In our 2009 fantasy baseball rankings, we’ve gone to the top 60 starters and top 60 outfielders thus far.  But since it’s advisable by me and everyone else that has every wielded a fantasy baseball quill to draft pitching late, I figured I needed to give you twenty or so more to bring the tally to the top 80.  There will be a top 80 outfielder post too.  Christmas came late, ya’ll!  In mixed leagues, if I’m drafting this late and I have a choice between an NL pitcher and an AL pitcher, I’d prefer to go for the NL pitcher.  They pitch to other pitchers and mostly weaker offenses.  That is a post in itself.  Also, a lot of these pitchers (and others which will be highlighted during the season) will be smart pickups for some match-ups but aren’t worth starting every game unless they get on a roll.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2009 fantasy baseball:

61. Manny Parra – This is the first tier of the top 80 starters.  This tier goes from here to Smoltz.  I call this tier, “Major issues with all of these pitchers, but I’ll still be looking at them late in deep leagues.”  Parra will have a sleeper post dedicated to him.  Promise.  See, the thing is, I likey Parra.  Like likey likey.  Though, at times last year, his walks were A to the trocious.  2009 Projections:  11-9/4.10/1.40/160

62. Gil Meche – Meche has been below a 4.00 ERA for two straight years.  Last year, he posted nearly 8 strikeouts per nine innings.  His FIP was 3.61 last year.  Still not convinced?  Neither am I.  Though it’s hard to argue with him as an AL-Only option.  2009 Projections:  12-10/4.00/1.33/160

63. Bronson Arroyo – Great guy to have in leagues with an innings category or a bad guitar players category.  2009 Projections: 12-10/4.25/1.40/150

64. Kenshin Kawakami – Went over him when he signed with the Braves.  2009 Projections:  12-8/4.35/1.40/120

65. Chris Volstad – With a douchey name like he’s a character in a Bret Easton Ellis book, you’d think he’d strikeout more hitters.  If his K/9 wasn’t so bleh, I’d like him more.  2009 Projections:  10-7/4.00/1.30/110

66. Randy Johnson – Son, Randy Johnson’s got acne craters older and bigger than you.   He could be a great steal late in drafts as long as you only expect 15 starts.  2009 Projections:  7-4/3.50/1.20/90 in 15 starts

67. Dave Bush – You could draft him and only start him at home (3.82 career ERA) like the Brewers did at times last year.  His low WHIP always makes him a worthwhile gamble and incongruous with his ERA.  2009 Projections: 10-10/4.20/1.18/120

68. Paul Maholm – Last year, Maholm really broke out.  And, when talking about the Pirates, a breakout is considered a low 4.00 ERA.  2009 Projections: 10-8/4.10/1.25/150

69. Aaron Cook – Jon Garland with a better ERA.  That’s about the best compliment I can… *pinkie to mouth* cook up.  2009 Projections:  12-8/4.00/1.36/90

70. Edwin Jackson – For about three years, I’ve waited patiently for Jackson to turn the corner from Prospect Ave.  Right now, he seems headed to Journeyman Lane, but he’s still young.  2009 Projections:  11-9/4.50/1.50/120

71. John Smoltz – Went over Smoltz when he signed with the Sawx. 2009 Projections:  5-2/3.00/1.16/60 in 12 starts.

72. Jesse Litsch – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here to Lannan.  I call this tier, “I’m not drafting any of these guys under any conditions.”  Litsch is the Blue Jays number two starter.  Something tells me they’re not going to be competitive this year either.  Litsch can also be found at the top 20 risky pitchers for 2009 post.  2009 Projections:  5-7/4.50/1.30/55 in 20 starts.

73. Todd Wellemeyer – A thirty-year-old breakout? Whatevermeyer.  2009 Projections:  6-8/4.75/1.35 in 20 starts.

74. Rich Hill – Match Game Host, Gene Rayburn, “Last year, Rich Hill was really bad.” Studio Audience, “How bad was he?”  Gene, “He was so bad he ____.”  Went over him further when the O’s got him.  2009 Projections:  4-5/4.75/1.45/60 in fifteen starts.

75. Joe Blanton – Too bad he’s not a lousy pitcher and injury-prone so Carrasco could slide in.  2009 Projections:  12-10/4.75/1.40/110

76. Pedro Martinez – Wasn’t that long ago he was carrying around a good luck dwarf and celebrating a championship.  Now that dwarf is doing better than Pedro’s career.  2009 Projections:  6-7/4.70/1.50/80 in 20 starts.

77. Nick Blackburn – Very little to see here.  2009 Projections:  10-8/4.30/1.34/85

78. Jon Garland -I didn’t go over him when he went to the Diamondbacks, because there’s not much to say.  He’s a much better real world pitcher, racking up innings, than a fantasy pitcher.  He didn’t get 100 Ks last year in 197.2 innings.  Bleh!  2009 Projections:  12-10/4.75/1.42/95

79. John Lannan – Don’t you dare draft him.   He will suck your soul and crush your girl-like emotions.  2009 Projections: 6-9/5.00/1.44/80

80. Brad Penny – This is the last tier.  This tier goes from here to Shawn Hill.  I call this tier, “You can do much worse very late in deep leagues.”  If you throw out Penny’s season last year, where he looked miserable and hurt, he would be coming off a 16-4/3.03/1.31 season in 208 innings.  If healthy, he could be a steal late.  2009 Projections:  14-10/4.00/1.30/130

81. Aaron Heilman – Went over him when Heilman was traded — the 2nd time.  2009 Projections:  9-4/4.00/1.15/120 in 20 starts.

After the top 80 starters for 2009 fantasy baseball, there’s a lot of names, but these three stand out:

Carlos Carrasco – Went over him in the Carrasco keeper post.  Big things, I tell ya.  Big…. Things.  Not sure if he sees time out of the gate, but watch him if a Phillies pitcher gets injured.  2009 Projections:  5-2/3.00/1.32/60 in ten starts.

Mark Buehrle – He’s not flashy with those Big City Ks. You probably won’t want to own him. But for the better part of two years, I’ve owned him off and on. He’s usually good for a few ‘worth-owning’ streaks a year. 2009 Projections: 13-10/4.00/1.35/120

Shawn Hill – Usually I end the lists with an exciting name.  But, guess what?  We’re almost 100 deep into the starters so exciting was barfed into an airplane toilet about six tiers ago and flushed out somewhere over Guatemala.  Word is Shawn Hill will be healthy for the 2009 season, but keep your expectations in check because he’s never been healthy in his career.  Then again, you probably have no expectations of Shawn Hill.  In NL-Only leagues, I’d take a very late flier on Hill.  2009 Projections:  8-6/4.10/1.26/110 in 20 starts.

  1. Dan says:

    No love for Mark Buehrle? Dude has become the definition of consistency. He’s had 8 straight seasons of 30+ starts, 10+ wins, and 200+ innings. Only twice in that stretch has he had an ERA above 3.90 or WHIP above 1.35. He certainly won’t help in Ks, with a career 5.3 K/9. But he’s only going to be 30 this season, so he’s not necessarily over the hill even though he’s been in the league forever.

    After taking the time to actually look those stats up, I feel a little dumb for spending any time on a guy so boring. I think we can all agree he’s not going to win you your league, but he might help salvage it if your risky/upside guys don’t pan out as hoped. I like him better than most of the guys in this list, and even a couple of the guys in the Top 60 list.

  2. Steve says:

    Any thoughts as to why there is such a big difference (180 places) between the CHONE and Marcel Point Shares rankings for Joe Blanton?

    If you were to use the CHONE numbers, he looks eminently draftable.

    Grey and Marcel aren’t so sure…

  3. Enrico says:

    I can’t shake the Match Game jingle dancing in my head.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Dan: I like him better too. He’s in the Top 40 list.

    @Steve: He was solid in Philly last year after the trade, but I think that ends. In a pitcher’s park, he wasn’t very good for a few years. I wouldn’t touch him in Philly. He’ll be on waivers by May, you can try him out then.

    @Enrico: We need your answer.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: I actually think he’s a weak number one or a strong number two in Razzball leagues. He gives you a lot of mediocre innings. Any pitchers that are ‘horses’ that ‘eat’ innings are ideal — Garland, Blanton, Saunders, etc.

  6. @Grey: Ah yes, good old Jon Garland. Avoided him like plague before; now I can embrace him. Though I fear a transplant to the NL West might revive him into something worthwhile.

    Buehrle circa 2006 would have been perfect.

  7. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Dan: Oops, I searched for him on the site when I was writing this *and* this morning and I thought he was accounted for in the top 40. But that was actually the top 40 for 2008. My bad. Buehrle should most definitely be included and I’m adding him.

  8. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    If only you could do a top 80 middle reliever post. Now that would be something.

  9. Steve says:

    @Grey: Oh – I won’t be drafting him. Just curious as to why CHONE and Marcel rate him so differently.

  10. @Steve: My guess for Blanton’s differences is that most of his old stats are AL and he now pitches in the NL. CHONE makes an adjustment for that (and home park) while Marcel doesn’t.

  11. big o says:

    gil meche is what ian snell wishes he could be .

    don’t know how you missed it , but pedro’s lucky midget died a few years ago . (my condolences) .

    i hope iowa riles you up . and you actually write that article .

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @big o: I didn’t miss it. You missed my gist.

  13. Adam says:

    What are your feelings on Jonathan Sanchez?

  14. Adam says:

    What do you think about Jonathan Sanchez?

  15. Adam says:

    My b…

  16. Jack says:

    What do you think about Carmona? Any chance of him bouncing back this year?

  17. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Jack: I like Carmona to bounceback this year, but he’s still not going to K anyone.

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