Pitcher Consensus Rank Scores

Oakland Athletics v Detroit TigersOur projection train rolls on down the track. Unlike the batters, there are fewer surprises when you look at consensus projection models for pitchers.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some surprises. I wouldn’t leave you hanging. I’m just saying that the majority of pitcher’s projection rankings line-up with their actual rankings more often. Chalk this up to less ability of pundits to predict breakouts and busts in pitchers.

The table below is a consensus projection for all pitchers being drafted this year with a rank assigned. Then each ranking is averaged out for a score. Read the nerdy fine print at the very bottom to learn how to use. These do not have “weights” added.

For example, Masahiro Tanaka has questions surrounding his transition from Japan, so he’ll be ranked lower than the consistent Felix Hernandez in the official rankings. However, you can see what a steal Cliff Lee is compared to average draft position based on the pure projections stats.

Here are the projections and rankings (remember this doesn’t include weights):
Some folks believe in the strategy to not chase elusive wins. I included a column that ignores wins.

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Pay attention to the drop-offs between one player at the position and the next guy. The color coding will help you see the drop from one tier to the next.

Boom:

I wasn’t expecting to see Doug Fister ahead of his teammate, perennial “about to breakout” Jordan Zimmerman. Fister’s 12th ranked ERA projection and 21st ranked WHIP helps along with a pretty steady 13 expected wins (that could jump). With the great exodus to the grab the next hot thing, people tend to avoid solid veterans who are more consistent. Combine that with an expected slim-down C.C. Sabathia and you get a top 30 overall pitcher. His 19th ranked projection for wins and strikeouts will pair well with one of those hotshot youngsters that won’t win many (Jose Fernandez, I’m looking at you.) I took out Kris Medlan out of this list due to the uncertain nature of his injury, but take a long look at Alex Wood. With additional playing time, he’ll shoot up the strikeout and win totals to improve his projection line. He could crack the top 50 and be a great #6 pitcher.

Bust:

I was big on Jarrod Parker last year, but expecting less this time around. He’s near the bottom in all categories. Gerrit Cole below Ervin Santana and Tim Hudson is a bit of a shock. His 60th ranked strikeout projection is a weight. Matt Cain’s stock is dropping as his strikeout drops (29th ranked). Matt Moore didn’t make the jump last year. In fact, he stepped back a bit. A 60th ranked projection for WHIP (1.30) will drop you like a anchor. Speaking of high WHIP, there is C.J. Wilson’s 1.32 (ranked 71st!!). Actually, it is best to not talk about his WHIP. Let a dying dog lay.

Here are the basics and ‘need to knows’ to understand how to use the chart:

·      Projections for the basic five fantasy baseball categories: SB, HR, RBI, R, and AVG. Projections are based on several trusted projections datasets. A consensus removes the need to put all of your trust in a single source.

·      Each player is ranked about the other players in that position. Their overall ranking is displayed in the “RANK SCORE”. That is the average in each of the rankings.

·      You’ll notice that several players are higher/lower than you expect to see on a normal “rankings” list. That is because the “Rank Score” is not weighted for such things as position flexibility, stat importance, boom and bust probability, injury history, at-bat projections or year over year consistency.

·      Over the next couple weeks, the CraveOnline fantasy team will be releasing their rankings for each position. I recommend using their rankings to give you the best recommendations around.

·      I personally take these projections and add weights to determine my own rankings. From there, I’ll build a ‘draft map’ to help me strategize which targeted player to take in the draft. It helps to grab my “undervalued” guys at the right time. Last year, it was Matt Harvey and Starling Marte.
 

Now go forth and “win baseball” as my non-understanding girlfriend likes to say. 


Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook
 

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