Each week, the Assembly will put together their positional rankings for keeper leagues. We are looking at player values for 2014, 2015 and 2016. These rankings are more of a middle ground between Jim’s 2014 Rankings and Peter’s Dynasty Rankings, which represent the next 5-7 years. For your standard keeper leagues, these are your best rankings to gauge your Starting Pitcher values.
Our 6 experts, with 135 years combined fantasy baseball experience, each ranked the Starting Pitcher position, and here is the results:
1. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
JIMI: Has moved into the #1 ranked SP along with the Top 10 Overall.
PETER: There isn’t a safer bet out there right now. ERA under 3, K/9 approaching 9, only issued 52 walks in 236 innings in 2013.
2. Yu Darvish, TEX
JIM: Big strikeouts, low WHIP and improving ERA. Wins are next.
TOMMY: The K rate is sublime and the improved control makes Yu one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.
3. Stephen Strasburg, WAS
KEVIN: He’s poised to put together an amazing run of seasons if he’s healthy.
PETER: Strasburg is a strikeout machine, the problem has been keeping him on the mound
4. Adam Wainwright, StL
JIMI: Has returned to ace form after missing 2011 following TJ surgery.
TOMMY: Waino is as solid as they come, but he is 32 and his K rate is lower than all of the pitchers ranked ahead of him here.
5. Jose Fernandez, MIA
JIMI: 21 year old had great 1st season. Slight gamble here with age and team considered.
TOMMY: Fernandez would be ranked #2 in any long term keeper league. There is risk since his track record isn’t very long, but Fernandez looks like the next great one.
6. Max Scherzer, DET
PETER: Scherzer has great stuff on the mound, with a fastball sitting at 93 MPH on average. The trouble has been consistency, but he put it all together in 2013 so he will be pricy in 2014 drafts.
KEVIN: His WHIP is the only thing he can’t easily repeat.
7. Felix Hernandez, SEA
JIM: You may get better numbers elsewhere, but not the consistency.
JIMI: Still only 28 (this coming April), would rank higher if on stronger team.
8. Madison Bumgarner, SF
KEVIN: Career-low WHIP, and that’s with a career-high BB/9. If he gets it back under 2.5, watch out.
TOMMY: He gets a K per inning, has an outstanding WHIP and his home park is a pitcher’s haven. Oh yeah, he is only 24.
9. David Price, TB
PETER: Price was not his dominant self in 2013, but he still ended up with 10 wins. Look for him to rebound in 2014, even if he is dealt out of Tampa Bay.
PAUL: Don’t be concerned with 2013 overall numbers. Post all-star break when he returned from 6 week DL trip, he was the same Price he’s always been.
10. Justin Verlander, DET
JIMI: Slipped from the #1 spot, now looking to rebound. His 3 year average record is 20-7
JIM: Not the top 2 ace we thought he was, but still a top 10 option.
11. Cliff Lee, PHI
PETER: Lee has been surprisingly durable over the past 6 seasons, with 5 30+start seasons (the other was 28). He doesn’t walk anyone (he issues 32 walks in 222 innings in 2013) and he gives you about a K per inning
KEVIN: Age is a factor on this list, but I expect continued greatness for next 2-3 years.
12. Chris Sale, CHW
JIMI: Young lefty is on the rise despite posting just a 11-14 record in 2013.
TOMMY: He is 25 and has elite talent. There is some injury risk here, but the numbers are worth it.
13. Cole Hamels, PHI
JIM: Numbers may not improve in Philly, but overall package very solid.
JIMI: Had off year in ’13, but still is top 20 in rankings most everywhere.
14. Gerrit Cole, PIT
PAUL: Get in on the ground floor of this ace in the making. Expect K rate of 8.5/9ip.
JIM: A star in the making, but we might have to wait until 2015 to see it all.
15. Anibal Sanchez, DET
KEVIN: Career high K/9 and got a little lucky, but moving forward I’d pay for a long-term investment.
TOMMY: He probably won’t be able to replicate his 2013 breakout, but he should be close enough to provide good value in the middle rounds.
16. Zack Greinke, LAD
PAUL: Second half .98 whip, .214 BAA. LA is such a great place for Greinke. He could top 3 any of the next 3 years.
TOMMY: Greinke had a nice 2013 despite missing some time. His age (will be 30 on opening day) and up and down past knock him down my draft board.
17. Matt Cain, SF
JIM: Cain will rebound and 2013 will soon be forgotten.
KEVIN: He’s been beating his metrics for years, and they finally caught up to him in 2013. Expect a rebound, but not to 2011-12 level.
18. Jordan Zimmermann, WAS
JIMI: Established career highs in wins, IP, K’s, and whip in 2013. Had 4 CG and 2 shutouts.
PETER: Though his K/9 crept down and his ERA slipped up (to 3.25), Zimmermann won a career best 19 games in 2013 and was the ace that the Nationals needed.
19. Mat Latos, CIN
JIM: Solid ERA and WHIP with good strikeout numbers. A very good # 2 pitcher.
TOMMY: Latos is one of the unsexy, safe picks that can help you win your league. Latos is only 26, so he has some long term appeal.
20. Matt Moore, TB
PETER: Moore was only able to pitch 150 innings in 2013, but he won 17 of his 27 starts. Moore is a potential top 10 pitcher for 2014.
JIM: drop in velocity and high walk totals could plummet his value if not corrected.
21. Mike Minor, ATL
TOMMY: Minor looks like the safest bet of all the young aces. He doesn’t have a ceiling quite as high as the others because of the good, not great K rate though.
KEVIN: Built on second-half surge in 2012 and didn’t stop. But he may be another Cain, beating his metrics every year, and that could carry some risk.
22. Shelby Miller, StL
JIMI: Went 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA, great numbers for his rookie season.
KEVIN: Cooled in second half due to BB/9 spike; if he gets it under at least 3.5 he’ll be good for years of quality pitching
23. Gio Gonzalez, WAS
JIM: High strikeouts, good ERA and win totals and acceptable WHIP.
PETER: While he could not repeat his success of 2012, Gonzalez still made 32 starts and pitched nearly 200 innings in 2013.His peripherals were basically in line with 2012, so perhaps some bad luck contributed to his lowly win total.
24. James Shields, KC
KEVIN: Only thing preventing him from being ranked higher is age, but plenty of guys have pitched well into their mid-30s.
JIM: Increasing walk and hit totals will eventually be his downfall.
25. Julio Teheran, ATL
PETER: In his first full season in Atlanta Teheran finished 14-8, flashing glimpses of the dominance that is expected from him.He may still have some struggles, but Teheran is certainly an ace in the making.
TOMMY: He has big time upside and he has already produced a top 100 overall season. Teheran is riskier than some of the other pitchers ranked in this area, but he has top 5 upside.