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2012 Fantasy Baseball Positional Rankings: Starting Pitchers

February 26, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren (24) throws the baseball during spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
February 26, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren (24) throws the baseball during spring training at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Ray, Jason, and I have been busy posting our final positional ranks as Spring Training begins. Fantasy drafts are starting for many of you, and we want you to be as prepared as possible, so make sure that you check out our other rankings (also available on this spreadsheet). Below are my top 125 starting pitchers, as well as some explanations and thoughts on several of the players.

1. Roy Halladay, PHI

2. Clayton Kershaw, LAD

3. Justin Verlander, DET

4. Tim Lincecum, SF

5. Felix Hernandez, SEA

6. Cliff Lee, PHI

7. CC Sabathia, NYY

8. Cole Hamels, PHI

9. Zack Greinke, MIL

10. Dan Haren, LAA

11. Jered Weaver, LAA

12. David Price, TB

13. Jon Lester, BOS

14. James Shields, TB

15. Yovani Gallardo, MIL

16. Madison Bumgarner, SF

17. Matt Cain, SF

18. Ian Kennedy, ARI

19. Stephen Strasburg, WAS

20. Adam Wainwright, STL

21. C.J. Wilson, LAA

22. Josh Beckett, BOS

23. Matt Garza, CHC

24. Matt Moore, TB

25. Yu Darvish, TEX

26. Ricky Romero, TOR

27. Mat Latos, CIN

28. Tommy Hanson, ATL

29. Michael Pineda, NYY

30. Daniel Hudson, ARI

31. Josh Johnson, MIA

32. Brandon Beachy, ATL

33. Cory Luebke, SD

34. Derek Holland, TEX

35. Jordan Zimmermann, WAS

36. Brandon Morrow, TOR

37. Gio Gonzalez, WAS

38. Jaime Garcia, STL

39. Chris Carpenter, STL

40. Anibal Sanchez, MIA

41. Max Scherzer, DET

42. Shaun Marcum, MIL

43. Ervin Santana, LAA

44. Scott Baker, MIN

45. Wandy Rodriguez, HOU

46. Jeremy Hellickson, TB

47. John Danks, CWS

48. Ubaldo Jimenez, CLE

49. Neftali Feliz, TEX*

50. Ted Lilly, LAD

51. Colby Lewis, TEX

52. Johnny Cueto, CIN

53. Vance Worley, PHI

54. Brandon McCarthy, OAK

55. Edwin Jackson, STL

56. Hiroki Kuroda, NYY

57. Bud Norris, HOU

58. Chris Sale, CWS*

59. Ivan Nova, NYY

60. Justin Masterson, CLE

61. Mike Minor, ATL

62. Chad Billingsley, LAD

63. Trevor Cahill, ARI

64. Jhoulys Chacin, COL

65. Tim Hudson, ATL

66. R.A. Dickey, NYM

67. Doug Fister, DET

68. Clay Buchholz, BOS

69. Ryan Vogelsong, SF

70. Ricky Nolasco, MIA

71. Gavin Floyd, CWS

72. Juan Nicasio, COL

73. Derek Lowe, CLE

74. Henderson Alvarez, TOR

75. Josh Collmenter, ARI

76. Matt Harrison, TEX

77. Mike Leake, CIN

78. Chris Capuano, LAD

79. Erik Bedard, PIT

80. Tim Stauffer, SD

81. Ryan Dempster, CHC

82. Brad Peacock, WAS

83. Jacob Turner, DET

84. Jake Peavy, SD

85. Francisco Liriano, MIN

86. Jon Niese, NYM

87. Wade Davis, TB

88. Kyle Lohse, STL

89. Carlos Zambrano, MIA

90. Edinson Volquez, SD

91. Danny Duffy, KC

92. Drew Pomeranz, COL

93. Randy Wolf, MIL

94. Jeff Niemann, TB

95. Luke Hochevar, KC

96. Rick Porcello, DET

97. Joe Saunders, ARI

98. Aaron Harang, LAD

99. Jonathan Sanchez, KC

100. Jeremy Guthrie, COL

101. Bruce Chen, KC

102. Phil Hughes, NYY

103. Chris Narveson, MIL

104. Carl Pavano, MIN

105. Mark Buehrle, MIA

106. John Lannan, WAS

107. Travis Wood, CIN

108. Jordan Lyles, HOU

109. Brian Duensing, MIN

110. Alfredo Aceves, BOS

111. Philip Humber, CWS

112. James McDonald, PIT

113. Brett Cecil, TOR

114. Jason Vargas, SEA

115. Dillon Gee, NYM

116. Bartolo Colon, OAK

117. Jair Jurrjens, ATL

118. Bronson Arroyo, CIN

119. Randy Wells, CHC

120. Hector Noesi, SEA

121. Aaron Crow, KC*

122. Julio Teheran, ATL

123. Alexi Ogando, TEX

124. Johan Santana, NYM

125. Brett Myers, HOU

*Indicates the player was formerly a relief pitcher and is being converted to the rotation.

  • I've ranked some pairs of teammates in the "wrong order," according to consensus. I truly believe that Dan Haren (K's should rebound, other stats were luck-neutral) will finish above Jered Weaver (unsustainable strand rate & BABIP), and I similarly expect Madison Bumgarner to take a step forward and move past Matt Cain.
  • Injured players Adam Wainwright, Josh Johnson, and Juan Nicasio get slight bumps based on good reports so far in Spring Training.
  • Again, I'm very high on Derek Holland. I believe he can harness those flashes of brilliance into a consistent, breakout season. Maybe there's some homerism shining through, but a look at his second-half numbers might make you into a believer too.
  • If I had to pick one player to outperform his rank, it might be Anibal Sanchez. Then again, I'm a sucker for strikeouts.
  • Tim Hudson's rank is contingent on him only missing 1 month. Obviously you'll want to monitor his rehab progress.
  • I believe in Derek Lowe and his career 62.6% groundball rate.
  • Things really start to thin out about 75-80...I'd definitely want at least 5 or 6 starters by the time all of these guys are gone.
  • I came into this exercise knowing I was down on Jair Jurrjens. After I ranked the players, I went and compared my list to some other lists, and my ranking of Jurrjens (117) is apparently an extreme outlier. He's got some serious problems in his plant leg (He had surgery on his right knee after the 2010 season and still missed 44 games because of it in 2011), and almost none of his performance numbers are sustainable. If you want to rank him a little higher than I do on your personal list, I won't be mad at you, but please don't be the person who reaches for him because you recognize his name.
  • I included Brett Myers at the end even though he's taking over closing duties in Houston to make a point about his value in certain leagues. If your format makes the distinction between starting pitcher and relief pitcher, Myers is the rare guy who will qualify at SP while still earning you saves.

I'm happy to talk about any player, discuss any ranking, or defend any snub, so comment away.