The Top 225 Dynasty League Starting Pitchers, Part 3 (#126-225)
At this point in the project, I don’t have too many words left. However, I do have one note about the make up of this part of the starting pitcher list. You’ll notice that as we get down to the bottom, there are a lot more uninteresting major league arms than there are prospects – which might seem strange because there is no shortage of high-risk pitching prospects in baseball. The reasoning for that is in the statement. Because there is such high fluctuation year-to-year with low-level pitching prospects, you’re more likely to get value out of the Bronson Arroyo type pitcher who can help you as a matchups play, versus a rookie-league starting pitching prospect who is very likely to flame out prior to getting to the majors. There is always value is keeping tabs on the pitching prospects who break out, like your Dan Strailys and your Brandon Maurers, but the fact that those types of guys pop up so often is an indictment on putting too much stock into your minor league flier.
And now your next 100 dynasty league starters, with sporadic commentary:
#126 – Bud Norris, Houston Astros
In the shocker of the year category, the player now making the most money on the Astros is now on the trade block.
#127 – Wandy Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates
#128 – Johan Santana, New York Mets
#129 – Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates
If this were 2009, these three left-handers would all be way, way higher on this list. Unfortunately, injuries and underperformance have left them as shells of their former fantasy selves. Fortunately, all three find themselves in attractive places to pitch, especially Way-Rod and Liriano, who will call PNC Park home – the place where RH power goes to die.
#130 – Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers
It’s coming, right? Right? Guys? Seriously, he’s been improving skills-wise, but this will likely never be the pitcher we imagined when he was a top prospect.
#131 – Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals
#132 – Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds
#133 – Dan Straily, Oakland Athletics
#134 – Erasmo Ramirez, Seattle Mariners
If you’re looking for a short-ish right hander to finally break out and solidify a rotation spot for the next few years in 2013, Ramirez might just be your guy. He did have a 7.0 K/9 and 4.0 K/BB, if you’re into that sort of thing.
#135 – Ervin Santana, Kansas City Royals
#136 – Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
Two more Royals arms who have questions to answer. Ervin Santana was brutal last year, but at least some of that is luck-based (he’d be hard-pressed to repeat his 18.9% HR/FB rate). Duffy will fight back from Tommy John this spring and hopefully return to the rotation in the second half. However, with Duffy, it’s still not a guarantee that he’ll end up in the rotation long-term. As a prospect, he was always a guy whose ability to stick as a starter was questioned by scouts.
#137 – A.J. Cole, Washington Nationals
#138 – Lance McCullers Jr, Houston Astros
#139 – Martin Perez, Texas Rangers
#140 – Dillon Gee, New York Mets
As far as end-game guys, Gee is one of my favorites. He was the forgotten member of the 2012 holy trinity team, as his season was cut short by a blood clot in his shoulder, but should be healthy for Spring Training.
#141 – Paul Maholm, Atlanta Braves
#142 – Michael Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers
If you’re asking me whether I’m a believer in a soft-tossing righty who gives up a ton of fly balls and pitches half his games in Miller Park or not, I’m going to say no.
#143 – Pat Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks
If the Arizona rotation wasn’t so crowded, Corbin would have a shot to break camp in it. But he’s likely seventh in line once Daniel Hudson returns from injury.
#144 – Ivan Nova, New York Yankees
#145 – Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays
#146 – Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees
#147 – Zach Lee, Los Angeles Dodgers
#148 – Vance Worley, Minnesota Twins
#149 – Clayton Blackburn, San Francisco Giants
#150 – J.R. Graham, Atlanta Braves
#151 – Tommy Hanson, Los Angeles Angels
It’s been a rough journey for Hanson from potential next big thing in Atlanta to being outside of the top-150 on a list like this. Hanson’s numbers in 2012 were bad, but his performance was even worse. If there’s anything left in his shoulder, it’s going to have to show itself in 2013.
#152 – James McDonald, Pittsburgh Pirates
#153 – Clayton Richard, San Diego Padres
I’m still banking on PETCO playing as a pretty nice pitcher’s park, where Richard will still be worth keeping around to play at home. His 3.02 ERA at PETCO is exactly why you keep Padres pitchers around.
#154 – Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
#155 – Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado Rockies
Chacin is the anti-Richard – with his 2.72 ERA (even in a poor overall 2012) away from Coors making him worthy of a roster spot.
#156 – Ricky Nolasco, Miami Marlins
#157 – Carlos Villanueva, Chicago Cubs
Villanueva is either going to be this year’s Marco Estrada or he’s going to bomb out in the rotation and end up back in the Cubs bullpen. He’s talented enough for the former, but if I had to bet, I’d take the latter.
#158 – Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox
#159 – Drew Pomeranz, Colorado Rockies
Don’t forget about Pomeranz, who saw his velocity tick back up as the 2012 season went on. It’s tough as a pitcher in Colorado, but don’t be surprised if he puts himself back on the map this year.
#160 – Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals
#161 – Joe Ross, San Diego Padres
#162 – Andrew Heaney, Miami Marlins
#163 – Michael Wacha, St Louis Cardinals
#164 – Gavin Floyd, Chicago White Sox
#165 – Tommy Milone, Oakland Athletics
#166 – Chris Stratton, San Francisco Giants
#167 – Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners
#168 – Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins
Another guy not to forget about. Alvarez needs to figure out how to get more swinging strikes, but he has the big fastball, the control and the ground ball tendencies to be a very good pitcher in the long run.
#169 – Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels
#170 – Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles
#171 – Jesse Biddle, Philadelphia Phillies
#172 – Brandon Maurer, Seattle Mariners
#173 – Jose Campos, New York Yankees
#174 – Tyrell Jenkins, St Louis Cardinals
#175 – Joe Blanton, Los Angeles Angels
#176 – Randall Delgado, Arizona Diamondbacks
I’m not optimistic about Delgado being any more than a back-end guy for his career. The Braves also have a very long and storied history of success in knowing which young pitchers to keep and which ones to deal away.
#177 – John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
You can call me a Lackey optimist if you want, but I think he’ll be worth owning in 2013. He’s very unlikely to ever be near his former self, but could he be a league average pitcher if everything breaks right for him again? Sure.
#178 – Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals
#179 – Zach McAllister, Cleveland Indians
#180 – Ted Lilly, Los Angeles Dodgers
#181 – Scott Diamond, Minnesota Twins
#182 – Matthew Wisler, San Diego Padres
#183 – Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
#184 – Nick Travieso, Cincinnati Reds
#185 – Victor Sanchez, Seattle Mariners
#186 – Nate Eovaldi, Miami Marlins
#187 – Juan Nicasio, Colorado Rockies
This is a reminder to always keep an eye on the players who are touted as breakout candidates only to have their “breakout season” derailed by injuries. Nicasio is still the same pitcher, just a year older.
#188 – Joe Saunders, Seattle Mariners
#189 – Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays
#190 – Mark Rogers, Milwaukee Brewers
#191 – Mitch Brown, Cleveland Indians
#192 – Tyler Matzek, Colorado Rockies
#193 – Henry Owens, Boston Red Sox
#194 – Cody Buckel, Texas Rangers
#195 – Johnny Hellweg, Milwaukee Brewers
#196 – Ryu-Hyun Jin, Los Angeles Dodgers
#197 – Bronson Arroyo, Cincinnati Reds
#198 – Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs
#199 – Lucas Harrell, Houston Astros
#200 – Jordan Lyles, Houston Astros
It’s going to be tough as an Astros starter this season (and next) since they project to have one of the league’s worst offenses, defenses and bullpens. Consequently, if they trade Bud Norris, Harrell and Lyles may be their top two starters. Fortunately, their farm system is strong..
#201 – Onelki Garcia, Los Angeles Dodgers
#202 – John Lannan, Philadelphia Phillies
#203 – J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays
He may not have a job right now, but with Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson in front of him, he’s never that far away from value. Happ has deceptively positive skills, and last year struck out nearly a batter an inning with a K/BB rate above 2.5.
#204 – Aaron Harang, Los Angeles Dodgers
#205 – Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
#206 – Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants
#207 – Scott Feldman, Chicago Cubs
#208 – David Holmberg, Arizona Diamondbacks
#209 – Trevor May, Minnesota Twins
#210 – Matt Smoral, Toronto Blue Jays
#211 – Zach Eflin, San Diego Padres
#212 –Sean Nolin, Toronto Blue Jays
#213 – Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies
#214 – Miguel Gonzalez, Baltimore Orioles
#215 – Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals
#216 – Jake Westbrook, St Louis Cardinals
#217 – Roberto Hernandez, Tampa Bay Rays
If there’s anywhere that Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) can resurrect his career, it’s Tampa Bay, with their excellent defense and heavy use of shifts.
#218 – Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians
#219 – Jeff Karstens, Pittsburgh Pirates
#220 – Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
#221 – Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians
#222 – Christian Friedrich, Colorado Rockies
#223 – Jair Jurrjens, Baltimore Orioles
#224 – Rich Harden, Minnesota Twins
#225 – Kyle Drabek, Toronto Blue Jays
These guys are the New York Lotto of pitchers. Because, hey, you never know.
* To show appreciation for the 2013 Dynasty League Rankings (or anything else on this site), please click on the “Donate” button at the top right hand corner of the homepage. Thanks!
Follow me on Twitter at @dynastyguru.