by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It certainly feels like the risk of injury is higher with a starting pitcher than with other positions, doesn’t it? While they have avoided significant injury, thus far, there have been concerns about many of the elite in the game already and the 2017 season hasn’t even started yet. How have our rankings been impacted? Let’s take a look:
1) Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
2) Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
3) Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets
4) Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
5) Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox
6) Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
7) Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians
8) Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
9) Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
10) Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals
11) Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
12) Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs
13) Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees
14) Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
15) Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs
16) Johnny Cueto – San Francisco Giants
17) Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
18) Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
19) David Price – Boston Red Sox
20) James Paxton – Seattle Mariner0073
- There had been concerns regarding the health of Max Scherzer, and while it still could be an issue for now owners he appears to be in the clear. He may not start on Opening Day, but he’s not going to miss time and remains one of the elite in the game.
- Another starter who faced an injury scare was Carlos Carrasco, who dealt with an elbow issue recently. He’s not completely out of the woods, but reports have him back on the mound and throwing without an issue. That should mean little missed time, if any, for a pitcher who brings strikeouts, control and should improve on the home runs he allowed. Consider him well worth buying in all formats.
- David Price gave owners quite a scare, though it appears that he’s avoided serious injury. He’s still going to miss time, though, and does need to drop down the rankings accordingly (and he could fall out of the Top 20 if bad news hits).
- Pitchers like Dallas Keuchel, Jacob deGrom and Chris Archer are coming off somewhat disappointing seasons, but that makes them ideal buy low candidates as opposed to pitchers to avoid. Keuchel in particular is a pitcher you shouldn’t have to utilize a Top 20 starter pick to acquire, but he should return to that type of level.
- Surprised to see James Paxton sneak into the Top 20? He showed the three skills we look for last season (8.70 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 48.1% groundball rate), and there’s significantly more upside in the strikeout rate. His issues last season were based on luck (.347 BABIP, 66.3% strand rate), not talent, and he’s a must buy in all formats.
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Make sure to check out our other 2017 Rankings:
|Starting Pitcher||#1-20 |02/27/17|