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 Ricky Romero, Hellickson, Kuroda, Gio Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Chacin, Cueto, and Daniel Hudson. 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 2012 fantasy baseball. It’s good to have a safe starter or two before you go upside. In the immortal words of some drunk tightrope walker, “I don’t need the net under the trapeze but I want it there. Burp.” There’s also a pitchers pairings post to help you along with your staff. That’s what she said! Wait, what? Finally, you can check out APPLES. Anyway, here’s some starters to target in your 2012 fantasy baseball drafts:
Ubaldo Jimenez – Under that link is my projections and thoughts. To read a less optimistic man’s thoughts on Ubaldo, click on the thing that says “thoughts on Ubaldo.” Though that might’ve been clear. I need a mentee to seamlessly link to shizz.
Brandon Morrow – I’ve put years of love into Morrow (that sounds like the start to a cheesy poem). This is all I ask, one good year for Morrow (that’s an even cheesier poem start). I can almost guarantee if he’s good this year, everyone else will like him next year and I’ll end up going the other way (cause I think if Morrow’s going to be good, it’s gonna take some luck (that sounds more like song lyrics)).
Derek Holland – My heart’s saying Holland is a potential bargain where he’s currently being drafted, but my brain is saying watch out for pitchers in Arlington. I guess my heart and my brain are going Dutch with my excitement for Holland.
Doug Fister - Fister, but I hardly remember placing him in a favorable tier! Hmm, that didn’t work so well. But it is true. I haven’t changed my opinion on him, but he’s also being drafted later than I think he should be, so there’s that.
Brandon McCarthy – If the last few names above McCarthy could’ve been called, “Look at the top 60 starters post.” This next plouping could be called, “Top 80 starters.” Two points for those that remember my use of plouping. Better yet, you’re like a cyclops with a monocle!
Tommy Milone – Is it Tom Milone or Tommy? “Are you my brother Rob or Disco Bob?” A nickel to anyone that gets that reference without the aid of Google. Too late, you cheated. You know someone who’s not cheating, but loving you all slow and low like a good BBQ? Tommy Milone. Yeah, so Peacock didn’t come up aces, but instead dropped a deuce. Milone looks like he’s gonna make the A’s staff and pitch in a park that ends in “co.” That’s good news. Also good news, he doesn’t walk anyone, which will limit the amount he could roofie you. Milone’s 2011 in Triple-A was a 3.22 ERA with a 155/16 K/BB ratio. The not-so-great news, he’s not going to win any games or put up huge Ks. That’s all right; you don’t draft Wins and solid ratio help from a late-round flyer can be helpful. For the season, I’ll give him the line 7-9/3.70/1.18/130. Solid last man on the staff stuff, no bluff, Aubrey Huff. Sorry, got a little Seussian there.
Edinson Volquez – We’re only three years removed from Edinson having 200+ Ks and a 3.21 ERA and now he’s gonna be in Petco. As Pauly D would tell you, you don’t come in with a big banana and expect everything to be peaches, but it’s worth a shot.
Tim Stauffer - I evaluate him as a Hodgepadre with a chance for more. Why am I not a scout for a major league baseball team?! “How does Stauffer look, Grey?” “He’s a Hodgepadre with a chance for more.” “I like when you use made-up words and talk nonsense.” “There’s more where that came from!”
Randall Delgado – I could’ve also put Teheran here. Tim Hudson is out for a month. I do think he returns and bumps someone from the rotation, but it doesn’t mean if Delgado or Teheran are pitching well they will definitely be the ones bumped. Jar-Jar isn’t the bill of good health and Hanson’s got a shoulder issue… Let’s just say Teheran and Delgado could both be in the rotation by May 1st. Here’s a reason to be optimistic about Delgado. Here’s a reason to be optimistic about Teheran: 2.55 ERA in Triple-A last year in 144 2/3 IP.
Vance Worley – In 131 2/3 innings last year, he had the stats of 11-3/3.01/1.23/119. In the top 60 starters post, I gave Worley the projections of 12-9/3.75/1.27/130. I’ll tell you what, those numbers are crazy conservative. February Grey must’ve had his shorts on too tight that day. Worley is only getting 11 Ks more from last year when he could throw 200 innings without being in danger? He’s only winning one more game? I said in that rankings post that I was worried about a sophomore slump, I must’ve been really worried. I kinda want to go in, give Worley 30 more Ks, three more wins and ask February Grey what he was thinking. February Grey, “Don’t believe me at your own risk. See you next year… Muahahahahahaha…”
Jonathan Sanchez – I don’t buy that a guy like Filthy Sanchez, who walks everyone no matter the batter, will benefit much from the league switch and having hitters less familiar with him. He still strikes out more than a hitter per inning and can luck into an ERA and WHIP anywhere from 3.07/1.23 (2010 numbers) to 4.26/144 (2011 numbers). It’s worth taking the chance on that late.
Mike Minor – On one hand, the Braves don’t seem to share my love of Mike Minor. On the other hand, Hudson’s out for at least a month so they have room. On the third hand that is actually a foot wearing a mitten, you’re late in your draft, take the flyer. On the fourth hand that is actually one of this Hulk Hogan #1 foam hands, he’s having a great spring.
Shelby Miller – In the Cards’ minor league review, Scott said, “By all accounts, Miller has the repertoire and mental makeup of a big league ace. With an effortless mid-90s fastball, a plus curveball, and a plus changeup, to go along with solid command, the 21-year-old should work his way into the St. Louis rotation at some point during twelve after twenty.” Okay, he didn’t use twelve after twenty, but he should’ve.
Homer Bailey – In a draft recently, I told Rudy I liked Homer Bailey this year. He said, “The Homer Bailey that pitches in major league baseball?” Yeah, so Bailey hasn’t given much reason to trust him in his major league career, but his xFIP last year was respectable and he’s so overdue for a breakout. And there’s the most scientific and least scientific reason jammed into one sentence.