All the final 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2018 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

1. Corey Kluber – For a change of pace, I’m going to talk about Kluber with how he relates to my team (kidding, this is not a change of pace).  I don’t draft pitchers high.  Have never, won’t ever.  Grey, I say.  I don’t punt pitchers completely.  Between 40 and 55 overall is about where I take my first pitcher.  I drafted Kluber 43rd overall in my RCL.  I won this league with a 12 out of 12 in ERA, and an 11 in WHIP.  I had 1317 2/3 IP total innings, and a 3.52 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.  Without Kluber, I would’ve had a 3.75 ERA and a 5 in ERA.  I would’ve had a 1.26 WHIP and a 2 in WHIP.  16 less points would’ve easily moved me down to 4th place.  Of course, maybe I would’ve drafted Carrasco instead, and negated some of that loss, but I could’ve drafted Chris Archer or Jon Lester (all taken right after Kluber), and been pretty much screwed.  That’s not even considering Kluber’s Ks.  Unlike the sketchy Asian guy with the glowsticks, a good time was to be had with this Kluber.  Preseason Rank #9, 2017 Projections: 17-10/3.36/1.08/229, Final Numbers: 18-4/2.25/0.87/265

2. Chris Sale – Hard to be *that* against a guy that struck out 300+ guys, and was the 2nd best starter in baseball, but Sale makes me glad I’m not in the habit of drafting top starters, because his 2nd half is worrisome.  Preseason Rank #4, 2017 Projections: 18-8/3.31/1.08/244, Final Numbers: 17-8/2.90/0.97/308

3. Max Scherzer – Should go without saying that just because I don’t draft these top guys it does not mean I don’t like them.  I watch Scherzer pitch and I get a Ken Boner like everyone else, even women.  Preseason Rank #2, 2017 Projections: 18-7/2.51/0.96/270, Final Numbers: 16-6/2.51/0.90/268

4. Clayton Kershaw – Besides the Ks on the projections, I nearly nailed his projections, so if he didn’t miss time (again) this past year, he would’ve been right there.  This whole missing starts thing, though, I don’t know, dawg, as Randy Jackson would say.  Halp, Ralph and I go over him in our 2018 mock draft too.  It’s a sight for sore ears.  Preseason Rank #1, 2017 Projections: 19-6/2.44/0.95/261, Final Numbers: 18-4/2.31/0.95/202

5. Carlos Carrasco – I owned Carrasco in one league, so I was surprised to see him end up this high in the rankings, which brings us to a big ol’ general point:  starters weren’t great this year.  The difference between Kluber and Carrasco was $13 of value.  To put that into hitters’ context, it’s the difference between Cody Bellinger and Logan Morrison.  Pardon my language, but that’s ducking huge.  Preseason Rank #12, 2017 Projections: 15-9/3.28/1.13/192, Final Numbers: 18-6/3.29/1.10/226

6. Stephen Strasburg – I point out a lot about how I was right even though I was wrong, so it’s fair to say I was wrong wrong on Strasburg.  I didn’t want to draft him, and said to avoid him.  Apparently, his elbow was able to hold up for one year.  Mea culpa, as they say in Latin America.  Preseason Rank #16, 2017 Projections: 12-9/3.55/1.10/190, Final Numbers: 15-4/2.52/1.02/204

7. Zack Greinke – Samesies with Strasburg.  But to defend myself, I also said to avoid:  David Price, Rick Porcello, Felix Hernandez, Tanner Roark and Aaron Sanchez.  You didn’t do yourself that wrong by following my advice.  Preseason Rank #38, 2017 Projections: 12-9/3.71/1.17/167, Final Numbers: 17-7/3.20/1.07/215

8. Luis Severino – Here’s what I said in the preseason, “There’s no truth that Welcome Back Kotter in Latin American countries dubs Vinnie Barbarino’s name out for Luis Severino.  Fake news!  There is truth that Severino has never pitched for more than 71 IP in a major league season, but he’ll be 23 years old this year and he pitched nearly 151 IP across three levels last year, so he could conceivably pitch 180 IP this year in the majors.  Innings-schminnings!  What about Ks and ERA and that crap?!  Well, he throws 96 MPH and regularly topped 9+ K/9 in the minors.  He could easily break out this year.”  And that’s me quoting me!  This goes to a larger point; some of these preseason rankings are way, way, way off, but if I liked a guy, that’s all that matters.  You didn’t need to draft Severino as the 8th best starter to get him.  Preseason Rank #82, 2017 Projections: 10-10/3.94/1.34/143, Final Numbers: 14-6/2.98/1.04/230

9. Robbie Ray – It’s been a while since I impressed myself as much as I did with Robbie Ray.  I not only wrote a sleeper post about him, but pretty much nailed exactly why we should all draft him — boku Ks.  This isn’t as remarkable until you realize I had completely forgotten about writing that sleeper post until doing this recap.  I mean, I was glad to own him in a few leagues, so I knew I liked him, but forgot how much I liked him.  I really should’ve touted my love for him more.  Speaking of which, I owned him in Tout Wars and won that league by a record amount.  Well, it is called Tout, so what’s the point of winning it if you don’t do just that?  Rhetorical!  Preseason Rank #47, 2017 Projections: 13-9/3.67/1.24/226, Final Numbers: 15-5/2.89/1.15/218

10. Jacob deGrom – Yes, Chief Grey Strongfoe told you to avoid deGrom in the preseason, but I actually predicted him for slightly better numbers.  Starters were just down this year, and not in a sexual way.  DeGrom’s K-rate was splendiferous (10.7), and his velocity was up two miles per hour.  Even when considering the new way they’re judging velocity, which adds velocity, that is impressive.  I feel like I’m going to be back in on deGrom next year, and he’s going to come cheap, and he’s gonna totally eff me.  This is Daniel Murphy’s Law.  Preseason Rank #15, 2017 Projections: 13-10/3.12/1.15/191, Final Numbers: 15-10/3.53/1.19/239

11. Alex WoodDodgers had 17 starters coming into the year — B-Mac, Hill, Urias, Brock Stewart (!), Ryu Kidding Me, Stripling and Jerry Reuss.  So, I didn’t rank Wood or project him, but very few likely did since he seemed to be the long man out of the bullpen in March.  If you didn’t draft starters, and only picked up players who sound like porn actors, you did well with Wood and Peacock.  Not as well with Tyler Skaggs and Clay Butthurtz.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 16-3/2.72/1.06/151

12. Justin Verlander – This isn’t a CC bounce back either, like when a girl gives you her email and ghosts you.  Verlander’s velocity is back too, registering on average 95 MPH from a low of 92 in 2014.  I’m beginning to think he was just unhealthy for a few years, rather than ‘learning how to pitch’ as he got older.  Verlander just needs to noogie Robin Ventura, and his comparisons to Nolan Ryan will be complete.  Preseason Rank #8, 2017 Projections: 15-10/3.31/1.05/220, Final Numbers: 15-8/3.36/1.17/219

13. Gio Gonzalez – Kinda wish he looked better in the postseason to really jag his preseason values way up.  Gio didn’t just have a career year, he had an extremely lucky year.  Visual metaphor alert!  Someone removed the Gio car emblem and put a Rolls emblem on it, and changed nothing else.  “I’m surprised to see masking tape holding closed the glove compartment in this Rolls.”  Preseason Rank #61, 2017 Projections: 10-10/3.87/1.35/166, Final Numbers: 15-9/2.96/1.18/188

14. Ervin Santana – I didn’t just miss on Ervin, but multiple people asked me during the preseason why I left him off my top 500.  People were basically like, “Yo, I ain’t trying to tell you how to do your job that you’re not paid for, but you missed Ervin.”  I didn’t listen.  Of course, his xFIP of 4.77 and 7.1 K/9 and–Okay, I’m not going to continue down this path of proving how I was right to not include him.  I was wrong, but Ervin was not as good as this ranking indicates.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 16-8/3.28/1.13/167

15. Carlos Martinez – Not to take anything away from Carrasco, but to shine a flashlight on C-Mart, if he had six more wins he’d be ranked 9th here.  I said flashlight, C-Mart, why are you tweeting about fleshlights?!  Preseason Rank #14, 2017 Projections: 15-10/3.17/1.19/193, Final Numbers: 12-11/3.64/1.22/217

16. James Paxton – I don’t mention it in the recaps, but I also project for innings, and for Paxton I projected 178 IP.  I thought I was being conservative, but he only threw 136 IP.  He’s going to be 29 and he’s never thrown for more than 136 IP in a major league season.  Is it any surprise that on the Player Rater in front of him is also Roberto Osuna, David Robertson, Corey Knebel, Kimbrel and Jansen?  Paxton is essentially a closer who gets Wins instead of Saves.  WAGNOF?  Preseason Rank #41, 2017 Projections: 14-10/3.53/1.26/181, Final Numbers: 12-5/2.98/1.10/156

17. Rich Hill – Samesies with Pax.  Unless your league gives you extra points for blisters, then Hill has more value.  Preseason Rank #25, 2017 Projections: 14-5/2.74/1.03/144, Final Numbers: 12-8/3.32/1.09/166

18. Dallas Keuchel – I was wrong in the preseason on Daylass Koochel, but — here comes the hedging! — he had a 7.8 K/9, 3.32 xFIP and a 88 MPH fastball.  Pretty much exactly what he had in 2016 when he had a 4.55 ERA.  The big difference is he was able to keep more balls on the ground like Jameson Taillon’s doctor missing a jump shot in the waste basket.  Preseason Rank #56, 2017 Projections: 12-9/3.87/1.25/165 , Final Numbers: 14-5/2.90/1.12/125

19. Drew Pomeranz – I’d attest that Pomeranz was one of the top five biggest surprises this year for pitchers.  Everything you thought you knew from his stint on the Red Sox in 2016 was completely wrong.  Somehow he had a 3.32 ERA last year split between the Padres and Sawx, but a 6.43 ERA in Fenway and a 4.59 ERA after the trade, then had exactly a 3.32 this year again on the Sawx.  It’s legit baffling.  Preseason Rank #57, 2017 Projections: 8-11/3.94/1.25/165, Final Numbers: 17-6/3.32/1.35/174

20. Brad Peacock – I left relievers off this list, but Peacock had 21 starts and 13 relief appearances, so stick a urinal fly in the 20th spot, because Peacock goes here.  He was a complete flyer coming into this year, which seems appropriate for a Peacock.  Or an ‘outside the flyer,’ as the case may be.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 13-2/3.00/1.19/161

109 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
VinWins
VinWins
4 years ago

Yeah, I read about Tin Star, have not seen it yet.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  VinWins
4 years ago

@VinWins: I’m on episode 7 already. I like it a lot

J-FOH
J-FOH
4 years ago

I started watching Tin Star. Wow, it’s like Canadian Fargo. It’s totally F-ed up too

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  J-FOH
4 years ago

@J-FOH: so you missed this comment?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Nah, its on Amazon. Stars Tim Roth. He plays a small town Canadian sheriff who moved from England. Its got a Fargo feel to it. I knocked four episodes out last night before my Amazon decided to say enough is enough and kept locking up.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: our lists are so close to crossing streams. Im really looking forward to mindhunters. I read the book its based on back in 97…I remember the year because it was the only book I brought with me to London

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: what did you think of Sneaky pete?

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I read somewhere the 2nd season airs in January.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  VinWins
4 years ago

@VinWins: have your I seen tin star? It takes place in Alberta

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: hahaha….me too! Love the way they set up season 2. Cranston was great.

J-FOH
J-FOH
4 years ago

Do you have Crackle?

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Well, I wouldn’t expect you to admit it in a public forum.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I heard that show Start up was good and has Martin Freeman in it, who we love from Fargo

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I had some sweet and sour cabbage soup from this deli today. Pretty good. Is that Jew food?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: maybe german jewy.

J-FOH
J-FOH
4 years ago

I just read they are releasing a 10 part podcast on Heavens Gate. That’s going to be in hell of listen on crazy

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  J-FOH
4 years ago

@J-FOH: that’s some crappy auto correct. One hell of a listen it should read

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Oh good, I remember when that went down and being so close to home Im super curious. San Diego is beautiful…and strange

Bryan
Bryan
4 years ago

Me too thanks for all your help this year!

Bryan
Bryan
4 years ago

Grey, who do u think wins game 7 tonight?

dtbran
dtbran
4 years ago

I owned 6 of these top 20 pitchers (Paxton being the “worst” of the rankings) from late April on and lost in semi finals in a 12 tm H2H… I’m with you Grey, pitchers? meh…
Never got to say thanks for another great season of write ups, the advice helped me climb from last place in May to the semis.

J-FOH
J-FOH
4 years ago

I’m glad to see you started Sneaky pete. I saw the justified comment and from what I saw this isn’t justified. But I also couldn’t get past season one. I may try again. I’ve been watching Man in the High Castle on Amazon. I think it’s pretty solid

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Maybe I need to watch more Justified. Im almost done with season two of MITHC….I love LSD scene

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Totally better. I actually hate the resistance people. I want them to fail miserably. And what happened to the Marshall from season 1. That guy was cool

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: When I first saw Root I thought he was reprising his role as Milton

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: the first shot of him with the glasses flashed me back

J-FOH
J-FOH
4 years ago

Why am I being moderated…well I can think of lots of reasons

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Like they say in Texas….oil well!

I saw on twitter someone paid 72,000 for four seats behind the Dodger dugout. Thats crazy

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: oh you’re going? Damn you! If for some reason, heaven forbid, Cougs falls ill then you know you will be safe with me as your plus one

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: paycuts at Razzball this coming year

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: or signed copies of your books or mulkey CD’s or coupons to Arby’s

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
4 years ago

You talked about Alex Wood, and didn’t mention me once. Life is getting better for this guy.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: you watch your P’s and Q’s with Ralph

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I could blow that up in seconds

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: I didn’t say I Wood but just that I could, not that I Wood. Hey I’m a smart Alex

Jose
Jose
4 years ago

Thanks for the recaps Grey! Breaking news: Dusty Baker won’t return as National Manager…who would have thought…

Till next year!

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
4 years ago

Grey,

I need your help. I have 38 players on my roster and have to get down to 25. This is my roster:

1 C,1B Buster Posey (SF)
2 C Gary Sanchez (NYY)
3 1B,OF Clay Bellinger (LAD)
4 1B,OF Jose Martinez (STL)
5 1B Albert Pujols (LAA)
6 1B Joey Votto (CIN)
7 2B Jose Altuve (HOU)
8 2B,OF Ian Happ (CHC)
9 2B DJ LeMaheiu (COL)
10 2B,3B,SS,OF Eduardo Nunez ()
11 2B,3B Jose Ramirez (CLE)
12 3B Nolan Arenado (COL)
13 3B Manny Machado (BAL)
14 SS Carlos Correa (HOU)
15 SS Trea Turner (WAS)
16 OF Charlie Blackmon (COL)
17 OF Andrew McCutchen ()
18 OF Domingo Santana (MIL)
19 OF Mike Trout (LAA)
20 SP Chase Anderson (MIL)
21 SP,RP Archie Bradley (ARI)
22 SP Madison Bumgarner ()
23 SP Carlos Carrasco (CLE)
24 SP Jake Faria (TB)
25 SP Rich Hill (LAD)
26 SP Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
27 SP Sean Newcomb (ATL)
28 SP Max Scherzer (WAS)
29 SP Luis Severino (NYY)
30 SP Noah Syndergaard (NYM)
31 SP Justin Verlander (HOU)
32 RP Cody Allen (CLE)
33 RP Zach Britton (BAL)
34 RP Aroldis Chapman (NYY)
35 RP Chris Devenski (HOU)
36 RP Pat Neshek ()
37 RP Taylor Rogers (MIN)
38 RP Arodys Vizcaino (ATL)

The ones I know for certain I am throwing back are: Jose Martinez, Pujols, Happ, Nunez, Santana, Newcomb, Neshek, and Rogers. That gives me 8, I need help finding the other 5 I need from the roster. If you can help it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

Well Newcomb was on the list already cut. Remember this is a dynasty/keeper league. So right now the list to cut are: Martinez, Pujols, Happ, Nunez, D. Santana, Newcomb. Neshek, Rogers, Faria. That is 9. I need 4 more.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

need 2 more

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

ok im just curious as to why Britton, Anderson and Bradley.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

well i agree with you with Devenski and Faria. I just think that Britton will leave Baltimore and may end up in Washington since they need a closer. Washington also needs a manager since Dusty is not returning. As to who I was thinking about Rich Hill came to mind. He is 37 years old and would like to get younger as well.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

I have the draft picks to get people back. 1 first round pick (#10 overall) and 5 2nd round picks (#’s 11,12,15,16,17 overall), 3rd round (#25 overall), 2 4th round picks (#31,36) overall and 1 5th rounder (#45 overall)

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Scott Kimmel
4 years ago

@Scott Kimmel: if i can make a trade for a closer

Packers
Packers
Reply to  Scott Kimmel
4 years ago

@Scott Kimmel: Just my 2 cents. Don’t forget the guys you throw back plus everyone else’s cuts are still available to you thru waivers and FA’s in the future.

Squat Cobbler
Squat Cobbler
4 years ago

Thanks for the write-ups. To toot me own horn, finished first in NFBC over some formidable chaps:
Squat Cobblers 117
Team Bromelia 106.5
Team Gamble 103
Mr. Robot 99.5
Schmohawks 94.5
NY Swallows 91.5
Contreras To Popular Belief 3 86.5
Men With Wood (Tom Warman) 84.5
Slammers 74.5
Spoon West 70.5
RBI’d For Her Pleasure 70
Team Son 59
L7 Weenies 57.5
Gutter Bound Winos 49.5
Team Potter 36

Thanks so much for all of your help: McCullers-9th round, Schoop-14, Ray-15, Judge-21, Severino-23, Wood-25, Corbin-27

…I needed it especially since I drafted horribly in my first 8 picks: Correa, Odor, Braun, Jansen, Beltre, C Santana, Salazar, O Herrera

Anyway, a daiquiri will be on the way as soon as NFBC pays out. Not sure what’s taking so long.

Squat Cobbler
Squat Cobbler
Reply to  Grey
4 years ago

@Grey: Thanks! Yeah not sure what I was thinking with Braun Beltre and Santana…’Guys over 30′ is not a category! Fidget Spinners?!?! Nice!

Packers
Packers
4 years ago

Grey , I’ve been following your advice the past couple years and have done quite well. So thanks for that. I have no trouble letting people draft the top 4 or 5 SP’s while I grab bats. Last year Cmart was often my highest ranked SP. I felt that I needed to draft 3 or 4 SP’s in rounds 6 through 10 though.
I guess what I’m saying with you and the Kluber pick even though it was later does that influence you at all for the 2018 trying to get an ace to anchor your staff? I mean you said you wouldn’t have won without him, or are you going to try and find another Kluber instead and still go with the same game plan?
I don’t know if that makes sense or not. lol

Quack Attack is Back
Quack Attack is Back
4 years ago

spent a total of $42 out of $260 on 6 starting pitchers in my auction. but got kluber and ray. rode that to the best pitching staff in the league and a first place finish. I have you to thank for that.

This shot is for you (hope my boss doesn’t see me doing this)!

Bill
Bill
4 years ago

Love the write up as always! Wish you would include ABs and Inn to add context. Alex Wood’s 151 Ks in 152 Inn means a hell of a lot more than Gio’s 188 Ks in 201 Inn. On the surface Gio looks better with 201 compared to 151. Kust sayin. Congrats on Touts!

Brad
Brad
4 years ago

Hi Grey,

Awesome write up as always!

In my 12 team h2h keeper I recently traded Greinke and Pham for Yelich and a mid-5th round pick (get to keep 8 players). This allows me to keep Alex Wood as my last keeper.

Do you think Alex Wood is the real deal and can do what he did this year again? Or should I be worried? His second half wasn’t great and is prone to injury but his peripherals seems to support his success. Do you see him as a top 20 starter next year?

Thanks,

Brad

GFY250
GFY250
Reply to  Brad
4 years ago

@Brad: I’m worried about Wood, tehehe. His velocity tanked at the end of the season and he was regularly throwing 89-90 in his last playoff outing against the Cubs. I also wouldn’t expect 200 innings which is what he will need to be a top 20 starter. He’s still a solid SP but something near #30 is where I’d have him.

Make sure you monitor his velocity in spring training. If he’s at 93-94, I might move him up a little bit.

Lougle
Lougle
4 years ago

I’m in a 16 team keeper league and had some rough luck with pitching this year. How comfortable would you feel going into the season with Syndergaard, Paxton and McCullers as your top 3 SP? If not what type of pitcher would you look to add here? Thanks.

Swaggerjackers
Swaggerjackers
Reply to  Lougle
4 years ago

@Lougle: I’m very curious to hear Grey’s take on McCullers as well. He was so bad in the second half and injuries continue to be an issue.

DrEasy
DrEasy
4 years ago

I lost it on the Jameson Taillon joke. We’re going to hell.