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Since I don’t draft starters early, the top 40 starters for 2010 fantasy baseball have a lot of names that I would draft.  Will I try for a starter from the top 20 starters for 2010 fantasy baseball rankings?  Yeah, definitely, but things don’t always work out the way you envision.  To anchor my staff, I could conceivably have two starters from these top 40 starters and, as you’ll see, I don’t even like all 20 of these starters.   All the other 2010 fantasy baseball rankings can be found there.  Also, as with other rankings, tiers and my projections are mentioned.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2010 fantasy baseball:

21. Wandy Rodriguez – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Oswalt.  I call this tier, “I’m on board.”  Other than a slightly high percentage of men left on base, Wandy’s 2009 looks repeatable.  So here’s what he did in 2009:  3.02 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 193 Ks in 205 2/3 innings.  The Wandwagon rides again!  2010 Projections:  13-11/3.55/1.27/190

22. Chad Billingsley – Since Billingsley’s 2009 was so opposite of everything I expected, I’m going to speak in the inverse for him.  Last year, Bills had one of those dream seasons.  He came to camp in great shape.  Obviously cutting back on Ring Dings went a long way, but the key was his ice skating regimen.  As he stayed healthy all year, he dominated from start to finish.  K-rate crept up, walks went down and homers?  He didn’t give any up.  In 2010, the negation of the negation.  2010 Projections:  16-8/3.50/1.32/190

23. Matt Garza – Not crazy about the AL East.  It’s inevitable that you bench Garza vs. the Yankees or Sox when he pitches well and you start him when he gets hit.  You can set your watch to it.  Still Garza makes the pain of match ups bearable.  Last year, he increased his 2008 K-rate from 6.24 to 8.38.  Looking at his 9+ K/9 minor league league rate makes me think Garza, at the age of 25, finally found himself in the majors.  He should repeat last year’s numbers or take a step forward.  Here’s to forward movement… 2010 Projections:  12-9/3.80/1.24/200

24. Jered Weaver – What you see is what you get with Weaver.  An above average pitcher, but nowhere near the stud he looked like when he was first called up.  2010 Projections:  15-10/3.65/1.22/180

25. Scott Baker – Baker came out of gates with a sore shoulder that sidelined him for one official start in April.  Then he went on a two month string of terrible starts that made his owners wish he went on the 60-day DL.  His post-All-Star Break ERA was 3.28, his ERA in 2008 was 3.45.  I believe those numbers vs. the ones in the 1st half of 2009.  2010 Projections:  14-7/3.65/1.17/170

26. David Price – Here’s a detailed David Price fantasy breakdown.  2o10 Projections:  12-9/3.75/1.30/155

27. Ryan Dempster – Dempster was so downright awful as a closer that it took me two years before I was willing to believe he’s a mid-3 ERA starter.  And even now I feel the same way I felt with Cliff Lee in the top 20 starters.  I just know when I endorse Dempster, he’s going to employ his parachute as he watches me crash to the ground.  2010 Projections:  13-8/3.90/1.28/170

28. Roy Oswalt – The good news for 2009 is his ERA was higher than it should’ve been for how he pitched.  The bad news is it shouldn’t have been that much lower.  The days of him being an ace are way behind him, but as a quality number two to three man on your staff you can do worse.  2010 Projections:  12-6/3.65/1.22/150

29. Tommy Hanson – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Scherzer.  I call this tier, “Guys I’m avoiding that I’m not entirely thrilled about avoiding.”  Hanson’s innings bump was just too much for my high blood pressure.  I don’t think he’s going to be terrible this year.  I picture he’ll have a year similar to Billingsley’s 2009.  A few solid months and a few mediocre months, leading to an overall 3.75 ERA.  There’s way too many starters to choose from for me to buy into a guy I’m a little weary of.  Even if I’m right and he’s not good in 2010, he will be fine in 2011.  2010 Projections:  14-6/3.75/1.20/175

30. Javier Vazquez – As I wrote when he was traded, I originally had Vazquez ranked in the top 20 starters.  For s’s and g’s, here’s what I wrote when I had him ranked in the top 20. “For all starters in the major leagues, he had the lowest percentage of contact made on all pitches at 73.3%.  (For reference, Lincecum had 75%.)  For contact made from strikes, Vazquez ranked fourth.  When hitters aren’t making contact, you’re doing something well.  When you do that and throw as many strikes as Vazquez (238:44 K:BB), you’re doing something really3 well.”  Here’s what I wrote after he was traded.  2010 Projections:  15-10/4.15/1.22/200

31. Max Scherzer – His ranking is sorta like my ranking of Gallardo.  If I’m wrong, then I’m missing out on a guy that I could regret not owning because of all of his Ks.  Alas, I’m avoiding him because of his innings jump from ’08 to ’09 and his move to the Tigers won’t help his value.  It’s a termite-infested limb I’m out on avoiding him, but here I am.  2010 Projections:  12-8/4.00/1.32/165

32. Matt Cain – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Burnett.  I call this tier, “They will regress, but still ownable. Plus, A.J. Burnett.”  2007 is in Cain’s skill set.  2009 is not.  Or I should say it’s not without a lot of luck.  For all major league starters outside of Happ (and we’ll get to him in the top 60), Cain left the most men on base.  He also had a lower BABIP than Happ, if only by percentage points.  I say 2007 is in his skill set because that year he had a 3.65 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 163 Ks.  That’s ownable, just not a 2.89 ERA.  2010 Projections:  15-10/3.65/1.25/165

33. Jair JurrjensUPDATED:  Jar-Jar moved to the top 60 starters for 2010 fantasy baseball.

34. A.J. Burnett – Took two years of 30+ starts for me to accept Burnett as reliable. …Okay, I still don’t fully trust him, but it’s hard to find a 200 strikeout pitcher this late in the game.  Would I team Burnett with an upside two or three starter, like, say, Price?  No, I wouldn’t.  But I could see teaming him with an Oswalt-type.  Which gives me an idea, maybe I’ll do a post about pairings.  Not like what wine goes with branzino.  Like which starter goes with which starter.  2010 Projections:  16-9/4.05/1.35/200

35. James Shields – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Zambrano.  I call this tier, “Veterans that I’m done with.”  I just can’t take Shields’s shizz anymore.  Pitches well vs. the tough teams, gets his stank handed to him by the Royals, can’t pitch in away games… You’ve beaten me, Shields.  You win.  2010 Projections:  13-8/4.00/1.28/160

36. John Lackey – When he signed with Bahston, I went over Lackey for 2010 fantasy.  2010 Projections:  13-9/3.95/1.29/130

37. Brandon Webb – Hey, he’s all better!  That’s nice, I’m not owning him.  Pitching is already risky.  Not worth further risk.  2010 Projections:  12-7/3.60/1.28/165

38. Carlos Zambrano – Big Z is done-zo.  The Chicago chapter of the World Health Organization’s Freedom of Accuracy and Truth symposium should counsel children on what happens when you abuse an out of shape pitcher’s arm for five years.  In elementary school classrooms, posters can be hung of Carlos Zambrano, brought to you by WHO’s F.A.T.  2010 Projections:  14-9/3.95/1.35/140

39. Kevin Slowey – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here into the top 60 starters post.  I call this tier, “Fliers that I’m willing to give a chance.”  There’s a good chance I’m going to own at least one of these guys on all of my teams.  Slowey’s a strikeout pitcher that doesn’t walk anyone.  You shouldn’t need much else to get excited.  (BTW, everyone in this tier’s projections are optimistic, but whatevs.  You’ll afford me my dreams, right?)  2010 Projections:  15-9/3.60/1.17/165

40. Johnny Cueto – The 2nd half ERA of 5.81 was dreadful.  He had a two month ERA (July and August) of 8.18.  Was not a good time to be a Cueto owner.  His FIP was 4.69 on the year.  So what am I seeing in this schmohawk?  He suffered from a sore hip, which threw his mechanics out of control in the middle of the season.  In the minors, Cueto was a strikeout pitcher with solid control.  Here’s to him finding his happy place in the majors.  2010 Projections:  13-9/3.80/1.30/160

  1. Steve says:
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    I’ve taken my Shields poster down too.

    Like the idea of a pairings post. Also (and accepting that every draft is different), what about what you are looking for from each level of starter as you put your rotation together?

  2. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Steve: about time to work on a trade in our keeper league,ill be gone all weekend but ill hit you up next week

  3. SooChooLine says:
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    Where is Scott Kazmir? This guy gets no respect. He is a young former future star who is playing in the weak AL West with a winning team. He had two great seasons in 07 and 08 and struggled for most of 09. However, he had a 1.73 ERA in 36 innings with the Angels.

    He should be ranked in the tier “I’m on board.”

  4. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    Great rankings! I’m not touchin’ Vasquez, Shields, or Big-Z this year, but I have to disagree with you on Cain. This guy is a horse. If he weren’t in the shadow of Lin-cy-cum he would be getting alot more respect around the league. As a Giants’ fan who watches him pitch all the time, I only see this guy getting better, not regressing in my opinion.

  5. Bob from germany says:
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    Are you really that low on webb? I’m always targeting at least one of those guys like peavy or webb this season. There is always a chance, that the guys have a pretty good season and if not, they will have at least a good month, after which you can trade them to someone. I mean, webb behind aj “i’m the ugly brother of the yellow bastard from
    sin city” burnett, come on. Maybe i like this pitchers, because i just had that luck with them (harden two years ago, carpenter last year), but i will take that risk on someone this year too. If there are really 20 pitchers gone before webb or 10 before peavy, i’ll give them a shot.

  6. Goose

    Goose says:
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    Big Z lost 40 lbs in the offseason. Usually I hate these types of reports, but I happened to see it with my own eyes. I wouldn’t bury him yet…then again I am sure we will hear at least one report saying his arm feels “better than ever.”

  7. Tony says:
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    @Bob from germany: if you can get webb for a decent value then sure… i think greys just saying AJ is healthy and didn’t just have surgery, you gotta go with a healthy guy over a bounce back guy. I will take a shot on webb, just not before probably the 15th round in a 12 teamer. Same thing I did with carp last year, and that worked out great, but for every carp there’s a Bedard.

    @Grey whats the EARLIEST you would take lester, wainy, and josh johnson? and Kershaw is another one?

  8. Eddy says:
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    Does JJs innings jump worry you for 2010?

  9. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    Definitely like the idea of a post where you match pitchers. Would that include matching hitters? That would be pretty cool too…

  10. Mike Ketchen says:
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    I have avoided Big Z at all costs for years now. However, I think this is the first time he is being actually under valued. His ADP is 170 and he is the 40th SP being selected. Despite coming off his best year in terms of k/9 and FIP in quite some time. Not saying he is a stud anymore, but if I nab him in round 14-15 ill be very pleased.

  11. Mikey boy324 says:
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    Grey no Edwin jackson?doesn’t the move the nl west increase his value?

  12. No Brett Anderson in the top 40? Major oversight. I’d take him easily over dudes like Cueto, Slowey, and B. Webb.

  13. Tony says:
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    @Alpine McGregor: shhhh on anderson… well i guess its alright to talk on here, but overall he’s flying low on the radar, SO FAR….

  14. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I’m not sure who the pitching coach in Arizona is, but Rick Knapp in Detroit could do some things with Scherzer. He’s done very well with the Tigers’ power arms and Detroit plucked Knapp from the Minnesota System. I personally believe Scherzer could be a very nice surprise this year. (That could be just the homer in me talking though).

  15. Tony says:
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    Anyone else looked the ESPN MOCK? Here’s a question i have is in the 4th round Matthew Berry takes brian roberts over ryan zimmerman and REYNOLDS who is still available? And sandoval was drafted before those 3 picks!? Berry Also took Kemp 4th overall? And in his podcast he says he wanted to make a point that he’d take kemp over braun but in a real draft he woulda taken utley….? UH OK?

    I would really like to draft a team in a league with the “ESPN EXPERTS”. I would crush them. Don’t they read razzball?????

  16. Tony says:
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    @Tony: oh and berry did NOT have a 3B when he was taking Brian Roberts over reynolds and zimmerman.

  17. BSA says:
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    Reading these names bring back some serious heartburn from the 09 season.

  18. I just saw Zambrano go in the middle of the 17th round of a slow mock draft. Must say, that seems low for a SP that can give back something to his owner. Even so, I’m glad he’s someone else’s problem this year.
    I also think Scherzer will be this year’s Edwin Jackson, with Marlboro Man Leyland overpitching another starter, shades of Dusty Baker and Big Z.
    Also, a reminder that the mock drafts I am hosting on Mock Draft Central continue this coming Wed., 2/3 @ 8 PM EST. This week’s has 27 roster spots (5 bench) and a shorter 60 sec. draft window. 7 spots left for a 5×5 mixed mock. Come on over and practice your skills.

  19. By the way, password for the mock is FGD2010.

  20. finite24 says:
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    Lack of Brett Anderson in the top 40 is a serious oversight on this list.

  21. Cain Fan says:
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    While I am as high as the next person on Brett Anderson people need to look a little closer at his stats. He is a MAJOR injury risk going into this year. He increased his IP by around 80 and throws >40% sliders and curves. That has all the makings of a soph slump/injury risk. I am not saying to ignore him but he is no where near as proven as some of these others and also has significant risk.

  22. Tarasco'sSecretStash says:
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    Agree that Anderson’s a curious omission. I’m a little shy on his innings jump last year, but overall very high on him as a target.

    Kevin Slowey. My man in Amsterdam.

  23. Jobu's Rum says:
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    Ugh, Billingsley. I want to like him b/c of his team and his park but he shat in my hat last year. Grey, what makes you believe Bills will turn it around? BTW, a pitcher pairings post is a great idea.

  24. sean says:
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    @Tony: You have to take the ‘pert mocks with a grain of sand because, like Berry said, these guys are often out to prove a point or cling tightly to a predraft stategy rather than adapting and acting as they would in a “real” draft.

  25. sean says:
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    @Jobu’s Rum: Did you have the same Billingsley that I did? Even when he slowed down in the second half, he never got shelled. He got left out there an extra inning a few too many times and gave up 4ER instead of 2 and things like that.

    I was a little concerned with his control issues. Having Extra Innings, I usually wound down watching the west coast games, and I got to watch him pitch on more than a few occasions. It seemed to me like he was always getting himself into unnecessary jams.

    Kinda reminded me of Joba pitching in a better park without being able to reach back and hit 98.

  26. royce! says:
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    @Asdrubal Bastardo: If you believe BABIP and LOB% accurately portray how lucky a SP is gettting, then you have to conclude that Cain will regress in 2010. His BABIP was .268 (4th lowest for pitchers with over 140 IP) and his LOB% was 81.6 (2nd lowest for SP with over 140 IP). Now, I think he could conceivably increase his Ks and walk less batters, but even if he did so, his ERA and WHIP are going to go up. I haven’t seen anyone project his ERA to be under 3.30.

  27. finite24 says:
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    I’m not saying to put him in the top 20 but meet me in the middle somewhere. He has significant risk but so do a lot of guys on this list. I think it would be a mistake to avoid him if he slips past the 13th round in a 12 team mixed snake.

  28. JoeC says:
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    @Jobu’s Rum: I think that’s a natural instinct that you have to fight in order to win in fantasy baseball. Not claiming I am Mr. Roto Perfecto (that would be Mr. Grey), but I find that I have to constantly remind myself that LAST YEAR is not THIS YEAR. Often, I think we’re way too influenced by what a guy did or did not do for us last year.

    Case in point: Robinson Cano. I loved him in 2008, he laid an egg for me, I avoided him in 2009, he was the goose laying golden season eggs. Shame on me for declaring before the draft “I will never draft Cano again”.

    Case in point 2: Josh Hamilton powered my team to a 2nd place finish (by 1 point, no less!) in 2008, so of course I had a man-crush on him in 2009. Hello 8th place!

    Now I know that those are just two isolated, personal examples that don’t necessarily apply to everyone else in the roto world (unlike, say, for example, being male), but I’m pretty sure that all of us do the same thing year in and year out: love the guys who were good last year and expect more of the same and hate the guys who snookered us last year and who are now dead to us.

    Which of course means that I’m gonna draft Matt Kemp in the 1st round this year because he was so money for me last year! (hello remaining in 8th place!)

  29. Tony says:
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    @sean: I know, just annoying, but hey i know alot of the dolts in the fantasy baseball world read ESPN like its the bible. So read on dolts, while you think Brian roberts is a better pick than reynolds or zimmerman i’ll be stacking my teams to high heaven and reigning down on you once play begins!

    @finite24: I think you should be able to get him MUCH past the 13th… more into the high teens and still be safe. He’ll obviously be more hyped than he is already by drafts, but i still think he’ll be around well after the 13th.

  30. Tony says:
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    @JoeC: I dont think Matt Kemp is going to fail you like a CANO or HAMMY. Different player. He’s worth a first round pick, IMO

  31. @Cain Fan — Fair points, but you can’t downgrade Anderson for being an injury risk while not taking similar points away from guys who actually WERE INJURED last season (Webb, Slowey) or are even less proven than Anderson (Cueto, Price).

  32. big o says:
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    am in complete agreement
    with your assessment of garza .

    throwing my watch away …
    didn’t work .
    going to ignore
    my “internal” clock this year ,
    and let the big dogs run .

    over-thinking
    leads to over-stinking .

    hate it ,
    and myself ,
    when that happens .

  33. Tony says:
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    @big o: are these little poems you write? do you write these down and someday we’re going to see the memoirs of BIG O??? lol

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, that’s my thinking, as well.

    @SooChooLine: He’s in the next post of 20.

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: Cool.

    @Bob from germany: You’re a braver man than me, but you could hit pay dirt.

    @Goose: Yeah, those reports are ridiculous.

    @Tony: Around the 70th pick seems fair…

    @Eddy: Went over him yesterday…

    @Cheese: Cool…

    @Mikey boy324: He’ll be in the next 20, he was covered when he was first traded.

    @Alpine McGregor: He’ll be in the next 20.

    @Frank Rizzo: Guess we’ll see.

    @Cain Fan: Yeah, exactly.

    @Jobu’s Rum: He was overused in 2008 which hurt him last year, then throw in the injury to his leg… As long as he’s healthy, there’s no reason to think last year was his norm and not every year before that.

    @Alpine McGregor: He still has a lot of innings on his arm that shouldn’t just be dismissed. But he was solid in the 2nd half. BTW, if he’s in the Cueto tier, that means they’re all interchangeable based on preference.

    @Tony: Ha!

  35. Scott says:
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    Grey,

    I know he’s older, but are you worried about Wandy’s innings jump at all?

    Thanks.

  36. finite24 says:
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    Tony,

    I’ve done/seen a bunch of mock drafts and he rarely lasts past round 14. Yahoo plans to set his 0-rank around 150-180 (educated inference based on a few things I’ve read), which would be the 13th -15th.

  37. Scott says:
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    @finite24: I’m scared of the 70 inning increase for a 22-year old pitcher.

  38. Tony says:
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    @finite24: i’ll have to watch in the mocks to see where he goes… i’ve done alot already but haven’t in the past week or so. I’ve seen alot more talk on him around different websites. I’m sure he’s moving up and from what you just posted he’s already going alot higher than i wanna take him….

    whats the ceiling with this guy? He doesn’t have greinke potential does he?

  39. Nice work Grey. The only guy I think you’re overvaluing is Cueto, boy he sucked some major league ass for me last year.

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Scott: No, he’s just an injury risk because he’s injury prone.

    @Fman99: Cool… Yeah, could be. Ignore him, if you’re not feeling it.

  41. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    I have Wandy as a keeper and I’m pretty nervous about an injury this year.

    His curve ball rate last year went up to 36%. That’s a lot of stress on a Wandwagon’s sprocket:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2586&position=P#pitchtype

    I’d probably take Javy Vazquez over Wandy based on relative durability of the two. Yeah, I know Javy’s pitching in the AL East. But you know you’ll get very good WHIP and Ks from him.

    If Wandy gets 30+ starts, that’s sweetness!

  42. PJtres says:
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    Hey all…
    how is Kemp a first rounder all the sudden?
    I know people PROJECT him to be a 30/30 talent…or maybe 40/40…but why the optimism that 26/34 turns into 30+/30+…

    i mean, grady wasnt a first rounder even when he went 30.30…so why the confidence in kemp?????

  43. Scott says:
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    @Shmorgie S. Board: I could keep Wandy too. I have 4 pitchers from which I need to choose 2. Wandy, Bills, Kershaw, and Gallardo. I’m going the homer fan route and keeping the 2 Dodgers.

  44. Scott says:
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    @PJtres: Average probably. I do think that Grady was a 1st rounder in a lot of leagues or at least borderline. I think 26/34 translates to 30/30 very well for a 25 year older with a decreasing K rate.

  45. finite24 says:
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    @PJtres: Kemp’s projections have him at .285-.315, Sizemore is more of a .265-.295.

    @Tony: his xFIP was that of a top 20 SP last year. So let’s call that his ceiling if he can avoid injury. He seemed to benefit from better training facilities in the bigs and his velocity did improve as the season went on last year, if that means anything. A healthy Brett Anderson might be able to put up a 14w/3.60/1.25/185Ks.

  46. Tony says:
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    @PJtres: yep, career .299 average… plus he’s young and was batting in the 6-8th hole all year, move him up in the line up he’ll get more ab’s, more rbi’s and the power increases by 4 HRs and he’s at 30…. he’s the real deal.

    Grady was a first rounder.

  47. finite24 says:
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    side note:

    where can we find xFIP data for this year now that it seems to have been removed from The Hardball Times.

  48. Jeff W. says:
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    @Grey, @Rudy:

    I regularly cite the insight from your website, but I’m look for sight-beyond-sight, Lion-O.

    This might be a better subject for another article — or maybe an article in itself — but I’m putting it here with hopes you’ll respond.

    After playing in a 12-team keeper draft for years, where we keep up to 8 players (your keepers essentially become your first 8 picks) I wanted to start an auction keeper league. As such, I am looking for tips and background on few general rules.

    1) Is the $260 budgets, 25-man roster, a good way to go?

    2) Any tips on the size/rules regarding the FAAB?

    3) Should you allow managers to roll over payroll from year-to-year if they stay under the $260 cap?

    4) Should trades affect a team’s budget in some way?

    5) How much of a premium should one put on year-to-year keepers? +$5 per year seems to be the industry standard, but maybe each year should be a little more: +$5 for one year, +$7 the next year, +$10 the next, and so on.

    6) Any thoughts on offering “long-term” contracts to players?

    7) This might be an NL-only league – what do you do when players switch leagues midseason? I’d hate to pay $25 for Adrian Gonzalez and have him go to Boston at the deadline.

    8) Any tips on how to keep a league competitive in the second half? I like the idea of giving a payroll bonus (or some other award – maybe a gift certificate?) to managers who improve their teams’ performance in the second half, but I have no idea of how to structure that.

    Thanks, and I appreciate insight from the peanut gallery as well.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jeff W.: 1) Yup 2) $100 3) Nope 4) If you’d like, I wouldn’t. 5) $5 6) Not necessary if you’re doing inflation of $5. 7) You keep him for the year then lose him in the offseason. So if A-Gon is on a NL-Only league and still on the Padres for the start of the season, then he’s on your team for the entire season no matter where he’s traded. 8. In a keeper, you have to let people start thinking about next year when they want to, you can’t make people stay competitive when they’re out of it.

  50. Steve says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Hmmm. Let me guess…

  51. Bob says:
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    @Grey: No matter when I pick up SP, I NEVER feel good about it coming out of a draft, given injury risk and potential suckitude for all of them. Given that, I always wait a really, really long time before I draft it, and I try to draft NL West starters. My targets are usually your 21-60 guys who have fallen in a given draft way below their ADP. Anyway, thank you for your lists once again.

  52. Jeff W. says:
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    Thanks, Grey. Muchos apprecianandos.

  53. Robb says:
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    I’m surprised Gavin Floyd did not crack the top 40. His K rate is steadily climbing while his BB and HR rates have dropped in each of the past two seasons. I can easily see him posting the same line you project for Matt Cain. Given his durability I’d sooner trust him over Johnny Cueto.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bob: Yup, that’s why you wait on them.

    @Jeff W.: No problem.

    @Robb: Actually, I like Floyd this year for reasons you mention, but he’s not a top 40 starter.

  55. Quintero says:
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    @Jeff W.: Speaking of keeping a league competitive in the second half and the idea of giving a “bonus”, I have something to share: Using draft position as bonus.

    If that is a six-team playoff setting, then, next year, the team finished 7th place draft first overall, 8th place team draft second, so on and so on. So that bottom teams won’t trade away serviceable players and start tanking, because if they finish well they will get a higher draft pick. This bonus system should encourage every team to do their best.

  56. zombie says:
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    Reports (rotoworld) have Liriano’s speedball up around 92-94 miles per hour and is tossing a “filthy” slider in the Dominican Republic. Learned never put too much stock in such news, as “stuff” often disappears on the flight back to the majors. But maybe he bumps up the rankings a bit. Or if still around, he’d be certainly worth a late round flier…cust-kayin’.

  57. Jeff W. says:
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    @Quintero

    Interesting. Create a “race to the middle” instead of a “race to the bottom.”

    Have you played that format before? Would that doom the last place finisher most years to finishing last forever?

    Also, how would that manifest itself in the context of an auction — giving a budget bonus, I guess?

  58. Asdrubal Bastardo says:
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    @royce!: I do believe in BABIP and sabermetric stats, but I also believe in pitching talent as well. And this guy can really pitch. Luck and defense do play a big role in how a pitcher’s stats will look at the end of the year, so nothing is certain. But regarding a 3.30 ERA, I will take the under 9 times out of 10 with Cain.

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @zombie: He’s getting his own post soon.

  60. Real Tom says:
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    I know you already said you agree with Steve, but I just want to second the idea of a Pairings Post. It helps to be thinking about pairings mid-draft. I agree that concentrating on the strikeout will usually help benefit ALL your numbers for the most part, but there’s a lot of variables and its nice to know what players fill in each other’s holes.

    BTW, Those searching for Pairings + Filling in each others holes on Google just got really disappointed to find this post.

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Real Tom: Ha!… Gotcha, yeah, working on it.

  62. Real Tom says:
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    Just noticed…. Zambrano over Danks? Maybe you just wanted to put Z on the list to point out that he’s crappy now and make sure nobody grabs him.

    I think Bills might be my #1 on most teams, and Nolasco and Hamels will be on the radar. I think I want two of those three in almost every draft.

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Real Tom: Floyd’s above Danks. Danks took a step back last year. Can’t go wrong with two of those three.

  64. MrPittsSox says:
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    I was high on 3 things going into the draft: Life, Slowey and Cueto. So, I am disappointed that they made the top 40 because I wanted a higher ADP…ssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  65. majortommy19 says:
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    Mr. Pitts, if that is your real name. Late fliers are nice(hello drunk girl at closing time). But I am going to assume that you have been burned before by waiting too long to take quality pitching.

  66. JoeC says:
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    @SooChooLine: re: “Kazmir had a 1.73 ERA in 36 innings with the Angels”.

    Holy small sample size, Batman!

    The problem with Kazmir is that his skills are declining. Whether that’s due to the constant stream of injuries or not is immaterial. The fact is that the guy has only pitched over 200 innings once in his career.

    Still, he’s not total trash. I could see a 4 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP and, assuming he stays on the field, 150 Ks. Not bad, but not top 40, especially with his elevated injury risk.

    What I’m more worried about is whether he can handle the “staff ace” designation. I’m just not convinced this guy is psychologically strong.

  67. Tom Reale says:
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    Oswalt is now a 3 at best and no longer top 40 IMO. That Kazmir sample is smaller than the inverse of Tyra’s forehead.

  68. majortommy18 says:
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    @majortommy19: You stole my name, the drunk girl I called “dibs” on, but you cannot have Kevin Slowey…Don’t even think about Identispying my staff ace!

  69. majortommy19 says:
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    @majortommy18: Slow down ace.
    You can’t call dibs on everything with a pulse! Plus I paid you for the drunk girl. A bottle of the good Doctor!

  70. Paul says:
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    Thanks for the Webb ranking. Should work out well, at least if people read and respect your view. In a 14 team H-H league, I took Webb in round 9 as my 1st pitcher drafted.

    Followed that up with Kuroda in round 11 and Matsuzaka in round 13. Just took your one sleeper there, Price, in round 14.

    My batters (R, H, 2B, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP):

    Soto, Texeira, Roberts, Zobrist, Sandoval, Choo, Beltran, Ellsbury, Helton.

    By the way, you know 5×5 sucks when Todd’s .325/.416/.489 doesn’t make any of your lists. As a friend says, fantasy corrupts both the mind and the soul, unless, of course, you’re in the AVG/OBP/SLG league and one Todd Helton is the elite hitter that he is.

  71. Jim says:
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    I’d like to read your stuff, but of course I can’t if it’s covered up by unremovable ads.
    Doesn’t seem like a good way to hold your readership.

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jim: No idea what you mean… If you give me a screenshot, I can fix the problem. I don’t host the ads, I have a network I’d need to tell about it.

  73. Jim says:
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    Hey. Thanks for the reply. Seems to have cured itself for now. But I’ll send a screenshot if it reappears.

  74. Jim says:
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    Grey.

    Okay, I have a screenshot of this page with an unremovable popup on it. But i’ll need an email address to send it as an attachment.

    What’s the address?

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