Do you draft a starting pitcher in the first few rounds or don’t you? If you don’t, you likely won’t have an opportunity to draft these starting pitchers. That said, there is plenty of talent on this list that is well worth considering:
1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals
3. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
4. Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
5. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
6. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies
7. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
8. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
9. Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants
10. Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels
11. Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers
12. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
13. Roy Halladay – Philadelphia Phillies
14. R.A. Dickey – Toronto Blue Jays
15. Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals
16. Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
17. Mat Latos – Cincinnati Reds
18. James Shields – Kansas City Royals
19. Kris Medlen – Atlanta Braves
20. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
- Even before the news regarding Felix Hernandez and the potential issue found in his physical (though it didn’t stop the Mariners from locking him up to a long-term contract), his workload over the past few years should’ve concerned us. Not only has he worked the third most innings over the past five seasons at 1,154.2 (click here for more), but he is coming off an absolutely terrible September (click here for more) bringing back memories of Jon Lester a year ago. That’s not to say that he won’t be a top option, it’s just that we need to be extremely cautious.
- We shouldn’t put much stock into spring numbers, but things are so close that Yu Darvish’s lights out opening moves him up a few spots. With his strikeout potential he could be a Cy Young candidate, as long as he continues to avoid walking batters.
- Jered Weaver has been a great pitcher over the past few seasons, but is he a lock to continue producing? Far from it, unfortunately, as he saw a drop in velocity (his fastball averaged 87.8 mph in ’12) and has enjoyed a lot of luck (including a .241 BABIP and 79.2% strand rate in ’12). For more on Weaver, click here.
- No one should expect Kris Medlen to come close to the numbers he posted as a starting pitcher in 2012. It’s just not feasible, considering his .248 BABIP and 93.3% strand rate. However, even with a regression there’s reason to buy into him as a Top 20 starting pitcher. To find out why, click here.
- The only reason David Price is behind both Adam Wainwright and Cole Hamels is the league that he pitches in. They are all close enough that pitching in the NL, and thus avoiding the DH, just barely bumps the other two ahead of Price. That said, the AL East is not what it once was and we should all be more than happy to have him anchoring our staff.
***** No matter how you purchase the Rotoprofessor 2013 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (whether you buy it directly or get it as part of our FanDuel promotion), one lucky purchaser will win a:
Jason Heyward Autographed Baseball!!
Click here for details!!*****
Make sure to check out our 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):
- Catchers (updated 02/18/13)
- First Basemen (updated 01/15/13)
- Second Basemen (updated 01/22/13)
- Third Basemen (updated 01/29/13)
- Shortstops (updated 03/04/13)
- Outfielders 1-20 (updated 02/25/13) | 21-40 (updated 02/26/13)
- Starting Pitchers 1-20 (updated 02/12/13) | 21-40 (updated 02/14/13)
- Relief Pitchers (updated 01/31/13