FanPost

5x5 Starting Pitcher Rankings

The following list is designed to rank players for 2011 only, based on past performance, consistency, age, future development, consistency, and Marcel, CHONE, and ZiPS projections from previous years.  I used counting and sabermetric stats provided by the great folks at FanGraphs.  These are the top 50 players that are must-owns in a 12 team league.  Projecting pitching stats is widely considered a crapshoot, so I'll keep it to a minimum.

  1. Roy Halladay:  As good and as consistent as it gets.
  2. Felix Hernandez:  A close second with less wins.  
  3. Adam Wainwright
  4. Tim Lincecum:  Tim "Towelie" Lincecum posted the highest BABIP, FB%, HR/FB%, and lowest K rate of his career and still managed to rack up 231 K, 3.43 ERA, and a 1.27 WHIP.  A regression to the mean would be a top five performance most seasons.
  5. Cliff Lee:  One of two qualifying starting pitchers with less walks than starts in the MLB.  The other?  Roy Halladay.
  6. CC Sabathia
  7. David Price
  8. Jon Lester:  Bounced back from a horrid start to the season.
  9. Josh Johnson
  10. Justin Verlander
  11. Matt Cain:  I keep hearing that he's outperforming his peripherals.  It seems like he's been in the league forever, and he's only going to be 26 next season.  He's consistently elite in ERA and WHIP with a solid K rate.  A safe pick for a top 20 pitcher.
  12. Chris Carpenter:  Expect similar results in 2011.
  13. Ubaldo Jimenez: His BB rate and a decline in the second half keeps him out of the top ten.  As the poster child for the mantra "effectively wild", he isn't as consistent as the pitchers ranked higher than him even if he has more talent.
  14. Jered Weaver: He's on the record that he has no idea how he's striking so many people out.  If Weaver can't explain it, then you can bank on his career best K rate to decline.
  15. Roy Oswalt
  16. Clayton Kershaw:  He gets better as the year goes on, and has steadily improved each year since his debut.  He'll be 23 next season and with an improved BB rate vs righties could be a top five pitcher next year.
  17. Zack Greinke
  18. Francisco Liriano:  He's back with his devastating slider and control after another year removed from TJ surgery.  Target Field will be very good to him in 2011.
  19. Mat Latos:  In 2011 he may not have an innings cap.
  20. Dan Haren:  He finished 2010 with a string of 8 quality starts, rebounding after a mostly disappointing season.
  21. Clay Buchholz
  22. Tim Hudson:  He is obviously of the 92% that come back successfully and fully from Tommy John surgery.  He may also be of the 5% of the 92% that come back better than before.  60% of the time, it works every time.
  23. Yovani Gallardo
  24. Cole Hamels
  25. Tommy Hanson
  26. Max Scherzer:  He was a stud returning from his stint in the minors.
  27. Jonathan Sanchez
  28. Wandy Rodriguez:  After he found his curveball mid June he was elite for the rest of the season.
  29. Jaime Garcia
  30. Chad Billingsley
  31. Ricky Nolasco:  Once he puts together a full season look for him in the top 15.
  32. CJ Wilson
  33. Matt Garza
  34. John Danks
  35. Colby Lewis:  I won't be getting him in the 19th round like last year.  Slightly lower K rate and higher BB rate should leave his ERA around 3.8 and WHIP around 1.25.  
  36. Shaun Marcum
  37. Ryan Dempster
  38. Brett Anderson
  39. Ted Lilly:  He is possibly the least confident batter when at the plate, and it's pretty hilarious to see his varied batting stances in a single game.  He's a fly ball pitcher with great control in a more favorable park than Wrigley.  A repeat of 2010 wouldn't be surprising.
  40. Johan Santana:  Another shoulder injury is concerning, but he is easily worth the risk in early middle rounds.
  41. Madison Bumgarner:  Do you feel all that weight on your shoulders?  That is next year's expectations.
  42. Hiroki Kuroda
  43. Jeremy Hellickson:  He still needs to win a spot in the rotation in spring training, but he should win it.  He was better than opening day starter James Shields in limited playing time.
  44. Carl Pavano:  Target Field revived his career.
  45. Brandon Morrow
  46. Trevor Cahill
  47. Jhoulys Chacin
  48. Jonathan Sanchez:  Don't fool yourself in drafting him early.  He has control issues and will not strand runners at a 4th best 79.5% clip again.
  49. Dallas Braden
  50. Daniel Hudson
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