Yesterday we checked out the updated Top 20 starting pitchers on our rankings. While it would be nice, we can’t fill our roster with just the elite. Let’s take a look at the next group of starters, some of which offer some intriguing upside potential:
21. CC Sabathia – New York Yankees
22. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
23. Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers
24. Dan Haren – Washington Nationals
25. Ian Kennedy – Arizona Diamondbacks
26. Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers
27. Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals
28. Jonathan Niese – New York Mets
29. Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox
30. Brandon Morrow – Toronto Blue Jays
31. Matt Harvey – New York Mets
32. Derek Holland – Texas Rangers
33. Hiroki Kuroda – New York Yankees
34. Doug Fister – Detroit Tigers
35. Jake Peavy – Chicago White Sox
36. Matt Garza – Chicago Cubs
37. Matt Moore – Tampa Bay Rays
38. Josh Johnson – Toronto Blue Jays
39. Phil Hughes – New York Yankees
40. Jaime Garcia – St. Louis Cardinals
- Matt Garza’s injury sends him tumbling down the rankings, though he is able to barely hang on thanks to his strikeout and WHIP potential. While we will need a fill-in for the first few weeks, over the past five seasons his worst WHIP is 1.26 and ERA is 3.95. There’s an awful lot to like.
- Phil Hughes is another banged up pitcher, though it remains to be seen if he will open the season on the DL or not. He has the potential to drop out of the Top 40, but we will have to wait and see what news we get.
- Was there a better pitcher in the second half than Max Scherzer? All he did was post a 2.69 ERA and 110 K over 90.1 innings of work. If he can find consistency he could be a Top 15 option. While it is far from a lock that he realizes it this season, there’s way too much upside to ignore.
- While he wasn’t quite Scherzer, Jonathan Niese had his own success in the second half of 2012 (click here to view). He generates groundballs, has good control and the ability to strike you out. From a southpaw pitching not only in the NL, but generally a pitcher’s park, and what exactly is there not to like?
- Matt Moore’s place on these rankings may be debated, but until he finds his control he is going to be a risky option. That said, he has the potential to lead the league in strikeouts and the AL East isn’t quite as imposing as it once was. There’s a lot of reason to think he can excel this season.
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Make sure to check out our 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):