Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Finally we are at the last post of my annual "Players I Will Draft/Avoid" in 2017 as I share with you those starting pitchers I will look past in drafts this spring.  Keep in mind if some of these guys fall below their ADP's my opinion may change but this is where I am at right now.

Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Noah Syndegaard, Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluber, Johnny Cueto:  These are the top tier starting pitchers that will command the highest prices and so I won't be chasing them since I don't believe it drafting guys from this group that high.  Even beyond the ADP's though, I would avoid Strasburg, Cueto, and Syndegaard for the additional reason of being prime injury risks.  I could go with Sale if he drops far enough but not likely.

Masahiro Tanaka:  Tanaka is still pitching with a partially torn UCL in his elbow and his velocity has dropped since 2014 when it was first diagnosed.  His K/9 has also dipped from the 9 range to mid-7.00 as well during that span.

Kyle Hendricks, Aaron Sanchez, Rick Porcello:  I grouped these three together because they are all in the same boat in terms of being average K/9 guys who pitched above their heads results-wise last season given some VERY generous BABIP and strand rate luck.  Each of them could see their ERA just a full run this season and the K rate remains shaky.  Also never buy off a career season.

Jake Arrieta:  I am quite disturbed what went on with Arrieta the second half of last season as he completely lost his control, his velocity dipped noticeably, and his ERA spiked to 3.10 from 2015's 1.77.

Carlos Martinez:  I am still quite leery of the yearly shoulder scares that Martinez goes through and his walks are nothing to write home about.  Terrific talent for sure but Martinez is a decent-sized injury risk.

Kenta Maeda:  We already know that an MRI done on Maeda's elbow last season was one big red flag and pitchers who come over from Japan almost always succumb to Tommy John or suffer UCL injuries (Daisuke, Tanaka, Darvish).

Gerrit Cole:  We have seen some elbow scares here as well and Cole's K/9 rate plummeted last season which was quite scary.  No thank you.

Dallas Keuchel:  Please.

Felix Hernandez:  You got to know when to walk away from a fading big name and that is King Felix at this stage of his career.  His arm has already had a ton of mileage put on it starting at a very young age and we saw what that did to Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

Michael Fulmer:  I think Fulmer is going to be way overpriced this season.  His rookie campaign was incredibly good but Fulmer only stuck out 132 batters in 159 innings and needs some BABIP luck to keep his ratios down in the AL.  Took many by surprise last season but a decent sophomore slump is within the realm of possibility this season.

Rich Hill:  What an incredible story Hill has been but he can't stay healthy for more than a few starts in a row and his age makes him a decent bat to slip sharply.

Danny Salazar:  Another one who is looking Tommy John surgery squarely in the face.

J.A. Happ:  Another guy who pitched way over his head last season as Happ was previously a beat up journeyman pitcher.  With a mediocre K/9 rate and with very good BABIP luck from last season unlikely to be repeated, Happ could be a bomb.


  1. Love this list. Curious, why do you like Sale the most out of that top list?

    1. He should be cheapest due to Fenway fears.


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