Fantasy Prospect Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2012

Ray and I have been providing you with our fantasy prospect rankings for 2012, and you can find the previous positions here:

Catcher

First Base

Second Base

Third Base

Shortstop

Outfielder

There are quite a few top pitching prospects who are either likely to be in the Majors to start 2012, or will be at some point in the season. I am not including relief prospects in this post, as there are likely to be a few who are among the group here that will end up in the bullpen, but have not moved there permanently as of yet. This set of rankings is for the 2012 season only, and I will provide my long-term rankings after the jump.

1. Matt Moore (TAM)

2. Yu Darvish (TEX) - If he signs, of course

3. Julio Teheran (ATL)

4. Trevor Bauer (ARI)

5. Brad Peacock (OAK)

6. Tom Milone (OAK)

7. Jacob Turner (DET)

8. Drew Pomeranz (COL)

9. Martin Perez (TEX)

10. Mike Montgomery (KC)

11. Randall Delgado (ATL)

12. Jarrod Parker (OAK)

13. Garrett Richards (LAA)

14. Manny Banuelos (NYY)

15. Danny Hultzen (SEA)

16. Shelby Miller (STL)

17. Tyler Skaggs (ARI)

18. Liam Hendriks (MIN)

19. James Paxton (SEA)

20. Robbie Erlin (SD)

21. Sonny Gray (OAK)

My thoughts on these rankings, as well as my top 30 long-term prospects after the jump...

  • Matt Moore definitely looks like the real deal after his starts in the playoffs last year, and he seems like a lock to make the starting rotation after being inked to a contract extension this offseason. Ray opened up the debate for 2012 of whether you wanted Moore or Strasburg, but he definitely heads this list, and will likely be a highly sought after player on draft day.
  • It remains to be seen whether or not Teheran or Delgado will make the starting rotation, but it seems like the team will have them both on the shuttle between Atlanta and Gwinnett as needed. Realistically, if there are no significant injuries to the Braves' rotation, they may not make more than 15 starts combined this year.
  • Oakland now has at least 2 rotation spots open after the trades of Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez. In all likelihood, two out of Parker, Peacock, and Milone will fill those roles. Clearly, they could vault up right behind Moore if they make the rotation out of Spring Training. Peacock and Milone seem like the most likely to make the team in my opinion, with Milone having the lowest upside for 2012.
  • I would honestly be surprised if Banuelos was not pitching in the Bronx at some point in the season. The team really doesn't seem to have addressed their concerns in the rotation, and this could be part of the reason why.

My Top 30 Starting Pitcher Prospects, along with a few thoughts afterward:

1. Matt Moore (TAM)

2. Yu Darvish (TEX)

3. Julio Teheran (ATL)

4. Shelby Miller (STL)

5. Trevor Bauer (ARI)

6. Tyler Skaggs (ARI)

7. Gerrit Cole (PIT)

8. Jacob Turner (DET)

9. Drew Pomeranz (COL)

10. Dylan Bundy (BAL)

11. Archie Bradley (ARI)

12. Danny Hultzen (SEA)

13. Taijuan Walker (SEA)

14. Carlos Martinez (STL)

15. Jameson Taillon (PIT)

16. Jarrod Parker (OAK)

17. Martin Perez (TEX)

18. Manny Banuelos (NYY)

19. Robbie Erlin (SD)

20. Matt Harvey (NYM)

21. Zack Wheeler (NYM)

22. Joe Wieland (SD)

23. A.J. Cole (OAK)

24. Brad Peacock (OAK)

25. Jake Odorizzi (KC)

26. Randall Delgado (ATL)

27. Nestor Molina (CHW)

28. Jarred Cosart (HOU)

29. Noah Syndergaard (TOR)

30. Tyrell Jenkins (STL)

31. Drew Hutchison (TOR)

HM: Matt Purke (WAS), Chris Archer (TAM), Luis Heredia (PIT), Mike Montgomery (KC), Justin Nicolino (TOR), James Paxton (SEA)

  • The name that seems the most interesting on here is Walker. He had a great year last year in the Midwest league, and another good season in 2012 could move him to the top 5 of this list regardless of who else is on it. But there is still the potential for a flame-out as well, as he only pitched in Low-A last year.
  • The Blue Jays are loaded with a lot of high-upside pitchers, almost all of whom are in the lower levels at the moment.
  • Outside of my top 20, you could pretty much mix up the order in any way you wanted and I probably wouldn't disagree. There's a lot of upside, but there's also the old adage: "There's no such thing as a pitching prospect." I tend to value pitching prospects who are closer or have shown more in the minors higher than ones in the lower minors, as they generally are more likely to make it to the Majors.

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