Will Cole Hamels ever be a legitimate #1 starter? Will he ever be the opening day starter for the Phillies? The past two years 'Bad Load' Brett Myers was annointed the opening day starter and now for the next three years Halladay will rightfully get the nod. My contention is that Cole does not have the makeup to be a true #1 right now.
Hamels obviously has the stuff to be a #1, but I question his mental makeup. I have made up a list of a few criteria I consider essential for an ace:
1. The ability to consistently dominate a game. Not just occasionally but with regularity. This is a necessity.
2. Mental toughness. An Ace must be able to step it up during big games. He must have no fear when he steps on the rubber at any time.
3. On the flip side, he should be intimidating to opposing hitters. They should be afraid. Or if not afraid, there should be some type of mental edge that the pitcher has on them.
4. The most important criteria: They should win, win, win. A low ERA with a 14-14 record does not make one an Ace.
5. Some longevity at the above criteria.
The people who I feel that possessed the above criteria are pitchers like Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Orel Hershiser in their primes. This prompts the question then: Is Cole Hamels in his prime at 25 or has he yet to enter it and therfore the best is yet to come?
Hamels' mental toughness has been in question and at this point in his career I do not see him as a guy who WANTS the ball like an ace should. I could not see Cole talking Charlie Manuel back to the dugout saying this was HIS game to win or lose. I think Cole would hand the ball off, go to the clubhouse and pout.
If you look at my above five criteria, I am not sure Cole fits any of the 5 categories. Now I do think Cole is a competitor and maybe he will rise to the occasion and the addition of Halladay will give him someone that will raise the level of his play. Maybe he is the type of guy that will be just good enough to be better than the Brett Myers of a rotation, but when a great pitcher joins the staff he will raise his level as well. 2010 is an important year for Cole and time will tell if he steps up or will always be a #2.
Huge year for Hamels. Last season, it just seemed like he couldn't control any damage. Things seemed to snowball on him. A two-strike hit, a little bleeder somewhere, and the next thing you know, the other team had put up a four-spot. He needs to get back that put 'em away mentality we saw in the 2008 playoffsReplyDelete
Hopefully he took what happened last year, learned from it, and applies those lessons to this and future seasons
I think the best is yet to come for Hamels. He is a young ace at 25. He is going to have some good years and bd years before he hits his athletic maturity in his 30's. Phils should stick with him and he would be wise to take notes from the likes of Halladay and Moyers both of whom have a lot more time in the game right now then he does. I think he has the *potential* to be as good as Carlton was if he handles himself right. Of course that's just my humble opinion.ReplyDelete