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The royal we just went over the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball.  For those that skipped the title, this post is the top 40 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball.  If you’re looking for the hitters, it’s under the 2012 fantasy baseball rankings, which is also at the top of the page.  Barring unusual circumstances, I usually try to grab two starters from this list of twenty.  So I’ll have one starter from the first twenty and two from this, which gives me three.  Math’s been berry, berry good to me!  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball:

21. Daniel Hudson – This tier started in the top 20 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball.  This tier goes from here until Anibal.  I called this tier, “Am I crazy with these rankings?  Yeah, crazy like a fox!”  In 2011, Hudson’s K/9 was 6.85 as he struck out only 169.  That seems like the absolute basement and I’m banking on him striking out quite a few more guys in 2012.  In Triple-A, he had a K/9 of 10.41 and in 2010 he had 7.93 in the majors.  He had the third fastest, um, fastball in the Senior Circuit, but hitters made decent contact with pitches outside of the strike zone.  I expect that’ll change in 2012 and he’ll bump up his K-rate by at least 1.  To show my love, I almost put him in the top 20 starters.  Instead, he’s in an extended tier that started there.  I can only give so much love.  2012 Projections:  14-8/3.40/1.18/190

22. Jordan Zimmermann – I’ve ranked Zimmermann on the high side, but I was thinking about how it probably won’t matter.  Last year everyone and their lunch had an ERA under 3.  If that happens again, and I see no reason why it won’t, then there will be dozens of pitchers to own.  You’ll probably be able to draft Greinke, Zimmermann and wait seventy picks.  I’ll go over more about drafting strategy later.  As for Zimmermann, the K-rate will be better this year and if he holds the gains he made with his walk rate, he might just be a top 10 pitcher this year.  Yes, the Nats will be good.  2012 Projections:  14-6/3.25/1.15/170

23. Matt Garza – In 2009, Garza had a K/9 of 8.38 for the Rays.  I mention this so it doesn’t seem that outlandish to think he can repeat his K/9 from last year of 8.95.  Is he as sexy a name as the others in this tier?  Nope.  Can he be as productive?  Maybe more so.  I wouldn’t let it worry me too much that Epstein seems absolutely dead set on moving Garza.  Shizz happens as Forret Gump invented, don’t let it play too much into your drafting.  2012 Projections:  12-10/3.40/1.25/190

24. Anibal Sanchez – I shocked myself with this ranking.  Nearly fell off my Barclay Lounger!  Anibal was that good last year?  He (she?) was!  His K/9 of 9.26 and BB/9 of 2.93 were the best rates of his career.  Is there a chance he goes back into the junk drawer this year?  I guess, but why?  He’ll be 28 years old and entering his third full year, if you exclude his early years when he bounced back and forth between the minors and majors, battling injuries.  I love Anibal this year and I’m not sure if that should make me feel uncomfortable because of his gender-confusing first name.  I’m gonna type up a manifesto about my Anibal love in the weeks to come.  I may even type it up using only the blinks of my eyes to show how dedicated I am.  He is the Marlins’ ace.  Screw Josh Johnson and the stretcher he rode in on!  2012 Projections:  15-8/3.50/1.24/190

25. Josh Johnson – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Hanson.  I call this tier, “The ‘perts that are taking these guys are puff, puff, puffing; I’m passing.”  Josh Johnson and his porn star brother, Gosh, can show up at my house and plead their case for me drafting Johnson, and I will not.  Because of injury risk, I’m down on Johnson.  Okay, maybe I could’ve reworded that.  Someone can tattoo how healthy Johnson will be this year on the inside of my eyelids and I’ll ignore it.  I will not read one single “He’s healthier than he’s ever been in his life!” report from Spring Training.  Maybe we’ll see each again in 2013.  For now, I’m like John Bobbitt and I’m without Johnson.  2012 Projections:  10-3/2.75/1.05/100 in 110 IP

26. Ian Kennedy – My feelings against Kennedy aren’t quite as extreme as Johnson.  He’s just being overdrafted because of his 21 wins from last year.  If he had 15 wins, no one would’ve said anything about him not being in the top 20.  Who knew there were so many Murray Chasses (Chassi?) out there.  He’ll be lucky to get 15 wins this year.  Also, you throw in the fact he’s more of a 3.50 ERA pitcher than a 2.88 ERA that he was in 2011 and it’s yet another reason to avoid.  Will he shat the bed?  I guess it depends on what he eats, but I doubt it.  He made improvements on his K-rate and walk rate, but I still don’t trust him for where he’s being drafted and won’t pay the price.  And for all those haters who think I’m stupid for avoiding Kennedy, I go back to the fact there are a gazillion, give or take a million, starters to choose from.  If I’m having concerns about one guy, you’ll excuse me if I avoid him and take one of the other gazillion (plus or minus a million) pitchers.  2012 Projections:  15-10/3.50/1.12/180

27. Yu Darvish – I already went over my Yu Darvish fantasy.  It’s sexy and I know it.  2012 Projections:  14-7/3.60/1.10/190

28. Josh Beckett – Red State Jeter is just too flaky for me.  One year — 2.89 ERA; another year — 5.78 ERA.  What he actually is is (stutterer!) a 3.75 ERA pitcher.  What side of the 3.75 ERA bed Beckett wakes up no one knows, except for maybe some country singer no one’s ever heard of.  2012 Projections:  14-9/3.60/1.20/185

29. Ricky Romero – For full disclosure purposes — or porpoises if dolphins are reading — I almost put Romero in the sexy name tier.  He seemed to fit in there better than Garza, but when it came down to it, I wanted Garza more than I wanted Romero.  Last year, Romero had an ERA of 2.92 but an xFIP of 3.80.  Romero — what a joker!  His K-rate two of the last three years has been 7.13 and 7.12.  Um, they’re okay.  Finally, a cool name and an uncanny resemblance to LL Cool J does not make him sexy for fantasy.  Sorry, RR Cool Jay.  2012 Projections:  13-12/3.75/1.20/170

30. James Shields – Shields and Beckett are tomato-tomato with a different emphasis.  Good Ks, all over the map with their ERAs.  What I’m looking for from starters is the most trustworthy names I can find (even if Gallardo and Greinke don’t feel trustworthy).  Like a 1800’s soldier who just saw his first gun fired, I just don’t trust Shields.   2012 Projections:  13-11/3.70/1.25/190

31. Tommy Hanson – I felt like mmmdropping Hanson even lower, but settled on him here in a tier where I’m saying others are drafting these guys before me, i.e., I won’t own them, I before E except in Teixeira, I hope everyone can follow to not draft Hanson.  Think Hanson can be a Cy Young-type for many years, but I don’t trust his shoulder to be right this year.  I doubt 200 regular season innings is going to improve that.  2012 Projections:  9-7/3.75/1.20/130 in 120 IP

32. Matt Moore – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Luebke.  I call this tier, “Yummo!”  I already went over my Matt Moore fantasy.  I wrote it while buying a Pacman-shaped potato chip on eBay.  As for Friedman saying Moore is going to get a full season, I’ll believe it when I see it.  ZiPS is giving him 140 IP, others are giving him 160… I can’t bring myself to go above 150.  He still doesn’t have a full season under his belt yet in the majors.  Too many things can go wrong.  I will say if I gave him 180 IP, I’d raise the ERA projections about .20, WHIP about .02, Wins (3) and Ks (20).  2012 Projections:  10-7/3.15/1.20/160 in 150 innings

33. Max Scherzer – I already went over my Max Scherzer 2012 fantasy.  There’s lots of love in that post.  If you read it in the dark, you can almost feel my erection.  2012 Projections:  14-8/3.70/1.30/195

34. Ubaldo Jimenez – Look at me giving Ubaldo another chance.  I’m one forgiving ess oh bee (except when it comes to Brian Bonsall ruining Family Ties).  Last year Ubaldo held his K-rate from his terrific season in 2010, but just had a bit of crappy luck.  I don’t expect a sub-3 ERA, but he’s also not the 4.68 ERA guy he was last year.  If I’m right, this is good news for all the Colorado-area parents that named their kids after Ubaldo back in 2010.  The bad news, they have to move to Cleveland.  2012 Projections:  13-10/3.65/1.27/190

35. Shaun Marcum – Member when March Grey said Marcum would start the 2011 All-Star Game?  What a dog-faced fool!  March Grey, “There’s more of me in you than you care to admit!  All of you!”  Look at you grandstanding like you’re Al Pacino.  March Grey, “Hoo-ah!”  Marcum didn’t take a step forward last year like I thought he might with the move to the NL, but he still performed admirably and if he has even the slightest of gains, he’ll have a great year.  If he just repeats last year, it’s still solid.  2012 Projections:  12-8/3.60/1.17/160

36. Brandon Beachy – Here’s a guy that could jump to the top 10 for next year or bomb and become a sleeper for 2013.  If he can turn in 170 innings with his 10+ K/9, you’re looking at a pitcher that is going to exceed this ranking by a lot.  If something sophomore slumpy happens, then you’re gonna have a wasted draft pick on your virtual hands.  Of course, his season may not be that cut and dry and be somewhere between those two predictions.  But what fun is that?  (BTW, there’s no reason to ask why Beachy is below other guys that have worse projections.  Beachy has more risk because of the lack of track record, hence the ranking.)  2012 Projections:  12-7/3.45/1.18/190 in 170 innings

37. Brandon Morrow – I already wrote a Brandon Morrow 2012 fantasy sleeper post.  A real snoozer in the inverse.  2012 Projections:  13-9/3.85/1.28/210

38. Cory Luebke – Out first appearance of a Hodgepadre in the starter rankings.  I can’t believe I haven’t written a sleeper post on Luebke yet, but that’ll all change after I fill my Adderall prescription.  Last year, Luebke had a K-rate of 9.92 and a xFIP of 3.02.  You need more?  You shouldn’t.  But fine, for you anything!  He can control his walks to the tune of under a 2 BB/9, as he did in the minors.  He’s only 26 years old (as of this writing) and he pitches in Petco.  When I say giddy, you say up.  Giddy… Up!  Giddy… Up!  P. Diddy… Up!  Fooled you.  2012 Projections:  9-8/3.25/1.09/170

39. Chris Carpenter – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 60 starters for 2012 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Might be fine, won’t be fine on my teams.”  I’ve never been a fan of Carpenter.  His Ks are solid, his ERAs are solid, his WHIPs are solid.  My dislike is unwarranted, basically.  Right?  Or not right?  He’s only topped 200 Ks once in his career and that was back in 2005 when he threw 241 2/3 innings.  Anyone who owned him last year when he was 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP as of June 17th, probably won’t go near him this year either.  We can be friends.  Wait by your phone, I’ll call you.  2012 Projections:  13-10/3.65/1.25/165

40. Johnny Cueto – I’ve liked Cueto since he emerged on the scene.  Liked him even more when he Zabka’d LaRue.  We’re gonna take a break this year.  His peripherals last year were a mess.  6 K/9, 3.90 xFIP, crazy low BABIP… Crouching Cueto, Hidden Dragon Breath Stats.   2012 Projections:  11-6/3.80/1.25/130

  1. Steve says:

    Pitching, pitching everywhere…

    Good shizz here, Grey. Off the drink for a month, so I need as much good entertainment as I can get.

  2. chata says:


    new year’s resolution ?
    nice .
    keep it up .
    more power to ya .

  3. Skeptic says:

    Grey, no Liriano?

  4. TheNewGuy says:

    With ya on Anibal buddy! Guy (gal?)’s a K’in machine.

  5. Little John says:

    Oh Wise Grey One – Nice job on these rankings. I am looking for some help picking keepers in my auction league. Please choose 4 from the following:

    Pence – 23
    Weaver – 21
    Beachy – 4
    Marcum – 8
    Bourn – 18
    M Moore – 1


  6. byrone says:

    ohhhhhhhh no room for hellickson in the top 40?

  7. Turd Ferguson says:

    John Bobbit?

  8. Taintmist says:

    I like the Matt Moore projection but 150 innings? He threw around 175 innings last year between the minors/majors and postseason. I think he will hover around 180-190.

  9. ZackusMaximus says:

    150 innings for Matt Moore seems low to me. He has no injury history and pitched 170 IP combined last year. What’s up with that?

  10. Hans says:

    @grey no Adam wainwright? Dude could be the steal of the draft this year or did I miss him somewhere

  11. schlitzy says:

    Guess no need to ask my “should I keep hanson in my 10 keeper” question. I will look elsewhere.

  12. Hawk says:


    When you were writing about Josh Johnson you said “I will not read one single “He’s healthier than he’s ever been in his life!” report from Spring Training”

    I doubt this is true. You will definitely READ that report – we all know you won’t be able to avoid it. You just won’t BELIEVE that report.


    Hawk (President, CTRVP!)


  13. Mad Max says:


    I agree, there’s also no reason for the rays to keep him on the farm to start the year because they signed him to a five year deal this offseason which extends past all his arbitration elligible years, making the super-two argument moot at this point (terrible pun intended).

  14. BigMoneyFantasy says:

    Nice list but Jimenez should be outside the top 50. Add in someone like Michael Pineda or Adam Wainwright.

  15. TheRapist says:

    Gio Gonzalez at 17?
    No Michael Pineda in the Top 40?


  16. Tarasco's Secret Stash says:

    Alex Gordon for Anibal, which side you want?

  17. endo says:

    How do you feel about Romero in a quality starts league (he had 25 last year, tied for 3rd in MLB). Like how are his chances of continuing to churn out the QS even in that AL east?

  18. MH says:

    Gotta agree with Hans, where’s the Wainwright? I’m not as nutzo as others for him, but like you I’m petrified of Josh Johnson and I have Wainwright way ahead of him on the former-ace-injury-bounceback-o-meter.

    I think you pretty much nailed a lot of these though, we’re on the same page with Hudson, Zimmermann, Garza, Kennedy (the Ks and WHIP may even be a tad generous with Kennedy, I’m more inclined to treat him as a 165ish K guy in 200 IP even though the projections I’m seeing seem more around your 180ish, and I’m giving him a ceiling of Dan Haren if I’m going to draft him, which I probably won’t). I have all four pretty close, though I also have Adam Wainwright and Matt Moore in a sort of “B” tier here. If I’m feeling particularly safe with two starters already, I’d rather target one of those two for the upside.

  19. Terrence Mann says:

    Love the rankings. Love em.

    But since I think I’ve been classified as a Chasshole, I must ask why you aren’t concerned with Ubaldo’s velocity drop.

  20. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Don’t you start again today?

    @Skeptic: I’m guessing you didn’t own him last year.

    @TheNewGuy: Anibal!

    @Little John: Thanks! Pence, Beachy, Marcum, Moore…

    @byrone: Nope

    @Turd Ferguson: Wow, confused my 80’s pop culture. Good call.

    @ZackusMaximus: I’m being conservative.

    @Hans: All the starters out there, wouldn’t touch Waino.

    @Tarasco’s Secret Stash: Depends on other factors, it’s fair.

    @endo: Yeah, he’s solid there.

    @MH: I wouldn’t touch Wainwright. Not worth the risk for me.

    @royce!: That’s one pretty bowl!

    @Terrence Mann: Ha… Thanks! Bit of a concern, still throwing 93 MPH.

  21. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    I had to cross my legs at the end of the Josh Johnson blurb. Fellas, don’t let your lady friends go to bed angry! Anyways, agree with most of your points and rankings, except for one in your JJ tier – Yu is looking like a nice value so far. Unless his adp shoots up, I could see myself owning him all over the place, and I like him as a top-20 guy this year. Beachy too (but you were early to that party). Also, Morrow is like Liriano – he’ll always break your heart hoping for his Ks to bring down his ratios. Glad to have you back February Grey!

  22. Eddy says:

    Grey, just completed my first mock draft of the off-season. Drafted at the turn.

    12 teams, Yahoo style.

    C-Wilson Ramos (14th)
    1B- Mark Reynolds (11th)
    2B- Howie Kendrick (7th)
    3B- Evan Longoria (2nd)
    SS- Derek Jeter (9th)
    OF- Jay Bruce (3rd)
    OF- Hunter Pence (4th)
    OF- B.J Upton (5th)
    Util- Colby Rasmus (18th)
    Util- Alex Rios (16th)

    Bench-Jose Tabata (20th)

    SP-Justin Verlander (1st)
    SP- Zack Greinke (6th)
    SP- CJ Wilson (8th)
    SP- Ubaldo Jimenez (12th)
    SP- Chad Billingsley (19th)
    SP-Aroldis Chapman (23rd)

    RP-Mariano Rivera (10th)
    RP- Andrew Bailer (13th)
    RP-Matt Thornton (15th)
    RP-Jim Johnson (17th)
    RP- Brandon Lyon (21st)

    My computer lagged outing the first round and chose Verlander. Was intending to go Prince-Longo. Then Lind got sniped a pick before me, forcing me to go Reynolds for 1B. In other words, kind of threw everything out of whack.

    I don’t like my infield at all.

    What I learned: I can wait longer for SS, as Alexei and Cozart were there post-15th round. Same can be said for catcher.

    Pitching. There’s so much pitching. I love it.

    Wright and Zimmerman have been falling to the 3rd. Could allow for a 1B-OF-3B start to a draft.

  23. joe from point pleasant says:


    Why do you think Beachy is so risky? I know he had the oblique injury last year, but that is sort of a flukey injury isn’t it? Has he had other major injuries in his career?

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Big Magoo: Glad to be back!

    @Eddy: Yeah, would’ve liked Prince at 1st base better with a slightly less starter. Yeah, there’s a crapton of pitching. You have a bit too much even. Your first three pitchers — could do with two of them then some other flyers. Bills — blech.

  25. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    One thing I forgot to mention – I’m not understanding the love for Wainwright. He’s not even twelve months out from TJ surgery. There’s gonna be a lot of disappointed owners out there if they’re expecting a return to form this year.

    Grey – I know I’m jumping the gun a little on this question in terms of your rankings, but do you expect Reed to close for the White Sox this year? Or does Thornton or someone else take the job?

  26. Grey

    Grey says:

    @joe from point pleasant: I’m sure I read somewhere something that made that made sense, but I can’t find it now so I’m gonna retract it. Still think he comes with risk though.

    @Big Magoo: I don’t understand the Waino love either. Thornton…

  27. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    RIP Don Conelius

  28. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Smokey: Even in death i can’t spell. First Hightower and now Soul Train, I wont be able to watch TV the same.

  29. MH says:

    Wow I forgot how late in the offseason Wainwright’s surgery was….wasn’t he talking about pitching in games at the end of last season? I still don’t see him as vastly different from Josh Johnson. He’s been throwing last fall and its still a busted elbow that was repaired with what amounts to pretty routine surgery at this point vs. a busted shoulder that seems to be a complete mystery to everyone.

  30. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    @MH: The Cards shut Wainwright down right before the start of the season last year, and his surgery was in late March/early April. JJ’s the ultimate risk/reward pitcher – top 5-6 if healthy, but that “if” has it’s own zip code. I think they’re both overvalued this year.

  31. joe from point pleasant says:

    @Grey: (re: beachy)

    True, I havn’t heard of any other injuries myself. Maybe it was just *random italicized voice* playing games with you haha.

    Sophomore slump is def possible, but I really like this kid. So much so that I am actually considering taking him over a couple highly regarded pitchers with my first round pick in my keeper league.

    Darvish, Latos, and Beachy are the best available and it’s been really difficult for me to decide who I want most. Logical choice would be Latos, but I’d definitely be leaving a bunch of upside on the table with Darvish and Beachy.

    Who would you go with? (I think I already know the answer based on your ranks)

  32. MH says:

    @Big Magoo

    But am I wrong in remembering that he was talking about trying to pitch at the end of last year? I agree that Johnson is overvalued here, and that Wainwright is probably getting overvalued in Mock Drafts, I’m just saying I think they’re pretty close, and I’d be more inclined to expect Wainwright could give you a decent healthy season depending on how he looks this Spring, while if I owned Johnson I’d be worried his arm was about to fall off at any minute. Seems like Wainwright’s been throwing all offseason.

  33. Wake Up says:

    …speaking of Ian Kennedy…wow, after all that single malt bourbon, eggplant parm and habanero fritters, those ftl’s didn’t stand a chance…”I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love,”Bukowski…My sincerest apologies to all the chicks and all the sheets that forgot my love…

  34. MH says:

    I mean, Strasburg came back almost exactly 12 months after TJS and looked great, not saying its the norm, but if Wainwright was feeling that good last September, and he looks good this Spring, I’m more inclined to believe he can resemble his old self.

  35. EDUB says:

    Do I smell a Pineda schmohawk post coming soon?

  36. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    @MH: Yeah, Strasburg looked great, and Wainwright will be at about the same point at the start of the season that Stras was when he first came back, but that’s the exception not the norm. It takes about eighteen months to be back at full strength from TJ surgery. I honestly don’t remember the talk of Waino coming back last year. I probably just ignored it cause that quick of a turn-around is unrealistic. If Wainwright is more than 80% of his old self in April, I’d be shocked. The risk outweighs the potential reward in my opinion.

  37. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    @Grey: Already have a vote for a Pineda schmohawk post. I’m casting my vote for a Hellickson and/or Ervin Santana post.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Big Magoo: Ha, okay, I’ll work on it.

  39. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:

    @Grey: Ha, I meant if you were already planning one. You already do plenty. Don’t want to burn out February Grey.

  40. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yeah, taking February off. Bit of a cleanse. First booze-free night last night.
    10th wedding anniversary this month though so will have to make an exception there.

  41. Wake Up says:

    I think you hit the head on the nail, like a poorly carpentered hobbit house. I had Kennedy on nearly every team last year and don’t think he belongs in the top 20. He’s due to give up a few more HR’s up in the Siera’s, in addition to the previous points. Dude was just in the running for the CY and you grabbed him late, now you want to take him early, do you think he’s going to be in the CY conversation this year?
    Wainwright just had his arm cut open. His leg cut open. A chunk of his leg ripped out and inserted into his arm. This is the dude you want to gamble on? I’m happy to see him excluded from the top 40.
    I’m also not going anywhere near Hanson or Shields. Big game James has a good year, you let someone else take him. He has a bad year, you take him, late. That’s how he rolls.
    You effin’ nailed this post!

  42. Bob says:

    Grey, your rankings have me actually considering keeping Beachy over Kennedy or Romero.

    I’ve got some older keepers (Beltre, Teix, Joey Bats), so I’m leaning towards the 25-year-old. Not that Kennedy or Romero are ancient, but upside is so tempting.

    Am I crazy?

  43. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Big Magoo: February Grey is fresh!

    @Steve: Oh, I thought you took January off. Or didn’t you just take a month off?

    @Wake Up: Thank you, sir.

    @Bob: I’d hold Kennedy over Beachy. Not worth gambling.

  44. Steve says:

    @Grey: Nope – drank solidly all through January. Took last February off too. Time flies when we’re having fun!

  45. @Wakeup–nice Bukowski reference. Love that dirty old man’s poems/stories a great deal.

    @ Grey Have you soured a little on Marcum? Also, do see Fister maintaing nice SP# 3 counting stats, or is a (slight) decline awaiting him this year in Motown?


  46. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Ah, maybe it was last February. Makes sense that February Grey would remember that.

    @Dr. Stats: Nope, haven’t soured on Marcum. Fister’s coming tomorrow.

  47. bill says:

    I got my answer from yesterday about Garza and Zimmermann. I thought they’d be further apart as a lot of rankings have them. Now I’m undecided on keepers. Can keep 12 with a $260 limit. I’m keeping Hudson for $1 and have 5 hitters. Which 6 of these do you suggest I keep:
    Haren $27
    Zimmermann $9
    Garza $9
    Beachy $2
    Beckett $5
    Stubbs $2
    Peralta $2


  48. Wake Up says:

    @Big Magoo: I had to double check that there wasn’t already a Hellickson post

    @Dr. Stats: Thanks. “Bluebird” is one of the most honest things I’ve ever read.

  49. James says:


    Trying to determine which guys to keep. Pick 2 for me, pls! Number next to player represents the round I would have to give up a pick. Thanks!

    Longoria – 1
    F-Her – 2
    McCutch – 3
    Stanton – 4
    Napoli – 10
    Bumgarner – 14
    Beachy – 16
    Trout – 16
    Matt Moore – 16

  50. birrrdy! says:

    Oh wow. Your ranking of Hudson has me in a keeper tailspin right now. I never felt comfortable watching him last year. Some electric breaking stuff for strikes here and there, but overall, Hudson seemed very hittable. Lots of long balls, too, if I recall. I was thinking of sending him back to the auction draft, but better get your take on my top-8 keepers before I do anything stupid.

    League is a 10 team, 5×5, NL-only, $300 auction w/8 keepers and 1 C/1B/2B/SS/3B/IU, 2 Us, 5 OFs, 10 Ps. We have an unlimited DL 1 week after the season starts.

    You must keep anyone you traded for in the offseason, and I have traded for Alonso and Tabata. Here are my choices:

    SS Hanley Ramirez $31
    OF Matt Holliday $31
    3B David Wright $26
    RP Drew Storen $21
    SP Daniel Hudson $17
    RP Heath Bell $17
    RP Joel Hanrahan $17
    2B/3B Ryan Roberts $16
    OF Corey Hart $16
    SS Dee Gordon $13
    C Wilson Ramos $ 7
    OF Jose Tabata $ 7
    OF John Mayberry $ 7
    OF Dominic Brown $ 6
    OF/1B Yonder Alonso $ 5
    OF Kyle Blanks $ 4
    OF Roger Bernadina $ 4
    SP Tim Stauffer $ 4
    SP Johan Santana $ 3
    OF Carlos Gomez $ 1
    SP Shelby Miller $ 1

    Prices count against remaining dollars in the auction. $300 total. Elite players (especially hitters) often rule the roost. With 80 players off the board, most all of the top players are gone by the draft. Only incoming AL players and closers are the prime players available, and perhaps a few low tier-1 overpriced pitchers.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, Grey! Advice from the peanut gallery welcome as well… tHX!

  51. MH says:


    Not Grey, but I think at least one is pretty clearly between Moore, Beachy, and Bumgarner. Moore would probably be automatic for me, at least depending on league rules (what would the deal be next year to keep Moore?), and though I think Beachy and Bumgarner are similar values at those spots, having Bumgarner and Moore could give you a ridiculous 1-2 if things break decently for years to come and probably provide the best combo of short term and long term value. None of those hitters scream “must keep” to me at those costs, though if I had to pick a hitter, Stanton is the least replaceable in the short term and a solid value in the 4th round of a keeper league while Trout has the most profit potential in the long term and doesn’t cost a prohibative amount, though if you take Trout Bumgarner might be a slightly safer short-term pick. I’d probably ranke the choices as:

    1. Moore+Bum
    2. Bum+Trout
    3. Moore+Stanton
    4. Moore+Trout
    5. Bum+Beachy

  52. MH says:


    In a keeper discussion mood so here goes:

    Shelby Miller is awfully tempting for $1, but with not reserve spots its tough to roster him. No one else really screams obvious keeper to me. I would probably keep Hudson. If it was two-catcher I’d keep Ramos, but he’s not worth keeping at $7 in a single catcher league. I’d hate to advise keeping a closer, but if I was going to keep one it’d be Hanrahan. I’m also iffy on keeping Wright, but 3B can be problematic and $26 doesn’t strike me as outlandish.

    I think I’d probably do Wright, Hudson, Hanrahan, Gordon, and Miller (plus Alonso and Tabata), leaving one more spot that I’m having a tough time deciding on. It’d probably either Stauffer or Bernadina, though I admit Santana is mildly tempting at that cost, but I just can’t really get behind him and he probably won’t go for more than $1 in auction anyway.

  53. Grey

    Grey says:

    @bill: Not Haren

    @James: Bum, Stanton…

    @birrrdy!: Hudson, Wright, Tabata, Alonso, Gordon, Bernadina, Miller, Hart… Can go a couple of different ways.

  54. Ed Nugent says:

    Enough about pitchers! What about Teix? Dude had a .268 BABIP two seasons ago and a .239 BABIP last season. Sounds like the makings of a buy low to me! Do you think his BABIP could normalize to his near .300 career average or do you think something in his game has dropped off?

  55. birrrdy! says:

    @Grey Thanks!
    @MH Thanks too for the feedback!

    My 8 right now are Alonso/Tabata (have to keep them due to trade of Brandon Phillips), and Hanley, Wright, Holliday, Gordon, Hart, Santana.

    Amazed that both you and Grey want me to dump Hanley and Holliday. Just can’t do it. Those guys have been keepers in our league for as long as they’ve been playing in the NL. If I put them back in the draft, they’d likely go for north of $45. Hanley probably in the $50s or $60s. There just are no elite hitters available in the draft when 80 are taken off the board. They are either incoming AL players, closers or way over-priced lower tier-1 starters.

    Once the season starts, elite players can easily command 3-for-1 and 4-for-1 trades to reload if necessary. Everybody loves a stud that only occupies one slot. Precisely because they become no-doubter keepers every year… and only take one slot.

    But that does put Hudson on the bubble (which hurts with these rankings). I’m throwing back all the closers because they’re too risky to keep over decade-long keepers. Shelby’s a tough one. He can easily become a no-doubter for the next decade. But I’ve got to eat the spot for the next 3 months. UNLESS he is named a starter in spring training. Then he’s an easy slam dunk keeper at $1. Otherwise, he’ll just go for $8-$10 in the draft and eat at someone’s lineup for the next 3 mos. Hudson will go for about $25 in the draft. Closers will all go for around $20-$23. Stauffer is solid, but I don’t put him in the elite category, ever, so I’d be a fool to keep him over, say, Hanley. Bernandina too. Love the guy, but he needs a starting gig to justify a spot. I’d be more inclined to keeping Mayberry with a chance of being a stud out in LF for the Phillies, but he looks to be platooning as well.

    The guy with Pujols hoarded him for a decade. I probably offered 100 trades during that time. No deal. Ever. He finally traded him during his injury last year. Got the last laugh too when he got offseason traded to the AL.

    I might throw back Santana if his spring looks like more trouble and keep Hudson as someone solid. If Shelby emerges as a starter, then I’m in a real bind and will be trying to trade Tabata and others to make some room.

    On that note, was just offered a trade: getting Cliff Lee ($31) and Eric Young ($2), giving up Alonso ($5) and Dee Gordon ($13). I think I stand pat. Thoughts? I wouldn’t take EY in the deal, and Alonso/Gordon could become long-term keepers, while the Adverb might have only 2-3 good (and expensive) keeper years left in him in the NL….

  56. birrrdy! says:

    …but it could open up some room in my roster, and I could have Lee, Hudson and Santana as my 3 pitchers to go with Hanley/Wright/Holliday/Hart/Tabata… hmm……

  57. Hans says:

    Would you do this trade: every team gets to keep 6 keepers; So round 1 of the draft is round 7, Would you trade your 4th round pick for Andrew McCutchen, so this means I wouldn’t be keeping Drew Stubbs. So its really a 11th round pick and stubbs for McCutchen, I gotta do that right?

  58. EDUB says:

    @Grey re Pineda
    Can a home park negatively affect a pitcher to such a great degree? A full 20 spots seems excessive. I understand division is killer but he doesn’t have to face yanks lineup . shouldn’t his skills be given benefit of the doubt so to speak? People still want Cc lester and.beckett

  59. thekingadrock says:

    1) also wondering about Pineda, why no top 40?
    2) what’s your take on complete games? bush league? how would this affect your draft strategy?

  60. Grey

    Grey says:

    @EDUB: It’s a big ballpark difference, yeah. There’s no reason to gamble on him. There’s other pitchers.

  61. yankees2012 says:

    Welcome back Grey. I am probably reiterating keeper questions from last season, but what the hey.

    2 Keeper League – who out of Strasbourg, Kennedy, Hudson, Beachy, Jennings, Morse? All would be 11th and 12th round keepers (our max. rounds). I am leaning towards Strasbourg and Jennings. What say you?

    Thanks much Grey.

  62. Mike says:

    I hope Doug Fister has another great year. I have seen Fister ranked from 45 to 84. He will be one of my pitching targets in the 8th round. I would like to draft Hudson or Shields and Fister in the 7th and 8th round.

  63. Mark says:


    I understand the temptation with Santana, but I don’t think his upside is superior to Stauffer’s mean-level projection at this point, so that’s why I ultimately decided against recommending him. Santana’s K% was in decline already, and the injury he had is pretty severe/unusual (and this is coming from a Mets fan). I would almost definitely keep Stauffer over Santana. I don’t see an upside difference, at least in the short term, and Santana has much more bust potential.

    I’m also not a huge fan of Hart at that price, he’s one of the guys I think everyone else tends to overvalue. If you’re going to keep your stars, he’s someone to drop. Let someone else spend that money on him.

    I actually might look to package Hart or Holliday with a SS. I’m pretty mixed on Hanley–I see the arguments for a bounceback, but his spiked GB% worries me enough so that a $31 price is probably the absolute ceiling of what I’d willing to pay. If someone values him at ~$40 I would look to deal him and keep Gordon, maybe package Hanley with Hart. If its like you say and the elite talents are so overvalued, then that’s a market inefficiency to be exploited, not a reason to fall in with the crowd.

    I also agree with Grey about Holliday. He’s not worth a keep at $31. I might look to deal him for a better keeper too. If someone’s willing to value him that highly, let them pay that cost and spend your money elsewhere. It also can’t be stated enough just how shallow 1B has gotten in the NL. If you can get a cheapish Ike Davis, Brandon Belt, or Lucas Duda as a second piece in a deal, I’d be all over it. The guy with Votto has such an advantage in NL-Only this year, finding a passable 1B is going to be vital for anyone looking to compete in HR and RBI.

  64. Mark says:

    I have a feeling Fister is going to be a bit of a Schmohawk this year. He’s going to be a popular sleeper heading into the draft, and then he’s going to have a brutal first half when he’s got Miguel Cabrera trying to play catch with Prince Fielder behind him. Then once Cabrera gets bounced off 3B, he might be undervalued again. I’m not touching him in drafts though.

  65. steve b says:

    @ mike … 8th rd way to early for fister or hudson.

  66. boomer19 says:

    I’m enjoying the rankings thus far Grey. Keeper question for you in in 13 team 5×5 roto league. I have Tulo, J-Upton, Wright, Braun, and Hosmer to select from hitters. And Greinke, Haren, and Cain for starters(we need 5 staters). What 6 do I keep?

    a) Tulo, Upton, Wright, Braun, Greinke, Haren
    b) Tulo, Upton, Wright, Hosmer, Greinke, Haren
    d)Tulo, Upton, Wright, Hosmer, Braun, Greinke
    e)Tulo, Upton, Wright, Greinke, Haren, Cain

  67. sandles says:

    Maybe I’m really late on this but I just notice the utility rankings went from ten to five. LOL!

  68. Grey

    Grey says:

    @boomer19: Thanks for the kind words! Tulo, Upton, Wright, Braun, Hosmer, Greinke…

    @sandles: Ha, nice eye! Yeah, I couldn’t find 5 more. They’re bad.

  69. Hawk says:


    Why protect 2 pitchers when you only need 5 starters? I’d keep all 5 hitters and Greinke.

  70. Random Collmenter says:

    Just finished reading “The Art of Fielding.” I HIGHLY recommend it. It’s fucking awesome- about a college shortstop who starts getting scouted by pro teams and loses his ability to throw to first, a la Knoblauch. Really good stuff. Kind of like if John Irving wrote a novel about baseball only not as quirky- just brilliant characters. And all of the baseball stuff in it is incredible. Here’s an excerpt, since I’m pretty sure a total stranger’s recommendation over the web isn’t probably worth much:

    “The righty who jogged to the mound looked more like an accountant than a star pitcher – he was Henry’s height, pale-haired and sunken-chinned, with slouched and flimsy shoulders. ‘Name’s Dougal,’ Arsch told Henry. ‘Pitched a two-hitter against West Texas the other day. He is filthy.’

    Henry nodded. The ability to throw a fastball was an alchemical thing, a superhero’s secret power. You could never quite tell who possessed it.”

  71. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    NO SPOILERS –> Challenge = so f’n good (AKA watch it ASAP)… IMHO, FWIW.

  72. Random Collmenter says:

    @Awesomus Maximus

    What the hell does all of that mean? I know IMHO and FWIW; I literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

  73. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    @Random Collmenter: It means that I’m thoroughly enjoying the latest entry in MTV’s “The Challenge” series, particularly the episode that aired this week… with an assurance at the beginning that I am not letting any spoilers slip into my recommendation to watch the episode right away.

  74. Random Collmenter says:

    @Awesomus Maximus

    just started to DVR it based on your rec – thanks!

  75. Westly says:

    Grey first off love your site. Best on the net. I had an interesting trade offer that i was hoping you could help with. In 16 team dynasty 5x5H2H cat with HR, R, RBI, SB, AVG, ERA, K, WhIP, Holds, and Saves. My lineup is as follows;

    C-Wieters, LuCroy, Mesoraco
    1B- Morneau
    2B Kendrick , Jemile Weeks
    SS Andrus , Y. Escobar
    3B Reynolds
    OF A.Gordan, McCutchen, Hamilton and Kemp

    SP- Kershaw
    RP- The Beard, Marmol, Venters, J.Benoit and Farnsworth

    I lost 1B eligibility for Alex Gordan, which leaves me with morneau at first. Blech. I just got offered Brett Lawrie for Matt Wieters. Is this a move i can make? Move Reynolds to first and have Lawrie for my 3B of the future? Are LuCroy and Mesoraco going to be decent enough to get me by? Also got offered Rizzo and Kuroda for Alex Gordon. He would be my extra OF and i’d get a good future 1B. What do you think? I love Wieters but it’s gonna be hard to get an elite 3B otherwise. Thanks!

  76. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    @Random Collmenter: Just so we’re clear, I watch it because I enjoy judging the dregs of humanity as they desperately suck on the “15 minutes of fame” teat. So when I say to watch it, it’s not the same way I would recommend The Sopranos.

  77. Random Collmenter says:

    @Westly I’d accept both of those trades in a heartbeat. Grey is high on Wieters tho.

  78. T.Hunt03 says:

    I guess I don’t really understand, I rate all these pitchers a different way. The pitchers you have rated are not what you describe. Maybe I
    just don’t get it Grey, are you the other way? Or I just don’t get your
    other way humor? Just can’t figure…

  79. birrrdy! says:

    @Mark – thanks for the advice!
    @Grey – you rule!

  80. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:


    I’ve set up a web-based system to help you stick to Grey’s Pitcher Pairings while drafting. I would appreciate it greatly if as many of you as possible could jump on and test it out (at least one run through). Just want to make sure I don’t have any dead links, bugs, or mistakes in logic. Thank you in advance for any feedback you can offer. Here is the link:

  81. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    Put this in the wrong blog entry… dur…

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