With the MLB and minor league seasons in the rearview mirror, it’s time to reevaluate my preseason prospect rankings.
It’s always difficult to find a balance between upside and probability when grading prospects, so looking back on my methods and looking to adjust heading forward is always a useful task. For readers, these will serve as a one-stop shop to catch up on how all of 2012’s prominent prospects performed and how their stock has been affected.
This is not a re-ranking of these prospects, nor is it a new prospect list. It’s simply a review of how I ranked the players before the season began, along with some analysis of what went right, what went wrong and everything in between.
In our seventh installment, let’s review my preseason starting pitcher rankings, with a special focus on young arms who improved their stock in 2012. We’ll also give you an early look at some new names who should be relevant in 2013 and beyond.
(PPR = Preseason Position Ranking, Pre/Mid = Preseason/Midseason Top 100 Ranking, NR = Not rated, G = Graduated to MLB. Starred* players are no longer prospect eligible.)
|On The Upswing|
|2.||Yu Darvish, TEX*||A strong candidate for 225-plus Ks, sub-3.50 ERA, 17-plus wins next season. Stud.||5/G|
|3.||Shelby Miller, STL||Struggled in first half then dominated after mechanical fix. Ace upside, and ready now.||7/11|
|6.||Jarrod Parker, OAK*||Looks to be a solid No.4 Fantasy starter in that ballpark for a long time to come.||16/G|
|8.||Gerrit Cole, PIT||Enormous strikeout upside, WHIP will determine his ultimate Fantasy ceiling.||18/6|
|11.||Tyler Skaggs, ARI||He’s more of a mid-rotation arm than an ace, but ready now and should collect Ks.||21/10|
|13.||Dylan Bundy, BAL||Crazy talented, but should start 2013 back in Double or Triple-A. Obvious ace upside.||24/4|
|18.||Matt Harvey, NYM*||Very strong first 60 innings in the majors, living up to his No. 2 starter potential.||37/32|
|24.||Taijuan Walker, SEA||On the short list of pitchers with highest upside in minors – should see MLB in 2013.||47/5|
|27.||Zack Wheeler, NYM||Numbers starting to match scouting reports, can be an ace if he keeps BBs down.||52/14|
|34.||Jake Odorizzi, KC||Needs to pitch down in zone more consistently, No. 2/3 starter, ready in 2013.||67/20|
|40.||Tyler Thornburg, MIL||Many think he’ll end up a RP, but he keeps proving people wrong – high K potential.l||80/75|
|42.||Tommy Milone, OAK*||Exceeded my expectations, now a viable Fantasy SP when pitching at home.||82/G|
|45.||Chris Archer, TB||Still not convinced he’s not a closer in the long run, but should see MLB starts in 2013.||97/95|
|53.||Justin Nicolino, TOR||Above average stuff and excellent control give him high floor for a pitcher his age.||NR/NR|
|54.||Taylor Guerrieri, TB||Projects as more of a No. 2/3 starter than an ace, but that’s not an insult – he’s good.||NR/NR|
|55.||Jesse Biddle, PHI||Talented lefty took big step forward with control in 2012, No. 2/3 starter upside.||NR/91|
|56.||Daniel Corcino, CIN||Solid but unspectacular year in Double-A, needs to refine control to reach ceiling.||NR/69|
|57.||Noah Syndergaard, TOR||Crushed Single-A as a 19-year-old in 2012, on track to be No. 2 MLB starter by 2015.||NR/NR|
|59.||Matt Barnes, BOS||Future No. 2 SP is flying through minors, will be Fantasy-relevant even in AL East.||NR/40|
|64.||Drew Smyly, DET*||Looks like a viable back-end SP now, usable during favorable matchups.||NR/NR|
|65.||David Holmberg, ARI||Underrated thanks to talent around him, but a high ceiling No. 3 type, ready soon.||NR/NR|
|67.||Trevor Rosenthal, STL||Temptation to use him in the bullpen will be high, but he could be a No. 2/3 SP.||NR/92|
|69.||Patrick Corbin, ARI*||Personal favorite put up respectable stats in 107 MLB IP, but faces competition in org.||NR/NR|
|70.||Jarred Cosart, HOU||Another bullpen candidate, IMO, but could be mid-rotation SP, will be ready soon.||NR/NR|
|71.||Alex Meyer, WAS||Always viewed as a boom or bust prospect – looks like boom might be winning.||NR/99|
|75.||Alex Colome, TB||Not a sexy prospect, but he’s a No. 4 SP and ready now. Rays grows these guys on trees.||NR/NR|
|76.||Kyle Gibson, MIN||Should be in MLB by August and has No. 2 SP upside. I’m a big fan; don’t sleep on him.||NR/NR|
|79.||Aaron Sanchez, TOR||Needs to get his walk rate under control, but the upside is obvious; a few years away.||NR/76|
|80.||Jose Fernandez, MIA||Destroyed Single-A and didn’t slow down much in High-A. Still just 20. Stud.||NR/23|
New Names To Consider: J.O. Berrios (MIN), Clayton Blackburn (SF), Cody Buckel (TEX), Andrew Chafin (ARI), Tony Cingrani (CIN), Tyler Cloyd (PHI), Adam Conley (MIA), Kyle Crick (SF), Mike Foltynewicz (HOU), Max Fried (SD), Michael Fulmer (NYM), Kevin Gausman (BAL), Lucas Giolito (WAS), J.R. Graham (ATL), Garret Gould (LAD), Andrew Heaney (MIA), John Hellweg (MIL), Dillon Howard (CLE), Pierce Johnson (CHC), Dillon Maples (CHC), Nick Maronde (LAA), Lance McCullers (HOU), Brett Oberholtzer (HOU), Roberto Osuna (TOR), Henry Owens (BOS), Juan Paniagua (CHC), Chris Reed (LAD), Sam Selman (KC), Dan Straily (OAK), Robert Stephenson (CIN), Chris Stratton (SF), Domingo Tapia (NYM), Nick Tropeano (HOU), Michael Wacha (STL), Brandon Workman (BOS), Yordano Ventura (KC), Kyle Zimmer (KC)
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