All the final 2011 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2012 (caps for those still wearing their Dolphin Tale 3-D glasses).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from ESPN’s Player Rater.  It’s an objective third party to fairly gauge my preseason rankings.  Does this mean I think ESPN’s Player Rater is the Tootie and I’m the Natalie?  No, just an unbiased comparison.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Justin Verlander – Verlander was terrific yadda3.  I’d prefer to take his blurb to talk about how easily pitchers can go wrong, or fantasy teams, in general.  I had Kershaw, Hamels and Yovani as guys I wanted in the preseason.  They all finished in this top 20.  Unfortunately, I also had Liriano in a group of pitchers I wanted, and he was the one I ended up with in a bunch of leagues.  Pitching can be found later in drafts so this didn’t kill all my leagues, but it just shows you how easily a coin flip (Liriano or Kershaw) can turn a team’s fortunes.  Preseason Rank #12, 2011 Projections: 15-10/3.50/1.18/210, Final Numbers:  24-5/2.40/0.92/250

2. Clayton Kershaw – You know what’s nice about Clayton Kershaw?  Everything!  This article from 2010 always sticks in the back of my mind.  This is pretty unfair to point out.  We’ve all been wrong.  Shoot, I’m wrong more than I’m right.  I’m probably wrong just pointing this article out.  For those who don’t have ESPN Hindsighter, the piece was written almost two years ago.  (Yeah, I randomly remember shizz like this but forget where I parked my car.)  The author compares Kershaw to young pitchers over the last 30 years and how they get hurt or lose velocity.  He compares Kershaw to Kazmir and Ollie Perez.  Only there’s no mention that Kazmir and Perez had an entirely different flaw in their games.  They walked more than someone with a DUI in Los Angeles.  Also, he mentions Doc Gooden.  Only he doesn’t mention that Gooden had the world by the nuts until he decided to see if he could snort the foul lines.  What’s also omitted in that article is that Feller, Drysdale and Blyleven did pretty well at the ripe old age of 22.  Could Kershaw collapse because he has too many innings on his arm at a young age?  I suppose, but not because a few prodigies did and some other prodigies didn’t.  Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections: 14-8/3.00/1.15/220, Final Numbers: 21-5/2.28/0.98/248

3. Roy Halladay – The fact that Halladay ended up 3rd is more a testament to the two pitchers above him rather than an indictment on anything he did.  Preseason Rank #1, 2011 Projections: 19-7/2.75/1.06/205, Final Numbers:  19-6/2.35/1.04/220

4. Cliff Lee – This is more of an over-arching issue with my preseason projections and the end of the year numbers.  Pitchers were a lot better than I thought they’d be (or hitters were a lot worse).  Guys I really liked in the preseason such as Lee, I projected an ERA for them a hair under 3.00.  There were 16 pitchers with an ERA under 3.00.  And a bunch of them weren’t just a “hair” under 3.00.  It’s the Age of ERA-rius.  Preseason Rank #3, 2011 Projections: 16-6/2.95/1.05/190, Final Numbers:  17-8/2.40/1.03/238

5. Jered Weaver – On one of the last days of the season, I took my rusty scalpel to Jered Weaver for 2011.  I wrote it while remarking what a nice beaver you have.  Preseason Rank #10, 2011 Projections: 15-10/3.40/1.15/195, Final Numbers:  18-8/2.41/1.01/198

6. James Shields – This might be a bit shocking to some people, but Shields’s 2010 when he had a 5.18 ERA wasn’t really that different than his 2.82 ERA this year.  He gave up a few less homers, was lucky with BABIP and left more men on base.  He’s been a mid-3 ERA pitcher more or less for the last two years.  Preseason Rank #58, 2011 Projections: 12-8/3.95/1.30/170, Final Numbers:  16-12/2.82/1.04/225

7. Ian Kennedy – This is a bit of a continuation of what I said in the Verlander blurb about getting unlucky with my first starter.  In the preseason I said I wanted Kennedy, Bumgarner, Chacin, Cueto, Morrow, Edwin Jackson, Jonathan Sanchez or de la Rosa as my fourth starter.  Lots of hits there, but I could’ve ended up with the misses.  I didn’t though.  So luck does tend to even out.  Or not.  Your choice.  Preseason Rank #40, 2011 Projections: 11-10/3.75/1.25/180, Final Numbers:  21-4/2.88/1.09/198

8. Cole Hamels – My pitching projections weren’t great, but the guys I told you to draft weren’t bad.  I’ve pegged Hamels as a guy to go after for four (stutterer!) years now.  Next year, it’ll be the fifth.  Really nothing ever wrong with Hamels assuming his luck isn’t terrible.  Preseason Rank #14, 2011 Projections: 14-10/3.40/1.18/190, Final Numbers:  14-9/2.79/0.99/194

9. Dan Haren – “You got your head so far up your ass your mustache is also your eyebrows!  There’s no such thing as the Haren pre- and post-All Star break splits!”  That’s you.  This year:  2.61 ERA pre-All Star break; 3.89 ERA post-All Star break.  Um, okay.  Preseason Rank #20, 2011 Projections: 15-9/3.60/1.18/215, Final Numbers:  16-10/3.17/1.02/192

10. CC Sabathia – For a few years now, CC has worried me with his innings.  Yeah, he’s a workhorse, but this is the 2nd year in a row where his post-All Star break numbers have been less than stellar and in 2011 it was even more pronounced.  I.e., it’s pronounced:  tired.  Preseason Rank #5, 2011 Projections: 18-10/3.40/1.20/190, Final Numbers:  19-8/3.00/1.23/230

11. Josh Beckett – You can go ahead and read Shields’s blurb again, because it’s pretty much the same deal with Beckett.  Preseason Rank #29, 2011 Projections: 15-9/4.15/1.24/170, Final Numbers:  13-7/2.89/1.03/175

12. C.J. Wilson – A recurring theme in my stupid assitude is my inability to understand relievers turned starters.  Wilson didn’t feel the effects of 2010 on his arm, he actually got better.  I really have no clue.  Preseason Rank #49, 2011 Projections: 12-6/3.95/1.28/165, Final Numbers:  16-7/2.94/1.19/206

13. Matt Cain – As I continue to be the best ‘pert I can be, I’ve realized I should ignore certain stats for Cain.  Yes, I’m smarter now because I’ve chosen to be more ignorant.  You’re welcome.  Preseason Rank #23, 2011 Projections: 13-9/3.50/1.12/180, Final Numbers:  12-11/2.88/1.08/179

14. Ricky Romero – In the preseason, when I told you to draft Romero, here’s what I said, “Let’s count the ways we love Ricky Romero, shall we?  7 ways!  Okay, maybe I should count them out loud.  1) Will only be 26 years old.  2) Will be entering his third big league season, a time when pitchers tend to hit their stride.  3) His K-rate was 7 and half and can get better. 4) He cut his walks last year.  5) Golden rings.  6) Pitches in the AL East… Hmm… That’s not a positive.  7)  There was really only 4 reasons that I stretched out to 7.”  And that’s me quoting me!  Preseason Rank #59, 2011 Projections: 13-6/3.65/1.30/180, Final Numbers:  15-11/2.92/1.14/178

15. Tim Lincecum – I was pretty concerned about Lincecum’s falling K-rate coming off his 2010 season…Yet, came closer to his projections than I did for most.  As always, it’s better to be wrong-right than right-right.  Preseason Rank #4, 2011 Projections: 15-10/3.20/1.18/225, Final Numbers:  13-14/2.74/1.21/220

16. Doug Fister – Easily the only pitcher that came completely out of nowhere.  Sure, I ranked Shields way lower than he ended up, but I told y0u to draft Shields.  Not only did I not mention Fister, but I wouldn’t have told you to even pick him up until around July.  Fister’s season wasn’t quite as pretty as it seemed, but his K-rate was respectable and his walks were low.  Fister, what a pisser!  (Though not Fister in the pisser.)  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 11-13/2.83/1.06/146

17. David Price – I ranked Price 17th and he ended up 17th.  Boo-ya!  Unfortunately, I also said to not draft him.  Again, it’s about being wrong-right.  Price had a great 2010, but he actually had a better 2011.  It’s a truism, or it’s supposed to be a truism, that pitchers really hit their stride in their 3rd year in the bigs.  That’s what 2011 was for Price.  The great sign going forward is he looks like he can continue for years to come, barring injury.  Preseason Rank #17, 2011 Projections: 14-10/3.60/1.22/185, Final Numbers:  12-13/3.49/1.14/218

18. Tim Hudson – No fair, he stole Roy Oswalt’s end of the year stats.  Preseason Rank #27, 2011 Projections: 14-10/3.75/1.20/130, Final Numbers:  16-10/3.22/1.14/158

19. Yovani Gallardo – As anyone knows that was around in the preseason, I was caca-cuckoo for Gallardo.  I wanted him on every team.  I pretty much nailed his projections too.  Yet, I feel like he let me down a bit.  Funny thing with this is when I really like a guy, I want them to beat my projections, not match them.  That’s kinda how I am in every facet of my life too.  Maybe I am just like my mother.  She’s never satisfied.  Preseason Rank #9, 2011 Projections: 16-9/3.30/1.24/220, Final Numbers:   17-10/3.52/1.22/207

20. Felix Hernandez – F-Her can get lumped in with Shields and Beckett.  He had pretty much the same season this year as he had in 2010 when he won the Cy Young.  Only this year, he won an extra game, his K-rate was better, his luck was worse and he gave up two extra homers.  As his spooner cousin Helix Fernandez would say, “Most people just saw a downward spiral year.  Not wanting to see how his xFIP was similar from 2010 to 2011.  Or they just went DNA.  You know, Did Not Address.”  Preseason Rank #2, 2011 Projections: 16-12/2.80/1.10/220, Final Numbers:  14-14/3.47/1.22/222

  1. Terrence Mann says:

    Kinda beat yourself up on this one, Grey. Prettay undeservedly. Look at the pitchers that shouldn’t be on that list based on 2010. Beckett, Shields, Romero. You had all those dudes as buys in the preseason.

    I know you mentioned in a blurb this year that you were going to draft a team with all NL west pitchers. I implore you to do this in at least one league this year.

  2. SwaggerJackers says:

    F-Her finishing worse than Tim Hudson is upsetting.

    Can Fister and Vasquez repeat their 2nd halves or should they be avoided at their ADPs?

  3. royce! says:

    Yeah, I think you deserve a pass on the David Price thing, if only because the next SP in your preseason rankings that you advocated drafting was Haren, which means that if one followed just those pieces of advice, everything would have been killer.

    It seems like this season pitching was generally great, and that batting had some insane seasons at the top (Kemp, for example), and then tailed off. The top players exceeded your batting projections, but then the later ones that you were right about their ranking had worse seasons than you projected (for example, Gardner) (please ignore that comparing real world numbers to your projections is not a very scientific way of showing this). Which I suppose makes sense. If pitching was generally better than usual, and there were a few guys with insane offensive seasons, then one would expect everyone else to suck just a little bit more.

  4. mike says:

    “wrong-right rather than right-right” haha i love it

  5. mhfella says:

    Went back and checked out your August podcast. Quite the giggler, you! Or did you send some imposter, like for that interview in that Matt Damon movie?

  6. Wake Up says:

    I can see Shields as the most likely SP to under-perform his ADP.

    CC’s K rate actually went up after the ASB, not usually the case for a tiring SP. But, he did give up way too many hits and his HR rate was a little unlucky(or he just decided to give up a season’s worth of HRs in the second half).

    YoGa seems primed to exceed expectations and projections next year, hopefully he slips in the drafts a bit. Shiva Rea says that you don’t really hit your stride until the 4th year. But, maybe I’m just too demanding?

  7. Wake Up says:

    Oh, I agree that PJ20 was great!

  8. Mark says:

    Felix’s roto K-rate was better than 2010, but his IRL K-rate was actually slightly worse (not meaningfully, 23.2% in 2010 23.0% in 2011, the two best rates of his career, but still). K/9 is a tricky stat, especially when dealing with BABIP outliers, because the denominator in K/9 is different than the denominator for K%. K/9 essentially breaks out to K/Out (since 9 innings are a composite of innings, and innings are measured in outs, not batters) and K% is K/TBF (total batters faced). K/9 really tells you what percentage of outs achieved were strikeouts, while K% tells you what percent of plate appearances resulted in a strikeout. But what we know about BABIP tells us that measuring non-K outs isn’t really all that meaningful in terms of predictiveness, its better to simply look at Ks vs. non-Ks than Ks vs. non-K-outs for making predictions.

    The 8.55 K/9 was a bit of a constellation prize for Felix (same with any high BABIP player), in that it means he hurt your rates a bit more than expected, but as a side effect provided a few extra K/IP. If his BABIP had been neutral, his ERA/WHIP would have been prettier, but his K/IP would have been slightly worse.

  9. chata says:

    nice rendition of “God Bless America” tonight .

  10. Steve says:

    Bloody Derek Holland. Always getting a ton of run support.

  11. Steve says:

    Can you tell I can’t grow one?

  12. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    ¿Feliz… o infeliz?

  13. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Cruz looked like Willie Mays on that play… the exact opposite of Willie Mays, that is.

  14. chata says:

    hamilton answers

  15. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Damn… the end of this postseason is threatening to be as exciting as the end of this regular season.

  16. chata says:

    washington celebrating like he’s already found his 8-ball .

  17. chata says:

    is that cruz , still out in right field ?
    looks like he’s freaking .

  18. chata says:

    9 to 7

    kinda brings back memories of the mazeroski game .

  19. chata says:

    gotta IBB pujols .

  20. chata says:

    washington ==> “if i don’t intentionally walk pujols , people are gonna think that i’m on drugs” .

  21. Grey

    Grey says:


  22. chata says:

    pressure hit for berkman , there .

  23. chata says:

    dipshit alert !

    i couldn’t think of a better group of guys to be enjoying this game with
    than you 3 .

  24. Steve says:

    Amazing stuff. Following on my phone now.

  25. Steve says:

    Ha! On 3G for now!

  26. Steve says:

    Good heavens. The Cards have been down to their final strike – TWICE.

  27. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Did Washington just throw in the towel?

  28. Grey

    Grey says:

    See you tomorrow night!

  29. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:


  30. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Tomorrow then, gents.

  31. royce! says:

    Sorry to show up late…hope I didn’t miss anything.

  32. Howard says:

    Kinda makes me regret trading David Freese!

  33. chata says:

    haha … on sweet genius , the guy hacks up a bonzai tree !

  34. Steve says:

    Can someone explain to me the significance of the ‘see you tomorrow night’ call? Not the first time it’s been used I’m guessing…

Comments are closed.