010, and his WHIP go from 1.29 to 1.18.
Hamels has a smooth high 3/4s arm action and is a fly-ball pitcher. He throws his fastball 89-93 mph (92 mph average was the highest of his major league career, up 2 mph from 2009), and possesses one of the best change-ups in the game (82 mph). He occasionally throws a show me curve-ball (76 mph), and has added a cutter last year (89 mph), but it wasn't effective last year versus right handers. His strike out pitch is his change-up, but also has been getting strikeouts/swings and misses on fastballs out of the zone. He averaged 9.2 K/9 last year and his swing and miss % was 11.9%.
In his 13 career starts versus the Mets, he's struggled. He's 2-8 with a 3.83 and a 1.51 WHIP. Last year the Mets beat him in all 4 starts, although he had a 3.20 ERA in those 25 innings, including two back to back starts in August that he lost 1-0.
He is an ace on many National League teams, but on the Phillies he starts game #4.