If you were wondering what Yu Darvish's ceiling looks like, this is it.
Photo Credit: This place.
We're getting close (sniff sniff). I can smell Clayton Kershaw's beard from here. We're one installment away. Today we're talking Starting Pitchers 21 through 40. You can view 41-60 here and 61-80+ here. After the jump, SP rankings and projections.
PS- you can thank me for not using this picture that Starbonell insisted upon.
Note: the following rankings are for standard, roto, Y! leagues (cap on Innings Pitched). The rankings were based on my projections, concern for injury or innings cap and potential ceiling/floor.
Rankings 21 through 40 And my fascination with Brandon Morrow continues. The guy has the potential to put up Lincecum-like numbers (the AL East version). Look for more improvement in the control department as he settles in and gets more rotational experience. Only Brandon Beachy and Zack Greinke had a better K/9 last season (min 140 IP). I broke down the Yu Darvish projection here. I still like Ubaldo Jimenez despite the move to the American League and, well, what happened last season. Ubie still has the ability to miss bats and induce weak contact, with both low Line Drive percentages and high Ground Ball percentages. He is a prime bounce back candidate. Josh Beckett is an obvious candidate for regression. He followed up his 1.54 WHIP, 5.78 ERA season (2010) with a 1.03 WHIP, 2.89 ERA season in 2011, but the career bests in LOB% and BABIP are unsustainable. So the question remains, how much regression should you expect? I beat up on Beckett if you look at his '11 numbers, but I was actually generous with the 8.15 K/9 and 2.37 BB/9 considering his age (32) and track record for health. You can pretty much say the same things about James Shields, minus the remarks about age and health. It's safe to say I would not be investing in these two pitchers in 2012.
Do you think I did Josh Beckett an injustice? Did I confirm your suspicions? Do you want more? Along with these numbers I have projections for Total Batters Faced (yep), K/9, BB/9, IBB, HBP, Fly Balls, HR/FB% and BABIP. We can get hot and heavy, the comment section is all yours.
That's a lot of innings for Bard transitioning to the rotation for the first time since A ball. I'm sure Boston will protect its prized young arm, and I think an IP expectation similar to Neftali Feliz would be more likely.
I love this tier in general though, I'll own these guys all over the place, so many high K guys with upside. It wouldn't be a stretch for a lot of these guys to make the jump to elite status this season.
Ubaldo scares me a bit. There's no documented injury red flags that I've seen, but the guy lost 2 MPH on his fastball last year in his age 27 (allegedly) season. If he was 35 and losing steam on his heater I'd get it, but not when he's entering his physical prime. Could an injury be to blame perhaps? If he's healthy he has a bounce back year, I'm with you there, but don't overspend in case his arm blows up. Herky jerky throwing mechanics too.
@donnypump Bard's IP: somewhat aggressive. Not every team follows the pamper program. Boston should find themselves in a battle for the Wild Card, benching Bard may not be an option.
Ubaldo didn't get warmed up in Winter Ball and then had the finger injury to start the year. We'll see what the radar readings look like soon. You shouldn't have to overspend to land him. He stunk last year, moved to the AL and Cleveland has no fans.