2016 Rankings: Top 40 Starting Pitchers (#21-40): Who Are Most Likely To Emerge?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The top of these rankings is filled with young starters who have the potential to take a step forward in their development and emerge as Top 10 options. Those are hardly the only intriguing names, though, as they are joined with veterans you can count on, other youngsters on the rise and a smattering of bounce back options. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t risks as well, so let’s take a look at how our next set of starting pitcher rankings shake out (click here to view our Top 20):

21) Garrett Richards – Los Angeles Angels
22) Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
23) Danny Salazar – Cleveland Indians
24) Tyson Ross – San Diego Padres
25) Yordano Ventura – Kansas City Royals
26) Cole Hamels – Texas Rangers
27) Michael Pineda – New York Yankees
28) Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees
29) Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
30) Francisco Liriano – Pittsburgh Pirates
31) Raisel Iglesias – Cincinnati Reds
32) Jeff Samardzija – San Francisco Giants
33) Sonny Gray – Oakland A’s
34) James Shields – San Diego Padres
35) Kenta Maeda – Los Angeles Dodgers
36) Marcus Stroman – Toronto Blue Jays
37) Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals
38) Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
39) Scott Kazmir – Los Angeles Dodgers
40) Colin McHugh – Houston Astros


  • Carlos Martinez looked like an ace in his first full season, showing strikeouts (9.22 K/9), solid control (3.16 BB/9) and groundballs (54.5%). Considering his minor league 9.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9, there’s obviously reason to believe. For those who want to point to his second half regression as reason for concern, keep in mind that there was some poor luck involved (.358 BABIP, 70.4% strand rate).
  • Are you someone who believes Kenta Maeda is a little bit too low on these rankings? Check out our 2016 projection by clicking here.
  • While things didn’t go well for Yordano Ventura in 2015, including a trip back to Triple-A, the numbers indicated significantly more upside. If we just told you that he posted an 8.60 K/9, 3.20 BB/9 and 52.2% groundball rate, would you be excited? How about that he also had a 10.4% SwStr%, showing that there’s the potential to strikeout a batter per inning? He may be an ideal post-hype sleeper, as we all know that the upside is there and the metrics back it up.
  • Obviously the news that Masahiro Tanaka is unsure if he will be ready for Opening Day is a bit of a concern, but there’s still more than enough time that we wouldn’t alter our expectations quite yet. Of course he’s also a ticking time bomb in regards to a potential Tommy John surgery, so there was already an added layer of risk in investing in him.
  • Jeff Samardzija’s lone season with the White Sox was a disaster, but he still landed a big contract this offseason and is back in the NL. Is he a prime bounce back candidate? It would certainly appear so.  Take a look at our analysis of him in his new locale by clicking here.
  • We are going to take a look at Sonny Gray in detail soon, but keep in mind that his skills all regressed in the second half and you can still point to a bit of favorable luck (.263 BABIP in the second half). He’s a groundball pitcher in a big ballpark, so there’s always going to be a lot to like, but we need to keep our expectations in check.

*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription?  Find out how by clicking here!! ***

Redraft Rankings
Dynasty Rankings
OBP Rankings
First BasemenFirst BasemenFirst Basemen
Second BasemenSecond BasemenSecond Basemen
Third BasemenThird BasemenThird Basemen
Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40
Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40
Relief PitchersRelief Pitchers


  1. Carlito says:

    Why isn’t Smyly on this list?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      A lot of it has to do with a potential innings limit after he threw just 66.2 last season, as well as pitching in the AL East and the risk of some home run issues.

  2. Carlito says:

    Thoughts on Corbin?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m a big fan, though he needs to figure out how to get it done on the road and there is going to be the risk of HR overall

Leave a Reply to Rotoprofessor Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *