Saturday, January 28, 2017


21. Gerrit Cole:  Tread very  carefully here as Cole had more arm problems last season (second time in three years) and his K/9 rate cratered.  Sizable Tommy John risk.
22. Masahiro Tanaka:  Speaking of TJ risk, Tanaka continues to pitch with a tear in his UCL but is doing just fine coming off a 3.07 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.  Just know that Tanaka's strikeout numbers are now quite ordinary as a result of the tear.
23. Jose Quintana:  No this is not a typo as the durable Quintana continues to get better and comes off a 2016 campaign where he reached high's in ERA (3.07), WHIP (1.16) and strikeouts (181).
24. Matt Harvey:  This is me predicting a healthy Harvey comes back to being a high-K starter who knocks on the ace-level door.
25. Kenta Maeda:  MRI shows all sorts of elbow trouble that could blow up at a moment's notice but Maeda's 9.29 K/9 rate shows how much he fooled batters as a rookie.
26. Aaron Sanchez:  I suggest avoiding Sanchez this season as his K/9 is mediocre and he comes off a MASSIVE uptick in innings compared to 2015.  This almost always leads to depressed numbers and health woes the following season.
27. Zack Greinke:  The velocity is still slightly leaking and Grienke was torched at Chase Field all of 2016 which are big potential problems.  Downward we go.
28. Lance McCullers:  Massive strikeout upside here but McCuller's control was hideous last season and his high-octane stuff makes health iffy.
29. Rick Porcello:  Love the durability here but Porcello got some sizable BABIP luck last season and the benefit of the Red Sox lineup supplying a bunch of run support.  Decent pitcher no doubt but Porcello is more an SP 3 than a Cy Young winner.
30. Felix Hernandez:  This is a huge drop in the rankings for Hernandez but understandable as he comes off two rough seasons in a row.  The fastball velocity is down 5-mph and counting and Hernandez is also losing his control (3.82 BB/9).  Avoid.
31. Michael Fulmer:  Was the definition of ridiculous at times during his rookie season for the Tigers but keep in mind Fulmer is a not a huge strikeout guy.  Beware of a slight sophomore slump as well.
32. Jon Gray:  all the advanced indicators are suggesting Gray is going to be a 200-K ace-level starter as soon as 2017; home ballpark be damned.
33. Marcus Stroman:  Many will shy away from Stroman after his tough (4.37 ERA) campaign last season but his vast FIVE pitch arsenal and splendid control point to SP 2 status.
34. Danny Salazar:  The poor control reared its ugly head again last season and Salazar's rough delivery got him injured as well.  While we love the extreme strikeout stuff, Salazar is a big boom-or-bust pitcher.
35. John Lackey:  Actually reached a new career-high in strikeouts last season at the age of 37 and Lackey is as dogged as a pitcher gets.  Can still be quite useful as an SP 3 for another season.
36. Aaron Nola:  Again this is me being a firm believer in the ability that Nola has.  Like with Jon Gray, all the advanced metrics say Nola will be an ace-like starter and he was every bit of that the first two months of last season before injuries hit.
37. James Paxton:  Group Paxton in with Nola and Gray for vast upside.  Advanced numbers suggested Paxton has upper-level stuff which he has shown in spurts the last two seasons.
38. Rich Hill:  What a story this guy is as Hill is defying every trend or prediction at the age of 37.  Hill still strikes guys out at a level that an ace would and a 2.12 ERA last season pretty much says it all in terms of current ability.
39. Julio Teheran:  Good pitcher on a bad team so wins will be tough to come by.
40. Dallas Keuchel:  Correctly said Keuchel would go bust last season and boy did he as the ERA spiked to 4.55 and the health went bad.  While I think Keuchel will be better this time around, he is still nothing more than SP 3/4.


  1. Who's a better investment in a keeper: Jon Gray, Nola, or Paxton?


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