Fake Teams 2013 Consensus Starting Pitcher Rankings: 26 - 50

David Banks

Here is Part 2 in our 2013 Consensus Starting Pitcher Rankings, where I take a look at pitchers ranked 26 - 50.

I published our Top 25 Starting Pitcher Rankings on Monday, and today, I provide you with the rankings and profiles for some of the pitchers ranked 26-50 in our 2013 rankings.

There are several pitchers in this list that could move into the Top 25 midseason, including A's starter Brett Anderson, Rays young starter Matt Moore, and Yankees underrated starter Hiroki Kuroda. There are also a few pitchers on this list that are looking to prove that 2012 was an aberration including Red Sox starter Jon Lester, Nationals starter Dan Haren and Giants former ace Tim Lincecum.

Anytime you get four writers ranking 100 starting pitchers, you are going to get a wide range of rankings. A perfect example is Pirates starter A.J. Burnett. I ranked him as my 27th ranked starter, Bret ranked him at 41, Craig ranked him at 61 and Jason ranked him at 52. That is quite a disparity in rankings for one starting pitcher, but goes to show the wide range of opinions there can be on just one player.

One other thing to note: we did not rank Reds former closer and recently named starter Aroldis Chapman in our starting pitcher rankings, but if I did, I would probably rank him in the 40-45 range. Bret Sayre wrote this piece on Chapman yesterday, discussing the variety of possible outcomes for Chapman in 2013.

Below is our consensus starting pitcher rankings, along with where each of the writers ranked each starter:

Rank

Player

Ray

Bret

Jason

Craig

Score

26

Brett Anderson

23

30

27

28

312

27

Matt Moore

31

19

40

24

306

28

Jon Lester

29

33

42

20

296

29

Hiroki Kuroda

24

44

26

33

293

30

Jake Peavy

42

45

24

18

291

31

Brandon Morrow

41

29

44

22

284

32

Matt Harvey

43

31

31

32

283

33

Josh Johnson

47

28

32

36

277

34

Dan Haren

52

32

33

29

274

35

Jeff Samardzija

37

39

29

42

273

36

Jarrod Parker

35

42

38

34

271

37

Tim Lincecum

28

34

41

47

270

38

CJ Wilson

40

27

55

30

268

39

Doug Fister

22

36

49

48

265

40

Anibal Sanchez

30

37

54

50

249

41

Jaime Garcia

45

54

35

40

246

42

A.J. Burnett

27

41

61

52

239

43

Ian Kennedy

50

51

43

38

238

44

Matt Garza

88

35

30

31

236

45

Chris Carpenter

49

47

34

54

236

46

Ryan Vogelsong

36

62

47

46

229

47

Lance Lynn

44

46

56

45

229

48

Jon Niese

32

57

59

53

219

49

Mike Minor

59

55

50

39

217

50

Ryan Dempster

46

64

48

51

211

Here are profiles for our consensus starting pitchers ranked 26-50:

26. Brett Anderson, OAK

Anderson returned from Tommy John surgery and looked better than ever, albeit in just six starts. In those six starts, he went 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 3.06 xFIP, and a 1.03 WHIP. The Astros will be joining the American League West in 2013, so grabbing an AL West starter might be a good idea on draft day, and Anderson is one of the better choices. Anderson combines a decent strikeout rate, with excellent control, as evidenced by his 2.19 career walk rate, and his elite level ground ball rate.

2013 Projection: I see Anderson winning 14 games with a 3.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 2013. He should be a 10th-11th round choice in mixed leagues and a 6th-8th round choice in AL only leagues.

27. Matt Moore, TB

Moore entered 2012 drafts with lots of hype, yes I contributed, and he failed to meet the hyped up projections. Moore made 31 starts last season, going 11-11 with a 3.81 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 4.35 xFIP, and a 1.35 WHIP in 177.1 innings of work. He struck out almost nine batters per nine innings, but like many other young starters, he had trouble with his control. He walked more than 4 batters per nine innings and gave up almost a home run every nine innings. What he has going for him, is that he throws first pitch strikes 60% of the time, so he gets ahead of hitters, and induces plenty of swing and miss (11.8%).

2013 Projection: I see Moore taking a big step forward in 2013, winning 14 games with a 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200+ strikeouts. He is a 10th-11th round choice in mixed leagues and a 6th-8th round pick in AL only leagues.

28. Jon Lester, BOS

Lester had the worst year of his 5 1/2 year career in 2012, a season after the Red Sox colossal collapse. Lester made 33 starts, going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 3.81 xFIP and a 1.38 WHIP in 205.1 innings of work. His strikeouts per nine dropped from 8.55/9 to 7.28/9, but there are reasons for optimism. He did not lose any velocity in his fastball, his walks per nine dropped to 2.98 per nine, his lowest since 2009, and he still keeps the ball on the ground at a 49% rate. That, and his 13.9 HR/FB% was the highest of his career, despite a career low fly ball rate of 28.8%, so some regression can be expected should his HR/FB% regress to norms.

2013 Projection: I see Lester winning 13-14 games with a 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 190 strikeouts. He is a 10th-12th round pick in mixed leagues and a 6th-7th round pick in AL only leagues in 2013.

29. Hiroki Kuroda, NYY

Kuroda is one of the more consistent starters in baseball, and that is why I ranked him where I did. He made 33 starts last season, going 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, and a 1.17 WHIP in 219.2 innings pitched, a career high for him. His K rate dropped from 7.17 to 6.84, but his walk rate stayed constant in the low 2.00 range. Kuroda keeps the ball on the ground, as his 52.3% ground ball rate indicates. He gave up more long balls last year, but that was expected moving from Dodger Stadium to Yankee Stadium. He turns 38 next month, but he pitches like a 28 year old. Very valuable starter relative to where he will be drafted.

2013 Projection: I see Kuroda winning 15 games with a 3.40 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 2013, and he should be drafted in the 7th-8th round in mixed leagues and in the 5th-6th round in AL only leagues.

30. Jake Peavy, CHW

Peavy made more than 30 starts for the first time since 2007, going 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 4.00 xFIP and a 1.10 WHIP in 219 innings of work in 2012. He doesn't strike out as many batters as he used to, but his control is as good as ever, and he keeps the ball in the ball park, even at U.S. Cellular Field. He does come with more injury risk than the regular starter due to his age and injury history.

2013 Projection: I see Peavy winning 11 games with a 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 170 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 7th-8th round of mixed league drafts and around the 5th-6th rounds in AL only leagues.

31. Brandon Morrow, TOR

Morrow has been a starter for three years and has made 30 starts just once. He made 21 starts last season, going 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 4.03 xFIP and a 1.11 WHIP in 124.2 innings pitched. He pitched to more contact last season, as his strikeout rate dropped from just over 10 strikeouts per nine innings, to 7.80. But there are few things to be optimistic about including the two year trend in his walk rate, WHIP and BABIP. I would like to see what he can do when he can stay healthy.

2013 Projection: I see Morrow, if healthy, winning 14 games with the improved Blue Jays lineup behind him, with a 3.40 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 200 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 8th-10th rounds of mixed league drafts and 7th round in AL only league drafts.

32. Matt Harvey, NYM

The Mets first round pick in 2010 made his major league debut last season and was a hot waiver wire pick in many leagues. Harvey made 10 starts, going 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 3.49 xFIP and a 1.15 WHIP in 59.1 innings of work. He struck out just under 11 batters per nine innings while walking almost 4 batters per nine. I see the strikeout rate dropping a bit in 2013, and he will have to improve his control to prove his 2012 debut was no fluke.

2013 Projection: I see Harvey winning 10 games with a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 185 strikeouts in 2013. He is a 10th-11th round pick in mixed leagues and a 7th-8th round pick in NL only leagues.

33. Josh Johnson, TOR

I recommended avoiding Johnson before the 2012 season due to his injury history, and he went out and made 31 starts, his most since 2009, going 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 3.73 xFIP, and a 1.28 WHIP in 191.1 innings pitched. When healthy, he is a top 12 starter in baseball, but I don't think his shoulder is healthy, and his 2012 performance seems to say the same. His strikeout rate, walk rate, ground ball rate and HR/FB rates are all trending in the wrong direction, and now he is moving to a better hitters park in Toronto.

2013 Projection: I see Johnson winning 12 games with a 3.95 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 2013. He is a 10th round pick in mixed leagues and a 7th round pick in AL only leagues.

34. Dan Haren, WAS

Haren is another starter coming off a sub-par season due to injury, but now he is moving from the pitcher friendly Angels Stadium to Nationals Park which plays much more neutral. Haren made 30 starts for the eighth straight season, but it was by far his worst season, mainly due to a back injury. Haren went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 4.00 xFIP and a 1.29 WHIP in 176.2 innings of work, his lowest inning total of his career. Haren has always given up the long ball, but 2012 was the worst of his career, as evidenced by his 1.43 HR per nine innings.

2013 Projection: I see Haren winning 11 games with a 4.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 150 strikeouts, assuming he stays healthy in 2013. He is a 12th round pick in mixed leagues and a 7th round pick in NL only leagues.

35. Jeff Samardzija, CHC

The former Notre Dame wide receiver had a breakout season in 2012, making 28 starts, going 9-13 with a 3.81 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 3.38 xFIP, and a 1.22 WHIP in 174.2 innings pitched. He struck out over nine batters per nine innings, and kept his walk rate under 3.00 per nine, improving in each category. He keeps the ball on the ground at a 44.6%, but is also prone to the long ball, giving up 20 homers in just over 170 innings last season.

2013 Projection: I see Samardzija winning 12 games with a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 200 strikeouts in 2013. He is a 12th round pick in mixed leagues and a 7th round pick in NL only leagues.

36. Jarrod Parker, OAK

Parker had an excellent rookie season pitching in Oakland, as he showed us why he was ranked as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. He made 29 starts, going 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 3.95 xFIP and a 1.26 WHIP in 181.1 innings. He strikes out less than seven batters per nine innings, and walks just over three batters per nine, but I see both improving in 2013. Parker pitches in a ball park that suppresses run scoring by 11%, and absolutely kills left handed power, so he can be aggressive vs left handers at home.

2013 Projection: I see Parker winning 14 games with a 3.25 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 10th round in mixed leagues and around the 6th-7th round in AL only leagues.

37. Tim Lincecum, SFG

Lincecum is coming off the worst season of his career, where he was one of the worst starters in baseball based on ERA, but there are several reasons to expect a bounce back from him in 2013. Although his walk rate has been trending up over the last three seasons, his strikeout rate still has a 9 handle, and his strand rate and HR/FB rate should regress to career norms in 2013.

Note: I think there is a better than zero chance that Lincecum could see time as a closer in 2013. Call it a bold prediction.

2013 Projection: I see Lincecum improving upon his horrible 2012 season winning 13 games, with a sub 4.00 ERA, and a 1.29 WHIP. He is probably a mid round pick in mixed and NL only league drafts in 2013.

38. CJ Wilson, LAA

Fantasy owners probably thought they had an ace on their rosters when drafting Wilson last season. Moving from the hitters park in Texas, they had to figure he would put up even better stats pitching in Angels Stadium, but that was not to be. After a very good first half (2.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), he struggled in the second half (5.56 ERA, 1.57 WHIP), and had bone spurs removed from his left elbow, and should be good to go in spring training.

2013 Projection: I see Wilson rebounding in 2013, winning 15 games, with a 3.50 ERA, 1. 20 WHIP and 190 strikeouts in 2013. He should be a 9th-10th round pick in mixed leagues and an 8th round pick in AL only leagues.

39. Doug Fister, DET

Fister, like Hiroki Kuroda, is one of the more underrated starters in baseball. Sure he benefits from pitching in Detroit, but he does three things well on the mound, and that is strike out seven batters per nine, limits the free pass and keeps the ball on the ground at better than a 50% rate. He has put up strong second half showings in each of the last two seasons. Something to keep in mind around the trade deadline in your leagues.

2013 Projection: I see Fister winning 13 games with a low 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 2013, and he should be drafted in the 9th-10th round in mixed leagues and 7th-8th round in AL only leagues.

40. Anibal Sanchez, DET

Sanchez's performance in the playoffs earned him a 5 year, $80 million contract this offseason, despite his below .500 career record. Sanchez made 31 starts for the third straight season, going 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 3.60 xFIP and a 1.27 WHIP in 195.2 innings of work. Breaking down his 2012 by month, he pitched like an ace in April, May and September, and a 5th starter, or worse, in June through August. I see him putting things together in 2013, as he strikes out just under 8 batters per nine, has seen his walk rate drop in each of the last three seasons, and keeps the ball on the ground.

2013 Projection: I see Sanchez winning 13 games with a 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 10th round in mixed leagues and 7th round in AL only leagues.

41. Jaime Garcia, STL

Garcia struggled once the calendar turned to May, and landed on the DL for about 2 months, before returning to form in 6 September/October starts. He made just 20 starts, going 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 3.39xFIP, and a 1.36 WHIP. Like Sanchez, he strikes out more than seven batter per nine, limits the free pass and induces ground balls at a 53% rate.

2013 Projection: I see Garcia winning 13 games with a 3.60 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 150 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted around the 12th-13th rounds in mixed leagues and 7th-8th rounds in NL only leagues.

42. A.J. Burnett, PIT

I was the high man on Burnett in our rankings, and I think he can repeat his excellent 2012 season, his first season in Pittsburgh. Burnett made 31 starts, going 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA, 3.52 FIP, 3.40 xFIP and 1.24 WHIP in just over 200 innings of work last season. PNC Park kills power hitters, and Burnett keeps the ball on the ground at an elite rate, while whiffing more than 8 batters per nine innings, so there is a good chance he can repeat his 2012 season.

2013 Projection: I see Burnett winning 15 games with a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted around the 11th-13th rounds in mixed leagues and 7th round in NL only leagues.

43. Ian Kennedy, ARI

Kennedy came down to earth after a breakout 2011 season, falling prey to the long ball last season. He still won 15 games in his 33 starts, with a 4.02 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 4.13 xFIP and a 1.30 WHIP in 208.1 innings pitched. One concern for fantasy owners is that his 7.7% HR/FB rate in 2011 appears to be a one year fluke, and he pitches in a hitters park, so it could be more of the same from Kennedy in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see him winning 13 games with a 4.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 180 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 13th-14th rounds in mixed leagues and 8th-9th round in NL only leagues.

44. Matt Garza, CHC

I was the low man on Garza in our rankings. I mean REALLY low. That's the nature of consensus rankings, as you will get a high degree of varying opinions on a guy. Garza made just 18 starts, going 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 3.59 xFIP and a 1.18 WHIP in just over 100 innings pitched. I ranked him so low due to concerns over his right elbow. He could prove to be a bargain should he be healthy in 2013, as I don't see him being drafted very high in most drafts.

2013 Projection: I see Garza, if healthy, winning 10 games with a 3.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 170 strikeouts in 2013. He is a late round pick in mixed leagues and a 12th-13th round pick in NL only leagues.

45. Chris Carpenter, STL

Carpenter made just three starts coming off thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last season, so the small sample size of his 2012 stats aren't really worth looking at for 2013 purposes. He turns 38 in April, so fantasy owners will want to see how he looks in spring training before investing too much in him on draft day. He's a workhorse when healthy, so he could prove to be a bargain as well.

2013 Projection: I see him winning 13 games with a 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 170 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the middle rounds in mixed leagues and 11th-12th rounds in NL only leagues.

46. Ryan Vogelsong, SFG

Vogelsong was out of major league baseball for four years prior to 2010, where he bounced around with a few AAA teams before landing with the Giants, and since then, he has won 27 games over the last two seasons. He made 31 starts last season, going 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 4.15 xFIP, and a 1.23 WHIP in 189.2 innings of work. His K rate increased to 7.50 from 6.96 per nine innings, while his walk rate dropped a bit. He keeps the ball on the ground and his 76.0% strand rate ranked 22nd in all of baseball last season. How much longer can he keep stranding base runners at a 76-80% clip?

2013 Projection: I see Vogelsong regressing a bit (he's a Giant!) in 2013, winning 12 games with a 3.80 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 145 strikeouts. He should be drafted in the middle rounds in mixed league drafts and 12th round in NL only leagues.

47. Lance Lynn, STL

Lynn had a breakout season in 2012, winning 18 games with a 3.78 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 3.60 xFIP and a 1.32 WHIP in 176 innings pitched. He blew up in June and August, but pitched like an ace in the other four months, with monthly ERAs ranging from 1.33 to 3.34. Lynn struck out more than nine batters per nine innings, walked a little more than 3 batters per nine and induced ground balls at a 44% rate last season. There were only 11 qualifying starters with a K rate of 9.00 or more, and Lynn ranked 5th in all of baseball, ahead of guys named Kershaw, Verlander and Lee. Impressive.

2013 Projection: I don't see Lynn winning 18 games again, but do see him winning 14-15 games with a 3.65 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 200 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 11th-13th rounds in mixed leagues, and 6th-7th rounds in NL only leagues.

48. Jon Niese, NYM

Did you know Niese goes by Jon Niese and not Jonathan Niese now? I had no idea. Niese is one of the more underrated starters on this list. He had a bit of a breakout season in 2012, winning 13 games with a 3.40 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.64 xFIP, and a 1.17 WHIP. His WHIP dropped in a big way, from 1.41 to 1.17, as he limited opposing hitters to a .237 batting average, down from .276 in 2011. He strikes out 7+ batters per nine, walks just over 2 batters per nine, and keeps the ball on the ground at a 48-51% rate over the last three seasons.

2013 Projection: I see Niese winning 12 games, with a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 2013. He is a 12th-14ht round pick in mixed leagues and 8th round pick in NL only leagues.

49. Mike Minor, ATL

Minor will be a popular late round pick in many leagues this season after he dominated in the second half in 2012. He struggled in the first half, putting up a 5-6 record with a 5.97 ERA thanks to giving up 19 home runs in just 92 innings. But he turned things around in the second half, going 6-4 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in 87.1 innings. I see his K rate jumping into the 8+ K per nine range, and the HR/FB rate dropping under 10% in 2013.

2013 Projection: I see Minor winning 13-14 games with a 3.65 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 2013. He is a mid-late round pick in mixed leagues and a 9th-10th round pick in NL only leagues.

50 Ryan Dempster, BOS

Dempster put up his best season since 2008, making 28 starts, winning 12 games with a 3.38 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 3.77 xFIP and a 1.20 WHIP in 173 innings of work. He moves from Wrigley Field to Fenway Park in 2013, and I could see him disappointing owners to a degree. His .277 BABIP and 75.7% strand rate in 2012 was his lowest since 2008, so some regression should be expected.

2013 Projection: I see Dempster winning 11 games with a 4.00 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 2013. He should be drafted in the 14th-15th rounds in mixed leagues and 10th-11th round in AL only leagues.

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