2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index, Starting Pitchers 21-30
We are approaching the half way point in the starting pitching rankings (there will actually be 50 starters in the top 250) and we are beginning to see a tightening in the data. That means that each player is a little less valuable simply because there isn’t a whole lot of distance between them and the next available player at that position. It is something I have called “substitution value.”
Substitution value will be explored in a lot more detail when we release the 2014 Draft Kit. As we saw in the first edition (1-10), too many people overvalue starting pitching and relief pitching. Yes, there are some studs out there, but the list we see below will fully demonstrate the depth at the position. When there is this much depth you are better off focusing on positions without that depth.
21. Hiroki Kuroda— New York Yankees
3 Year: 19.7
5 Year: 16.6
Kuroda has defied the odds by pitching better in his late thirties than he did in his early and mid-thirties. He decided to return for another year amidst rumors he was considering a return to Japan. At some point, he is going to fall over the hill, but maybe he has enough to stave off Father Time for another season.
22. C.J. Wilson— Los Angeles Angels
3 Year: 20.5
5 Year: 19.4
Jerry Dipoto is probably a year away from being canned. He simply has thrown away too much money on players that haven’t performed to expectations. Wilson is among those. He’s been solid, but he did not perform as well as his last couple of seasons in Texas. These things happen, often times, big money contracts are based on bloated expectations.
23. Madison Bumgarner— San Francisco Giants
3 Year: 19.0
5 Year: 11.5
A lot goes into TRI and one of those things is a concerted effort to distill ballpark effects. A wise fantasy fan would reapply those effects as necessary. All of the Giants pitchers look more pedestrian than there basic numbers would imply. It might be enough to vault someone like Bumgarner into some people’s top twenty.
24. Mat Latos— Cincinnati Reds
3 Year: 18.1
5 Year: 13.5
Latos is a perfect example of the ballpark effect in reverse. He looked like a great pitcher in San Diego when the ballpark effects were in his favor. Great American Ballpark isn’t exactly a pitcher’s paradise, but he has grown as a pitcher. So, he is putting up similar numbers as he did, but he is also a much better pitcher.
25. Gio Gonzalez— Washington Nationals
3 Year: 25,1
5 Year: 18.0
Gonzalez is what I would call Pyrite. His 2012 season made him look like he was turning a corner and I suppose he is trending up in the general sense, but his command issues will keep him from being a dominant pitcher and we had to go with the five year data because 2012 will lead too many people to think he is almost a top ten pitcher.
26. Jon Lester— Boston Red Sox
3 Year: 18.0
5 Year: 26.7
This is a classic case of a pitcher that might be losing effectiveness slowly over time. He will surpass 1500 innings next season with health and while that doesn’t seem like much, we are seeing a lot of pitchers that seem to have a 2000 inning shelf life. He is losing it slowly though.
27. Bartolo Colon— New York Mets
3 Year: 17.1
5 Year: 10.8
Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein co-wrote Baseball’s Dynasties in 2000. In the book, the chronicled what might have happened had Darryl Strawberry enjoyed the same level of production in his thirties as he did in his twenties. At age 32, Colon had a 139-82 record. He was 18-6 last season at age 40. In between 33 and 39 he was 32-40. He still should get to 200 victories by the end of his two year contract if he is healthy.
28. Jose Quintana— Chicago White Sox
3 Year: 16.3
5 Year: N/A
The White Sox are a very disjointed franchise. They have a number of very good players and many of them are on the mound. Yet, they can’t seem to compete consistently because it is feast or famine. Quintana will slip in a lot of drafts because there are just so many good arms out there and he isn’t likely to be a big winner. He’ll give you everything else though.
29. R.A. Dickey— Toronto Blue Jays
3 year: 15.3
5 Year: 10.7
The bloom is officially off the Alex Anthopolous rose. Getting Dickey seemed like a stroke of genius last offseason when the club had already acquired Mark Buerhle and Josh Johnson. Buerhle was the only one to produce as expected. Dickey had very good 2011 and 2012 seasons, but otherwise he has been fairly mediocre. He will be durable though.
30. Justin Masterson— Cleveland Indians
3 Year: 15.0
5 Year: 9.8
Will the real Justin Masterson please stand up? In 2011, he sported 12-10 record with a 3.21 ERA. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a 11-15 mark and a 4.93 ERA. Yet, he bounced back with a 3.45 ERA. Interestingly enough, the BABIPs were fairly level (.304, .312, .288), so it must have been something else.