This is an extremely rough first draft of my pitching rankings and faces a lot of changes as the offseason progresses (as well as being expanded significantly). Keep that in mind as you look things over.
While the top pick is clear-cut, after that things are extremely wide open. Especially from about 14 through 25 (though not all are shown on the rankings), there is likely to be a lot of movement because all of the pitchers are so closely bunched together. Let’s take a look at how things currently stand:
- Roy Halladay – Philadelphia Phillies
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants
- Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox
- CC Sabathia – New York Yankees
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
- Ubaldo Jimenez – Colorado Rockies
- Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
- Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels
- Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins
- Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers
- Cliff Lee – Free Agent
- Josh Johnson – Florida Marlins
- Chris Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox
- Mat Latos – San Diego Padres
- Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies
- Tommy Hanson – Atlanta Braves
- Zack Greinke – Kansas City Royals
Just Missed: Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants; Roy Oswalt, Philadelphia Phillies; David Price, Tampa Bay Rays; Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels; Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins
- For as good as Ubaldo Jimenez was for the first two months of the season, he had some real struggles (at times) after that. There’s no doubt that he’s entrenched himself as one of the elite starting pitchers in the game, but his .273 BABIP could really regress. We’ll touch on him again in much more detail, but I wouldn’t over-draft him based on his early season performance.
- Where Cliff Lee ultimately lands will help determine exactly where he belongs on these rankings. His spot is probably the most in flux at this point.
- Surprised at Mat Latos’ presence? His performance at Petco Park alone (2.59 ERA) gives us a lot to like. When you add in his strikeout upside (10.6 minor league K/9) and solid control and there is reason to believe he could develop into a SP1 this season. He emerged last season and should continue to be one of the better options available.
- Is Zack Greinke going to be traded or not? For now he’ll hang on at the bottom of these rankings, after he struggled in 2010, but if he gets traded to a contender his value will increase significantly. If he doesn’t, he is likely to find himself off the list completely.
- Wainwright or Kershaw? Kershaw or Wainwright? That’s certainly going to be an interesting debate as the offseason progresses.
- Yovani Gallardo has the stuff to be among the best of the best, if he could only put it together for a full season (5.77 ERA after the All Star Break). His overall numbers are nothing to complain about (3.84 ERA, 200 K), but there is so much more that could.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Whose too high? Whose too low?
Make sure to check out our early 2011 rankings: