Fantasy Rankings in Review – Starting Pitchers

Back in February, I took my first shot at attempting to rank players for fantasy purposes. After a full season, I thought it wise to take a look back at how they went, and compare them to how it actually turned out and see if there is anything to be gained from it. You can find my preseason rankings here and here. Next up is the review of my SP rankings.

Yahoo’s Final Rankings (Top 25)

1.     Roy Halladay
2.     Adam Wainwright
3.     Felix Hernandez
4.     Roy Oswalt
5.     Ubaldo Jimenez
6.     Jered Weaver
7.     David Price
8.     Josh Johnson
9.     Cliff Lee
10.  Mat Latos
11.  C.C. Sabathia
12.  Jon Lester
13.  Justin Verlander
14.  Matt Cain
15.  Tim Hudson
16.  Clayton Kershaw
17.  Trevor Cahill
18.  Clay Buchholz
19.  Cole Hamels
20.  Chris Carpenter
21.  Jonathan Sanchez
22.  Tim Lincecum
23.  Brett Myers
24.  Johan Santana
25.  Ted Lilly

What We Saw

We all thought Roy Halladay would benefit from the switch to the National League, and we were all right about that. He will, in all likelihood, go into 2011 as the consensus #1 pitcher for fantasy.

In a year filled with so many excellent pitching performances, I think that the one pitcher who could actually show a significant improvement over his already good performance in 2010 is Mat Latos. I think that honestly, he could end up as a top 5 pitcher next season as he should be off of an innings limit.

A pitcher who I argued pretty much all season with Ray Guilfoyle over at Fake Teams was Clayton Kershaw, and I think in the end he was right. Kershaw has really evolved into a very special pitcher, and while I still believe he will need to keep his walks under control, he should continue to be a top 15 pitcher at worst for the foreseeable future.

Right outside the top 25 were some notable newcomers to the high end of the rankings, including Shaun Marcum, Daniel Hudson, Colby Lewis, and there was even a Carl Pavano sighting. I think all of these pitchers have the potential to repeat this performance in 2011, and could even see more growth out of Hudson.

A pair of pitchers whom I believe can’t repeat their rankings in 2011 are Tim Hudson and Trevor Cahill. Both pitchers  seemed to be helped by inflated numbers (wins in Cahill’s case, and ERA in Hudson’s), and while I think that they will be valuable still, they could see some serious regression in 2011.

It really was a down year for some pitchers. I had Zack Greinke ranked as my #5 pitcher overall, and I don’t imagine that there were too many who had particularly different rankings for him. He seems to be a candidate for a trade this offseason, and could benefit from a change of scenery.

I had Dan Haren as my #5 starter overall, and while it didn’t entirely surprise me that he struggled, I was completely floored that he was traded before the trade deadline this year.

A pitcher who could provide some a nice sleeper value next year if he can get in the right situation is Javier Vazquez. This is a pitcher who is only 1 year removed from an excellent, 200 + strikeout season, but who pretty clearly should never pitch in or around the New York area ever again.

Preliminary 2011 Rankings (Very Raw)

  1. Roy Halladay
  2. Adam Wainwright
  3. Felix Hernandez
  4. Jered Weaver
  5. Tim Lincecum
  6. Roy Oswalt
  7. Ubaldo Jimenez
  8. C.C. Sabathia
  9. Josh Johnson
  10. David Price

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