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2017 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Top 100

We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2017 rankings. In addition to the rankings we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid and late round impact players.

Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Ron Vackar, Josh Coleman, Andy Singleton, Mike Sheehan and Neil Kenworthy. Our seven “experts” each ranked their top-100 starting pitchers for the 2017 season. Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top-100 by that particular person. 

If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.

  Player Team Kevin Andy Neil Josh Ron Mike Jim
1 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
2 Max Scherzer Nationals 2 2 2 2 2 2 5
3 Madison Bumgarner Giants 3 3 3 4 3 5 2
3 Noah Syndergaard Mets 5 5 4 3 5 6 3
5 Chris Sale Red Sox 4 4 5 13 4 3 4
6 Corey Kluber Indians 6 6 6 6 6 3 7
7 Jon Lester Cubs 7 7 9 10 8 8 10
8 Jake Arrieta Cubs 9 8 7 5 9 15 12
9 David Price Red Sox 12 13 8 7 12 7 8
10 Johnny Cueto Giants 10 9 11 14 10 10 9
11 Yu Darvish Rangers 16 11 10 16 7 9 6
12 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 17 12 12 8 15 11 11
13 Carlos Carrasco Indians 11 15 16 12 13 12 13
14 Chris Archer Rays 8 17 13 11 14 16 15
15 Justin Verlander Tigers 14 10 14 15 11 14 22
16 Jacob deGrom Mets 24 14 19 9 18 13 14
17 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 18 22 15 19 17 18 17
17 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 13 19 18 21 20 17 18
19 Kyle Hendricks Cubs 21 18 17 17 16 25 19
20 Gerrit Cole Pirates 22 28 20 20 29 20 16
21 Cole Hamels Rangers 27 20 23 25 19 19 25
22 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 29 21 21 18 23 21 26
23 Jose Quintana White Sox 15 23 22 30 22 28 20
24 Danny Duffy Royals 19 16 29 29 24 22 29
25 Kenta Maeda Dodgers 23 26 25 34 21 29 21




Which top-20 pitcher do you plan
on owning the most stock of?

Jim: I tend to go hitting with my first five picks, so I’ll most likely be taking back to back pitching in round six/seven. Based on NFBC ADP, that will be Jacob deGrom, Cole Hamels and Masahiro Tanaka. I’d be happy with deGrom or Tanaka to anchor my staff – I want both, but Hamels as my number two would be just as good.

Kevin: Because strikeouts are a bit more plentiful right now, I’m most focused on the top ERA guys. That means Kershaw, Bumgarner, Sale, and even Hendricks (though he’s not in my personal top-20).

Ron: The answer to this question is Yu Darvish. Contract year; check. Strikeout rate; check. Tommy John waving in the rear view mirror; check. Yu Darvish will be the AL version of Max Scherzer in 2017, minus some innings. 

Andy: Jacob deGrom: I don’t place a particularly high premium on starting pitchers early, just because I’m willing to bet on landing some big risers in the middle rounds. In addition to him being one of my all time favorites, deGrom presents an unusually low buying price for a top-10 starter. I’ll gladly take him to lead my staff at his current ADP. Covered on The Baseball Show

Josh: Clayton Kershaw’s dominance among his peers cannot be ignored. So while selecting him may exclude me from a top-shelf hitter, I will pay that price often this draft season. 

Mike: Johnny Cueto and Jon Lester both jump out at me as the most undervalued aces.  I’m happy with either to lead my staff.

Neil: Carlos Martinez is someone I plan on targeting often in drafts. Coming off a strong 2016 season, Martinez has a chance to take another step forward if he can improve against lefties. I’m also a fan of his price right now as he is the 17th pitcher off the board in NFBC drafts. Martinez has top-10 upside if everything goes right in 2017 making him an enticing SP2 option.

  Player Team Kevin Andy Neil Josh Ron Mike Jim
26 Julio Teheran Braves 31 29 24 24 26 30 27
27 Danny Salazar Indians 25 27 31 50 30 24 23
28 Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 37 25 26 44 25 34 24
29 Rick Porcello Red Sox 28 24 30 23 27 31 66
30 Kevin Gausman Orioles 32 39 28 22 33 36 41
31 Michael Fulmer Tigers 46 35 33 35 32 27 28
32 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 20 38 34 31 37 46 31
33 Dallas Keuchel Astros 35 48 41 26 35 23 33
34 Rich Hill Dodgers 66 30 35 28 28 35 36
35 Felix Hernandez Mariners 38 41 27 39 31 54 30
36 Sonny Gray Athletics 30 31 40 43 54 40 35
37 Matt Harvey Mets 39 47 32 52 38 37 37
38 Steve Matz Mets 33 51 46 37 43 39 34
38 Jameson Taillon Pirates 26 42 58 38 36 51 32
40 John Lackey Cubs 47 36 36 36 39 53 38
40 Carlos Rodon White Sox 43 45 55 42 52 33 42
42 Aaron Nola Phillies 36 52 44 32 59 52 45
43 James Paxton Mariners 72 33 62 33 48 26 47
43 Vince Velasquez Phillies 44 44 56 48 49 38 48
45 Lance McCullers Astros 52 46 60 62 42 32 39
46 Tanner Roark Nationals 98 37 39 46 34 40 43
47 Sean Manaea Athletics 41 57 51 59 41 47 53
48 Jon Gray Rockies 57 32 48 67 47 55 49
48 Matt Shoemaker Angels 56 55 57 40 61 42 44
50 J.A. Happ Blue Jays 54 40 52 45 45 70 61
Page 2: Players 51 – 100

Which pitcher(s) do you plan on avoiding in the draft?

Jim: I want no part of Rick Porcello at any ADP. As I outlined back in November, Porcello did nothing different in 2016; only the results changed. People talk about his command and pitch location, but they made the same claims about Phil Hughes in 2014 – look how that turned out.

Kevin: Overperformers like Tanner Roark, declining stars like Felix Hernandez, and SP not certain for 175 IP like Rich Hill and Lance Lynn are guys I won’t pay the going rate for.

Ron: The legendary Cole Hamels change-up lost its appeal in 2016. The batting average against the change was way up (.257 in 2016 vs. nothing better than .199 the previous 3 seasons) and it registered its lowest SwStr% of his career (22.8% from over 27%). He should be valued in the Matt Moore range, but someone will select Hamels about 100 picks earlier. 

Andy: Piggybacking off of my answer above, Clayton Kershaw goes as high as #1 overall and no later than #10. When he is on, he is absolutely the best pitcher in the game today. But his back woes and other nicks in recent years are enough to give me pause. It’s ultimately just too high of a price for me to feel comfortable justifying. 

Josh: I’m pumping the brakes on Chris Sale. The pitch to more contact narrative would be more believable if the K/9 drop wasn’t accompanied by a 2 MPH velocity drop on the fastball. How will Edward Scissorhands respond to the added scrutiny he’ll find in Boston? Lot of questions for the 4th SP off the board. 

Mike: Jake Arrieta was pretty bad in the second half of last year, so I’m not going to pay an ace price for him.

Neil: Although I love Kyle Hendricks, his price is too high for me right now. I’m a firm believer in his ability to control the zone and induce weak contact, but currently, he’s going before guys like Carlos Martinez, Jacob deGrom, Cole Hamels and Masahiro Tanaka. Assuming some regression for Hendricks in 2017, all four of these guys have higher upside and/or lower floors. 

Page 2: Players 51 – 100

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A combined effort of the greatest fantasy sports minds money can buy. Maybe that is an exaggeration..... but it sounds good.
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