Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Let’s get this shizz goin!

We’ve got another big year of GIFfing, Gamescore+ , breaking down every pitch to a tedium… it’s going to get my motor running about as hard as every Corey Kluber start!

I hope everyone has had a nice winter, and enjoyed an awesome year with us so far over on Hoops.  Good thing it’s an indoor sport!  Northeast getting more snow than Tony Montana’s desk.  But with the allure of the weather warming (it hasn’t yet), we can all get together and talk some starting pitching (it’s deep, convo over).  With depth comes two interesting schools of thought – should you go with aces early because there’s so little distinguishing the mid-tier and breakout guys?  Or wait entirely and build your whole staff late?  Of course there’s 50 Shades of Grey, which is still my usual approach.  Hopefully Grey’s next book will be 51 Shades of Grey Albright.  Shade 1 – mustache play.

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2014 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Enough foreplay, below are my top 100 SP ranks!  With the great pitching depth, comes great responsibility a lot of guys out of the 100 that are probably in other ranks here and there.  Pitchers 70-130 are so hard to differentiate…  But as always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching 2015!

As tradition, my top-5 sleepers this year are (to varying degrees obviously): Carlos Carrasco, James Paxton, Brandon McCarthy, Shane Greene & J.A. Happ

Razzball Baseball

JB’s Top 100 SP

(rankings based on 12-team Roto)

RANK SP, Team NOTE
1 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers Whoa, look at these controversial rankings! JB likes to stir the pot! If you think I’m off my John Rocker, then maybe take solace in the fact I had the #1 SP rank correct last year as well…
2 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox Grey is like, “I don’t like people from the future telling me how many innings he’s gonna pitch!”   And I’m like, “Well he is gonna be healthy this year, I don’t care what people think about trying to predict injuries, even if they lived it from the future!” Ya know, if he got from 12 to 17-18 wins last year (21 quality starts, getting the ol’ QS 81% of the time) we really wouldn’t question Sale #2 too much, and the O is much better there in the South Side.
3 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners He’s pitched so many innings, “He gets hurt this year!” says Grey’s future man. Well, let’s certainly hope not… “Way to flip flop on your logic in these ranks, JB!” But a lot of people seem to forget his ERA was 3.00+ the previous 3 seasons before a career 2.14 ERA 0.92 WHIP season last year, and his BABIP was .258. Cust kayin’!   Mmmmm, I gotta change my pants after dropping the first of those for 2015!
4 Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals Mmmmmm, Ks. Mmmmmm, National League. Mmmmmm, dat 2nd half doe! After that disaster in KC on June 17th, Scherzer finished 10-2 in 18 starts down the stretch with a 2.58 ERA and 141:34 K:BB in 122 innings. While the velo fell a smidge, the development/increased usage of the curve I think balances it out.
5 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants Well skeptics will probably point to Waino’s tail off last year after all the innings he racked up in 2013+postseason, and Mad-Bum pitched his bum off in 2014+postseason. But Mad-Bum is Mad-younger, and I still don’t think you can automatically assume he’ll be hurt or wear down. Had a career-high K rate and walk rate last year, I’m Mad-excited.
6 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians Sometimes it just feels good to knock something out of the park… But I can’t hit a baseball! I had Klubes 35 last year, well above anywhere else, and have been talking him up since May 2013. Unfortunately, he’s too good now to even be a call!   I mean, ummmm, move over Kershaw, moving Klube to #1!
7 Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals As Grey astutely points out, 10.1 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9 last year. Grey is such an asstoot.  Stras also with an unusually high 13.1 HR/FB driving his xFIP to a measly 2.56.
8 David Price, Detroit Tigers Price vs. Stras was my hardest debate in the top-10. As in, their K:BBs make me hard. 9.82:1.38, and while both had several indicators their ERAs should be lower, I’ll narrowly lean to the younger and [the cop out tie-breaker] NL pitcher before Price.
9 Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs So this feels a little bit like a huge hit-or-miss rank. Of course we all go half mast seeing Lester off a career year moving from (1/2 a season worth) of tiny Boston to the big NL Wrigley, but then there’s the age, mileage, and a late-blooming career-year. What catches my eye is that he’s scrapped the change-up to a full-dose of cutter (30.8% cut to only 2.6% change-up, usually was about 22:10 through his career). Who else did that last year? Kluber me!
10 Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds I’m lukewarm on Cueto unlike a Pittsburgh crowd… He’s got the age, mileage, and a .238 BABIP last year as the cons (given a .236 BABIP in 2013 so maybe he’s just a low-BABIP guy), but in keeping with the theme of this little run here, expanded the cutter to a career-high 23.2%. Actually he used it single-digits until 2013, when he amped it up to 19.8%, which could be an explanation of these redonk BABIPs.
11 Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs Dammit, Grey sunk my battleship!   Grey loaded up his Flatteria, or however he portmanteau-ed, but I’ll add to it that his cutter looks like it’s a whiffleball pitch and he threw it 28.3% of the time last year. His repertoire and numbers are very Kluber-ish, and after his first 6 ho-hum starts, his final 19 were 139:28 K:BB good for a 9.88 K/9 to 2.00 BB/9.
12 Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers Like Cueto, a little lukewarm on Greinke. Obviously you get consistency here, but with pitching so deep, I’m rolling the dice on Arrieta.
13 Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals Look at dem Ks! After years of wallowing right at a 7 K/9, got up to 8.20 last year as the power stuff finally swiss cheesed some bats.   Good velocity, slider is working, should be a solid encore.
14 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies Pretty damn safe, but we saw a walk rate last year climb up to a near career high and yes, even the unpredictability of wins plays a factor pitching for the Phillies. Even if it’s only half the year in Philly, he could go AL, maybe to another bad pitcher’s park… We’ll see…
15 Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels This might stir the britches…   Or whatever! If Richards didn’t hurt his knee last year, he might have even cracked the top-10. But of course he did, and the uncertainty of making opening day is scaring them all away… However every injury update has been optimistic, it’s a knee rather than any sort of arm issues, and it effectively gave him a innings limit last year. Big value ahead, I’m reachin’.
16 Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers Grey hates Yu! I love Yu! Well, not really, I think this will likely price me out. A little risky, but we all know the shizz when he’s on his… well, shizz I guess…
17 Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians Dammit, Grey sunk this battleship too! I’m all in, even though I know he’s trendy. How many guys above him have we oogled and ogled over having a dominant cutter? After a slow beginning to 2014 having some rough starts, Carrasco pitched out of the pen for a while, before ending on a dominant run. Immediately when re-inserted into the rotation, Carrasco’s final 10 starts to end the year were 69 innings of a 1.30 ERA with a 78:11 K:BB. His cutter is so nasty it’s called a slider on Fangraphs and he ramped his velo to a career-best 95.3 average on the heater.
18 Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates Ugh, I hate Gerrit Cole…   You’re like, “but you have him 18?!?!?!” I’m like, “I just mean in real life, not this fantasy hooblah!”   After the whole Brewers fight where he ran over to Gomez at 3rd dropping F bombs (so loud the broadcast could pick it up), then saying he didn’t curse at him or anything is like a normal Tuesday for an American politician… Anyway, after battling some injury issues, ended the season with a 3.44 ERA and a 60:11 K:BB in his final 52.1 innings over 8 starts. Really like the upside.
19 Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves Who’s got some Wood?! Ok, enough willy jokes, we got 81 more to go!  Wood’s fantastic season is somewhat masked by the yo-yoing in-and-out of the rotation as the Braves tried to save his innings in a horrifically failed experiment. Once finally cemented in the rotation on June 25th, Wood finished the year with 17 starts of a 2.43 ERA and a 107:30 K:BB in 111.1 innings.   Sure the win probability with that terrible Braves O is a tad of a concern, but that’s about all the issues I have…
20 Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox Grey hated the Shark last year… I fought the Grey and the JB won! This year Grey is more about Sharks than this mindless obsession over the Katy Perry backup dancers… Look I get his control was fantastic, but after 3 years of striking out a batter per 9, the K rate fell to 8.28 and he had a 2.99 ERA on a lowered, albeit marginally, .283 BABIP.   Win potential since he goes deep should be nice, especially with the nice O, but not overly investing.
21 Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves As solid as they come, but Teheran’s middle sandwich of June-August, particularly the August, wasn’t too snazzy. Plus a K rate of 7.57/9 isn’t going to get motor goin’.
22 Matt Harvey, New York Mets Well this gets my motor goin’!  Eh, kinda only sorta…   We all know what Harvey can do if healthy, and we all know coming back from TJ is not an easyJ. Worth a little bit more of a reach with the pitching depth out there.
23 Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays For yet another season, it looks like Grey has got another hankering for slobbing on the Cobb. I lied about no more willy jokes! I like Cobb a lot, but I think he will be overdrafted again this year. K/9 down to 8.04, and while a lowered line drive rate can be a testament to advanced pitching, I don’t buy an unusually low 16.4% LD% for a guy who was always at or above 20. I also think the Rays will struggle to support him. Not overspending.
24 Collin McHugh, Houston Astros The arsenal is ridiculous.   McHugh went from a boring sinkerballer (cough, Porcello, cough) to a power 4-pitch arsenal, boosting the average fastball from 90.0ish to 91.6 with nasty sliders, curves and change-ups – which he could still expand on using. Finished the year on a 10 game unhittable run, going 7-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 55:7 K:BB in 66 innings.
25 James Paxton, Seattle Mariners A quarter of the way through, so it’s time to start jumping the Shark. Which is almost what Paxton did in my rankings!   Rather have him 10 rounds later than Samardzija, that’s for sure… When you look at Paxton’s body of work last year, it doesn’t look huge but a lot is masked by his penultimate blowup start in Toronto. Before that one, Pax was 6-3 through 11 starts with a 2.19 ERA and 54:20 K:BB. And while all the numbers in the world are out there to make projections, a big part of the Pitcher Profiles is what you see at the eye level. I watched a lot of Paxton’s innings last year, and his smooth delivery with that 94.8 fastball average velo was downright unhittable much of the time.   Maybe pitching in his home country of Canada psyched him out there in Toronto, if not for that start, his small-sample numbers last year would be hard to ignore.
26 Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres I’ve been loathing this Ross rankings all offseason… I know I won’t get him, but can’t put him any lower.   K rate was great, walk rate was fine but still pretty bad, yet I still hate his side-step quick release mechanics. Seems so prone to control issues, and his final 9 starts he had multi-walks in all for a 52:25 K:BB in 53 innings and a 3.23 ERA. Minus the WHIP that’s still usable and all, but even as an elite groundballer I think he’ll be a WHIP liability – 2014 = 2.81 ERA last year, 1.21 WHIP.
27 Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees Another really really tough one to rank. In the Matt Harvey bucket, except Harvey is well removed from the TJ and Tanaka still has the tear in there. We all know the risk, we all know the reward.
28 Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics Meh… That’s what I think about Gray. He’s worthy of being in that second or third tier, but a K rate that fell 2 K/9 to only 7.52 last year, with a walk rate over 3. That said, the Ks really fell off late and it was his first full workload. Could be a little bit of a bounceback.
29 James Shields, San Diego Padres Whoa, Gray hates Shields!   The move to SD isn’t huge for me, still in a great pitcher’s park and NL move is negated by a much worse defensive outfield, but the durability and consistency are enough to take him here.
30 Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels Shoemaker the truemaker!   What an unbelievable season last year, with a 124:24 K:BB in 136 innings. Yea, 24 walks in 136 innings! The 16 wins are a little misleading, but I don’t think anything else is.
31 Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays Downright redonk after the move to Tampa Bay, I’m big on Smyly finally breaking out. He struggled early last year adjusting to pitching to righties full-time, but improved against them as the year wore on while being unhittable to lefties. Win potential will be an issue, but if he gets out righties he’ll be a big story.
32 Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals Hello boyfriend of last year!   What a season from Ventura, but even with the power stuff, a little bit of a rocky K rate (7.82) and WHIP (1.30).  His stuff is so electric that I think he can build on the rookie campaign.
33 Jacob deGrom, New York Mets Everything points to deGrom deserving to be higher. Struck out more than a batter per inning, walks were fine, but like Tugg Speedman, “I got a baaaaad feeling…” LD% was a little high at 23.2%, HR/FB a little low at 6.1%, and win potential is a slight issue. I couldn’t argue with anyone who thinks this is way too low.
34 Michael Pineda, New York Yankees I couldn’t argue with anyone thinking this is way too high! But I will try… Pineda, pine tar or not, was unreal down the stretch. After some injury issues after pinetargate early on, Big Mike immediately had success wrapping up with a 9 start stretch of a 1.91 ERA. K:BB?   44:4. 4 friggin’ walks! And the Ks were a little low on the whole, but had 18 his final two starts.  Great sleeper value.  (side note – just had a dream he got hurt in his first game. Seriously. Why would that be in my dream? If that happens, new movie idea – Premonition 2: JB’s Sports Betting)
35 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals From sleeper Pineda to an outright untouchable (to me)… Yeah all those innings, an elbow that’s already had a TJ getting some cartilage clipped…. I’m sorry, I don’t want a neutered starting pitcher…
36 Brandon McCarthy, Los Angeles Dodgers I certainly hope to have McCarthy on all my teams this year. The K rate went nuts last year to a career-high 7.88 K/9 and McCarthy’s ERA and WHIP took terrible hits from a .328 BABIP and horrible 16.3% HR/FB.   Now moving to the NL into a pitcher’s park, McCarthy can take his evolved power-stuff into a great situation. The fastball jumped up to a 92.9 average velo after never topping 91 in his career. He’s evolved from a groundballer into a K guy, and the evolution is mad reminiscent of how McHugh reinvented himself.   McCarthy is still only 31, so there’s plenty of room for a big breakout.
37 Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners Man, the injuries on Iwakuma’s medical sheet are lengthy… It goes front and back! Had injury issues in Japan, and is already 33 and will be 34 most of the 2015 season. I love the microscopic walk rate, but he was plain too hittable last year with a high homer rate. I’m likely passing.
38 Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics How old would you guess Kazmir is?   Kinda surprising he’s only 31, and if not for back-to-back rough games against the Angels in late August, his numbers would look pretty sexy. He’s got an emerging cutter, and will be a great value buy on draft day.
39 Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins “Ohhhhh, look at me, I’m Phil Hughes with a historic K:BB rate, ohohohohohhhhhh I’m Phil Hughes!”   If you play in a K:BB league, then sure, he’s worth a million bucks. And I get all the metrics support he could be EVEN BETTER than last year, mainly the .324 BABIP. That said, he had a 23.2% line drive rate and is a flyballer. A flyabller with a 6.2% HR/FB last year, and at the eye level, the stuff just wasn’t that great in the starts I saw.   Maybe I watched the wrong ones!   I know, I know, he’s got the cutter rolling which I like for a lot of guys ranked higher, but I think 2014 was the career year and the Twins WAY overpaid.
40 Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals I hate the Cardinals, yet people seem to hate Lance Lynn even more than me! One of the most surprising stats while putting together these ranks is Lynn threw his fastball a whopping 79% of the time last year.   Leaning on the heater!   And he ended the season mad strong, from June 13 on, his final 20 starts were at a 2.28 ERA with a 112:41 K:BB in 126.1 innings. The WHIP is a little too high, but other than that, good value here.
41 Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros Fantastic 2014 season, but the elite groundballer isn’t going to be a K machine. With pitching this deep and these ranks for 5-cat roto, it’s hard to take a 6.57 K/9 guy without upside for too many more Ks much higher.
42 Mat Latos, Miami Marlins Ewww, Latos’ K rate was even worse!   Only 6.51 K/9, and after never averaging under 92.6 on the fastball through his career, it dropped to 90.7 last year. All that said, it’s a good pitcher’s park and he dealt with several injuries.  He’ll likely go higher, but there might be some upside left in his giant tank.
43 Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers Anibal was a little dirty last year, struggling through some injuries and had the K rate drop way off.  And while most of the metrics point out he was probably even worse than the numbers (microscopic HR rate, lucky .277 BABIP), there’s a big stat that worked against him. A very low 63.5% LOB. All these chumps keep scoring when they reach! While health had been a concern for Anibal a lot of his career, he had 182+ innings in 4 straight years before last year and is healthy heading into Spring Training. His velo was fine compared to his body of work and there’s such a discount this year in drafts.
44 Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles A buzzy sleeper, Gausman finally started grooving the Ks in his final 10 starts, going 51:17 K:BB over those final 57.1 innings. Got the power arm, starting to emerge, I love the upside.
45 Zack Wheeler, New York Mets Eesh, that control… 3.84 BB/9, and while the stuff is incredible when it’s working, it’s not going to be me to go after it. Nothing in the metrics suggest anything unlucky was working against him, so if you’re paying ADP price, you’re banking on an improvement in control. Which certainly could happen, but not on my watch… Here’s a crazy stat – in his 32 starts last year, 5 – count em – 5 starts he had under 2 walks. Multiple walks in 27 of 32 starts?! So it’s not like he had some common issues in bouts, it’s endemic to his game.
46 Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers Sleeper alert! Mmmm, another sexy cutter-er. Greene was near dominant to finish up 2014, with a 52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings as his numbers improved from the Minors with that development of the cutter. Moving to the spacious Comerica Park, Greene does have walk issues of his own but I see more chance of improvement. High .330 BABIP masked a better season in his small sample last year.
47 Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves A rough, rough year for Minor, mostly the injuries which includes something unthinkable… Even with the terrible numbers, the K and BB rates weren’t too bad, and it came down to ineffectiveness of the off-speed. His velo was actually right with the career numbers. A healthy off-season with a full Spring Training and there’s a big chance for a bounce back.
48 Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals I almost psyched myself into ranking him a good bit higher, but I scurred. Still a great K rate, still a WHIP killer… Gio didn’t really regress too much… That said, he is starting to abandon the curveball and the fastball has lost 0.5 MPH the past two seasons. Slower fastball with more change-ups… Not loving it.
49 Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays So many delicious Ks from over easy!   I didn’t think I’d be a big Odorizzi guy, but dude was always a solid WHIP and low BB guy through the Minors before a 3.16 BB/9 last year. Why the control issue? Well, the development of that change-up (aka Thing 2 if you remember that) took it’s toll. Odorizzi amped it up to a 24.3% usage, which gave him the Ks and I think he’ll have a chance to develop the command with it further in 2015.
50 Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers Everyone knows I’m the resident Brewers fan, and I want to like Fiers as much as Grey… I really, really do. And certainly hope I’m wrong! Deception with slower pitches doesn’t always last, and Fiers struggled so so much in 2013 battling injuries. Seems a very boom or bust sort of pick.
51 Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds Wow, so full disclosure I originally had him at 71, but a deeper look had me shoot him up. His GB% has gone up the past 4 seasons to a career-best 50.6%, something you love seeing pitching in Cincy.   Despite pitching through injuries, Bailey actually was right at his career-best avg fastball velo at 94.2 and was fantastic his final 13 starts with a 2.65 ERA and 74:25 K:BB in 88.1 innings. He had offseason flexor strain surgery, but should be fully healthy in Spring Training.   If he starts solid, he’ll return big on a lower investment.
52 Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians The poster child for sleepers since 2011! Well, not really, just kinda feels like that… After that disastrous start last year then continual issues after getting demoted, Salazar finished 2014 on a bright note with a 73:18 K:BB in 69.1 innings after being put back in the rotation for his final 12 starts. He still had a 3.50 ERA in that stretch, but an unlucky .330 BABIP.   Great upside, still the risk he collapses again…
53 Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays Stroman using a full 5-pitch arsenal with a sub 2 BB/9 is mad impressive. That said, the Ks weren’t as big as we thought and he had a mad lucky 6.5% HR/FB for pitching there in Toronto. I could see him sliding this far here and there, but not reaching.
54 Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers This one is painful, because I really want to like Ryu more and a lot of metrics suggest I should. But another mad low HR rate (5.9% last year) has me a little scared, and he’s just plain too hittable to justify his rank a lot of other places. Sure the low walks helps alleviate, but I don’t like that he gave up fewer grounders last year and a lot more line drives.
55 Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays I wanna like Archer more, I really do (and that could go for the TV show as well…), but those walks!   That WHIP killing! And he had a very low 6.9% HR/FB. I think he’ll be decent, but not sure he takes a big step forward.
56 Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals Sheesh, this is a rough one.   I was one of the highest rankers of Wacha heading into last year and looked solid through the first half, but a fracture in his shoulder ruined the year. And it sounds like an injury that can just happen with his anatomy, not by changing any sort of mechanics or healing a muscle.   Maybe the biggest risk/reward guy in drafts this year.
57 Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates Do we get 2014 first half Liriano, or 2014 second half? Is he gonna be 2013 Liriano, or 2012 Liriano? There’s so many Lirianos! I’ll let someone else take the gamble.
58 Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves Other than a couple bad starts in May and a brutal September, the Big Erv was actually pretty good last year.   Had an unlucky .319 BABIP and will pitch in another great park there in ‘Sota. Should be a great un-sex-appeal value.
59 Doug Fister, Washington Nationals “Where’s the beef?!”   Aka – Ks?! As a Porcello owner in several leagues last year, I got a huge rancid dose of what a low-K guy can do to a roto team, and a 5.38 K/9 isn’t gonna get it done. Before the 9K shutout of the Marlins to end the season, and let’s face it, it was the September Marlins, Fister’s last 6 starts had a 14:10 K:BB in 36.1 innings. That’s category killing! If you have all K-upside guys and need some ERA/WHIP relief I would go a tad higher, but only a tad.
60 Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies JB throws his arms up in utter confusion… Maybe the elbow issues last year were one last injury for Lee to get over, maybe it’s all about to fall completely off the tracks. Worth that risk at this point.
61 Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox I was all about some Quintana halfway through the year, but in mid-July through August the Ks disappeared with 30 in 48.1 innings in 8 starts. Then they came roaring back against September competish with a 33:3 K:BB in his final 4 starts. Kinda had a mini-Liriano up and down there, and had an unreal 5.1% HR/FB that screams regression there in the South Side. Might have enough of a discount and fall to me, but not reaching.
62 Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels Ohhhh, the Weave. It’s all going the wrong way, but still pitches so many innings and so deep he’ll rack up wins.
63 Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres Why is the rum gone?! Jack Sparrow is missing Cashner’s Ks too…   And he had a pretty high 75.3% LOB last year with a .274 BABIP that helped a good ERA and WHIP. The big thing I hate seeing is a pitcher losing velocity on the fastball (it was marginal 2013-2014 dropping only 0.2 MPH) with the change-up not dropping with it (up from 84.1 to 85.2). He’s really cut back on that pitch and relying on fastballs and sliders, and I don’t know if it’ll get it done for a higher rank.
64 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers The dramatic up and precipitous down is like an epic cleavage… No way the Ks come back, but it’s been two straight unlucky BABIP seasons with some room to be useful in 2015.
65 Derrick Holland, Texas Rangers If only those 37 innings last year can be extrapolated into 200 this year! 1.46 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP, and while that of course won’t happen this season, he is off a knee injury and not a TJ. The velo was down a smidge last year, but I think he is worth drafting for the flier.
66 J.A. Happ, Seattle Mariners I’ve already heard some sleeper buzz, but I’m in on the magic. So many things about Happ make me… Dare I say… Happ-y? I’ll be here all night! Here we go, first is the new park in SEA.   Obviously a nice move. B – what he did with his control.   BBs wavered through his career in the mid-4s per/9, but for the first time he got it under 3 to 2.91 BB/9 last year. 3 – there is no 3 and D – the biggie. Spike in velocity. Got the fastball up to 92.7 MPH and the velo has gone up each and every season in the majors from 87.7 and incrementally up. So weird! All that said, it didn’t translate to great fantasy numbers last year, but he’s always been a good K guy and a flyball pitcher, which works perfect in Seattle. A definite last round pick or two for me.
67 Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs Big breakout for Jimi, and while he probably won’t be 2.46 ERA/1.08 WHIP good again, I think there’s some solid upside. Skeptics will point to his terrible K rate when he got to the Majors (5.27), but he was just fine in AAA at 8.50 in 102.2 innings. He doesn’t throw hard, but that change-up/cutter combo is fantastic.
68 Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres Another year, another season of JB bashing Kennedy! Did you really miss much if you didn’t pick him up last year?   Sure anyone with 200+ Ks has value, but a high ERA and WHIP hurt his value and he had a second straight season of a 3+ BB/9. And he’s pitched a ton of innings the past 5 years…
69 Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs Hammel looked like an absolute ace while with the Cubs in the first half last year, then got shelled when moving to the AL in Oakland. Well, now he’s back on the Cubs and we should expect a 2.98 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and a K per 9 for a full season right?! Well, obviously not, but some upside is still there with the move back to the friendlier NL.
70 Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds For a guy who’s only 27, Leake has some massive innings on that arm with 891.2 in 5 seasons. Of course, pitcher injuries are common but unpredictable, just something to start with. On the bright side, career-high 6.89 K/9 with his usual nice 2.10 BB/9.   The big thing I liked to see is a big spike in GB% (up to 53.4%) given that park and a slight uptick in velocity to a career-best. I’m not seeing a big breakout, but if healthy and another mini-step forward, could be a 5th starter kinda guy.
71 Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants I’m not huge on Peavy, but those final 9 starts after getting acclimated to the Giants were unreal.  6-1, 1.35 ERA with a 46:12 K:BB in 60 innings. That said, K rate has gone down the past 5 years and he has so many miles on that arm.
72 Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays I watched a few of Hutch’s starts, and my takeaway was he relies on pinpoint fastball command without it being an overpowering pitch. Sure he had a K per 9 and a BB rate under 3, but I think there in Toronto the HR rate goes over 9.7% and I’m not a huge believer of the stuff.
73 CC Sabathia, New York Yankees Man, when it falls off it REALLY falls off. Maybe this knee surgery will give him a last useful season, but meh.
74 Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals I’m so conflicted here… I’m anti-Cardinals and never been a big C-Mart sleeper guy, but we all know he has great stuff and had an unlucky .333 BABIP last year. What put me at this rank is after pitch 31 and later, hitters teed off hitting over .300.  Plus overall, lefties crushed him hitting .297 through 171 batters faced. And that included an unholy 19:22 K:BB to lefties. Talk about OUCH! He has room to improve and take a step forward, but he’s also likely on an innings limit. Won’t be me paying an inflated sleeper price.
75 Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers More confliction! Nelson was absolutely dominant against AAA hitters in 2014 (1.46 ERA 0.92 WHIP 114 Ks in 111 IP), but had some issues when hitting the Majors. In 12 starts, really the only thing that changed was the K rate fell 2 per/9 and the BABIP went from .244 in AAA to .333. With Gallardo traded to Texas (making him unrankable to me…) the 5th spot is assured and while I don’t expect a big breakout, I think he’ll be a serviceable mid-to-back-end guy in 12ers.
76 Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers Mo Brewers mo problems!   Lohse is anti-upside and other than a bad spell with a couple bad starts in August, was still Lohse-y.
77 Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks Love the change-up! Anderson actually had a really underrated year in 2014, posting an 8.27 K/9 and a 3.67 xFIP. But the ERA and WHIP weren’t great with a high 13.6% HR/FB (which you kinda expect from a slower-throwing change-up thrower) and a .313 BABIP.  Thinking he could be something like a poor-man’s Shaun Marcum-in-his-prime.
78 A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates Searage can fix all problems!   Let’s get him into Congress… Burnett is 30-friggin-8 and the fastball lost almost another full MPH last year. That said, I think he could be semi-useful.  Read: could.
79 Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians Like Jimmy Nelson, and well, like a lot of young pitchers, Bauer was tearing apart AAA to be decent-to-not-good in the Majors. That 3.53 BB/9!!! When he was grooving it in his 46 AAA innings, still had a 2.74 BB/9.   Even with a nice step forward the WHIP will be a liability, but some nice upside.
80 Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers So many Brewers lately! I love Wily as a real-life pitcher – throws hard, always is amped up and competing, goes deep – but he’s not a great K guy and sometimes loses some command. It didn’t translate into a bad walk rate and he took nice steps forward in both Ks up and BBs down.  But Big Wily had a pretty lucky 76.1% LOB that helped the ERA stay at 3.53 against the 1.30 WHIP.
81 Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles After a disastrous start, Tillman was great down the stretch with a 2.33 ERA and a 76:18 K:BB in 89 innings over 14 starts. And his velo really struggled early with a lot of games under 90 MPH, but ramped it up in the second half. I think there’s some value here, but only as my last pick sorta thing.
82 Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics
I loved getting my Hahn on last year, but he’s had a ton of injuries and really struggled with control at a 3.93 BB/9 in 2014. While there’s definitely upside, he’s pretty much a 2-pitch pitcher with the fastball and curveball which worries me for a full season if he stays healthy.
83 Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins A lot of the JoFer value depends on if you have DL spots/if you’ve drafted anyone hurt at this point.   This likely prices me out as I highly doubt he’s the JoFer of early 2014 when he’s back on the mound.
84 Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox Dart throw time! And why not bet on elite talent who pitched through college and has a legit chance to break as a starter. The #5 spot is wide open, and while it would give the White Sox 4 lefties, why not?
85 Daniel Norris, Toronto Blue Jays Another hot prospect, Norris might not quite have the shot Rodon has of breaking the Opening Day rotation, but the Jays have already said they plan to have him in the rotation at some point. He destroyed the Minors last year and already made his first career start, so that monkey is off his back.
86 Rubby De La Rosa, Arizona Diamondbacks A great shot to make the #5 spot in the Diamondbacks rotation, and that makes me wanna rubby on dat velo!   The Ks didn’t really show up last year, but a nice change up and moving to the NL gives him some upside.   I would rank him higher, but not loving he’s a flyballer there in the desert.
87 Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets The big Finn (I dunno, his last name is Scandinavian-ish or something…) never got out of AAA last year, even though he was regarded as close-to-ready premiere prospect. Shelled in the Minors while stuck there in 2014, The Original Syn had a 4.64 ERA, 1.48 WHIP in 133 innings at AAA Las Vegas, but with a monster 9.81:2.91 K/9:BB/9. That ERA and WHIP can be explained by a horrific .378 BABIP and 67.2% LOB. So unlucky… And just for comparison, Matt Harvey’s last AAA stint was 3.68 ERA/1.33 WHIP 9.16:3.93 in 110 innings. I’m not saying Syndergaard is Harvey and he’s not likely to start in the rotation, but if there’s any prospect for pure stash, this is the one.
88 Shelby Miller, Atlanta Braves Shelby Miller’s 2014…   Yuck… Ks disappeared, walks went up, and somehow his ERA stayed at 3.74 even with a .256 BABIP. Looked more like a 4.50 ERA guy out there. That said, stays in a pitcher’s park, in the NL, and maybe the Braves can help figure something out…
89 Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants Matt Cain’s 2014… From above, replace Y with an F. Velo was fine, but had his sterling career HR rates continue to regress and had a really weird career-high spike in GB rate at 45.1% after only being over 40% once.   I don’t like anomalies like that for aging/injury concern pitchers.
90 Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals Mr. Regression! 6.81 K:3.18 BB, .239 BABIP, left 77.2% of guys on base, and had a microscopic 6.1 HR/FB. His xFIP was 4.42 to his ERA of 2.53! All that said, he throws hard and has good enough stuff for a flier, even if health is a concern as well.
91 Jon Niese, New York Mets I should probably be a little higher on Niese after he dropped the walks to 2.16 per 9, but he lost 1.5 MPH on his fastball from 2013 to 2014 and I don’t think he can stay healthy.
92 John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals He’s old, he’s fat, he’s annoying… But the velo has maintained and he should provide something similar to last year, especially moving into the NL full time.
93 Drew Pomeranz, Oakland Athletics Back in the day, as in 3-4 years ago, I thought Pomeranz was going to be an unstoppable ace. But he got traded to the Rockies, overthrew pitches, the curve had no bite, and he had a few injuries. It finally came together at times last year getting out of Coors, but he’s become a two-pitch pitcher and I’m not buying he can keep up success.   Plus he had lucky peripherals in a .244 BABIP and an unreal 82.1% LOB. That said, he pitches from the stretch which is a good weapon. All-in-all, I’m just monitoring him in 10 or 12ers, not having him as a back end guy.
94 R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays Meh. 173 Ks because he was durable, but in IP roto leagues, the rate in that kind of volume killed you. Walks have gone up 3 straight years, and he’d need something miraculous to happen in order to boost into the top-50 again.
95 Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers Walks up, Ks down, BABIP at .268 and HR rate of only 7% in a hitter’s park. Plus can’t stay healthy.
96 Tom Koehler, Miami Marlins Not too much upside for the Plumber (wait, shouldn’t that be Joe Blanton though?), but Ks and BBs improved from 2013 to 2014 and he could be a usable guy when hot.
97 Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners I dunno, just not a big Walker fan, but the upside is enough to take a top-100 flyer on him. Great speed on the fastball but lost his control last year, and the couple starts I’ve seen from him I wasn’t that impressed. Plus isn’t a lock to be in the rotation Opening Day.
98 Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles Definition of no upside. A great dependable guy in AL only, and should hover in the 80s-100s all year for reliability-sake, but not a guy I see taking a leap forward.
99 Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants This is likely T-Hud’s final season, and he’s already behind due to ankle surgery. For non Hudson-owners in 2014 like myself, it’s easy to forget almost his whole season (first 26 starts) he had a 2.90 ERA with a 106:29 K:BB.   Given in 167.2 innings, but still. Maybe we get a nice sendoff.
100 Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds Tony C looked great in 2013 only to be horrific last year while supposedly pitching through a shoulder issue. I’d be hesitant relying on him in deepers, but for the upside flyer pick in 12ers, not too many pitchers left can rival him.

And there ya have it!  A few guys out were tough cuts, there’s still Clay Buchholz, Dillon Gee, Nathan Eovaldi, and yes – my ex-bf – Rick Porcello.  Didn’t even wanna rank him there in Boston with that fantasy-killing K-rate.

While all those guys are pretty boring, one name I couldn’t quite get on there that I am really interested in following is Mike Foltynewicz.  Huge arm, chance to start out of the gate for the rebuilding Braves, he’ll be a quick addition if he looks like he has some control early on.  As always, shoot your comments below and happy pitching!

 
  1. Wake Up says:
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    Hey, Big Whiskey!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Wake Up: Yo dude! Good to be back, hope you had a good winter!

  2. Grey

    Grey says:
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    No Porcello!!! JB, man, you’ve changed.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Grey: Haha if we don’t learn from our mistakes we’re doomed to repeat them… Also, Porcello stopped hooking up with me

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Oh, I see… That tease!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Grey: Just left me in the rain on that bridge WITHOUT EVEN CALLING! Blamed it on having no service in Boston

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I’m reminded of Orange Juice Jones

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Grey: Google tells me there an Oran Juice Jones! No idea…

    • CMUTIMMAH says:
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      @Grey:
      For a top 100, I feel it’s a glaring omission. Hard to put Trevor Bauer up ahead of him, IMO. But, the rest of the list is in line with my thought process. Sale, with a better supporting cast, could have a monster win year.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @CMUTIMMAH: For the format of these ranks – 5-cat roto – the big innings low K-rate is really destructive the way Ks are prominent now. Other formats he’d easily be in there. Hate the move to Boston too. In a 12 team if there’s no way I could see rather spot starting that spot I don’t think he deserves a top 100 rank.

  3. the swinging says:
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    Quintana gets no respect I tell ya. How old is he?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @the swinging: “Officially” 26. Yeah I debated having him higher, he was tough for me. I just don’t know if he takes a huge step forward

    • McNulty says:
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      @the swinging: he seems to be a pretty popular sleeper choice, so I think odds are someone else in your league sucks up most if not all of any surplus value. I personally don’t think any of his pitches are that strong.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @McNulty: Yeah me either. Slider at times looks great but inconistsent

      • the swinging says:
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        @McNulty: he will be a top 30 sp

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @the swinging: I’ll be ya a whisky! Sound good?

        • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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          @the swinging: hope so, i traded for him in 2 deeper dynasties (30 and 20 team)

  4. Sideshow says:
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    Hellickson not top 100? Little surprised.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sideshow: Terrible K:BB last year and always gave up too many HR in Trop. Now in Zona in the desert? Yeah I don’t think it goes well.

  5. Sideshow says:
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    Plus 2 huge upside guys like Bundy & A Bradley?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sideshow: They were in the mix of the last 20-30 out. If Bradley wasn’t hurt last year and just didn’t make the Majors because he had a down year or something, I would be more excited, but I think he spends a big chunk in the minors. Bundy I think will have the same thing, although closer, young and off TJ is still scary though

  6. Sky

    Sky says:
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    You are now the third lover of Shane Greene I’ve come in contact with. I’ve tried to like him, JB, I really have, I just don’t think we see much more than what we saw last year and actually think regression is on the way. But TBD; I’m a Drew Hutchison believer over here so maybe I’m the crazy one.

    • J-FOH says:
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      @Sky: You live in Oregon and hate a man named Greene?

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        He doesn’t follow the 3 R’s, from what I’m told.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Sky: remind me of those again, those cholesterol pills I just got off have killed half my memory

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @J-FOH: @Grey: @Sky: Hah, well I figured I wouldn’t be the only one body painted in all Green for drafts. .330 BABIP last year, 12.7% HR/FB, both should go down with better luck and move to DET. Pretty good GB rate, control improved through the Minors, me likey. Just like me likey you Sky! We need to have our date soon!

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Ha, agreed! I guess I just hate Alex Avila as a catcher. I think he plays a big part in some of the blow ups but I can’t argue the GB%. Just think he’s a bit more Porcello than he is a 9 K/9 kinda pitcher. But that’s why we’ll have our date: so that one of us can wallow in the glory of our correctness!

        • J-FOH says:
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          I hate my dates with you

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @J-FOH: That’s because I call you out every time for not reaching for the check

            • J-FOH says:
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              @JB Gilpin: whats a check?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Sky: Hah we shall see man! Either I’ll be drinking feeling good because I’m right, or wallowing!

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Zactly. Long as there’s beer, though, who cares!

  7. J-FOH says:
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    You, Magoo, and I can all get our i heart Shane Greene T-Shirts! We all love him as our sleeper this year and I drafted him late in a H2H writers I league i’m playing with Sky and a few others from the site. Greene is the new Black

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @J-FOH: Greene is the new green! Ya know, of money… No…

      • J-FOH says:
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        @JB Gilpin: YES! *done in Marv Albert voice*

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @J-FOH: I’d love to hear him drop a “MAKE IT RAIN!”

          • J-FOH says:
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            @JB Gilpin: what about “WITH THAT THREE HE TOOK A BITE OUT OF THAT LEAD”

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @J-FOH: “ICED LIKE BIGGIE!” Ehhh, you’re a better fake Marv quoter than me…

  8. Cram It says:
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    Glad you’re back! I had to have Grey interrupt you during your monthly pedicure to confirm you’d be doing this. I’m with you on Paxton and Pineda. Hope to own them everywhere. Was eager to see where you had Hutchison. Guess I’m the only one around here who’s high on him.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Cram It: Hah thanks man! Yup, I’m def back and excited for baseball especially looking at snow outside my window… I knew Hutch would be a big sleeper for a lot of people, but I just don’t like it that much based on what I saw in his starts last yr

      • Cram It says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Do you do any auction drafts normally?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Cram It: My main dynasty/keeper hybrid is auction, but nah it’s usually snake for me

  9. McNulty says:
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    best posts on the site. These really helped me pick up a great pitching staff on the wire last year.

    • McNulty says:
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      @McNulty:

      and now I have read this, and I have to say my own list looks pretty close to this, and there isn’t a list out there that looks quite like this. So either you taught me well, or I came to this on my own and have attained the status of genius.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @McNulty: Thanks so much man! Very excited for another year… We are great minds man! I imagine very little teaching and much more good separate analysis :)

  10. Nico says:
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    Damn, JB, glad you’re back in the building! Here’s a quick poll question, when’s the last time the Mets had 5 starters in your Top 100? I’m going to say probably never. 3 in JB’s Top 50, and if they don’t give away McHugh for EY, that’s 4 in JB’s Top 50. Ridiculous. Anyway, I recently updated my SGP Value formula my 10 team yahoo, and Carrasco came in around 18th with Grey’s projections, so basically, I feel great about where you ranked him. He’s definitely a guy I will be heavily targeting.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Nico: Whoa, yeah good call man! Would be an unbelievable staff with McHugh there. If only they had anything on offense…

      Yup he will likely be on all my teams as well! I might get an ace then could get Carrasco/Paxton/Richards in double digit rounds and feel really good about my 2-4 with good upside.

  11. Ante GALIC says:
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    JB!

    Nice work, man! I like Paxton too and definitely have him on my radar. Interesting read and gr8 analysis.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks man! Yeah in retrospect seeing it published and all official and all, 25 is pretty friggin bold haha. But I like him a ton. Thanks for reading!

  12. Nick says:
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    JB, be a peach (not that aren’t already for all this hard work) but Grey did a fun post where he mocked up his ideal SP on draft day. Can you throw together 6 guys that would be your ideal starting staff?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Nick: JB IS the giant peach! The new book :)

      I would like to get an ace… I think Sale will come at a good price given I have him #2. Sale, Carrasco, Arrieta, Richards, Paxton, McCarthy I think would have some mad mad upside, all guys I have ranked pretty high.

  13. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    I’m a long time member of the Paxton fan club + have been very confused why a lefty who throws 95 with great secondary stuff seems to be SO FAR off of everyone’s radar on rankings. Do you think it’s just an injury / SSS thing?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Nice, me too man! I actually had him preranked top 100 last year, but injury… I think it’s the lower Ks and a tad too many BB and people forget he had one blowup start that skewed his numbers given the fewer starts.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Works for me! I was praying for some Kluber blowups last season so that he wouldn’t win the Cy Young and get on everyone’s radar, so hopefully Pax + McHugh will balance it all out.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: I remember having to convince people not to drop Kluber after a few bad starts to begin 2014! Yup I think those guys will be money

  14. zombie says:
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    Lots of work here JB. Your very solid analysis has me & likely many others tinkering. Thanks.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @zombie: Thanks so much man! Def used some snow days last week to get a lot of work in haha

  15. Chris says:
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    Hey JB,

    H2h League, 12 teams
    Please advice which player should I keep out of:
    Freeman, Arenado or Kluber

    My other 2 keepers are Stanton & Rizzo.

    thanks!

    • Chris says:
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      @Chris: P.S. I don’t have a 5th round pick, since I traded it last season.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Chris: As much as I love Kluber, I think I’d wanna keep the O even though you have studs. I know Kluber is ranked higher, but kinda thinking Arenado.

  16. MB says:
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    Are you okay with risking it and trading cliff lee for either papelbon or benoit if you are deep at SP and lack RP in dynasty? 5×5 roto, competing now. Thank you

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @MB: Yup competing now I would give Lee away for a bag of potato chips. Strike that, one chip haha.

  17. John says:
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    I was offered shoemaker and drury for Doolittle in dynasty. That would give me carassco, kuma, lynn, Quintana, Kennedy, Burnett and cliff lee plus all 3 BOS RP and qualls at RP and allow me to trade an SP for a non injured closer. Do the deal or hold on to Doolittle?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @John: I’d probably take it, Doolittle’s torn rotator cuff is scary and Shoemaker has some nice lasting upside

    • And Now the John Lovitz Dancers! says:
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      @John: i’d do that for shoemaker alone, much less throwing in a pretty good 3b/2B prospect in drury.

  18. John says:
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    If you had to draft SP with a single sabermetric, which would it be? FIP, xFIP, or SIERA?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @John: I would probably go FIP. FIP vs. SIERA is a good one, I don’t like xFIP as a single metric because it replaces HR rate with league average and keeping the ball in the park is a skill. It waffles year to year sometime and obviously home park makes differences, but yeah I like FIP

  19. Junior Ortiz says:
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    Have we decided we’re calling him K-PAX if he can transport our rotations back to the magical planet of high-strikeout totals and low ratios?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Junior Ortiz: Hahahaha K-Pax it is! Only if he comes through though :)

  20. zeus says:
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    Shut your f’in mouth about arrieta

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @zeus: Haha am I puttin’ too much buzz out there?!

  21. DJF44 says:
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    I don’t usually comment, but I have to say that these are the best rankings for SP I have seen in a long time. Hope you do the same for other POS. I like the aggressive ranking of Cole and Carrasco.

    Thx.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @DJF44: Thanks so much man! Yeah those guys really stood out as fantastic values this year. Nah, I’m the starting pitcher czar and doing weekly re-ranks for just SP is a ton haha. So much changes every week! I always plan out my baseball watching by starting pitchers so I keep my Razz baseball work focuses on them

  22. Banana says:
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    How’s a staff of Zimmermann, Carrasco, Shoemaker, Stroman, Hutchinson, Keuchel and Eovaldi look in a 12 team H2H?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Banana: Looks decent, I like the top 3, but not particularly big on the back 4. Nice Ks makes Keuchel a good pick though. I’d bet there are 10ish guys on the wire I like more than Eovaldi too

  23. job3rd says:
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    Nice post! Waino just left camp to check on abdominal pain. Ouch. Just what he needs to go with arm issues. I’m hoping to have at least one draft before he completely falls apart. On the flipside, I’m hoping the birds make a move for Hamels …before someone else does.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @job3rd: Yup just saw that… Yikes. Ugh I hope the Cards don’t nab him, need to go to my crew!

  24. McSmitth says:
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    Any love for Jesse Chavez? Dude had a great start last year and put on some muscle in the offseason

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @McSmitth: Pretty sure he’s going to be in the bullpen at least to start the year, so unless there’s a major change there I don’t think I’d consider him in the SP ranks yet.

    • And Now the John Lovitz Dancers! says:
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      @McSmitth: LR listed for now.

  25. Kid A says:
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    Excellent article. Great job doing the bite-sized succinct analysis.

    One question: What did you do with Porcello’s body?

    Figured I’d ask before the cops do.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Kid A: Thanks man! Enough bite sizes put together make for a long-ass meal putting it together! Haha. Hah, just see abolsutely no upside and only downside. In deep leagues, the innings and wins here and there are worth getting, but in 12ers I would imagine liking a spot starter over him almost every start.

  26. Sange76 says:
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    Quick question….

    12 team head to head points keeper league
    Keeping Cole Hamels rd 7 and Brantley rd 12

    Would it be crazy to pass on a big 1b or OF bat in a points league with the 5th pick and go for Felix Hernandez? Then go for some of the depth at other positions like OF later on? Or play it safe and go for an early bat since pitching is deep? For arguments sake of guys I think will be around, would you rather start with say Felix, freeman, and upton…..or rather Miguel Cabrera, a Darvish/Greinke type, and Kemp/Kinsler. Tough call on which way to build a core with depth all around at 1b, OF and SP.

    Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Sange76: No not crazy at all in a Pts. I imagine 5th pick filters out a lot of good value that would be there in redraft leagues. That said, if Miggy is there I think I gotta take him. With an ace pitcher already I think I like that route. Any time!

    • FrankGrimes says:
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      @Sange76:
      Study the scoring of your league.
      I traded Felix for Adam jones
      During playoff push for 2013.
      Even tho jones is a stud I regretted it “points wise” last year. And lost in the playoffs too dammit!

  27. FrankGrimes says:
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    I came across another site.
    It’s such a razz rip off.
    It has same style of ranking players
    same top 100 pitchers posts plus gifs
    send grey over to bust some heads will ya?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @FrankGrimes: Ummmm, what? Really? You gotta lemme know what site!

  28. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    JB…awesome stuff, as always. I love your starting pitcher and basketball analysis. 95% of the time, I agree with it every time. Wanted to pick your brain on my keeper baseball league…

    It’s a 10-teamer (i.e., scoring format is 6×6 with QS and IP taking the place of W’s on the pitching side of the equation, and OBP and SLG replaced AVG on the hitting side) where you get to keep six keepers from year-to-year, under the restrictions that you MUST keep at least two pitchers and two hitters (i.e., some sort of competitive balance rule that went into effect a while ago).

    I went from championship in 2013 to 6th place last year and made a lot of deals during the season to add draft picks. I’m sitting pretty and have the #1 pick after winning the Consolation Bracket. Anythehoo, here’s the details…

    I have Stanton, McCutchen, Harper and then either Arenado/Machado to keep as my 4th hitter keeper. A little lopsided position wise, but I don’t care and will figure it out between the young 3rd basemen’s.

    I need your help on the pitching side. I have Chris Sale to keep and then… My current cast of SP characters include Wood, Wacha, Walker, Gonzalez and then a couple high ranked 2015 closers (i.e., Allen and Storen). Pitching is deep, and two of the more competitive teams in the league are going with a SP and CL (e.g., Kimbrel and Chapman) option for their two keeper pitchers.

    I know you don’t know all the details, but is a SP keeper group of Sale and Wood good enough to go to battle with, or, should I be thinking about trading a pick to get the likes of Kluber or Greinke (they’re not going to be kept)?

    Ambiguous I know, but that’s how I roll. Thoughts?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: Hah I will take 95% any day!

      I like Sale and Wood a lot. I think Sale is so good it’s OK to not have a huge #2 arm. If you can procure that pick to get one of those upgrades without giving up your core it might be worth it. What about Machado (guessing your throw out) and Wood for that pick?

  29. jal179 says:
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    JB– this list really passes the sniff test and you do not reek.

    Totally going to try for Cole, Wood/Arrieta and Richards in rds 9,10,11 in a 12 team redraft Yahoo league.

    Richards is going to KILL IT gents– believe it.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @jal179: Thanks so much man! Yup those are def big targets for me too. All in on Richards, he would be consensus 15ish if not for that knee injury.

  30. Lemmingness says:
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    In points league scoring (3 pts per IP, 1 pt per K, 4 for wins, -2 for losses, 3 for QS, everything else standard scoring) who are the largest risers and fallers in your rankings here?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lemmingness: Well Porcello def gets to 60-70ish. Should get a lot of innings/QS but no Ks. Samardzija might get closer to 10. I’d probably move Greene, Salazar and Odorizzi down a little – the big K guys with pitching deep issues. Trevor Bauer would probably be out. Doug Fister way way up. Hope that helps!

  31. Harry says:
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    Mr. Gilpin, I absolutely love this website and every contributor here at the Razzball community, but I was like a horndog waiting for your rankings since last year I drafted Kluber / Shark/ Teheran / Wacha / Ventura and listened to your advice as you pretty much nailed your sleepers.

    How would you approach a Yahoo 5×5 Standard Auction League with a $260 Budget as far as building a starting pitching staff is concerned?

    I like guys who have elite ERA’s, WHIP, and K/9 and worry less about the W aspect since a lot of it is luck based, who are your targets that fit what I am looking for in a starting pitcher?

    Appreciate your contribution and as a loyal reader I thank you for your time and advice.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Harry: Wooooo, thanks so much man! Yeah I had Kluber in every league plus all of those guys in at least one. I had a great pitching year as well :)

      I’d probably get one stud, then get all my sleepers. So I would likely go for Sale since I have him #2 and he’s usually 3-6 in pre-ranks. Then after that, my big guys I hope to get based on value are Arrieta, Garrett Richards, Carrasco, Gerrit Cole, McCarthy, Paxton, Pineda, Greene who I think I could get all for pretty cheap. Arrieta Carrasco might go double digits but those other guys mad cheap and I’d love a staff of most of those guys. So I’d still have most of the budget for offense.

      Any time man, thanks for stopping by!

  32. Swfcdan says:
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    “He’s alive! HE’S ALIVE!” (In a Homer Simpson voice).

    Liking the rankings return man. Guess you’ve just recently come out of hiding after the Packers loss!

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Right a proper question lol. Diggin deep in my 16 team dynasty slow draft ongoing, H2H so looking for some no7/8 starters to round out my staff (40 man rosters).

      Who do you like most out of these guys, give me a top 5 in order if you can:

      Luebke, Beachy Happ, Morrow, Morton, R Montero, Griffin, Brett Anderson.

      Thanks dude.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Swfcdan: Alive indeed! While I was cheering for the Packers, I am a die-hard Panthers fan hence my Rod Smart jersey haha. Brewers came along bc we have no local MLB team and other fans sucked me in.

        Deffffff Happ. Velocity has actualy gone up each and every year past like 6 seasons! Crazy. And better control and cutter, I have him ranked pretty high in here. The rest didn’t make it, so I would go Happ, Griffin, Anderson, Morrow, Beachy. A lot of injured guys in there, but filling out you back end going for upside

  33. scott steelers says:
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    Yesss!! Thrilled to see this. Great stuff. So of my 5 keepers 4 are set. Abreu, mccutch, puig, scherzer. Was set on mookie….. now with all the news outa Boston I won’t be if he’s not starting (obviously ) so given what we know today. Arrieta, soler or Mookie… thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @scott steelers: Thanks for reading man! Whoa, nice top 4. Oh man, rough Bettes news. I’d prob take Arrieta who I have ranked as near-ace, I think gives you nasty pitching

  34. tvators says:
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    Regarding Syndergaard- Harvey never pitched in Vegas, he pitched in Buffalo in International league at age 23, Synder pitched in the joke of the PCL in even bigger joke of Vegas at 21

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @tvators: Ahhhh oops, I knew Zack Wheeler was in Vegas and I guess I thought that was Harvey. Weird, I swore Harvey was in Vegas. Thanks for the catch!

  35. K/9 says:
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    JB – You clearly don’t think Arrieta’s run was any kind of fluke based on your ranking. I’m thinking about keeping him in a 12 team auction draft league for $7 ($260 budget). I wasn’t going to keep any SPs because we only keep 3 players total.

    Do you think keeping him for as cheap as $7 warrants keeper consideration? Also, he only threw 170 IP between majors and minors last year which was the most of his career. Do you think he has a chance at throwing 200 innings this year?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @K/9: Nope not at all, but man that’s great value on Arrieta! Yup I do think he can get to 200, it’s not too big a leap. Depends on your other keeper guys, but if no bats stand way out, def no issue keeping Arrieta at $7, I imagine he’d go $10-$15 most of the time

    • Spyre says:
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      @K/9: A 30 IP increase per year is pretty standard for young pitchers. I can see 200IP happening

      • And Now the John Lovitz Dancers! says:
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        @Spyre: arrieta isn’t young, he was pretty awful in BAL’s system for 5 years.

  36. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    Hahn isn’t on the Padres anymore…Oakland

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Buddo Chezuski: F I know I worked off last year’s links to make this and swore I changed that

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Buddo Chezuski: Hmmmm, thanks for the catch was mad at myself not you obviously haha. But it says Oakland up there, maybe our editor caught it and changed it…

  37. BERK! says:
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    Let’s say that you (me) could either keep deGromm or Paxton for next-to-nothing, or Sunny Gray for $5 more. What would (should) you (me) do? Thanks! Great column.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @BERK!: Ohhhhh good one. I think Paxton is my pick. I know that’s way, way against the grain, but I think he has a monster year this season

  38. Lightblack says:
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    Great shit JB. So last year in my 10 teamer I entered the draft with my 3 keepers of Goldy,Ortiz and Darvish. Grabbed Harper,Strasburg,Sale with my first 3 picks in the redraft. Drafted Kluber late.

    Well my keepers going into this year will be Goldy,Rizzo,Rendon. Gonna miss my kick ass staff(not as much as my fiance…wait for it..ha!). Question is I’ll prolly be picking 4th or 7th in the redraft, how many elite arms should I target in those first rounds? My Harper and Bautista will be there so I’m hoping to get one of them along with Areanado if not kept. If I get one of aforementioned hitters is it smart to grab two top ten sp’s or just wait till round 9 to grab Marietta,wood,carassco etc. Having a tuff time deciding, any help would be better than a three some with a farmers daughter and her hot slutty friend.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lightblack: Thanks so much man!

      Haha, rough stuff on the home front man! I think I’d maybe grab one ace the build it late. Ala Sale earlyer, then get those great value guys later. I like having one anchor and hope to hit on 2/3 of the later guys.

      • Lightblack says:
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        @JB Gilpin: That helps a lot. It is a H2h league as well. I’ve always gone for a anchor in the past but I also am buying the wait till the 9th round philosophy. But man its tough to watch other guys grab my elite sp’s from last year without acting lol. Thanks again.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Lightblack: Any time man! Yeah I mean if none of the top 10 guys go at values I like (i.e. people reaching), then yeah I could see waiting until the 9th and loading up too. I think my love for Sale makes him fit into my draft pretty easy though

  39. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    let’s see what you think about which guys to drop. 20 team H2H dynasty with 2B/3B/BB as extra hitting cats and holds/OBPA/double plays/RW/K per 9/relief appearances/QS as extra pitching ones. there’s also some defensive ones for hitters. one at each hitting position with 1 util. 5 SP/ 7 RP, 4 BN spots, but at most 1 BN can be for a pitcher, so 12 or 13 total pitchers per team. I’m TEX so at all times i have to have at least 9 TEX players. 5 NA and 5 DL slots also.
    C -zunino
    1B – Fielder/Vargas/Pierce
    2B – Gyorko/Profar (DL)
    SS – Andrus
    3B -Beltre
    RF- Stanton/Rios/Choo/Cain Sugar
    CF -Ozuna/Leonys/Cain Sugar
    LF – Ozuna/Choo/Pierce/Pompey/Guerrero
    SP – Darvish/Liriano/Quintana/D.Holland/Hammel/Hahn/House
    RP – K-Rob/Melancon/Giles/Soria/Walden/Cotts
    NA -N.Williams/Gallo/C.Frazier/Urias/A.Bradley

    Gotta drop 9 of these. For sure it’s gonna be Guerrero/House/Cotts/N.Williams after that there is some doubt. I’m guessing with all those OF and can only play 4 at most per day i also drop Pompey/Pierce, leaving 3 more drops. Your rankings say to drop Hahn before Hammel, but in dynasty does that change things?

    • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: my guess is the 3 drops are cain sugar, soria and 1 of hammell/hahn.

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: i could also drop more than 9, but drafted 18th overall in each round there’s really nobody better i’ll get anyway.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Whoa, intense league! Yeah I doubt you’d drop more either.

          Seems like you’re pretty loaded, I think i would hold Hammel over Hahn. Would dropping K-Rod give you too few RP? Rather lose him than either SP.

          • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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            @JB Gilpin: sorry, that’s K-Rob (robertson), last year i was able to trade avisail/r.liriano for quintana/robertson, at the time i had like 7 or 8 OF, and no small part of this team was on DL last year (fielder/profar/darvish/choo/holland). Early in season my only decent pitcher was darvish, i was able to waiver all those other guys at one point, along with beckett (quite useful for a while), carrasco (but was streaming, we have 35 min innings per week), couldn’t hold onto him very long. Hahn/House also found on waivers. Petit there even now. As soon as draft is over i’ll DL profar, NA those 4 remaining prospects, grab a 5th NA guy, and go about putting together the rest of my RP staff, and maybe 1 more SP. thanks.

            • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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              @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: i would drop K-Rod as easily as Soria. I’m keeping Walden over Soria (age, not being terrible last year), and Giles of course.

              • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: gross part is i’m dropping better players than some teams even have, but nobody/few are willing to do 3-2 or 2-1 or even 3-1 that would make it worth it for me. Cain sugar/Pierce are clearly better than most teams 3rd, or in some cases 2nd OF’er.

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:
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                  @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Oooooops, nvm no I was just reading too fast :)

                  Yeah I like Walden a good bit too, could close if Rosenthal takes another step back which is possible. The little hop in Walden’s delivery is so funky it’s gotta mess with hitters.

                  Sucks you gotta drop solid guys given the league depth… But it’s a good problem to have!

                  • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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                    @JB Gilpin: it’s yahoo, so unless comish went out of his way to have us list DL/NA guys you have to count anybody you have as active, and we only have 25 active roster slots. Basically it’s the bane of a team good enough to have good NA’s and/or DL’ed people. In other leagues i’m in the comish has us list NA/DL’ed guys predraft and they don’t count against active players, but that requires a little extra work out of comishes. If Rosie returns with that walk rate Matheny’d be crazy to keep him in the job.

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: Yeah we have that issue in a dynasty too. but kinda like that it makes owners have tough decisions.

                      Agree, Rosenthal is on mad thin ice. Although, if it was K-Rod which I misread earlier, looks like my Brewers want him to close again. I might have some stress issues in 9th innings again…

  40. Nick says:
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    Keeper team: 14 players to keep 10teams-league
    i’d keep mainly batters and 5 pitchers (4SP 1RP)
    My projected pitching team for now:
    S.Gray
    J.Shields
    A.Wood
    K.Jansen RP (injured ) keep or not with foot surgery?
    + maybe
    Z.Wheeler (Grey loves him)
    or Archer / Odorizzi / Salazar / Cashner over him (them)?
    or Allen, Melancon ! (i love Allen but not paying for saves in a keeper team)

    just to let you know, at some point my team was Josh Johson, Dan Haren , Roy Halladay, Matt Moore, Garza and Greinke (traded away when injured)… reconstruction undergoing !

    Nick

    • Nick says:
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      @Nick:

      For those wondering my batting team is:
      C Perez
      1B Encarnacion
      2B Altuve
      3B Carpenter
      SS Desmond
      OF1 Bautista
      OF2 Springer
      Of3 Myers
      Util Wong

      (i’d drop Calhoun)

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Nick: Gotcha, so yeah I think you have your pitcher’s the way i would order them. Grey indeed loves Wheeler but I hate those walks! Those top 3 are def shoe-ins. I think Grey would go Wheeler over Jansen but I think I’d keep Jansen in a 14 deep. So good and should be for another big chunk of years. If you indeed keep 5 pitchers, Wheeler would be my 5th too

  41. danny almonte says:
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    Thoughts on Roenis Elias and Edinson Volquez?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @danny almonte: Elias has to fend off Taijuan Walker for that 5th SP spot, and I think it goes to Walker. Walker has the upside while Elias might give them a little more safety but I would be really surprised if Elias is in the rotation all year.

      Volquez going to AL, had one of his luckiest career BABIPs at .263 and had his craaer best 77.5% left on base. Got lucky with the hits and got lucky keeping guys on base I don’t think it goes well in KC

  42. paul says:
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    What are your thoughts on eovaldi this year….can he take a step forward and will the move to the AL offset that step forward?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @paul: I loved loved LOVED Eovaldi early on. And while the velo maintained, his breaking stuff lost a lot of effectiveness as the year went on. So there is some optimism that some fatigue set in (his first near 200 IP season in Majors) and his BABIP goes down (.323), but yeah moving to AL in a much worse park (6.6% HR/FB which likely goes up in NYY) with such the bad Ks had me keep him off, but he woulda been like 105 or so.

  43. Clint says:
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    Do you make anything out of this former Brewer Greinke elbow issue? Still having PTSD from all the TJ’s last year so anything that mentions an elbow gives me the shakes.

    Go Brew Crew!!!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Clint: Hah, a kinda sorta do, but apparently it’s something he’s had done before I think I saw somewhere… Plus he seems to recover from injuries pretty well – the broken rib before Brewers debut, broken collarbone, etc.

      Go crew my man! Just need Braun’s thumb nerve to stay good and loosey goosey

  44. Kid A says:
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    J B,

    I was thinking it might be helpful to list the pitcher age as well. A little more keeper/dynasty friendly.

    Keep up the great work.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Kid A: Hmmmm interesting. Well I know it’s tedious, but our player pages have players’ ages on them, so it’s kindasorta there haha

  45. longbeachyo says:
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    Yo JB! Good stuff man. Can’t wait for the season to start. Quick question for you…
    I’m now in a keeper league where you can keep up to four players totaling 20 dollars. It’s a 10 team yahoo league 7×7 with QS, K/9, OBP & Hits. Here is the list of players and their values I’m inheriting from the guy that finished in 2nd place last year. (I know… this guys’ list of keepers is crazy. Why he didn’t trade some is beyond me.)
    Arenado – $1
    Brantley – $2
    Kimbrel – $14
    Arrieta – $2
    Chapman – $5
    Ryu – $3
    Calhoun – $1
    Carpenter – $5
    Mesoraco – $2
    Springer – $2
    Paxton – $1
    Pineda – $1
    DeGrom – $2

    I’m thinking definitely Arenado, Brantley and Arrieta which brings my value to 5 dollars. Who else? What do you think?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @longbeachyo: Thanks man! Yeah I can’t wait either, and it’s good to be back and see ya!

      Yup Brantley and Arenado I think are absolute givens. OBP and hits help Carpenter a ton, but hard to take him over Springer. Prob had to avoid closes, so yeah I like Arrieta. I like your 3 and I think I’d keep Springer. Do guys’ price stay locked in for the future too? If so, Springer at $2 for life would prob be a keeper for a long while.

      • longbeachyo says:
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        @JB Gilpin: the maximum to keep players is 4 years and they go up every year by 2 bucks. Whatever money I don’t spend would go back to my total for the auction draft. You wouldn’t keep Kimbrel or Chapman or even Paxton with that 4th spot?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @longbeachyo: Nah given that system and Springer’s huge upside I like going there. And I like Arrieta over Paxton short and long-term, even though Arrieta is older, not like there’s a lot of ML innings on the arm.

  46. Blanky says:
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    Would you trade away Kershaw in a 16 team 4 keepers per team W,SV,ERA,WHIP,K/9 for either
    Wainwright a 1st and 2nd or Sale and a 1st

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Blanky: Damn, so many picks! Can’t do the Waino one though, so so worried. Sale and a 1st… Mannnn I’m having trouble that’s huge. I think I might have to do that one

  47. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    What up JB? Trade market in my keeper league is dry heading up to the draft. I need to keep two SP and already have Chris Sale. I just picked up Carrasco as a potential option and also have Wacha, Wood and Gio as my others. Who would you (and anybody else) go with if that’s all you got? It’s a 6×6 scoring format with QS and IP taking the place of wins.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: What’s good man?! Hmmm, format seemingly helps Gio although sometimes he doesn’t go deep. I like Carrasco enough to take him. I think you mean two = Sale + one of them. If you meant two more I think I’d go Wood as my 2nd, I think in that division against such bad teams he’ll be able to go deep and get QS

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks JB! Yeah, I only meant that I get to keep one more. I’ve been planning Wood all along, but Carrasco is beginning to make an appealing case to me b/c of his strikeout potential. If you only get one, which is it? Wood or Carrasco?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Peter Nincompoop: While I’ve got wood for Wood, I am even bigger on Carrasco. Really like the stuff and upside, he would be my guy.

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