I could probably draft a team of these starters, who are drafted after the 150 mark in mock drafts, and win your league’s pitching stats. In this post last year was Jonathan Sanchez, Cueto, Colby Lewis, Tim Hudson, Jorge de la Rosa, Clay Buchholz, David Price, Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos and Ian Kennedy. I had those guys on multiple teams. I don’t say this to brag, but I’m really good at targeting starters to, um, target. Well, I’m good with hitters too, but starters I’m really good. I’d like to say it’s because I’m smart, but since I’m sorta dumb I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I’m an idiot savant, who I believe was Doug Savant’s cousin that had a walk-on part on Melrose Place, the Original. And with all of that said, you should still draft a starter or two before you see any of these names on the top of your draft list. Well, you know what to do from my top 20 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball. It’s good to have a safe starter or two before you go upside. In the immortal words of some drunk carny, “I don’t need the net under the trapeze but I want it there.” There’s also a pitchers pairings post to help you along with your staff. That’s what she said! Wait, what? Anyway, here’s some starters to target in your 2011 fantasy baseball drafts:
Ricky Romero – Whenever I hear his name, I always want to sing The Batdance by Prince and replace Vicki Vale with Ricky Romero. Never the hoo! I love that Romero’s K-rate has been steadily climbing the past few years and think it continues to rise. There’s going to be some moments during the season when you’re gonna get sonavabenched by him and other moments when you’re gonna wish you benched him vs. some AL East teams, but I still like him. Stop the press! Who’s that? Ricky Romero! Ricky Romero!
Brett Anderson – I’m not thrilled Rudy put Anderson his risky pitcher post. I’m also not thrilled when I get along well with a girl that has angry brothers. Just depends on how much risk you’re willing to take on.
Jeremy Hellickson – I think Hellickson is going to be in the rotation in June. I’m not sure if he’ll be in it in April, no matter what is currently being reported. I’m not a big fan of sitting on players for two months who are in the minors unless it’s a deep keeper. Hellickson should be a good one though. (<–Illuminating!)
Hiroki Kuroda – He has a 3.60 career ERA in almost 500 IP, he pitches in a pitchers’ park and his walk rate is tidy. Sure, he doesn’t strikeout a lot of batters, but his K-rate isn’t terrible. Yet, he’s perennially underrated. I guess real G’s move in silence like lasagna.
Gio Gonzalez – Another guy from Rudy’s risky pitcher post. Do I not have enough stress in my life? Va fongool, what are you going to do? Even Rudy admits in the post for the right price, everyone’s ownable. (Speaking of va fongool, as some of you know I’m half Italian (the good half). So I was hanging with my Italian grandfather and his paisans and one of the guys was Tommy DeSimone’s cousin. Pesci’s Goodfellas character is based on DeSimone. The cousin told stories about DeSimone whacking people with such pride that it got me thinking. Who else but the Italians are so proud of a murderous legacy? Most convicted murderers families can’t even show their faces from shame. I love that about the Italians. And that’s Deep Thoughts with Grey Albright.)
Javier Vazquez – It’s interesting to me that people watched Vazquez go into the AL East and The Stadium They Built Next To The House That Ruth Built and they still drafted him aggressively last year. Now this year, people are ignoring him.
Jorge de la Rosa – This list is starting to get unwieldy so I’m going to get to the point, if you want to read about dlr, click his name.
Jordan Zimmermann – In my pitchers pairing post (which I link to in the intro; scroll up, doode), I talk about how I’m going to have Zimmermann or Mike Minor as my sixth starter in every league. So far, hasn’t worked out the way I drew it up, but it’s not from a lack of trying. It’s those auctions, ya’ll. Everyone can bid on everyone, which sounds like a Brand Nubian song. BTW, I should write a sleeper post for Zimmermann. That’s a note to myself.
Jonathon Niese – Has a nice K-rate, good walk rate, pitches in Metco and ESPN doesn’t even rank him in the top 300. For a real crack up, ESPN ranks Niese 138th for all starters. Just in front of Bobby Cramer, who I believe was the little black kid in the movie Role Models.
Derek Holland – Obviously his K-rate potential is enticing. I like him real late in deeper mixed leagues, but he plays in an unforgiving park and he walks people. It’s a’ight; I like him better in AL-Only leagues.
Mike Minor – Looking for a Latos from 2010 type breakout? Here ya go. Though, if Beachy is the fifth starter on the Braves, then Minor’s useless. Though II, The Return of Though, I think the fifth starter job will go to Minor.
Carlos Zambrano – Can put him in the Kuroda camp. Sure, when you draft Zambrano, girls aren’t going to flock to you and sit on your lap and shizz, but, let’s be honest, if you’re playing fantasy baseball those chances are low anyway.
Brett Cecil – I did a “Find” for Cecil at Mock Draft Central’s ADP 300 and he wasn’t on it. I then double and triple checked my spelling because I was sure he would be. Nope, not there. Then I did the same on ESPN’s top 300 and still no Cecil. I did find him on my top 300.
Edwin Jackson – Potatoes to chips, I try to avoid reading other fantasy advice so I don’t inadvertently get influenced, but I have a pretty good idea who people are going to get crazy over with their sleeperitude. Edwin Jackson is not one of those guys. If I had to guess, no one else is telling you to draft Edwin Jackson. Or at least no other sites that you read. So this is a trust exercise, do you fall backwards into Grey’s advice?