2019 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Top 100

We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2019 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 Jim Finch, Hunter Denson, Seth Bias and Jake Blodgett. Our four “experts” each ranked their top 100 starting pitchers for the 2019 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.

Rank Player Team Jim Jake Seth Hunter
1 Max Scherzer Nationals 1 1 1 1
2 Jacob deGrom Mets 3 2 2 2
3 Chris Sale Red Sox 2 3 3 3
4 Corey Kluber Indians 4 5 6 9
5 Gerrit Cole Astros 6 9 4 5
6 Justin Verlander Astros 8 6 7 4
7 Aaron Nola Phillies 5 4 10 10
8 Blake Snell Rays 16 8 5 6
9 Carlos Carrasco Indians 7 10 12 11
10 Patrick Corbin Nationals 14 12 8 7
11 Trevor Bauer Indians 20 7 9 8
12 Noah Syndergaard Mets 9 13 13 13
13 Mike Clevinger Indians 11 15 11 14
14 Luis Severino Yankees 10 16 18 12
15 Jameson Taillon Pirates 17 14 19 17
16 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 18 19 16 18
17 German Marquez Rockies 19 21 17 16
18 Walker Buehler Dodgers 23 11 21 19
19 James Paxton Yankees 15 17 20 23
20 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 13 18 24 22
21 Jose Berrios Twins 24 27 15 15
22 Jack Flaherty Cardinals 22 22 14 25
23 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 12 20 27 27
24 Zach Wheeler Mets 21 24 23 21
25 David Price Red Sox 27 26 22 20

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

Hunter:  If I decide to invest in an upper tier arm going into the season, there’s no one I want more shares of than Aaron Nola. He had a great season last year and I see big things for him and the Phillies in 2019.

Jim: I’m all about consistency and value so I see a lot of Carlos Carrasco in my future. He and teammate Corey Kluber are the type of pitchers that you can look at their track record and virtually guarantee what they will give you. I’ll pay an extra dollar or reach a round early to get either.

Seth:  I tend to wait on pitching, but I like both Jack Flaherty and German Marquez a great deal.

Jake: I wouldn’t advise the strategy for every player, but for Corey Kluber I will accept being a year too late to abandon ship rather than let someone else enjoy another year of 200K, a sub-3 ERA, and a sub-1 WHIP. A drop in velocity late last year, a sub-par playoff showing and trade rumors have understandably scared some managers, but I’m in – for 2019 at least.

Rank Player Team Jim Jake Seth Hunter
26 Luis Castillo Reds 25 29 32 26
27 J.A. Happ Yankees 29 32 25 28
28 Madison Bumgarner Giants 26 23 28 38
29 Charlie Morton Rays 37 30 26 24
30 Miles Mikolas Cardinals 30 28 29 32
31 Mike Foltynewicz Braves 38 25 31 37
32 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 31 35 34 34
33 Kyle Hendricks Cubs 28 34 38 36
34 Yu Darvish Cubs 33 40 36 29
35 Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 34 31 30 45
36 Nick Pivetta Phillies 35 38 42 30
37 Cole Hamels Cubs 32 37 46 31
38 Chris Archer Pirates 36 44 33 35
39 Andrew Heaney Angels 40 41 47 33
40 Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 41 42 35 44
T 41 Dallas Keuchel FREE AGENT 42 47 41 39
T 41 Shane Bieber Indians 48 36 37 48
43 Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 43 39 44 49
44 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 39 50 40 51
45 Jon Lester Cubs 46 51 45 55
46 Jon Gray Rockies 47 59 49 43
47 Rich Hill Dodgers 45 45 50 60
48 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 49 46 54 53
49 Kenta Maeda Dodgers 51 52 64 41
50 Yusei Kikuchi Mariners 54 48 58 52

Which starting pitchers do you plan on avoiding in the draft?

Hunter:  Clayton Kershaw (23.9% K%, 4.5% BB%, 1.04 WHIP in 2018). Last season he was a lot closer to Anibal Sanchez (24.4% K%, 7.6% BB%, 1.08 WHIP in 2018) than he was to an ace and his latest injury concerns aren’t helping matters.

Jim: Blake Snell and Trevor  Bauer both had breakout seasons, and not even I will argue the numbers put up in 2018. However, an NFBC ADP of 29 and 33 respectively is too rich for me. I have the most faith in Snell of the two, and he is the right age for a breakout, but I’d like to see it again before investing this high As for Bauer, he has a long track record of mediocrity for me to just vault him into the upper echelon.

Seth:  You won’t find me with Julio Teheran on my team. I don’t understand why he’s still so over-drafted – if your closer allowed as many baserunners in his innings as Teheran does in the first, he’d lose his job!

Jake: I don’t like banking on guys to duplicate or best career years. Miles Mikolas and Charlie Morton were awesome last year, and very well could be again, but I am going to pass while wishing them both the best of luck.

Rank Player Team Jim Jake Seth Hunter
T 51 Zack Godley Diamondbacks 50 69 57 40
T 51 Rick Porcello Red Sox 65 43 39 69
53 Marco Gonzales Mariners 52 62 62 42
54 Tyler Glasnow Rays 55 64 43 58
55 Kyle Freeland Rockies 73 33 48 70
T 56 Alex Wood Reds 44 66 59 56
T 56 Kevin Gausman Braves 59 49 55 62
58 Jose Quintana Cubs 61 54 53 64
59 Joey Lucchesi Padres 57 57 60 61
60 Alex Reyes Cardinals 53 60 66 63
61 Tyler Skaggs Angels 56 68 69 59
62 Joe Musgrove Pirates 67 63 78 46
63 Jake Arrieta Phillies 72 53 61 72
64 Ross Stripling Dodgers 58 67 77 57
65 Collin McHugh Astros 64 93 51 54
66 Josh James Astros 63 58 56 94
67 Sean Newcomb Braves 68 65 52 87
68 Jhoulys Chacin Brewers 77 55 65 76
69 Kyle Gibson Twins 80 79 67 50
70 Sonny Gray Reds 60 80 73 65
71 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 62 70 74 81
72 Steve Matz Mets 69 87 63 73
T 73 Michael Wacha Cardinals 66 82 71 79
T 73 Mike Minor Rangers 75 73 72 78
75 Jesus Luzardo Athletics 70 72 75 88

Who is your favorite underrated pitcher based on current ADP?

Hunter:  German Marquez at 82.40 looks low to me given his 2018 performance. Obviously, he comes with some risk given his home environment and lack of MLB experience, but as the 29th arm off the board? Yes, please.

Jim:  I’m a sucker for falling stars (Bumgarner 80, Tanaka 137), post-hype sleepers (Luis Castillo 113), and solid yet boring contributors (Kyle Hendricks 124, J.A. Happ 138). My overall favorite based on current ADP is Alex Wood (234). He’ll miss some games, but he’s averaged 150 innings the past two years with solid numbers – you shouldn’t be able to find that type of stability heading into round 20.

Seth:  I like Trevor Richard’s stuff. I like Stroman’s stuff too. And I made the argument Marquez could be drafted top 10.

Jake:  My initial reaction was Shane Bieber, but it looks like his bandwagon is at an appropriate capacity, kudos to the fantasy community for recognizing the importance of command. My second choice for this question is Jameson Taillon, a man who missed fewer games battling cancer than Aaron Sanchez missed for blisters. With the slider he developed last year he could provide top-10 value, but he’s not quite being drafted based on that ceiling.

Rank Player Team Jim Jake Seth Hunter
76 Michael Fulmer Tigers 71 78 82 75
77 Julio Urias Dodgers 79 56 94 85
78 Julio Teheran Braves 88 76 87 93
79 Jakob Junis Royals 98 77 84 90
80 Reynaldo Lopez White Sox 81 61 N/R 71
81 Derek Holland Giants 84 94 97 89
82 Matthew Boyd Tigers N/R 74 81 66
83 Anibal Sanchez Nationals 87 N/R 91 47
84 Jimmy Nelson Brewers 74 N/R 79 84
85 Luke Weaver Diamondbacks 76 N/R 89 82
86 Brandon Woodruff Brewers N/R 95 76 77
87 Carlos Rodon White Sox 90 75 85 N/R
88 Anthony DeSclafani Reds 83 N/R 88 86
89 Freddy Peralta Brewers 93 N/R 70 96
90 Trevor Cahill Angels 96 90 N/R 74
91 Forrest Whitley Astros 99 71 92 N/R
92 Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 78 86 100 N/R
93 C.C. Sabathia Yankees 85 100 N/R 83
94 Mike Fiers Athletics 92 81 96 N/R
95 Brad Keller Royals 97 85 N/R 91
96 Jake Odorizzi Twins 100 96 N/R 100
97 Dylan Bundy Orioles N/R N/R 86 68
T 99 Trevor Williams Pirates N/R 92 68 N/R
T 99 Touki Toussaint Braves N/R N/R 80 80
100 Lucas Giolito White Sox 86 83 N/R N/R

Late round pick who could make an impact?

Hunter:  Brad Peacock (335.45) and Matt Strahm (389.01) are two late round picks (or early waiver wire targets) I want on my roster this season. Both are fighting for rotation spots and could easily turn a profit if they break camp with a job.

Jim:  Focusing on pitchers who were not reached for inside the top-200 (not an easy task) I’d be looking at Sonny Gray. The Yankees altered his pitch usage from previous years which I think played a part in his demise (he was quite serviceable before NY). Luke Weaver, Mike Fiers, Michael Pineda, Greg Holland, Lance Lynn and Chase Anderson are a few more of my favorite late rounders.

Seth: Richards, Strahm, a rookie like Luzardo, Whitley or Keller. Even a guy like Caleb Smith.

Jake:  It’s not exactly a hot-take to say that the best pitching prospect in the game could be fantasy-relevant, but sometimes it’s nice not to overthink things. Forrest Whitley is a young pitcher with a giant frame, three plus pitches and two plus-plus offerings – sounds like a guy I want on my team.

Outside Looking in
Rank Player Team Jim Jake Seth Hunter
101 Zach Eflin Phillies N/R 89 90 150
102 Dereck Rodriguez Giants N/R N/R 83 97
103 Vince Velasquez Phillies N/R 88 99 N/R
104 Matt Harvey Angels N/R 97 N/R 92
105 Matt Strahm Padres N/R N/R 98 98

In addition to the above five players, there were an additional 14 players ranked – each appearing on only one set of rankings… basically a few of our personal favorites to consider. With the exception of Tyler Anderson, none of them were ranked in the top 80 and only the first four ranked in the 81-90 range.

In order of ranking: Tyler Anderson, Lance Lynn, Jaime Barria, Adam Wainwright, Michael Pineda, Danny Duffy, Mike Soroka, Chase Anderson, Alex Cobb, Tanner Roark, Marrill Kelly, Diego Castillo, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards.

2019 RANKINGS
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldRelievers

 

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2 thoughts on “2019 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Top 100”

  1. Hi. Why is everyone so down on Trevor Williams??? I have him ranked a lot higher on my board and no one is really talking about his HUGE second half. Is everyone against soft tossers? Younger Kyle Hendricks? Thanks

    1. I can’t speak for anyone else, but here’s what I got.

      First is low strikeouts. I can live with this in certain situations, but you need to do a lot of other things right for me to accept a K/9 below 7.00

      The contact rate went up a point, and two points the year prior. Overall not a big concern, except for almost 8% drop in ground balls. That’s not good for a guy with a fastball just over 90MPH with average (at best) secondary offerings.

      His top-12 soft contact rate the past two years could lead to trouble with increased contact. Look at the soft contact leaderboard from highest to lowest. You’ll see deGrom, Scherzer, Verlander, Nola, Severino, Castillo – guys with heat to explain the soft contact. Williams makes an unlikely candidate to stick here.

      Throw in a lucky .261 BABIP (8th lowest), a 4.54 xFIP and a 4.68 SIERA, and everything about his 2018 season seems wrong. He doesn’t have the arsenal to be a successful ML pitcher. Yes, he has gotten by so far – go ask Julio Teheran how long that lasts.

      The difference between Kyle Hendricks (who I love) and someone like Williams is, again, stuff. He doesn’t throw hard, but he does have a strong 4 pitch arsenal, and outside his curveball they all grade out better than average – something you can’t say about Williams. I have nothing against soft tossers if they have what it takes to make it work. I don’t see anything in Williams that makes me believe he can take a step forward, and with a limited ceiling and low floor I want nothing to do with him. I’d rather roll the dice on an aging veteran and their boring static numbers or an unknown with upside over Williams. And, with a few arms in Pittsburgh’s minor league system that could/should be ready this year… Williams is the low man on the totem pole. He could very well be in the pen or another team this time next year.

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