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Oh man, baseball is almost back!

This has been an epicly tough offseason…  Mainly because it took me like 3 weeks and countless hours to try and get these rankings done…  How the hell does Grey do it?!  Probably by not watching any TV or movies; he STILL refuses to catch up and watch The Fifth Element!

Then again, I went from 6700 words in my yearly magnum opus in 2015 to 9500+ this time!  JB-Full-Of-Words!  I dunno if J-FOW is a new acronym I want though, I sound like the nerdy, fantasy baseball brah from Jersey Shore.

I’m absolutely pumped for another season of Pitcher Profiles, a full season with my new computer for the sexier new pitcher GIFs, flashing around my very own, spiffy Gamescore+ stat, and a season to hopefully forget the epic Greek tragedy of Shane Greene.  Super Greene!

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2015 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Let’s get down-n-dirty into it!  Especially since we’re nearing 9600 words with this open now…  Sheesh!  Someone get this guy an editor!  As always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching to us all in 2016!

Want to take on myself and the other contributors for prizes in our RCL League? Join here!

As tradition, my top-5 sleepers this year are (to varying degrees obviously): Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, Joe Ross, Jason Hammel, & Brandon Maurer

Razzball Baseball

JB’s Top 100 SP

(rankings based on 12-team Roto)

RANK SP, Team NOTE
1 Clayton Kershaw, LAD Undisputed, now 3 years in a row! Or has it been 4? 5?!   Too good…
2 Jake Arrieta, CHC Wow, what a year! Almost like someone was on top of that one or something! Ya know, mayyyyyybe his BABIP was a little lucky and mayyyyyybe his LOB was a little high, but 9+ K rate and sub-2 BB rate?! And his GB% at 56.2% was insane, AND he threw harder! Razzball’s Player Rater #1 pitcher should be your second off the board.  Pitcher Profile – July 7, 2014
3 Chris Sale, CWS Even with his ERA going from 2.17 to 3.41 from 2014 to 2015, his xFIP was actually LOWER last year! BABIP took a huge unlucky bump, he gave up too many homers, and didn’t strand baserunners like he did the year before. That said, the MLB leader in K-rate should have a really high LOB, and while I initially had him 4 due to injury concerns, he made it through 208 IP last year despite an early injury.
4 Max Scherzer, WAS Really struggled with Sale vs. Max, but decided to straight copy Grey through the top-4. A 10.86:1.34 K:BB is just plain stupid, but his LOB was a career-high, BABIP was abnormally low for his career norms, and he showed some warts in a bad August run. Super nit-picky, but I think Sale has a smidge more upside, which might sound a little crazy looking at Mad Max’s 2015 final numbers…
5 David Price, BOS It’s obviously a fools-errand to project wins, but if I had money on the MLB’s win leader, give me Price. Even though he’s 30, I think we see the same old price with a 9+ K-rate, sub-2 BB-rate, a ton of innings and great numbers. He proved he can pitch in the AL East, and like his stint with the Blue Jays, he has a great lineup behind him. But dat bullpen, doe! And a little bonus for stability in his career.
6 Jose Fernandez, MIA Grey’s got him at 11 which is solid, but ESPN right now at 16?! I just don’t get why people wouldn’t spend a premium to bring in JoFer. Sure he could be traded, and sure Crayola Canyon is about to be less Canyon-ous, but right after TJ he was the same ace as before.  A 10.99:1.95 K:BB last year was ludicrous, especially off the TJ when most pitchers lose some control/command, plus his velocity was at a career best! He’s young, healed up, and ready to be not overlooked in your drafts.
7 Jacob deGrom, NYM Back-to-back huge seasons, he and JoFer were neck and neck for me. I guess I feel Fernandez just has a smidge more upside.
8 Madison Bumgarner, SF As boring as it could be for a perennial top-10 SP. Three straight years of great K:BB improvements though. If there weren’t so many aces, he’d easily push top-5.
9 Matt Harvey, NYM Of course you can point to the TJ and I’m pretty sure even Harvey admitted he was shaky with command early on, and it just made him seem so hittable at times. The final numbers were great, and other than that 9th inning, was great in the playoffs. But gave up a higher hit rate with a lower BABIP, and I just don’t quite see the ceiling any higher than 9. But my 5-11 are all reallllly close.
10 Corey Kluber, CLE Love my Kluber! One of my bigger calls since doing these silly lil’ ranks had a disappointing 2015, but a lot had to do with bad luck in both his numbers and the team in general. The low wins were well-publicized, but his LOB% took a huge hit, dropping from 78.6% to 71.4%. HR/FB rate also jumped 3% – a factor in LOB – but for a guy with such high Ks and low BBs, it seems way too low. He’ll be 30 most of this year, but velo is still there, he doesn’t have a boatload of innings on that arm, and the cutter is still nasty. Klubot for the comeback!
11 Chris Archer, TB I can see how a rocky finish left a sour taste in owner’s ratios, but for only his second full season in the rotation, I think we still have up to go. A crazy 10.7 K rate with 252 total punchouts were the final tallies last year, and with all those Ks, 73.1% LOB seems a little low. A guy with a 95.2 MPH fastball and arguably the best slider in baseball, I don’t think he’s getting ranked high enough.  Pitcher Profile – April 27, 2015
12 Carlos Carrasco, CLE Man, these aces’ K-rates through the top 15! All the Indians pitchers seemed to suffer from unlucky peripherals, and Carrasco with the crazy 10.58 K rate and 71.8% LOB is no different. He gave up way too many homers too at 13.2% per FB, so hopefully that normalizes. He’s not quite top-10 for me though, mainly due to his workload. 183.2 IP was his highest since 2010 (across AAA and some work in the Majors) and he had a short DL stint in there. Seems a little riskier.  Pitcher Profile – September 15, 2014
13 Noah Syndergaard, NYM Even the biggest fans of Thor couldn’t have thought he’d be this good this fast, but here’s YET ANOTHER pitcher who posted a 9+ K rate and sub-2 BB rate. And to make him even more appealing, his HR rate at 14.3% was a little high! Maybe youth and the fact we’ve only seen a minimal workload is about all that’s keeping him outside the top-10 for me.  Pitcher Profile – May 18, 2015
14 Gerrit Cole, PIT I’ve seen Cole a few higher, but it comes down to him being the first guy I have ranked thus far with a K rate under 9 last year.   He’s still REALLY good, but also a 6.5% HR/FB is pretty low, even in pitcher-friendly Pitt. Not quite reaching with top-10 value for him.
15 Stephen Strasburg, WAS Hard to believe the only year Strasburg had a sub-3.00 ERA was in his debut season in 2010. Given it’s kinda an arbitrary cutoff since he’s always been under 3.50 every other year, but still! The Ks are always there, and here’s YET ANOTHER +9:-2 K:BB, which has actually been +10:-2 the past two seasons. Does he have the upside of JoFer? Of course, but I feel like his injuries have been a lot of nagging things.   With all these aces, I’ll be risk averse, but he’s right there in the same range as these 5-15 guys.
16 Dallas Keuchel, HOU Man, a Cy Young Winner is 16?! It hasn’t been THIS bad since R.A. Dickey! Even though I think he’ll be awesome, he doesn’t have the K-upside as several of the above, and his BABIP and LOB was pretty low compared to his norms last year (.269 & 79.4%). That said, he’s an elite groundballer (again over 60% last year) and got burned with a pretty unlucky HR/FB (13.6%). He’ll be good, but tough to rank him in the top-15.  Pitcher Profile – May 29, 2014
17 Jon Lester, CHC He’s not the most exciting, but finished 19 on the Razzball player rater last year, and his K:BB matches up with a lot of the elite guys above.  It had me move him up a few from the 20-25 range, which is where he seems to be ranked everywhere else. 9.09:2.06 last year, giving him back-to-back 9:2ish K:BBs.   He’s pitched 200+ innings in 7 of the past 8 seasons, with the only outlier 191.2 in 2011. And even though he alternated elite with bad months in his splits during 2015, his worst month by far was April as he adjusted to the NL and had that widely-publicized horrible pickoff move dissected to death. He still ended up the MLB leader in steals allowed though; fortunately for 2016’s optimism his FIP and xFIP way outperformed the ERA and he had an unlucky 71.8% LOB (of course more steals means guys are in scoring position more, but that’s still low).   I’m likely nabbing Lester as an SP2 in a lot of drafts since on the surface he looks a little boring.
18 Felix Hernandez, SEA Look, it wasn’t good. But it wasn’t that BAD either… A lot of people point to the K-rate drop, but it was actually EXACTLY the same as his career rate. He got unlucky with the homers, and the BB rate ballooned compared to the previous 3 seasons. That said, he didn’t lose velocity and a lot of the damage were in a handful of cringe-worthy starts. I think he marginally bounces back and returns to top-20.
19 Zack Greinke, ARI Wow, yeah both Cy Youngs outside the top-15…   (oops, I could’ve sworn to you that greinke got the Cy Young last year!  Dunno why I remember that wrong…) If you’re following ranks and discussions (and you’re in Razzball so of course you are!), you know all about Greinke’s regression coming. The one thing I’d like to add is a 8.08 K-rate in a mixed league over a huge chunk of 222.2 innings isn’t exactly helping you like the 200 K would indicate.   Now, you could argue he pitched a little more to contact last year since every ball in play seemed to be an out, but the only way I see a dramatic change in K rate is if the ERA and WHIP go way up – which a lot of people project – and then he faces more batters per IP.
20 Carlos Martinez, STL I feel like right here at 20, you’re starting to feel less comfortable about anyone… So I’m swinging for the fences with C-Mart, who for an elongated stretch was right there in the top-10 of aces last year. He fell apart late, and his shoulder issues are scaring some off. But he peripherals all look great, the Ks are obviously there, and if he finished strong last year, he’d no question approach the top 15.  Pitcher Profile – April 13, 2015
21 Danny Salazar, CLE Sticking with my theme of great Ks and upside, Salazar is a popular breakout in this range after a solid-but-unlucky 2015… just like every Indians pitcher it seems… 195 Ks in 185 innings, walk rate went down to 2.5, but I dunno, there’s just something about his inconsistency that’s keeping him outside the top-20 for me with numbers that would normally get a guy there…  Maybe my linked pitcher profile there is still in my memory… Pitcher Profile – August 18, 2014
22 Carlos Rodon, CWS Aight, it’s time to finally go all-in on someone, and mannnnn was I mad to see Grey ranked him really high as well. The walks early on just seemed so out of place, and as he got into his groove, they went way down and his numbers looked insane. His final 8 starts were all quality starts, and he never gave up more than 2 ER.   He reminds me a lot of how Carrasco finished 2014 and then had all the buzz heading into 2015, except Rodon has a lot less fanfare. In college, his walk rate was always right at 3, and pre-ASB it was 6.18 last year. Ouch. Post-ASB it was 4.10, still not good, but 3.84 in those final 8, so it kept on improving. If he can maintain a season-long walk rate of 3.5, he’s going to be a woolly mammoth out there. And just at the eye level, that slider is Rodonkulous. I had to do it once! ESPN having him 98 is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in this life. Really, you’re gonna take Yovani Gallardo ahead of him?! SMH… Pitcher Profile – May 11, 2015
23 Cole Hamels, TEX I wrestled with Hamels passing the last 3 and ranking him at 20, but his lack of upside kept him outside the top-20 for me. Even with nice numbers, his WHIP has been 1.12-1.19 the last 3 years, which is fine, but not awesome. 3.60+ ERA in 2 of the past 3 as well, with 2014 looking more like an outlier to his career trends. You’ll get Ks, that’s assured, but 3.30-3.50 ERA with 1.17ish WHIP? I kinda doubt we get anything drastically better than that.
24 Francisco Liriano, PIT Lord help me, I like Liriano the exact same as Grey this year… Ever since he got his arm rebuilt in 2006, he had his second lowest BB rate last year (3.38), only walking less way back in 2010. He’s been durable-ish the past two years, and his velocity is still there. And even his HR rate the past 2 years at 11.6% and 11.7% seems a little high in pitcher-friendly PNC. Sigh… I like him…
25 Marcus Stroman, TOR Grey certainly doesn’t like Stroman, but he certainly shouldn’t be using his MLB numbers thus far as he’s certainly only had a small sample. Stroman certainly has electric stuff, and certainly has 5 pitches. I’m certainly a fan.
26 Jeff Samardzija, SF Ya know, way back when in our first Pod of the offseason, I said I wouldn’t rank Shark ahead of Cueto, but would be more apt to draft Shark a few rounds later… Psyche!   Ended up ranking them flip-flopped than anyone else.  Looking deeper at everything, this is more about fear for Cueto than a deeper love of Shark though.  Last year was an utter disaster, but as I pointed out on that Pod, his velo was the same, and all that changed was a rotation rate on his fastball that made it more hittable. I think force-feeding the Don Cooper cutter messed with his stuff, and the Giants are going to get him back on his normal grips. I’m really hoping he gets back to the split-finger more too. He became a flyball pitcher last year with the dramatic drop in fastball usage and huge uptick in CT% (like how Phil Hughes only gives up flyballs!) in a terrible park for that change. Now he’s in the best park for it, even if the flyablls stay up! 200+ innings, 190+ Ks, and the ERA and WHIP are solid in my book.
27 Joe Ross, WAS Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m crazy for Ross. And I know what you’re thinking. “Wait, the Nationals always put innings limits in place, and Ross isn’t gonna top 180!” Well, what’s lost in that argument – especially in a mixed league roto context – is it’s not like you lose 20-30 innings into an abyss. You get replacement streaming guys in September, usually when it’s easiest to find streaming matchups as half your league is usually tuned out. Even though it ended up an 8.10:2.47 K:BB last year in 76.2 IP, it was 65:11 in his first 66.2. He just got wild in his final two starts. A complaint with his arsenal is the change-up isn’t fully developed, but he reminds me sooooo much of Chris Archer, with comparable control – if not even better RIGHT NOW. I’m getting him in a ton of leagues, if not all.  Pitcher Profile – July 27, 2015
28 Justin Verlander, DET What TV show tagline is “do you believe?”, is that X-Files? I think so… And just like X-files, Verlander was awesome, disappeared, and now is back with some alien DNA injected somewhere. Verlander was phenomenal last year down the stretch – widely speculated because he was finally healthy – flashing that late-innings high-90s fastball like vintage Upton-motorboater. He’s gone into the past two seasons hurt, but is healthy this time. I guess I do believe!
29 Patrick Corbin, ARI I’ll always have a soft spot for Corbin in my heart, mostly because every good start I look at his stats and go “Corbin! Corbin my man!” or “Corbin Dalls?!”. Coming off TJ – which I’ll remind he had way back in Spring 2014 so he had a good 14-15 months of recovery time – he was solid last year, with a 8.26:1.80 K:BB.   His fastball was faster – it hit 95 multiple times in games I watched – and his slider was both faster and was utilized more. He gets a full offseason to heal again, and I see a big season coming.  Pitcher Profile – July 20, 2015
30 Taijuan Walker, SEA Unlike the suggestion of his surname, control is the name of the game for Taijuan, issuing only 2.12 BB:9 his first full-ish season. What dogged his numbers last year was an unlucky HR rate (13.0% HR/FB in Safeco!) and just an absurd 67.8% LOB. For a guy who doesn’t walk guys often to extend innings and has nice K stuff, there’s no way it should’ve been that low. He profiles as someone I would tend to rank higher, but I still think he has some inconsistencies to work out through 2016.
31 Tyson Ross, SD An enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an awful BB rate wrapped with a pitching motion that I hate, I’ve just never been able to buy into Ross where he tends to go in drafts these pest few years. He’s made 31 and 33 starts the past two years, and because of his walks and high pitch counts, can’t get to 200 innings while destroying your WHIP. He brings Ks, sure, but the low innings per-start also impacts his wins (on top of being on a terrible team). You’re left with a decent enough ERA, awesome Ks, subpar wins, and an atrocious WHIP, I just can’t buy into it. And neither do rankings systems either, as he finished 32 on the Razzball player rater last year, and I don’t see him improving, if at all.  Pitcher Profile – April 14, 2014
32 Johnny Cueto, SF I’ve built a filter for comments that say “I can’t believe you ranked [insert pitcher ranked 20-30] ahead of Cueto!”, and moves them to my Trash. Haha.   If he gets through 2016 healthy, he’ll probably outperform this rank, but Cueto had a lot of injuries earlier in his career and had an elbow scare last year. I seriously doubt SF wouldn’t do their homework and extensively test it out, but his motion uses a lot of torque in his core and I wouldn’t be surprised if a DL stint is coming. And beyond that, his K-rate has been sub 7.57 in every Major League season except 2014 and his debut 2008 campaign. That actually really surprised me, and in a pitcher-friendly park, I bet he throws to contact a lot yet again. Not exciting.
33 Sonny Gray, OAK As Grey pointed out on Gray, two years of subpar K-rates and an extremely fortunate .255 BABIP last year. The metrics all say he pitched over his head in 2015, and with a K-rate that isn’t interesting, I’m likely passing.
34 Masahiro Tanaka, NYY We all know he has a torn elbow, and we all know the risk.   We all know the reward too.   Pretty much all I feel like I need to say here…
35 Yordano Ventura, KC I don’t like him. I used to love him. He was a big breakout call for me in 2014. Then I thought the hype got a little too crazy in 2015, and then he started acting, well, Ventura-ish. But taking my non-fandom of him in real-life terms out of the equation, he actually took a huge step forward in Ks, cut down on the walks, and both his FIP and xFIP were improvements, and that was in the his full season numbers!   Ventura supporters are bigger about highlighting the final 11 games, where he had a 2.38 ERA, and crazy 81:28 K:BB in 68 innings. That final stretch really covered up some atrocious early season numbers that got him sent to AAA (he ended up not making an appearance there due to an injury to another KC pitcher, I think Jason Vargas…?). There is certainly the possiblitly it all comes together, but there’s a little too much volatility there for me to go any higher.
36 Luis Severino, NYY Yet another young gun with electric stuff that I’ll take an earlier flier on than some of the boring guys below. While he comes with some obvious risk (he’s 22, gave up too many homers last year), he also has been a control maestro as a pro, never having a BB rate over 2.61 in any stretch at any level in the Minors.   It was 3.18 last year in the bigs, and I see that going down, the Ks staying 8.5ish, and Girardi says he could see him going 200 IP. I’ll invest.  Pitcher Profile – August 31, 2015
37 Raisel Iglesias, CIN I came into these ranks thinking Iglesias was wayyyy overrated as a sleeper, but damn if I’m not finding anyone more interesting than his upside. 104 Ks in 95.1 IP last year with a pretty low walk rate, but I worry how much has to do with his deception. He throws from a low arm slot, and the international import didn’t have Minor League experience to break down by scouts/in the film room once he hit the league. While I could see him not quite breaking out, I think he actually has a pretty high floor.
38 Drew Smyly, TB Eesh, that shoulder… But eesh, dem numbers! 77 K in 66.2 IP, giving him a sparkling 10.4:2.7 K:BB in 2015. Now, he’s not a hard thrower, but has a devastating curve and pitches in one of the best parks in baseball. The risk in his shoulder is worth the price at this point.
39 Adam Wainwright, STL I know, I know, I’m not a Wainwright believer, and he’ll probably call into the Razzball Pod to whine about it. Here’s a guy that’s 34, pitched 227+ REGULAR SEASON innings in 4 of 5 seasons before the Achilles cost him most of last year, with his K rate steadily declining down to 7. I buy his 2012-13 stretch of “meh” a lot more than 2014, where he won 20 games with a LOB of 78%, BABIP of .267, and absurd 5.3% HR/FB.   It’s trending the wrong way.
40 Michael Wacha, STL Wacha’s still young, throws hard, and probably SHOULD be someone I would be more excited about. Shoulda woulda coulda!  But a lot of value last year came with 17 wins over only 181.1 IP.   Given marginally, his K rate went down and BB rate went up from 2014 to 15, and even with a .272 BABIP, he posted a 1.21 WHIP.   He looks unhittable sometimes, then goes in rough stretches. I dunno if there’s enough upside to take him with some of the other emerging young pitchers I have higher.
41 Steven Matz, NYM I dunno, something about Matz gives me the heeby-jeebies. I know he throws hard, has good stuff, and profiles like someone I should rank with my crazy high 20-30 range high-ranked younguns, but I think he’ll have some bumps in his first real elongated action. If your fastball is awesome I’m all for throwing it, but I think he’s gonna need to mix in the rest of his arsenal a little more (68.4% FB usage last year, given very small sample), which will lend itself to some inconsistency. Pitcher Profile – June 29, 2015
42 Jason Hammel, CHC A hamstring strain really derailed what was otherwise an awesome season from Mad Man J-Ham. Through his first 17 starts, he had a 2.86 ERA in 103.2 IP with a 105:18 K:BB.   Afterwards he had a 5.03 ERA over his last 15 starts. That said, still had a 68:22 K:BB in 66 IP, with an unlucky .333 BABIP, given he gave up 33% line drives which is mad scary. I think the Hammel’s Hammy got him a little off track.  His Ks went up and BB went down last year from 2014, giving him a BETTER FIP and xFIP in 2015 than 2014.   For a guy getting consistenty ranked and drafted outside the top 50, he offers that sexy 9:2ish K:BB that a lot of the guys up top do. He’s obviously older (32) with a long track record of not being nearly as good up until these past 2 seasons, but there’s still upside here.
43 Hisashi Iwakuma, SEA On top of never posting a K-rate over 7.74, he just can never stay healthy.   I’ve ranked him low the past few years with injury concerns, as he had a lengthy wrap sheet during his Japanese pitching years, plus he’s 34. Nah.
44 Jose Quintana, CWS Everyone seems to be enamored by Quintana’s consistency, but he lacks upside, and with these ranks aimed for the mixed league concept, I’m not gonna overly invest. A guy with a 1.24 and 1.27 WHIP the past two seasons isn’t too exciting, but he gets decent Ks, keeps the walks low (BABIP has been a big issue due to the high WHIPs) and should get more than 9 wins like he’s unfortunately fallen into the past 2 years.
45 Michael Pineda, NYY “K:BB is like your pitcher-crack, so why don’t you lovvvvvvve Pineda?!” I know that’s what you’re thinking, dear commenter. It’s just inconsistency, and if you’re walking a microscopic 1.18 per/9, you shouldn’t be giving up a .278 BAA. It shows a lack of command, and as widely talked about on YES, he lacks finesse on his secondary pitches at times. Now sure, you can point to a .332 BABIP and extremely unlucky 68.6%, but without that command of secondary stuff, his hit & HR rate in that park is going to continue to be high (14.7% HR/FB last year) which will keep the LOB low.  Pitcher Profile – September 1, 2014
46 Mike Fiers, HOU I had no preconception I was going to rank Fiers high, but while compiling the ranks, it seems he’s ranked/drafted much later than this spot, which is odd for me given a guy with a PROVEN huge K rate. 180 K in 180.1 IP last year, and an absolutely absurd 205 K in 174 IP in 2014 if you combine AAA with his second-half run with the Brewers. Now, I get some of the concerns – he’s not a hard-thrower, when he doesn’t hit his spots he can get rocked, he was mad hittable early on with the Brewers last year, his BB rate went up, and he might not even start in the rotation… But if he gets 200+ IP which seems easily doable, he should be right at 200 K with a usable-enough ERA and WHIP. He’ll have some rocky stretches, but he’s being overlooked.
47 Lance McCullers, HOU I know I made an innings limit argument above for Joe Ross, but the limit for McCullers scares me because I think they might yo-yo him this year. I get EXTREMELY scared of yo-yoers. I mean, all that time they spend just tweaking yo-yo tricks like rock the cradle?!   Horrifying! I love McCullers’ stuff, but he has walk issues and if they flip flop him in and out of the rotation, I worry it’ll mess with him.
48 Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS When you have a guy with huge velocity and I hear “adding a cutter”, all I can think about is those Indians hard throwers/Arrieta who are all aweeeesome. Sure this rank could change, but he’s one of my MAJOR watches this Spring. I’m hoping to catch a few of his starts and see what this cutter looks like. It’s hard to rank him any higher just on rumor, but he’s 22 (will be 23 most of the season) and there’s no question he has big potential. Stay tuned to this rank, especially since he tweaked his knee in drills last Sunday, so hopefully that doesn’t turn into something…
49 Wei-Yin Chen, MIA I’m gonna go Wei Wei Wei all the way home!   He doesn’t offer huge K upside, but moving from the AL East in a bad park to the NL East in an awesome park is quite a change. I could see the Ks getting up to 7.5, with a very solid ERA and WHIP. The wins will limit his upside, but I think he’ll be a rock as a SP3.
50 Jake Odorizzi, TB While the ERA and WHIP improved last year, the huge K rate that made him a big sleeper last year took a MAJOR step backwards. 9.32 K/9 down to 7.97 in 2015, and his numbers were aided by a pretty lucky .271 BABIP. I get the allure, but I think he finishes beyond the first few tiers of pitchers again.
51 James Paxton, SEA God, here we go again… He’s my “WHY CAN’T I QUIT YOU?!” pitcher (totally wrote that forgetting about my title for the Pitcher Profile linked below…)! One of the most injury prone pitchers – nay people – ever to walk this earth (he sprained his forearms – yes both – falling in early Spring last year!), at some point I gotta imagine the stuff shines through a [HOPEFULLY OH DEAR GOD I HOPE] mostly healthy season. The Ks were marginally better last year given it was another very small sample, and his arsenal just gives me an erection lasting 4 hours every time I watch him on the bump. We hear it about way too many guys in baseball, but he’s reportedly lost 20 pounds, which I’m guessing is due to cutting out syrup and Canadian bacon from his diet. At a price this late, I’ll throw the dart one last time.  Pitcher Profile – September 14, 2015
52 Collin McHugh, HOU Given it’s almost entirely tied to the 19 wins, McHugh finished 25 on the Razzball player rater, and is getting ignored by almost everyone on draft day this season. The Ks went way down, but he still had a 3.89 ERA over 200+ innings with a usable-enough 7.56 K-rate and the WHIP got burned by a .310 BABIP. I’m not expecting huge things from him, but there’s still Ks, stability, and pitching for a good team on his side.  Pitcher Profile – April 28, 2014
53 Ian Kennedy, KC For the past several years, I’ve been pretty anti-Kennedy. But I like him a lot this year, especially with a lot of nice background stuff going on. His K-rate has skyrocketed the past two years, and even had an improvement last year while cutting out a few walks. What used to be the pitcher-haven there in Petco has turned into a pitcher-hell, and he gave up an absolutely absurd 17.2% HR/FB last year.   His BABIP has stayed high with a subpar defense as well, and now he gets a better park and a MUCH better defense.   He’ll still have a pretty high WHIP with only an average ERA, but the Ks make him worth an SP4 draft day price.
54 Kevin Gausman, BAL Here’s a good case study on my McCullers fears written above. Gausman was yo-yoed, and maybe a full season to prepare as a starter will get him going. He took a big step forward in Ks and BBs last year, given some of those numbers were in relief appearances. It’s high-reward without a ton of risk, but I don’t know if he has quite the upside to get into the, say, top-30. In his final stretch once cemented as a starter, he gave up 15 HR in 17 starts in 100 innings. Get him a better park!  Maybe you bench him in tough starts at home…
55 Garrett Richards, LAA Maybe I’m still a little jaded after he burned me last year, but he lost 0.8 MPH on his fastball from 2014’s revelatory year to last year, and he threw his slider 3.3% more often. It may be a little nit-picky, especially since he came into 2015 hurt, but to me it seemed like his fastball didn’t have the same command and dominance and he was forced to rely on off-speed a little more. It would be fine if it drew more Ks, but the strikeouts fell and the walks unsurprisingly went a good bit up. A 7.64:3.30 K:BB just isn’t very good, and his career-norms now make 2014 look like a real anomaly. I’m not investing in the bounceback.
56 James Shields, SD One of the most baffling seasons from a veteran with a lot of data behind him I can remember, Shields went from innings-eater with meh Ks and low walks, to monster Ks with high walks and a ton of homers in 2015. His fastball lost some velo, but it wasn’t demonstrative and his arsenal seemed about the same. That said, his four-seam/two-seam/cutter all were hit hard, while his change-up and curveball had .212 and .190 BAA and got the vast majority of his Ks. What that says to me is hitters knew his fastball variants were incredibly hittable, and were sitting dead-red fastball. It’s worrisome.
57 Jordan Zimmermann, DET I just don’t see this going well… I know he finished 31 on the Razzball Player Rater last year which is surprising given the middling numbers, but I think that’s his ceiling.   JZ moves to the AL, he gets a nice park but now has to pitch against actual Major-League offenses with DHs unlike the NL East.   Both the K-rate surge and ridiculous walk rate seem anomalies in 2014’s breakout – given he still barely walks anyone – but the rate in 2014 (1.31/9) was by far a career-high. And to add insult to injury, FB velo went 93.9, 93.9, 93.8 in 2012-14, down to 93.0 in 2015. It’s minimal, but it’s starting to go the wrong way.
58 John Lackey, CHC A crazy year for the 36-year old in 2015, now Lackey is 37, and despite a great ERA across 218 IP last year, has had his K-rate decline and BB-rate increase for 3 consecutive seasons. His WHIP was still meh (1.21), but what saved his ERA was a preposterous 82.6% LOB – especially for a middling K guy. His velocity has maintained and he should eat innings as a bleh 4th SP, but don’t pay for last year’s sub-3.00 ERA.
59 Scott Kazmir, LAD After a huge resurgence in 2013, Kazmir has flashed huge starts in 2014 and 2015, but the final numbers yielded only decent K rates and peripherals.   I don’t like to rank a guy higher saying “draft him higher, then sell at the ASB” since some leagues are tough to trade in, but that’s pretty much what you have to do.   Despite a lower ERA last year, his FIP and xFIP were MUCH higher, and he struck out less and walked more.   I’m avoiding.
60 Vincent Velasquez, PHI When I started assembling the ranks, I didn’t think I would be as big on Velasquez as the masses as starting the season in the rotation seemed a little unlikely. But now it’s looking like more than a possibility, and his power stuff has tremendous K-upside which we’ve already seen. Scary factors are  a 3+ walk rate in virtually all stints in the Minors, he’s a flyball pitcher in a bad park, and I remember watching him a few starts last year and he struggled to get quick outs at times with several full counts. So I worry how deep he’ll be able to pitch on a bad team as it is, so I could almost assure single-digit wins. Pitcher Profile – June 22, 2015
61 Andrew Cashner, SD This could be a trap rank, but does a 2.55 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a 7ish K-rate warrant a rank around here? Absolutely. And that’s what he did in 2014. Last year – a disaster. He got more Ks, but a lot of that had to do with facing a lot more batters per inning.   The real crux are some of the most unlucky peripherals of any mainstay starter – .330 BABIP and 65.6% LOB. So guys were getting on lucky, and scored wayyyyy above average. I’m not expecting a huge diamond in the rough bounceback, but enough so to be fantasy relevant as a mixed league backend guy.
62 Kyle Hendricks, CHC Definition of better real-life pitcher and career outlook than in fantasy. I know a lot of people will point to a nice K-rate last year (8.35) saying he could be a huge fantasy-sleeper, but that seems fluky high to me. I think he’s a solid 3.50 ERA type, 7ish K-rate, and durable – which is great to fill out a Major League rotation. Last year, he got 65 Ks on 1693 sinkers (his main fastball). In 2014 on 536 sinkers? Only 7.   So he roughly tripled his K-rate on that pitch (I think hitters will adjust), and he throws pretty slow – although his change-up is a pretty dominant pitch. More a final SP pick than anyone I see huge upside for.
63 Aaron Nola, PHI His K-rate last year seemed a little high (7.88) given his profile, he pitches in a bad park for being a little homer-prone, and he’s on an awful team.   Doesn’t really have upside, but is so similar to Hendricks it’s silly. I kinda doubt he’ll be a hold all year in mixed leagues, but when it’s all said and done, if he stays healthy his high-floor will have him rank favorably.
64 Gio Gonzalez, WAS He can get monster Ks, but at the peril of your WHIP.   Last year he got pretty unlucky with BABIP (.341), but I think that got wiped away by only allowing a fairly lucky 8 HR over 175.2 IP and a fluky high GB% given his career-norms. Like a lot of guys I’m scared of, Ks went way down and BBs way up through 2014 and last year.
65 Julio Teheran, ATL I dunno what’s harder to believe – he just turned 25, or his age 24 season had MASSIVE regression. But looking deeper, a lot of regression happened in 2014, but it was masked by a low BABIP and HR rate. However there was a huge hit in the walk rate, jumping from 2.08/9 to 3.27/9. Now, there is a little room for a semi-bounceback, as his velo on the heater was much slower in April-May last year (4.87 ERA) at way under 91 MPH, then it hopped to close to 92 ROS and his ERA was 3.67 from then on. But say he has a 3.67 ERA with a high WHIP and only decent Ks? Not enough upside to rank any higher.
66 Shelby Miller, ARI It’s going to be a tough season for Miller, hoping to live up to the expectations of one of the worst trades in recent memory.   I guess he’s decent enough in real-life terms, but in fantasy he wields a decent K rate, awful BBs, and his ERA survived a pounding by a low HR rate in a pitcher’s park. Now he moves to the desert, where things could get really scary. I don’t mind a final round, last pick flier though, as his Ks were better last year, BB went down, and he just added the cutter into his mix, which could improve as he’s still only 25.
67 Kenta Maeda, LAD Like E-Rod and a few others, this rank could change dramatically with what I see in Spring. We pretty much HAVE to use the eye-test, since carry-over stats from overseas have no reliable conversation rate. What we’re expecting is a middling-to-subpar K-rate with a decent ERA/WHIP, which I wouldn’t rank this high except he’s in the NL and on a good team. Stay tuned to his update as we roll through Spring.
68 Trevor Bauer, CLE Even with the upside, there’s no way I could invest more than a late-round flier on Bauer. The control is horrific, but he’s 25 and maybe can make a big improvement there and be a bargain. It’s just tough to buy into that when the BB jumped up to over 4 last year, and the only thing that made his WHIP at all digestible was a .276 BABIP limiting the hits.
69 Robbie Ray, ARI Ray is one of the bolder last-round picks I’ll have for 2016. A lot of factors could sink him – he’s not even guaranteed the 5th starter spot, and his control has been poor coming up through the Minors. The optimism is that his control has improved through his career though, was an acceptable-but-still-bad 3.45 BB/9 in his first long stint last year, and he throws hard with big K-potential. Then again, he seems to give up a high BABIP as seen in all his Minor League stints, and had a 22.2% LD rate last year. If he can cut down on a few walks and get a little weaker contact, he’ll be huge value as a last pick sleeper.
70 Anthony DeSclafani, CIN I’ve seen a lot of DeScalafani hype, noting a huge K:BB rate over his final two months (9.1:1.3). But what’s lost in that is he’s always been an impeccable control guy, posting sub-2.09 BB-rates in every stretch of his career (including 13 appearances for the Marlins in 2014) except one 12-appearance stretch in AAA 2014.   The K-rate I think got a bump, because he just faced more batters due to an unlucky BABIP lending to a lot of hits.   I think we could get a nice WHIP, decent Ks, and rough sledding in the wins.
71 Brandon Maurer, SD Better late than never, amiright?! Ya know, I coulda sworn he was a high-end draft pick and prospect who just took a long time to get excited for again, but he was actually a very late draft pick and not as high-end as I remember reading some old stuff. He was dreadful when he got his first starts in Seattle, but got much better when he got to SD as a reliever. Now the Pads want to stretch him back out as a starter, and nothing excites me like a 95.1 MPH fastball and an 88.3 MPH cutter that he used a whopping 42.8% of the time last year. He’s converted his slider into that power cutter, and I watched a few of his relief appearances last year and bookmarked them to remember he could be a VERY under-the-radar sleeper if given a shot to start again. Given he might lose a little velo since he’s moving into the rotation, but he’s shockingly only 25-years-old. I think he was called up too early, dealt with some injuries, and is ready to surprise a lot of people this year.
72 Jerad Eickhoff, PHI A popular deep sleeper across several SP ranks, I’m a buyer as well.   He’s got decent velo, has 4 MLB-quality pitches, including a pretty gnarly slider. He’s continually improved his BB rates through his career, posting an 8.65:2.29 K:BB in 51 innings. Right there in this high-K, high-risk run of my ranks.
73 Tyler Glasnow, PIT Woooo, time to get the rookie nookie going! I don’t typically rank prospects this high in my initial ranks since there’s always the question mark of when they come up, but Glasnow is worth drafting in mixed leagues to me as your last SP.   They had conversations of calling him up last year, and by now we’ve all heard about this big kid with a huge fastball. Enter Searage as his mentor, and it’s tough to see a debut that struggles too much, and all he has to do is take over Ryan Vogelsong’s spot.
74 Blake Snell, TB Thing that excites me – the Rays might sign him to a long-term deal before he hits the Majors. Thing that scares me – the only other guy to do it was Jon Singleton – who shares the same agent as Snell – and we all know how THAT went.   Now, it’s not fair to draw a parallel there, but I found that interesting nonetheless. Snell is off a revelatory year that went: No ER in 21 innings in high-A ball, then sub-2.00 ERAs in AA and AAA, with a 10+ K-rate in every stop.   If the Rays make the deal, they would have little incentive to keep him down, so he could move up further if that deal is made.
75 Yu Darvish, TEX Man, a lot of people are banking on Darvish coming back like the old Darvish right away! Reports have him back mid-May to early-June, and given he improved on his BB rate when he got to the Majors, he’s still always been a 3+ guy and I worry about the command when he’s back. The velo dropped a good bit from 2013 to 2014 (0.5 MPH on fastball, 1.0 MPH on cutter), so I have some concerns how strong he’ll be once he’s back in the rotation.
76 Jaime Garcia, STL He’s awesome… When he pitches of course. We all know the health risk, and I don’t wanna put any draft stock in hoping lighting strikes the same place twice. He pitched 121.2 innings in 2012, then combined in all levels, he only got to about 100 IP in 2013-14. Even with good numbers last year, he only got through 129.2 in the bigs with a 6.73 K-rate, so I don’t understand how he’s ranked so much higher on other draft boards…  Pitcher Profile – June 9, 2014
77 Jimmy Nelson, MIL Well, I struggled which Brewer pitcher I’d rank highest, which says a lot about how bad my team is that the first one is this late… I’m torn between Jimmy and YOUNGMAN!, but going with the smidge more of upside for Jimmy. He has some control issues, but last year he introduced a new pitch to his arsenal he never even used in the Minors – a curveball. And he didn’t just flash it here and there like Pee-wee Herman, he threw it 21.1% of the time. In effect, it works like a change-up to mix with a power fastball and slider, but his slider has inconsistencies. The curve was a true plus-pitch until the end of the year when it lost some break, and there’s some breakout hope here if that pitch develops even just a tick more. But I can’t go any higher as he pitches in a bad park, offense isn’t good, and he’s just too inconsistent with not enough K upside.  Pitcher Profile – July 14, 2014
78 Taylor Jungmann, MIL After being a first round pick, YOUNGMAN! didn’t have the upside flair in the Minors that Brewers fans were hoping for, but DAYUM if he didn’t shock last year. Almost everyone predicted a dropoff as the season wore on, and while it came true, he upped his innings pitched (and recently said he had a few minor nagging injuries) and is still working on a new pitching location: I believe it was in 2014, the Brewers moved him to the other side of the rubber, and while it was a bumpy transition, it has proven to be the right move. He’s gonna walk a few too many guys and probably will have a sub-8 K-rate, but could be backend worthy.
79 Ervin Santana, MIN It’s boring, and he’s tough to root for after taking a big contract then testing positive for PEDs which cost him half of his debut season in Minneosta. And while his K-rate only topped 7.01 once since 2008 (that huge 2014 in ATL that helped get the contract…), I think he could eat innings, have a 7 K-rate, and be usable. He’s likely more a streamer, but if the roids in his system help him stay healthy in 2016, he’ll be worth this rank when it’s all said and done.
80 Adam Conley, MIA A guy I thought I’d be huge on in 2016, I ended up having to pump the breaks a little on Conley. Ever since a nice K-rate in 2013 mainly in AA, it’s been middling since in the Minors, despite a nice 7.93/9 run in 67 big league innings last year. I watched a few of his starts and saw a few fastballs hit 95+, but his average was only 91.3 MPH. I was hoping this was due to a slower 2-seamer, but it was mainly fatigue. I watched him pitch against my Brewers on 9/8/2015, then again v. Philly on 9/23, and he averaged 93 MPH on the fastball in those starts, but it dropped to 90.9 his final two starts, after being 91ish overall his first 10 starts. So he got a little extra juice in the ones I watched, but it wore him out (given he pitched a long season across AAA and the Majors). He’s a lefty that relies a lot on that fastball, so if he can improve on consistent velocity, this will end up working out as your final pitcher, but for now he’s just outside the fringe and on my watch list to see how that velo looks.
81 Nate Karns, SEA Sometimes the research can surprise you, and it certainly has for Karns, who I think is being MASSIVELY overlooked this year.   Unfortunately, the Mariners might be overlooking him as well, as a long-term rotation spot is in question.   Looking back at his numbers, I see a lotttttt of 10+ K-rates in MiLB stints, was 9.47 K/9 in AAA in 2014, and 8.88 in the Majors over 147 innings last year. He needs to get the walks a little better under control (3.43) and he gave up a few too many homers (19), but he remains in a pitcher’s park with the move to Seattle, and not too many guys this late have 9ish K-stuff that we’ve seen in the Majors ALREADY!   Could be a huge last-pick anchor on your mixed league squads if we get word he’s making the rotation before your draft day.  Pitcher Profile – June 15, 2015
82 Jose Berrios, MIN Another filthy prospect expected to make an extended impact this year, Berrios might be the #1 prospect ranked if we thought he’d be in right away. In AA and AAA last year, he had a K rate well over 9, a BB rate right at 2, with near dominant ERAs and WHIPs. He also threw 166.1 innings last year, with a hard fastball and power curve. Mmmmmm, rookie nookie!
83 Clay Buchholz, BOS He’s sometimes really good, but sometimes really bad, and sometimes hurt.   I feel like those are your 3 outcomes of which I give equal weight, and I don’t wanna bet on 33.3% odds.   Now 31 and coming off a season that ended just over halfway through with an elbow strain is too scary for a mixed league investment from me.
84 Jake Peavy, SF Peavy’s cutter has been masterful for the twilight of his career, throwing it an absurd 31.4% of the time next to 48% from his fastball.   He’s pounding the zone like a reliever with those two! And the results were just fine for a deep league guy (probably was a mixed league guy a lot of last year too) with a 3.58 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 2015. His cutter is primo for inducing contact so you’re not getting many Ks, and health is a concern as he’s 34 and turning 35 during the season.  But I could see him being an early streamer and hold in even mixed leagues right away.
85 Edinson Volquez, KC Meh, he’s too boring to write too much on – will likely pitch a lot of innings at a 3.50-3.75 ERA with very blah Ks and a bad WHIP. When it’s all said and done, he’s likely top-100 though.
86 Nathan Eovaldi, NYY I totally started buying in during the early stages of 2014, only to see Eovaldi lose the life on his slider and the ability to get any Ks. Much was made of him moving to NYY and he was a big sleeper last year, and yours truly was burnt too bad to buy it. YOU’RE WELCOME, MURICA! Ks barely went up, BB went way up, and he gives up such hard contact. I’ll pass.  Pitcher Profile – April 7, 2014
87 J.A. Happ, TOR How much can Searage stick? Was unbelievable when getting to the Pirates, only to sign with Toronto who gave him up for virtually nothing just a few years ago. If you remember my ranks last year, I had him as a sleeper with his velocity oddly increasing into his 30s, but the velo fell last year and he got murdered by hard contact. 24.3% LD rate after sub-20% the previous 3 years, leading to a higher BABIP. The K rate did go up, but now he’s 33 and moving to that horrible park. I won’t be investing, just watching.
88 Mike Leake, STL In mixed league roto contexts, Leake HURTS you more than helps. 200 innings of a 6 K-rate almost kills your ability to be competitive in that cat.   It’s like a horrible FT shooter in fantasy basketball. He should have a nice WHIP, but while a lot of people argue for that awesome park he’s now in as a Card, he wasn’t any better with the ERA in SF vs. CIN (4.07 ERA in SF vs. 3.56 in CIN).
89 Andrew Heaney, LAA I was huge on Heaney in 2014, but a subpar fastball without good secondary stuff had him get crushed. But he gained a full MPH on his fastball last year in LA, and while it helped him maintain a rotation spot, he pitches a little too much to contact for me and is too boring.  Pitcher Profile – June 23, 2014
90 Rick Porcello, BOS I got a lot of flack for not ranking any Red Sock last year, but there’s 4 this time! After a career year in ERA in 2014 (given it was a Mike Leake-esque K-killing year), Porcello took a tough hit on ERA and WHIP. That said, Ks went way up at least… But he’s always a high BABIP guy, is really hittable when he’s not pounding the bottom of the zone, and he’s trending towards becoming a flyball pitcher which is scary in Fenway. Maybe he can limp his way to a decent year, but very little upside.
91 Derek Holland, TEX I’m not expecting too much outta him, but it’s hard to believe he’s only 29 and he still has good velocity for a lefty.   If he can stay healthy, he could have nice chunks of mixed-league usability.
92 Rich Hill, OAK Everyone’s favorite Cinderella story is getting Queen Elsa treatment in ranks this season! Didn’t think you’d get a Disney princess joke buried in here did you?!   Hill had 3 straight ridiculous starts at the end of a late-season stint with Boston (his 4th and final start wasn’t awful either), but I’m not paying for him to repeat that. I’ll gleefully flag him on my watch list, but I’m not getting him with a mixed-league draft pick.
93 Daniel Norris, DET Norris has really struggled to find that massive K-rate he showed in the lower Minors, both in AAA and the Majors since his call up late last year. When I’ve watched him, his stuff has looked good but not overpowering. He got really lucky with BABIP and LOB% for a decent small-sample ERA/WHIP in DET last year, but the 6ish K-rate has me keeping him outside my mixed-league sleeper range. He’s still only 22 about to be 23, so there’s room for growth.  Pitcher Profile – August 3, 2015
94 Matt Moore, TB Eesh, what do you do with Matt Moore? I think you watch from the sidelines, and I wouldn’t have even ranked him if not for a blistering 12.94:2.68 K:BB in 40.1 AAA innings last year. His numbers in the Majors were putrid, but it showed me there might be SOMETHING there.   Almost bigger than the Ks in that AAA run was the sub-3.00 walk rate, which would be phenomenal for him in the bigs. He’s still only 26, and while he’s off the TJ, at least he got 100+ innings last year and this could be his make or break season.  Pitcher Profile – July 13, 2015
95 Henry Owens, BOS Owens didn’t do too much to inspire optimism this year, and the top-rated prospect isn’t as sexy as the up-and-coming fireballers. His fastball averages under 90 MPH, but he makes up for it with a vastly underrated change-up. Opponents hit only .191 off his main off-speed offering and it induced a lot more ground balls than the rest of his stuff, a great fit in Fenway. Not huge upside, but someone I’ll be watching (plus the same awesome bullpen and offense other BoSox SP benefit from).  Pitcher Profile – August 10, 2015
96 Jon Niese, PIT Work your Searage magic! K-rate is declining, but maybe he can find a few more punchouts and have a lengthy, 3.50 ERA season. A great cheap target in NL only.
97 Bud Norris, ATL Speaking of cheap NL only targets, Norris might be the oddest name I have in my ranks. I dunno, I just have a feeling he can be productive. He’s 31, and only 1 year removed from a 7.57 K-rate and 3.65 ERA pitching in B-more. He still throws pretty hard (93ish), and his horrid numbers last year can almost entirely be explained by BABIP (.332) and LOB (unreal 58.8%). A lot of that had to do with relief appearances, but the Braves signed him to a 1-year deal to start, and in one of the best pitcher’s parks in one of the best divisions to pitch in, I think he can easily survive as a flyball pitcher. He might be in the streaming class earlier than later in 2016.
98 Josh Tomlin, CLE Pulled a Rich Hill with the run he went on ending last year, striking out everyone and pitching like an ace in August and September. He’s always had elite control and been a crazy-flyballer, but he throws really slow, with a declining velocity the past 3 seasons.   I could see it getting pretty ugly if you pay a premium sleeper price for this 31 yr-old.
99 Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD Ryu had an awesome 2014, but shoulder surgery cost his 2015. Even with great BB rates, he gives up a few too many hits leading to iffy WHIPs.   It’s just too risky for me to do anything except stream if he starts hot, which will likely be at least a few weeks after Opening Day as he’s expected to start the year on the DL.
100 Kris Medlen, KC Mr. Irrelevant used to be VERY relevant after that breakout in 2012, but he regressed in 2013 then needed a TJ. Like a lot of these vets in the 80-100 range, yet another guy with a declining K rate and a lot of question marks, but gimme the guy in the awesome park with the awesomer defense. Woooo, rankings done!

Wow.  I feel like the end of Spaceballs‘ opening titles…  “If you’ve read this far, you don’t need glasses!”  Thanks everyone for dropping by, and let’s win those pitching cats in 2016!

   
  1. Ante GALIC says:
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    JB!!!

    Holy Grail work, man! Mammoth!

    a. My pitching in my 10-team re-draft H2H points league is as follows.

    SP Liriano (106), Matz (86), Rodon (115), Salazar (66), Syndergaard (46), Corbin (146), Ross (175), Ventura (166), Walker (135)
    RP Britton (126), Doolittle (Waivers), Velasquez (195)

    Some SPs available on waivers (Most teams are stacked, a condition of 10-team leagues)

    Hammel, Paxton, Snell and Glasnow

    Would you make any changes? I’ll go by your rankings and understand fully that things will change during ST. The craziest move I saw last year was Salazar being shipped off to the minors for absolutely no reason.

    b. Heard on the pod that your high on Maurer. Is he 12-team mixed league roto 5×5 worthy? Pretty sure that he won’t be too popular, except for all RCLers reading this article which is everyone!!! Damn you, JB. Just kidding, thanks for the intelligence as always.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Whew, mammothian indeed! Yeah that Salazar move was really weird, but in the end he was pretty solid! Maybe a tweak helped… I would swap out Velasquez for Hammel, I think he’s bein a little underrated.

      Haha, nah Maurer is probably on the outside looking in still, but he’s close, if his first start is amazing I’ll be adding him right then and there, and would draft him if his spring is buzzy (but then everyone might be on him…)

  2. Rufus Xavier Sasparilla says:
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    JB– Thanks for the excellent work. How far off this is Erasmo Ramirez?
    Grey–last pick of a dynasty draft. Would you take Jose Peraza or Spangenberg? Have Cano and Castro at MI. or go for D. Valencia? I have Bryant at 3Rd. Many thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Rufus Xavier Sasparilla: Thanks! Ummm, he was in my list of guys just out, probably 110-120 range for Erasmo, not too big on him still. I dunno about Grey, but I would gamble on upside of Peraza

  3. Jordan73 says:
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    Excellent write-up, JB, thanks for your thoughts! One thing though – Greinke did not win the NL Cy Young last year, Arrieta did.

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Jordan73: Pfft details!

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Jordan73: @Swfcdan: Hah thanks for the catch! Made the edit. So weird, I just thought for sure it was Greinke, like it didn’t even cross my mind… oops!

  4. Swfcdan says:
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    The day has arrived!!

    • Swfcdan says:
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      @Swfcdan: Not a fan of Yordano huh? Getting sent to AAA really fixed him, that 2nd half was a killer. Still better to come too, and sick velo.

      Love the J Ross call, need to be taking him in leagues, but when overall is he actually a good value pick?

      Oh and love your Salazar umm love too, just got him as my 2nd SP in a 15 team slow draft. Don’t love my closer in that league but staff looks sick so far!

      Cole, Salazar, Yordano, Boxberger

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Swfcdan: J-Pax again!?! Some guys ya just love and cannot quit, he was my guy too but we finally broke up this offseason. Still upset!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Swfcdan: The day is here! Ummm, well if 35 is way down than other lists I guess, I still feel like I ranked him decently. Oh his velo was always sick, I just think he needs more consistency and command with all his pitches. I’ve only done keeper prep so I dunno when in redraft he’s usually going, to secure him I don’t think 100ish is outlandish, but maybe that’s wayyyy ahead of ADP. Can’t blame you for dumping Paxton m he deserved it! I’m hoping for some flowers and a nice redemption date!

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @JB Gilpin: Yeah you’re ranking of Yordano is pretty fair even if a little low, it’s just how you said “I don’t like him” in your opening sentence which made me ask that haha. Just drafted him 118 overall which I felt was very solid value as a #3 in a 15 teamer, the K’s were up in the 2nd half and that is the key like you said.

            So Joe Ross then, you rank him 27 but wouldn’t think about taking him that early in a draft would you, because you know you can get him later. But how much later should we wait, should still get him around the 45-50 mark?

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Swfcdan: Ohhhhhh haha, yeah that was a real-life comment. I’m not a fan after being a hug Ventura guy. Don’t like how he gets so whiny then it seems to impact his game, but that could be fixable. Yeah SP3 at 118, that def seems solid.

              Yeah i ignore ADP when I rank, so I haven’t really tested out how far to wait until I get him. Def would get him 45-50 amongst SP! I imagine overall, I wouldn’t go too much past 110ish I think? I dunno, I gotta test that one out haha

              • Swfcdan says:
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                @JB Gilpin: Waited, and got Ross 208 overall baby! That will feel good hopefully if he does what we think he will.

                Now looking at my no 5 starter in this 15 teamer, hoping E-Rod will last otherwise I think it’s Gasman (can we just change his name to that?).

                • Swfcdan says:
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                  @Swfcdan: Both were available but following further research decided I like Gasman more. People were gaga for him last year, and all he did was improve his K/9, BB/9 and WHIP! Seemed the homers are the only thing keeping him from being much buzzier, with his gas he can correct that. And with E-Rod’s injury I think he’s the better pick right now.

                  This rotation looks mighty tasty and upsidey for a 15 teamer!

                  Cole, Salazar, Yordano, J Ross, Gasman, Box, McGee

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
                    (link)

                    @Swfcdan: Noice! Yeah Gausman feels a little safer. I really wanna watch E Rod pitch to see if he really has that cutter. E-rod’s injury was very minor too so I’m not worried about that, but yeah they’re pretty close. That’s nasty for a deeper!

  5. Noam says:
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    Great rankings, I was excited to see this!
    Keeper question if you don’t mind.

    League Settings: 10 team, H2H Points, weekly lineups
    C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, OF, OF, OF, U, U 6 SP, 2 RP
    Hitting: standard setting but with no penalty for Ks
    Pitching:
    +1 for IP
    +10 points for a W,
    +5 for QS
    -5 for L
    -1 for BB
    -1 ER
    no penalty for Hits Against
    A good pitchers can net 25+ points in a single start, Arrieta and Kershaw finished with more points than any hitter. 7 pitchers and 13 hitters scored 600pts or more. Also, no first rounders can be kept. Kershaw, Trout, Stanton, Price, Cutch, Goldy, Miggy, Felix, Scherzer, Stras, Abreu, and EE can for sure be drafted.

    3-5 keepers…next year, their keeper value is this year’s minus one round and so on…so Marte would be a 7th round pick next year if I keep him…
    Sale (forfeit Rd. 2 pick – can be kept for 1 year) (He’ll go in the first round if I don’t keep him)
    Arrieta (Rd. 5 pick – 2 years)
    Cole (Rd. 6 pick – 2 years)
    Marte (Rd 8. – 2 years)
    Hosmer (Rd 12 – 3 years)
    Pollock (Rd. 18 – 3 years)
    L. Cain (Rd. 10 – 2 years)
    Salazar (rd. 10 – 2 Years)
    Maikel Franco (Rd. 10 – 2 years)

    What do you think? Who should I keep?

    Worth it to keep Sale in a weekly format with only 6SP with scoring that favors elite SP?
    Thanks for the help!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Noam: Thanks for reading! Cool I think I got it. Arrieta and Cole are locks in that Pts format. Pollock in the 18th is an absolute lock too. I’m likely using all 5 keepers you have at your discretion, with Marte and Sale rounding it out. That 5th keeper was the closest though, I thought about Hosmer, but Sale/Arrieta/Cole in weekly lock h2h gives you succhhh an advantage hhaha

  6. I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
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    Thanks JB, I like your style of picking a few upside guys and guys you are passing on.
    I asked this before and you were going to wait for an answer. Do you think it would be possible to post your weekly pitching ranks/match ups on Sundays instead of Monday? For all of us in weekly leagues with no streamers that would be huge. Once I’m at work I can’t use a computer or phone.
    Streaming would be fun but weekly leagues allow me to play in more leagues, and with the lack of a computer during the day takes me out of streaming leagues. Just saying…..

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @I’mgettingsomeHeadley: Appreciate it! Yeah I rank as I would draft and as I would see it playing out, so I def bury some guys and vault others haha. Yeah I saw that comment on the Pod and responded, here’s what I proposed:

      “What if either A) you could ask your questions if you had any tough lineup choices Sunday night on the previous profile and I will def see em as I’ll be working on Razz work or B) I could post my ranks in the comments section of the last article as I usually have those done earlier than wrapping up the gifs and alladat

      Read more: https://razzball.com/podcast-please-be-my-friend-again/#ixzz41wZ0ieqd

      • I'mgettingsomeHeadley says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: ok. Fair enough. Thank you.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @I’mgettingsomeHeadley: Cool, yeah if I did all of it Saturday I would def push for a Sunday date as well… Unfortunately it’s not quite how my flow usually goes…

  7. apoxonbothyourhouses says:
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    Didn’t Rodriguez dislocate his kneecap a few days ago? Does that hurt his value?

    • Jbona3 says:
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      @apoxonbothyourhouses: It was a strained patellar tendon, he’s been playing catch the past few days. Word out of Red Sox camp is he’ll be fine for Opening Day.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @apoxonbothyourhouses: @Jbona3: Yup, what Jbona said, it was nothing serious and he’s already throwing around. Loss of maybe a few spring innings is a little worrisome though…

  8. Jvanslyke says:
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    Great as usual, JB. You guys have me really excited for Rodon. Im also ready to give Paxton another whirl though I still have nightmares of he getting pegged for 4 runs the Monday after his Sunday start vs Texas last April… Are you still in Wilmington. Spent allot of time there growing up. Was extremely distraught to return a few years back and see that Flips had closed.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Jvanslyke: Yessir, I’m pumped for Rodon as well! Ugh yeah Paxton better look nice and skinny and ready to do this ha. Nope I moved to Raleigh a while back. Loved Wilmington though, but not as many job opportunities. I had never been to Flips! Def a flaming amy’s regular though!

  9. Strolg says:
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    Always one of my favorite posts on Razzball, means actual baseball ain’t too far away. Thanks! It’s the Year Of The Cub by the way.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Strolg: Thanks so much! Hah yeah with all those pitchers and upside bats, it’s a scary team

  10. malamoney says:
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    Now this marks the start of my season. Love the post buddy. And love the Rodon ranking. He could even end up higher. I think he out pitches Salazar, Carlos Martinez and Lester. But that’s really just a hunch kind of thing. I also thing Felix pitches better than people are expecting. Everyone is down on him. Not me. Maybe that’s wishful thinking I smell. Great work!!!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @malamoney: Hah appreciate it! I know, I am huge on Rodon, the ESPN rank still absolutely baffles me. Yeah I could see Felix bouncing back too, although with all these aces now, I think his upside is still maybe only… 10th? But would be an awesome SP2 if it came to that. Thanks again!

  11. Clyde Prompto says:
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    Holy smokes, Jables. Great work!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Clyde Prompto: Hah appreciate it! I get to relax this weekend now!

  12. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Awesome job, JB! This has me even more excited for snagging that $3 Rodon (and $4 Bux) in that keeper league you helped me with.

    Two questions for you:

    1. Which guys among the 4th/5th round ADP (roughly 8-15 in your ranks) world would you target as your ace in a H2H redraft with a 6 week playoff at the end of the year (so there’s a certain value on having an ace who will be sticking around by eos): Fernandez (IP cap?), Kluber, Carrasco, Cole, Strasburg, Sydner (love him, but IP cap?), or anyone else I’m missing?

    2. Very serious statistical question: I’m almost definitely going to have Mookie and P. Corbin one of my teams – at auction, how many dollars premium is it acceptable for me to pay in order to draft Dallas Keutchel as my SP2, SOLELY so I can name my team “CORBIN DALLAS MOOKIEPASS”?

    You seem to have confidence in Dallas, just not a guy with a high ceiling or tons of Ks right?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Yeah man, those are some incredible values!

      1. Yeah in H2H, I might drop Fernandez a couple, since as you mention, playoff availability might be an issue. deGrom who I have 7 I think is in that ADP, so I like him. Of those you list, I’d take Kluber 1, but prob joFer still 2nd.
      2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I think all your dollars, and if someone says youre crazy, tell them, “negative, I am a meat popsicle!”

      Yup his GB rate will always keep everything in check. He will be awesome still, just maybe not as K flashy

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks!

        Re: 2 AMAZING retort, which will be in my back pocket forever.

        I’m relieved to hear that you feel good about his high floor. I was worried he would be a red flag regression candidate or something. If Keutchel can provide me low ERA, great WHIP, and 200+ IP, I can live with a so so K rate and find that elsewhere in the Salazars, Rodons, etc. of the world.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Hah nice! Yup I think that’s very likely for Dallas to hit that expectation. The Ks would be my main focus of regression, so sounds like we’re equally optimistic!

          • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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            @JB Gilpin: Sounds good to me. Honestly, the more I think about it, it sounds like the perfect foil for my #1 SP question . . . if I end up getting an SP1 who may have an IP cap, he’s a pretty stable SP2.

              • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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                @JB Gilpin: Love it. Also, I can almost surely flip JoFern in July for an ace who will be around in the playoffs

  13. Terrific work JB. & appreciate the 2015 post-season recap link. Very useful stuff. Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @zombie: Thanks so much! Yeah I like turning this post into my all-in-one pitching hub :)

  14. Ray says:
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    NL Only Keeper: Lester for $32 or Stras for $42?

    • Malicious Phenom says:
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      @Ray: Stras

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Ray: @Malicious Phenom: I think it’s close, but probably Strasburg for me too, with that amount of money I would go upside and if Strasburg is awesome he’ll be worth holding for a few more yrs too

  15. KCC26 says:
    (link)

    If you had to keep one, would you keep:
    Kluber (6th round)
    Stroman (18th round)
    McCullers (19th round)

    Thanks!

    • Malicious Phenom says:
      (link)

      @KCC26: Kluber

  16. psherm says:
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    Hey JB, great work. Appreciate the hustle.
    Why no Hector Santiago? Had a great first half (all star) then crapped out because of fatigue. Says he changed up his off season program to have more gas in the 2nd half. Just curious how he missed the top 100. If anything he’s probably worth a 1st half flier.

    Thoughts on Alex Cobb? 2nd half return?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @psherm: Thanks man! Well with that in mind, a lot of players say they changed their workouts and everyone is in the best shape of their life, so I don’t buy into that too much. I just don’t see much upside there, his WHIP stays too high with the walks, K rate isn’t good enough to me at least to make up for that, he’s 28 now and been around a while, terrible team, lucky BABIP last year… Just nothing screams to me he’s worth drafting except in AL only. Yeah, I think Cobb could be solid once he’s back, I get a little worried since his injuries got mysteriously chased around until we got to the TJ, so I think they’ll be cautious

  17. Gonzo_The_Great says:
    (link)

    Great column as always JB.

    2 Questions and a Comment

    1) Any yo-yo concern for Ross? Seems like there’s a lot of guys vying for the Nats rotation, with several waiting in the wings (unless you’re thinking they keep Gioloto down all year).

    2) Opposite question regarding McCullers – who do you think he’s sitting behind in Houston? Fister and/or Feldman?

    3) Agree entirely with your stadium concern regarding V. Velasquez in Phillie. You’ve got to be intrigued by the heat, but I could see him getting eaten alive in Citizen’s Bank.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Gonzo_The_Great: Thanks so much man! 1) I guess it’s more a “possibility” than concern to me. I think/hope they see him as a long-term starter and don’t Roark him, I think to manage innings they’d be more apt just to skip a start or two. And I think Giolitto isn’t up until August or something, why I didn’t rank him… 2) Yup, I’ve heard more speculation on his yo-yo ness than Ross. They’ve shown using SP prospects as relief before the way they used Vinny as well. 3) Yeah me too, why i’m not going too crazy for him. Right there as a last pick flier

  18. Scott says:
    (link)

    The long-awaited JB Pitcher Post is back!

    I had my first draft Sunday, going off of Grey’s pitcher tool, with one hiccup. Stacked up pretty well with your ranks:
    Jo Fer
    Salazar
    Rodon
    Taijuan Walker

    then it drops off a bit with Leake and Chuck Norris’ son Daniel. Might be looking to upgrade Leake for a younger model…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Scott: Hah thanks man, good to be back! Hah yeah lovevvvve those top 4. But yeah, a little tweak at the back end would be nice, I’m sure these’s a few nice waiver wire options :)

  19. Fungazi says:
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    I love these ranks. Pick your first guy you would take in a keeper Salazar, Carrasco, Rodon, T Walker?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Fungazi: Thanks so much! Yeah, gimme Rodon. I think he has the best pure stuff, is young, and will contribute this yr

      • Fungazi says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: Thanks, now I just have to decide if I reach and take him with my first pick, or try to take one of the first 2 and hope I can get him 20 picks later.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Fungazi: Guessing you have a lot of keepers held in there… What will the draft day pool be like?

          • Fungazi says:
            (link)

            @JB Gilpin: It’s 12 team, keep 6 so 72 players kept and start drafting at pick 72. Lots of top SP get kept because extra cats of losses and QS and low limit of adds per week to avoid streaming. I’m guessing there will only be 5 SP ranked in top 100 in Yahoo available at the start of the draft. I’m keeping 1 SP so want to grab a couple more with my first 2 picks, but don’t have a pick in the 2nd round.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:
                (link)

                @Fungazi: @JB Gilpin: That was weird… I didn’t hit enter!

                With that kind of field, I actually don’t have an issue reaching for Rodon given the setting. Go bold!

                • Fungazi says:
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                  @JB Gilpin: Cool, I usually plan for one stupid crazy reach per draft. I know there’s a bunch of other teams in that league that reach all over the place, it’s hard to judge when anyone can go really.

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
                    (link)

                    @Fungazi: Yeah, makes it more fun though! Get to make fun of all the dumb reach picks!

  20. papasmurf says:
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    I agree with you on Tyson Ross. On that SD team he is a one category pitcher. His bro may end up with better numbers.

    I also feel that Iglesias has gotten overhyped. I am very surprised you ranked J Ross so high. I personally think he hasn’t gotten much ink but IS the guy to target. Over Iggy for sure. Much cred to you if JR kills it.

    I am high on Hammel. He has said he changed his offseason routine and his mindset. Yeah sure it’s just the spring, but I really think he’s worked hard to make himself more durable this year. I guess 14 wins 3.35 ERA.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @papasmurf: Yeah I think so too! I’m all about Joe. Let’s hope this works out! Love what I’ve seen, and some bumpy minors numbers given he had to find the slider is yet another similarity with Archer. Yup, I think the wins might even be LOW on that team! I might give him 16 :)

      • Matt says:
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        @JB Gilpin: not sure if this means much but Hammel has been working with a QB’s coach (who has worked with Drew Brees and Tom Brady) to open his motion up a bit. Gonna take a $6 flyer on him as my 10th keeper

        • Matt says:
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          @Matt: also PECOTA projects the Cubs to win 97 games? Can’t predict wins but will have to expect Hammel will get run support even if he’s pitching 5-6innings per

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
            (link)

            @Matt: Nice! Yeah I think he’s worth. Interesting on the QBs coach… Crosstraining is good for athletes though. Hah yeah I mean, I would think he could get a lot of those 97 if they’re right haha

          • The Harrow says:
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            @Matt: that’s good, but what would be better for everybody involved, CUBS, him, us, would be if HE JUST DL’ED HIMSELF WHEN HE WAS INJURED LAST YEAR! hopefully he can learn that if he gets hurt he shouldn’t be pitching. or maybe we should learn to just drop these guys when they start playing with these injuries. i’m toying with the idea of a “real ” DL slot for leagues i comish wherein you get to still own a guy without an actual DL tag. big example l.lynn last year as well (as SOON as he was 10 day DL’d with forearm soreness of whatever, i called it, TJ coming, his brain only listened post season though, arm was decided on it back in june or july)

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              @The Harrow: Hah yeah he might’ve fared better putting himself on the shelf. Hmmmm interesting, but I could see that abused. Would it be only for when they’re out of the lineup with minor injuries?

  21. Schwab says:
    (link)

    Great article. Keeper question. H2H 8 team point based Dynasty league and each team keeps 15.
    Scoring is:
    1B (1pt) INNINGS PITCHED = 1pt QUALITY START 3pt
    2B (2pt) WINS = 7pt
    3B (3pt) SAVE = 3pt
    HR (6pt) K = 1.5pt
    WALK (1pt) EARNED RUN (-1pt)
    RBI (1.5pt) LOSS (-3pt)
    RUN (1pt)
    SB (1pt)
    I need to cut 4 from the following. Any thoughts? Thanks.
    Miggy, Rendon, Machado, Cargo, Harper, Pollock, Sano, Encarnacion, Hosmer, Baez, Heyward, Moncada, Teheran, Taijuan Walker, Lester, Giolito, Kluber, Richards, Corbin

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Schwab: Thanks man, thanks for stopping by! Whoa, pitchers who get QS/W are ridiculous! Is it weekly lock H2H, or can you change lineups daily? If so, it’s tough to let any pitcher go… Hah. I think Baez, Teheran and Richards are my first 3. Last one I’m really struggling with. With SB only 1 Pt, I might cut Moncada, I know he’s a great prospect, but that seems his best asset

      • Schwab says:
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        Thanks for your opinion. Line-up’s can be changed daily. Your first three were the same first three I was thinking. Thanks again.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Schwab: Cool any time!

  22. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    JB! Happy to see a little top 100 action on a boring friday at work! My yahoo team really fizzled out due to injuries this year, so basketball hasnt been my priority this year.

    Couple questions for ya… based on my keepers (5 years) – $250 budget, 12 team, H2H, 5×5

    Harper (last year) – $19, Goldy (year 4) – $33, Rizzo (last year) – $14, Arenado (2nd year) – $27, Marte (year 4) – $10

    Im spending $105 on keepers… would you draft kershaw? Basically everyone in the top 15 is being kept except for him.

    JoFer – I love love love him, but the injury history scares me. Any insight or words of wisdom? I dont want to waste my last year of rizzo and harper.

    Maeda – I have a guy feeling that his guy is going to be someone who is overlooked based on his arsenal/team around him/ballpark. Am I fooling myself?

    Also, with my keepers, how much $ would you put towards my offense? I should be great in R, HR, RBI, AVG, and SBs are OK.

    Thanks! and looking forward to your profiles/rankings this year!

    • Bryce Krispie Treats says:
      (link)

      @Bryce Krispie Treats:

      Oh, and thats a GUT* feeling. I dont have guy feelings for Maeda. haha

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Bryce Krispie Treats: Nice glad it helped give you some life in your day! Well, I know I’ve seen ya plenty on hoops, so I appreciate it :)

        Sure, yeah I mean you’re loaded to win now and about to lose 2 elite bats, I would go for it now! I would say with JoFer, only injury has really been the TJ. Had a little soreness again so they shut him down, but I don’t see him as injury plagued… Healthy offseason, arm is ready to go, I think he has a MONSTER year. But I would rather spend huge on Kershaw than chase JoFer… Maeda might start OK, I just don’t see big K potential. Haha on your follow up, it’s OK if you do though! Ummm, I’d probably spend 60ish% on pitchers and 40% on hitters or so, since you’re so loaded on O

  23. Robert says:
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    I see how high you are on Arrieta, but I’m in a 10 team league where I’m always able to get value guys like JoFer or whatever late: I got Arrieta last year in the 9th round and probably could have let him go later, but I got antsy about not getting him.

    Therefore, since there are 4 keepers I have the following locked up:

    Giancarlo
    Arenado
    Upton

    then I was stuck choosing between Arrieta and Gordon. I thought Arrieta, but I may be able to swing Arrieta and Gordon to get Rizzo and lock up first base for the next 5 years potentially.

    Would you trade Arrietta/Gordon for Rizzo/unkeepable scrub given It’s actually Rizzo over one or the other?

    I know it makes the other guy much better beause he’d keep Arrieta over Wainwright and just lose on the Rizzo down to Gordon, but I would love me some Rizzo for awhile.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Robert: I def like the idea of trading for one additional keeper since you’d lose Arrieta anyway, i do that in keepers with a hard-number all the time. I indeed would take Rizzo. I dunno how long-term or sustainable Gordon is. Well if his 4th keeper is Wainwright, his team must be pretty bad! haha :)

      • Robert says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: The guy who I was looking to do the deal with also had Kris Bryant. Given I have Arenado, I’m not sure if I want Bryant also, although I could also work with him in another side deal potentially. Would you still do Arrieta/Gordon for Bryant.

        The guy I’m trading with is looking at keeping:

        Rizzo
        Bryant
        Braun
        Wainwright

        I don’t know why the last two, but whatever

        Does Bryant get 3B/OF eligibility eventually this year in ESPN or is he 3B only most likely? Is it worth having two top ten players at 3B since I can use them in the corner position/utility or trade either Bryant/Arenado?

        My keepers would then be:

        Stanton
        Arenado
        Upton
        Bryant

        • Cram It says:
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          @Robert: Dude, Bryant over Arrieta and/or Gordon. Who care’s that he’s in the CI slot?

          • Robert says:
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            @Cram It: That’s what I thought, I just didn’t want to be 3B heavy and 1B poor. But I like Bryant for the future also. Thanks for goosing my intuition into actual action.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              @Cram It: @Robert: Yeah I would still do that deal, would prefer Rizzo though. But yeah, Bryant and Arenado as two 3B doesn’t worry me when you’re that elate. So much intuition goosing!

              • Robert says:
                (link)

                @JB Gilpin: It’s ok, since I found out he’s keeping Braun, Rizzo, Bryant, Wainwright, I looked at what else he had on his team as the “throw in scrub” guy for the trade.

                lo and behold, he also has mookie betts, but for some reason has decided he doesn’t want to keep him over Braun and Wainy.

                So I told him I’d do Gordon and Arrieta for Bryant, and just through Betts in as the “scrub” guy.

                he accepted, and now Betts is going to replace Upton as my 4th keeper.

                I now have:

                Stanton
                Betts
                Arenado
                Bryant.

                That’s it guys, no need to draft. I’ll just take the trophy right now.

                • Cram It says:
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                  @Robert: Annnnnd you’re in a league of schmucks. You shouldn’t need any advice at all!

                  • Robert says:
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                    @Cram It: That’s possibly true. If by schmucks you mean they don’t read razzball. That guy specifically is a big Cubs homer (had like 8 on his team last year, which is why he almost made the playoffs, instead of it not paying off for him like most years)

                    I’m not going to try to swing Arenado and Upton (since he’s not a keeper anymore) for a potential top of the draft guy like Au Shizz since the guy who has him also has Abreu but no OF help. It’s a pipe dream since this guy is a better manager, but I’m feeling lucky.

                    • Cram It says:
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                      @Robert: You shouldn’t have to be a Razzball reader to know Betts isn’t a throw-in guy.

                    • The Harrow says:
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                      @Robert: what do you mean he’s a “better manager”, you just said he’s keeping waino over mookie right?

            • Cram It says:
              (link)

              @Robert: I’ll stick my foot up your intuition if I have to ;)

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:
                (link)

                @Robert: @Cram It: Hah yeah that’s smoe poor managing :) I love Mookie too. Well, his loss is your gain. awesome move!

                And yeah if that became Goldschmidt, pop the champagne now in March!

                • Robert says:
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                  @JB Gilpin: I hope I can pull the goldschmidt deal because then the manager I just schnookered won’t know he’s been had. Otherwise he’s going to wonder why I kept Betts instead of Upton since he knew who I was keeping.

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
                    (link)

                    @Robert: Hah, well either way, he should feel pretty schnookered haha

                  • The Harrow says:
                    (link)

                    @Robert: anybody keeping waino over mookie probably assumes you are the idiot in any event here for keeping somebody mookie’s age/experience level.

  24. Job3rd says:
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    Good stuff JB. And not that it matters cause few will draft him but, Leake is on Stl.

    • Ryan says:
      (link)

      @Job3rd: yup, I too mistakenly read that far in the article, leake signed couple months ago w stl…

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Job3rd: @Ryan: Yeah I know, ah! I knew I would mess up at least one team in here haha. I get a little overflowed with info as I go and miss things in editing… Thanks for the catch!

    • Robert says:
      (link)

      @Job3rd:
      What? Leake is a super super deep sleeper that I will stream once when they visit San Diego or some other Pitcher friendly park. That value…

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Robert: Hahaha

  25. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
    (link)

    8 team NL only snake draft what would you ideal staff to draft?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @I’m Keith Hernandez: Well that’s a little tough to answer, I would say one of the aces (Kershaw,Scherz, JoFer, deGrom, Harvey), then one value pick (I think Lester is going too late, upside of C-Mart, etc), then be sue and get Joe Ross, then fill out with more value picks from there, i.e. Hammel and someone like Maurer who I’m high on

  26. Cram It says:
    (link)

    Rick Porcello…still hanging around your top 100 ;) You just can’t quit him.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Cram It: Pssshhhh I have him in the undraftable mix haha. I don’t like him that much at all, but more than those final dart throws :)

      • Cram It says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: I’m just busting your chops. Those guys are undraftable. I just don’t want to ever see his name in print again, so 5 years from now, I can be like “Whatever became of Rick Porcello?”

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Cram It: Hah I know. Well, after playing out that dumbass contract, he’ll be somewhere richer than me, thats for sure!

  27. PapiCruuz says:
    (link)

    Thanks as always JB! I’ll be targeting some of your guys for SURE :)

    A non-pitching related questions:

    16team H2H OPS league (no AVG) who do I keep between:

    Puig $13
    Dozier $16

    ???

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @PapiCruuz: Thanks for reading! Ugh, tough one, not a huge fan of either. I think I’ll go Puig just bc he’s that smidge cheaper haha

  28. SwaggerJackers says:
    (link)

    Nice work JB. The commentary next to each pick is HUGE and so much more helpful than other FB sites that just throw their rankings into those FantasyPros grids with no explanation of why they like some more than others. A few random thoughts as I read your list:

    1) Your Salazar commentary has me questioning whether or not I want him as my #2 as Grey recommended,
    2) Rodon – I get the love but WOW. Talk about bold. If his WHIP tanks again, that ranking is going to haunt you all season. You could have ranked him 15 spots lower and still made your point about him as a sleeper. Only time will tell!
    3) I can’t bring myself to get excited about Liriano. I see him dropping in mock drafts then when I finally pull the trigger, I don’t like seeing his name on my roster and regret the pick.
    4) You threw some cold water on Grey sleepers like Matz, Iglesias and McCullers. Similar to Salazar, you have me rethinking how much I want these guys.
    5) You officially have me off the G Richards train. He’s another name like Liriano that isn’t very exciting to see as your SP2 or SP3 in a 12 teamer.
    6) I don’t get the Garcia hate. This isn’t specific to you, either. It seems like there are lots of writers that hate him because of the injuries but why? If he’s your SP5, I don’t see the harm in rostering him while healthy and dumping him as soon as he’s not. The pitcher position is easy to stream so it’s not like you’ll have a gaping hole when you ditch him. Take the stats when he’s giving them.
    7) I agree the Darvish love is a little too high around the league. Eating up a DL slot for 3 months coming out of the draft isn’t worth it when he finally comes back and doesn’t have his command. I tried holding onto Smyly and Pineda when they were hurt last season and it was very frustrating once other guys start getting hurt.

    Good luck this season!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @SwaggerJackers: Thanks so much man! Yeah I mean, I feel like I wanna defend my reasoning, so why not go all out and talk about each guy?!
      1) Grey loves him with reckless abandon, I still see inconsistency indeed
      2) Hah yeah I hear ya, I don’t look at other ranks or ADP thought before I lay it out, and was surprised how low he was. i think better control is coming.
      3) Can’t blame ya, just watched his first inning of Spring though and looked amazing! This is the first year I’ve liked him in a while, didn’t used to be a fan.
      4) Yup, all of those give me concerns, Matz might be a little irrational though
      5) He burned me last year and looking deeper into his stuff he just kept dropping. Def avoiding
      6) That’s a good point, I just think any more than a last round pick or two and your opportunity cost could be someone you actually hit on. I’d rather go bold with upside at other positions than health upside.
      7) Yeah, and people arguing he can just live on your DL must have had really lucky injury-free seasons hahaha. You can feel that strain pretty quick!

  29. Bad News Sugarbear says:
    (link)

    I want to get fully onboard with Joe Ross but Dusty Baker’s love of Bronson Arroyo keeps making me a little nervous. “Leadership isn’t easy. Some people have it. Bronson Arroyo is a leader,” Baker said of the former Reds pitcher, who’s getting another chance here. “People just follow him.”

    • Bad News Sugarbear says:
      (link)

      @Bad News Sugarbear: oops left off my question: do you think it would be Ross or Roark going down to AAA if Arroyo does stupidly make the team?

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Bad News Sugarbear: Ughhhh, people are just gonna follow Dusty to the unemployment line if he pulls that! I would think Roark would go back to bullpen and Ross… Eesh I guess AAA if he didn’t make the rotation, but that seems so silly

        • Malicious Phenom says:
          (link)

          @JB Gilpin: Starting the vet over the youngster is so Dusty.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
            (link)

            @Malicious Phenom: Yeah I know… Ugh it’s been a while since I’ve had to think about his dumb toothpick. I just hope they make the right decision

    • OaktownSteve says:
      (link)

      @Bad News Sugarbear:

      If it helps, Arroyo topped out at 84 today and got clubbed.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @OaktownSteve: Woooooo, back to the retirement home, Bronson

      • Bad News Sugarbear says:
        (link)

        @OaktownSteve: oh nice, that does help. i’d still like his arm to now fall off too tho (just temporarily, i wish you no long-term ill mr. arroyo)

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Bad News Sugarbear: He could still have a nice career as a one-armed guitarist ha

  30. Dorian S. says:
    (link)

    Heya JB, Grey and gang! Thanks again for another superb write up. This gives me another list of players to take a look at for drafting. Also, Gausman seems higher than I thought he would be. Definitely need to nab him up for the RP slots. :D

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Dorian S.: Thanks man! Really appreciate it! Wow, I didn’t even think I’d have Gausman that high, i guess he didn’t come in with the buzz I thought… Oh well, looks like I might be nabbing him some too!

      • Dorian S. says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: Yeah. If he’s that high and you can slot him in the RP slots, that’s a definite grab. Only thing I’ve got to figure out is someone to pair him with in the RP slots. Probably Brandon Finnegan, I guess.

        Also, yes. :D I always don’t care about the SVs and HLDs in my league. I’ll let others chase those. I’ll go for the rest of the stats! Mwahahahaha!

        Just hopefully there’s a good starter left by round 14 for me. :( Probably by then Fiers, Maeda, Nola will be gone by then.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Dorian S.: Guessing you’re in H2H? Yeah those SP,RP can be crucial. Ugh yeah I’m not huge on Finnegan for this year. Velasquez! Ha. I’m sure there will be a few interesting guys, go down with the Paxton ship with me! Ha

          • Dorian S. says:
            (link)

            @JB Gilpin: Will do, and yes, it is H2H. Sorry, should’ve mentioned that. Hm, so Velasquez instead, eh? Thanks.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              @Dorian S.: No worries! And yeah, def Velasquez over Finnegan for me!

  31. sliimbo says:
    (link)

    i see u have chen at #49, Should i drop him for story in my dyno to see how it plays out?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @sliimbo: Yeah I would prob own Story especially with this Reyes hooblah

      • Slimbo says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin:

        Thx boss, or is it safer to drop Archie Bradley?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Slimbo: Ummm, well it hurts upside maybe a tad, but makes you a lot better this year owning Chen. I def would own Story over Bradley, and yeah prob would keep Chen

  32. Mike says:
    (link)

    Isn’t Fiers the long relief guy for Houston now? Wouldn’t that kill his starter potential?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Mike: Yeah I actually had to move him down a little to reflect that, and my comment was kinda a throw away last minute edit after hearing that “Now, I get some of the concerns – he’s not a hard-thrower, when he doesn’t hit his spots he can get rocked, he was mad hittable early on with the Brewers last year, his BB rate went up, and he might not even start in the rotation… ”

      I still think he will be in the rotation most of the year though, if he doesn’t crack it to start

    • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
      (link)

      @Mike: i don’t know where you’ve seen that but all preseason i’ve seen this (preview it’s feldman). if anybody gets axed (a question) or goes out of top 5 it’d be fister

      http://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-houston-astros/

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
        (link)

        @Mike: @A Wesley Snipes Life: Yeah, I mean, it’s all conjecture, I heard it conjecture-ized somewhere else too, but I can’t remember where haha. I’m still bullish Fiers starts most of the year though, if not all of it, as roster resource mentions there

  33. The great Knoche says:
    (link)

    Glad to see I’m not the only one back on the Verlander band wagon.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @The great Knoche: Yeah I think he’s healthy! First time in past 3 years coming in healthy… let’s hope it works!

      • The Great Knoche says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: His 2nd half last year sold it for me.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @The Great Knoche: Yeah me too. Similar velo and everything else from the vintage Verlander years, wasn’t smoke and mirrors

  34. keeganballz says:
    (link)

    just curious what your thoughts on alex reyes? the eye test is crazy but i wanted to hear your take.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @keeganballz: Cards prospect right? Awesome stuff on his scale, probably a bright future I just think it’ll be mid to late 2017 at the earliest especially with a drug suspension…

      • keeganballz says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: Thank you sir. One more question for you. Who has the highest ceiling in your opinion, Kyle Zimmer, Archie Bradley, Braden Shipley, or Jameson Taillon?

        That’s it, I am done.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @keeganballz: I think I’m still going Zimmer. Some is team and eventual nice park. I could say that for Taillon too, but he’s had some mental makeup warts and really bad timing in his development for the TJ. Any time!

  35. Regan says:
    (link)

    Good work as always JB, worth the wait. After last year’s pitcher debacle where all my teams started in a huge hole from drafting way to many young upside guys like like Paxton, Walker, Wood, Ventura, Terahan, Shoemaker, Cobb, Smyly, McCarthy, Green. Man it hurts to even make that list! Combined with my so called safe vets like Shark and Latos (Thanks Grey :-) it was a miracle i came back and won almost every league. Should have taken your reservations more seriously! Luckily i had Arietta/Carrasco on every team and picked up Martinez on most so even with busting most of my picks i managed to dig out of the black hole i created for myself.

    This year i want to draft pitchers that you both are fairly high on. Thinking of drafting a few more safe boring anchors this year to stabilize the upside guys like Rodon, Martinez, Ross. Specifically Lester, Shark, Liriano and Verlander I know Grey preaches this strategy in his pitcher pairings, just wondering where you stand on this subject and how you go about constructing your staff?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Regan: Thanks for reading! Hah yeah that was a rough set of guys there. I def was pretty low on Shark and Latos last year, so def blaming Grey there as well! Nice on Arrieta! I think I had him ranked higher than almost anyone else.

      I’m probably trying to nab at least one in the top 18 or so, but not going crazy and getting two. Then kinda value picks and being sure I get Joe Ross everywhere since he’s so undervalued haha. Probably trying to get Rodon everywhere too. C Mart has a lot of fans too so I could see him going right at about my value. Then filling out with some value guys and one or two more upside calls I have from there.

  36. Regan says:
    (link)

    Few other questions/comments. I never hear you talk about inning jumps. Like Carlos Martinez, Grey puts him in the avoid tier because of the 90 innings jump. Do you pay any attention to that? If so what number is to much of a jump? 50, 70, 100? I usually don’t let it affect my rankings to much but i think it does show up when young guys start to fade down the stretch where vets are still strong.

    About T Walker, I wonder if there is a reason his strand rate was so low last year. With bases empty he had a .549 OBSA. WIth runners on he had .854 OBSA. I looked back at his stats from prior years including the minors and there was no trend. He basically couldn’t get anyone out pitching from the stretch. I really want to like him this year since the Ms are my team and all. Do you think it’s just growing pains, bad luck or is it something more like maybe just not being mentally tough and giving in.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Regan: Not really, because it’s all relative, I mean he whines about it for C Mart but still ranks Matz at like 20? Another portion to that is in RCLs with daily moves and a robust wire, I can replace/bench guys if I think they’re fading. We’re not locked into Cmart’s stats all year. If he starts fading in august, I could still have 150 awesome innings then replace by streaming.

      Hmmm interesting. Young pitchers from the stretch can have issues, I know Yordano has had that issue at times too. I think it’s probably more growing pains and having a repeatable delivery from the stretch

      • The Harrow says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: yep, these are apparently for RCL type leagues, making my lackey point well informed after the fact (below)

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Regan: @The Harrow: They’re not specific for RCLs, I factored in innings limits probably more than starts limits, since that’s how I prefer to play.

          • The Harrow says:
            (link)

            @JB Gilpin: me too on the innings vs starts. i meant 12 team daily rotos in general in which only maybe 6 SP are appropriate to rosters. it’s quite silly to have that “last day of starts left” allow more innings than a standard number. Grey’s in particular are probably more so tailored to those (so you see things like d.holland not being ranked at all last year in his). for really deep leagues Lackey actually probably deserves a bump over value (not as much as here maybe) since the likely guaranteed innings.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              @Regan: @The Harrow: Agree on that! Boring stability in deepers is better than going very risky

  37. A Hill O' Beans says:
    (link)

    Wow, look at all those Blue Jays pitchers eh? God help the pitching on my REL team JB…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @A Hill O’ Beans: Hah you’ve got Stroman at least! Look at my pitching!!!!!!!!!! Luckily we have some nice prospects there….

  38. Duda want to build a snowman? says:
    (link)

    A little off topic, but you and Grey were talking about Desmond’s move to TX recently – wondering what you thought of Desmond in an OBP+OPS league?

    Factoring out Correa and Tulo, seems like pretty much every SS is barely pushing a .310 obp according to Steamer. For someone like me who is prioritizing OBP studs like Votto, Springer, Rizz, etc…, seems like I shouldn’t be caring about my SS’s OBP because it’ll be balanced out anyway.

    I’ve been planning to target Seager (about $14), but it seems like Desmond (much cheaper) is basically giving you the same stats plus some more steals, subject to where he hits in the TX lineup, for just a lot less flair and fanfare. That said, I love Seager!!!

    What do you think about Desmond?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Duda want to build a snowman?: Yeah if you have OBP protection then he would be a really good fit. I like Seager’s upside a lot too, and I actually think he’s a smidge safer too, which is crazy given he’s an unproven rook. I think Desmond could easily be just as good, but with downside to be awful like last year and replaced by… Joey Gallo or something haha. At like half the price though, I think I would take Desmond at like $5-$6 and could see Seager with the buss pushing like $20, so prob more value there

      • Duda want to build a snowman? says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: sounds good to me. Seager will prob go at auction first, so if I can’t get him for like 14/15 I’ll let him slide and grab des.

  39. thorbs says:
    (link)

    I know it’s more of a prospect Q, but have you seen much of Cody Reed in Cincy? I watched him yesterday and he has one of those big frames and a filthy slider, but seems a bit inconsistent.

    I was going to cough him up for Peraza in a dynasty league, but he looked awful tasty, if inconsistent.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @thorbs: Nope, honestly don’t know much about him. Came over in KC trade, I kinda remember his name thrown in that, but hadnt seen any video. I think if you don’t really have a dire need to assemble pitching, I’d prob take Peraza, he’s gonna help more short-term for sure.

  40. Wheezy says:
    (link)

    A little off topic but a keeper question.

    Can keep 4 guys. Can keep each guy for 3 seasons. Each goes a round earlier than drafted last year. Pickups go in the 13th. Choices are listed below with the round they will be drafted.

    Altuve (1)
    Arenado (2)
    Crash Davis (7)
    Correa (12)
    Schwarber (13)

    Was going to keep everyone but Davis. With the addition of Fowler in the Cubs outfield should I keep Davis instead of Schwarber?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Wheezy: Any comment welcome! Yeah Correa and Arenado are absolute locks. How does your draft order look? Bc if you draft early like top-6, you might be able to just draft Altuve, and keep the other 4. If that’s not how it looks, then I would probably throw back Schwarber

      • Wheezy says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin:

        So its a 10 team league. I got 2nd last year so have 9th pick (Non-snaking). I’ve projected who will go in the first round and Altuve would have to be passed up by 2 teams (first overall pick and 5th overall). That was what I wanted to do in the first place but don’t think he will even fall past number 1.

        Only other thing is I love the Cubs and its always nice having guys you like. But 50 homerun power in the 7th round is pretty hard to pass up when Schwarber’s playing time is a question mark.

        But I think Schwarber can turn into a 300 hitter who hits 30 hrs in some season.

        Tough decision.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Wheezy: Ah gotcha, figured it was worth confirming though. Yeah hold Altuve, then you could draft Schwarber with your first or second pick? If he does that he’ll be worth a keeper that high! AVG at 300 is gonna be tough to see :/

  41. Steve-O says:
    (link)

    What are your thoughts on Alex Wood?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Steve-O: I’m not too high on him, just way too hittable and lost velo last year. That said, he probably would’ve made it in with a little more stability after Brett Anderson got hurt. That happened right before this went live so I didn’t have that info yet, but yeah that’s why I didn’t rank Anderson either, all his unfortunate injuries!

      • thorbs says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin: He spent the offseason raising his arm slot — some good writeups on him. Could be a good last round flyer with upside if he’s made the mechanical corrections, no?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @thorbs: Sure! Like I said I might move him to 85-90 range, and anyone I have ranked I feel like it worth a last round pick. I still worry about velocity and repeatability of offspeed

  42. Sport says:
    (link)

    Thank you for this list and the write ups on each. Very useful! I do yahoo standard roto leagues so I tend to go for higher K/9 guys due to inning caps.

    Last night I traded Soler to get Corbin. Feels good to get something out of Soler since I drafted him before the Fowler signing. The rest of my pitching staff is deGrom, Carrasco, Matz, Iglesias, and Darvish.

    Team B pitching staff is Arrieta, Salazar, Matz, Walker. I like the first four so I took late flyers on E-Rod, W.Chen, and Buccholz. I think I will hold one and stream the rest of of my starts. Try to move Chen and drop Buccholz you think?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Sport: Thanks for reading! Yup I go that way as well. Nice move! Yeah Soler still has some upside if he changes unis, but until then, very meh.

      Ummmm, Buchholz can def be dropped, Chen I think might be worth holding, you have some huggggge K potential, so I think you can mask his 7-7.5 K rate pretty easily with those aces

  43. Papa C says:
    (link)

    Is Jose Fernandez a young Felix Hernandez?

    (That’s not really a question. More a short poem.)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Papa C: Hah I think he might be better! more K potential!

  44. Regan says:
    (link)

    On Mr Chen. 49 does seem low. He finished 37 last year in the toughest division to pitch in and now gets to pitch in a the best division, IMHO. Better park, better division, better league. I don’t see how he doesn’t beat last years numbers. Low 30s would be my call. I know some of these less flashy vets have to move down to make room for all the sexy upside kids so i get it but i’m super stoked on Chen this year. I want as many NL East pitchers as possible on my team .

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Regan: Hmmmm, interesting. I thought I had him kinda high. Thing with him finishing 37 is that cut out like… at least 7-8 injured guys who didnt get the innings who are no question higher now. I know Grey likes him too and I had him higher, and higher than other places I’ve seen, so I think we’re pretty much in agreement on him being undervalued!

  45. Hot Rod

    Jimmy Bond says:
    (link)

    Great stuff! Comments are closed on the 2016 War Room page, but as I noted on Malamoney’s points post: I have updated my War Room sheet to V4, to incorporate both these JB ‘Top 100’ SP rankings, as well as to incorporate Malamoney’s points rankings.

    Download available here – remember to click ENABLE EDITING and ENABLE CONTENT
    =============
    https://docs.google.com/uc?authuser=0&id=0ByY40Vu3ttWQaHIxUHJ3bHRxNnM&export=download
    =============
    On the points side: I only have hitters so far, Will update the SP side for points rankings when Malamoney’s pitching points data is out. Points rankings are automatically updated based on what users put as their scoring system in the USER INPUT tab, and then the results are output to a column in the main PLAYERS tab (hidden by default for Roto players, click the ‘+’ symbol above player names / column G to view the points rankings).

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Jimmy Bond: Awesome thanks man! Really appreciate that!

  46. Matt says:
    (link)

    Top 2 Keepers among the following:

    – Jake Arrieta: last pick of the 3rd round
    – Jose Altuve: Last pick of the 7th round
    – Stephen Strasburg: first pick of the 8th round
    – Tyson Ross: first pick of the 14th round

    14 team 5×5 with OBP. The only caveat is that if I pass on Altuve, somebody else will be able to grab him.

    Thoughts?

    • Matt says:
      (link)

      @Matt: Scratch Altuve. I’m keeping Arrieta & Strasburg over Ross, right?

      • ferris says:
        (link)

        @Matt: Altuve is a no-brainer keep. Ross is an easy throwback.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Matt: @ferris: Yeah you HAVE to keep Altuve at the end of the 7th! He’s your #1. I’d probably take Strasburg in the 8th as my 2nd

  47. Ryan741 says:
    (link)

    JB, trade question in a keeper points league. Through various trades I’ve gotten the 2nd overall pick and the 11th where I’m going to take either Carrasco or Felix with my first pick and possibly Salazar or a bat with my other. I was offered 2 different trades: 1, I would trade both 1’s for Arrieta and a late round pick or 2, I could trade my 2nd overall pick and Wade Davis for Strasburg. Stras has a 6th round keeper value for next year. Do you like either trade scenario or better off staying put with that pick?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
      (link)

      @Ryan741: What is Arrieta’s keeper value? if it’s not crazy high, I think I like that one, especially if H2H pts. I prob wouldn’t do the Wade Davis one in most formats

      • Ryan741 says:
        (link)

        @JB Gilpin I can keep Arrieta in the 2nd round for as long as I want since I’m keeping Kershaw as my 1st. How much regression do you see coming from Arrieta this year though? He’s still the 2nd best SP IMO, but how much of a point difference do you think there is between Arrieta and a guy like Carrasco?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
          (link)

          @Ryan741: Maybe a little regression, but that stuff gets overvalues, especially when his raw stuff just screams awesomeness. A little different than Greinke, who hits corners more. I have 2 as well, I think there’s still a big gap to that 2nd tier with Carrasco

          • Ryan741 says:
            (link)

            @JB Gilpin Well, the guy took back his offer of my 2 firsts for Arrieta and now wants my 2nd overall pick, Wade Davis and my 5th round pick for Arrieta and two late round picks. Still think it’s a decent offer, but I don’t have my 2-3-4 round picks due to other deals or keepers. Does this factor into the deal at all?

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
              (link)

              @Ryan741: If you have good hitting keepers, then sure I would still take the deal.

              • Ryan741 says:
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                @JB Gilpin I traded my 1 hitting keeper to be able to move up to get the 2nd overall pick. We have 4 keepers, but only allowed to keep up to 3 pitchers or 3 bats. Next year we get to keep 4 of whatever position we want, so I’ll be going 4 SP most likely in a points league. I already have Kershaw, plus have Noah as a 11th for next year. I’d like to get 1 more stud SP. So I’m leaning on trading for Arrieta. And trying to trade my second 1st round pick for a couple of other picks.

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:
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                  @Ryan741: Ah nice, yeah in Pts thats a solid strategy. I like the way you’re thinkin!

                  • Ryan741 says:
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                    @JB Gilpin how do you feel about taking closers in a points league? I already have Davis, and have debated grabbing Jansen and Kimbrel and then loading up on mid-tier SP like Wacha/Verlander/Kazmir types in the middle rounds to fill out my pitching staff…

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @Ryan741: I’m not too huge on it, I try to stream a SPRP pretty often next to one closer in weekly lock. I know there’s not great SPRP this year, but I still feel like most of the time I can stream one that will emerge

                    • Ryan741 says:
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                      @JB Gilpin well we have daily lock, not weekly as well as 2 RP spots and 2 P spots, so grabbing 4 closers has been a popular option in our legaue. I usually stay away from it and stream set up guys since we do get points for holds. 3 points for a hold, 7 for a save. Typically the top RP are in the 500 point range

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @Ryan741: Ahhhhh yeah closers are def more valuable there. And the elite set-up guys like BEtances and Siegrist and maybe T Watson all get boosts. I def like being aggressive on those top guys avail in that format!

                  • Ryan741 says:
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                    @JB Gilpin I found out Carrasco is going with the first overall pick, so I’ll be choosing to either take Felix or Abreu 2nd overall. Was offered a couple of deals where I can trade out of that spot. I could trade that pick for the third picks of the 2nd and 3rd rounds, or I could trade it plus two 5th round picks for Stroman and 2nd/3rd round picks. I’m leaning the Stroman deal…

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @Ryan741: Yeah Abreu isn’t the same guy in Pts as he is in roto… With it a keeper, I’m guessing Stroman is a great value in a late rd. I think I like that one too

  48. sliimbo says:
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    yoooo

    need a SP

    what side in a dyno? todd frazier, piscotty and wade davis or Sale?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @sliimbo: Yo! Damn that’s a lot to give up. How deep is the dynasty? If it’s fairly shallow I don’t mind Sale, but deeper 12 or any more teams than that I think it’s too much depth

      • sliimbo says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        its a 10 teamer, currently have stroman, syndergard, rodon, bradley and chen as my pithcers…..dont like bradley and chen all that much

        have guys i dont really need like frazier and wong, what if i package those 2 with one of my shortstops (bogaerts, lindor, russel) for a pithcer? who could i target

        thanks man!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @sliimbo: 10er and seeing you def could use an anchor, I like that original deal you mention. And sure, I like Frazier/Wong/prob Lindor (just respective to value, I think Bogaerts and Russell have more breakout potential) for a pitcher, I would def go high end. I would look at teams with the most pitching depth and offer that to any of my top 4-5. Maybe even risk Jose Fernandez with it a dyno

  49. Hot Rod

    Jimmy Bond says:
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    In using the war room in a test tonight, I can’t stress this enough – COPY-PASTE the full Players sheet as VALUES before you start to do sorting. for some reason when you sort by one column and then by another, things get all screwy. To prevent this, use values only…all the data and rankings are in there already, and the dashboard still links to values
    .

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Jimmy Bond: Interesting, thanks for the tip!

    • lake says:
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      @Jimmy Bond:
      were you able to do an nl only

  50. Regan says:
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    Any thoughts on Robert Stephenson? Reds prospect. I inherited him in a keeper league and not super excited about a wild kid in Cincy. Hey, maybe he could turn into Chapman2.0? My philosophy is to keep hitters anyways, just wanted to get your 2c.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Regan: Yeah def been following him, pretty big name past few years, control seems to be a big issue. Great K rates, but almost 24 now and still have horrific control issues. I could see him being Matt moore esque, nothing to do with injuries, just reallllly high WHIP could weigh him down

  51. ROTO OVERLORD says:
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    Stroman or Rodon 15th Round Keeper?

      • ROTO OVERLORD says:
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        @JB Gilpin: How close is it? I have Carrasco 8th rd. CMart 15th, and im torn between those 2 for final decision. ESPN Leagues Rodon not even getting drafted….

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @ROTO OVERLORD: Pretty close, both have nice upside. Yeah I mention that in the Rodon blurb, shockingly underranked there.

          Mannnn, I think Carrasco in the 8th just because that seems closest to his real value, Cmart in 15th seems really nice

  52. Jack the ripper says:
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    JB, GREAT article. Any thoughts on Joe Kelly? His august/Sept was amazing. Did he figure something out?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Jack the ripper: Thanks so much man! Nah, I’m looking at the game log and he averaged 85+% LOB even though he was still giving up hits and walks. Just got lucky in keeping em from scoring. and since he’s not a huge K guy, that seems fortunate. I think he’s destined to end up in the bullpen down the road, I’m not a big fan

  53. sliimbo says:
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    Which side in a keeper?
    springer, odor and berrios Or rendon and kluber?

    Cats
    Runs (R), Home Runs (HR), Runs Batted In (RBI), Batting Average (AVG), On-base Percentage (OBP), Net Stolen Bases (NSB)
    Losses (L), Earned Run Average (ERA), (Walks + Hits)/ Innings Pitched (WHIP), Strikeouts per Nine Innings (K/9), Quality Starts (QS), Saves + Holds (SV+H)

    I would be getting the springer side, we keep 14 (also keep 2 NA which would be berrious+)

    here is my team
    Bautista, Betts, Abreu, Marte, Davis, Schwarber, Frazier, Cano, Dozier, Rendon, Yelich
    Scherzer, Bumgarner, Kluber, Davis, C Mart

    Thats 16 guys listed, do you think i need to do it? who would you not likely keep and trade away, maybe could get sale or urias in the deal as well since i would be giving up kluber

    Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @sliimbo: I’ll take Springer side, muchhhh more young and Rendon is such an injury question mark. Love that deal for ya!

      Start 5 OF or 3? If 3 you probably gotta trade an OF, if not I dunno if there’s too much trading needed to get done, maybe shop Cano?

      • Slimbo says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        We start 4 OF and 3 util

        Actually got a guy who wants Cano….he has a few guys I’m interested in like Carrasco or Polanco, could try for one of them or moncada…he’s a Seattle fan so he will overpay lol

        Who do you like best for cano

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Slimbo: Hah nice! Yeah I’m still doing the Springer deal then prob trying Cano for Carrasco.

  54. The Harrow says:
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    you’re ranking lackey at 58th yet claim to “not pay for 2015”! go back and look where you ranked that guy in 2015 and tell me you’re NOT doing what Grey claims cockraft and those other espn hacks due with ranking players:
    Grey: “you seem to not like player X this year, and your projections would indicate he should be ranked maybe 100 or more spots lower based on your own projections”
    ESPN hack: “i do think player X is going to have a bad year and those are my projections you refer to, but the reason i have player X ranked there is that’s WHERE HE’S GOING”

    i simply don’t believe you’ll actually draft lackey ahead of kazmir/nola/buchholez etc. even with the addendum that lackey is safer to make innings than those maybe, if these rankings are made for 12 team leagues i’d still much rather have them (and i think you would too), and find somebody else for when they are hurt or shut down.
    i typed that before looking at where you actually ranked him, but my guesses were close (i thought around 96th). i’m curious what changed since then, unless we are trying to rank for last year (or the where the public is drafting him maybe).
    Don’t take this as trolling or anything, if i actually had no respect for what you do, and actually thought you were as bad as those espn hacks, i wouldn’t have read/nor typed this.

    • The Harrow says:
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      @The Harrow: like just why is peavy 26 spots lower, they seem very similar, with peavy being younger.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @The Harrow: Well there’s a big difference between “don’t pay for 2015” and “completely ignore 2015, and only rank him looking at stats through 2014”.

        Well first off, these are my personal rankings, I don’t look at ADP and this is indeed how I would draft em. I think Lackey stays in the rotation all year, and carries less risk than those you mention as you call out as well. And no, I would not rather have those guys… Kazmir just hasn’t been that good except for some first half flashes, Nola isn’t gonna win games and profiles as kinda a blah guy, and Buchholz is still coming off a forearm strain and who knows with him, he’s been awful even when healthy in recent history. They all carry risk or less upside immediately as well.

        Peavy is 26 lower with his health concerns as well, we can’t just throw out his health issues…

        I’m not quite sure what other justification you’re looking for, I don’t do projections, but I see a durable guy that will be my SP4 or 5 if I end up getting him somewhere, without the noise of those you mention. It’ll be unsexy, but usable. I say “don’t pay for 2015” in that I don’t think he’s top 30 like he ranked, not that you can completely ignore a full season. ESPN/other obviously have him even higher.

        • The Harrow says:
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          @JB Gilpin: there certainly is a difference between paying for 2015 and ignoring it, apparently 37 year olds gain 34 spots when they gain the “skills” necessary to have their best season ever at age 36, we should call this the midlife “ace-like” boost (it comes in a Boost drink maybe).

          i’m assuming the things that would be the same from this year to last would be his innings safety, and only thing that changed is
          1. having career best season at age 36 (by the exact same surface stats that makes him 30th at espn)
          2. moving to CUBS from STL.
          it’s possible wins projections are being cooked into these much more than i would’ve thought. So clearly at least one of those is playing a very large part here. Here’s one for you, if he was traded to PIT, how high would you’ve had him, 44th? (searage, we’d have had 3 reasons to move up from 2015)

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @The Harrow: I went back and read my blurb and you kinda put words in my mouth. I said don’t pay for a sub-3.00 ERA and he got lucky. He had a bumpy transition to the NL when traded 2014, but last year was his first full season in the NL, you can’t just throw that out. You seem really tunnel visioned on his age, but velo was the same, and moved to a better park and better league. Those are both bigger than your fake points you made up there haha.

            I love that you’re making me defend Lackey too, when I would be the 6th lowest among like the 40ish rankers and right in the red on fantasypros http://www.fantasypros.com/mlb/players/john-lackey.php?position=SP

            • The Harrow says:
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              @JB Gilpin: whether or not i intended to put any words incorrectly to your mouth the only things that have changed with lackey from last year are those 2 things, where you ranked him in the 90’s last year. last year he was in the NL. you aren’t disagreeing with me on this, yet he’s ranked nearly 35 spots higher than last year, by your ranks.

              1. having career best season at age 36 (by the exact same surface stats that makes him 30th at espn)
              2. moving to CUBS from STL.

              i’m aware you aren’t overcompensating for last year nearly as much as others, didn’t mean to intend that you were. but something’s going on when a guy changes those 2 things above and somehow goes up 35 or so spots. the searage/PIT thing was a joke, but how do we know, he’s not on PIT. and since you brought it up, there’s a 3rd thing that changed. and since you didn’t even look at the other rankers when you did yours, why even worry about them in this convo.
              3. he’s in worse pitcher’s park this year than STL.
              If i’m guilty of tunnel visioning his age, why aren’t you guilty of tunnel visioning a guy AT HIS AGE having a career surface stats year last year somehow leading to him getting a 35 spot bonus. Seems much more likely that a guy his age doesn’t do nearly what he did last year than he does while being a year older.
              what are these “fake points” you mention?

              • The Harrow says:
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                @The Harrow: went and looked up some stuff up, didn’t realize lackey’s 1st pitch strike and K rate was that much better than peavy’s last year. true that is. but as far as injuries go lackey’s not in good standing either:
                peavy missed days: 2011- 57 (recovery of shoulder strain)
                2013 – 44 (fractured rib)
                2015 – 76 (back strain)
                lackey missed days 2011 – 24 (strained elbow)
                2012 – 182 (TJ, same injury as above)
                2013 – 176 (biceps strain)

                so neither of them are steady healthy guys. lackey’s 2 years older, but also had better skills last year. peavy’s K drop goes with likely what you said about intentional contact. throw in the extra wins i’m betting you have CUBS down for getting more than SF and this starts to look like at least 10 spots apart. peavy does get that much better home park though.

                • The Harrow says:
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                  @The Harrow: oh yeah, and i’m not saying you should ignore 2015 lackey’s surface stats, just the gap being the 35 spots he’s been moved up compared to your own last year’s ranking. i would move him up some too, just not over 1/3 of total rankings spots. also, as i mentioned somewhere above, you might be weighing wins into these much more than i thought. that could possibly explain maybe 15-20 of this bonus he gets. vegas does have CUBS as WS favs.

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
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                    @The Harrow: Well I think you’re being age-ist and of course I wish I had some 20/20 hindsight and ranked him better the year before. i didn’t think he’d be this good in the NL.

                    I’m not worried about the rankers, just affirming I’m not on an island and high on this schlub.

                    Fake points = the Searage thing, I was clownin around.

                    Lackey just seems further removed from various health things.

                    I think you’re weighing my 2015 rank too much, as I said, I didn’t anticipate he’d thrive in a full season in the NL this much.

                    Hah yeah tough for any other team to be the WS fave right now!

  55. Dr Sauce says:
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    Hi JB, Thanks for the Yeoman’s work! I’ve been looking forward to your piece and have given it a couple days to sink in. Here’s my situation;
    Context – ESPN 5X5, head to head, 6 man keeper (any 6 no penalties)
    Keepers – Goldy, Rizzo, Stanton, Bryant, Betts, Cutch (Our league has been in play for a while now and I have worked my situation to have this stable of keeps)
    Draft – I was able to make a trade to receive the 4th pick in our upcoming re-draft. Obviously with my pitching cupboard bare I am planning to draft a pitcher with the 4th pick overall. The following are the top 5 pitchers available; Price, Kluber, Archer, Syndergaard, Carrasco, Strasberg. Simply using your ranks I should be looking at Price and then the other 5 are closely ranked in the 10-15 range. My question is would you ranks change at all in a keeper set-up? If there are changes what would your top 4 of the 6 options I have provided look like?
    My brain is telling me to keep it simple and draft Price or Kluber (whichever falls) and let them anchor my staff. However, by gut/heart is telling me to get some ‘sexy Syndergaard’
    Thanks JB!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dr Sauce: Thanks for reading man! Yeah I could see making some tweaks for a keeper, but good lord! Your hitters are insane! I would probably go safer, so would indeed go Price. If say, you were starting a keeper day 1, I would prob go Strasburg, Price, Kluber, Synd,Arch, Carrasco. So fairly similar, I might risk upside Strasburg gets it together in a keeper. Hah go with you brain! Any time!

  56. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Makes sense; thanks for the feedback. I am the owner dropping both Kluber and Syndergaard; would it make sense to keep one of those pitchers and trade Cutch? I could probably get a 1st round pick (12th overall). In a sense, Kluber or Synder + 12th overall pick for Cutch. Could still draft Price, Stras, Carrasco or Archer and pick-up a bat to replace Cutch with the 12 overall pick? What do you think?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Dr. Sauce: Any time! Ummm, nah I think I would hold Cutch, I think he has a strong year. I don’t see a huge upgrade in pitching there, seems like selling him too low

  57. Eric says:
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    Just wanted to say these rankings were gold in 2015. Thanks in advance for 2016.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Eric: Thanks so much man, I hope I do pretty well again this time!

  58. Cram It says:
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    I’m with you on the Paxton ship. And unless he has a full season of suck, I’m not quitting on him next year either. There’s some really good shizz there that I’ll go down with if the ship sinks.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Cram It: Hah yeah, the stuff just always looks good! Let’s hope he gets it together and can avoid the icebergs. I mean, he is Canadian…

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