Every season the Rankings can be challenging, and this year the 2014 Starting Pitcher Rankings are no different. It is a deep position by default knowing every team has 5 starters, or even more than five with Prospects waiting in the wings. This year is no different, but Major League Baseball and Fantasy Owners alike are losing plenty of pitchers with season-ending, or significant injury which is also having an impact. For many owners, including myself, who drafted as early as February and March may find themselves already looking at Free Agency to fill the voids left by Patrick Corbin, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, or Jarrod Parker.
Thankfully as I said earlier Pitching is a deep position, and although there are plenty of Elite Arms there are also plenty of pitchers who provide consistent production, offer upside, or may have newly received opportunity such as Alex Wood, Tommy Milone, or the Atlanta Braves newest acquisition Ervin Santanna.
If you have been following my Draft Strategy series Fantasy Draft Strategy Part III and more, you will know that I value pitching, but place much more trust in mid to late round pitchers. Rather than risking my earliest draft picks or Auction Budget on Elite pitching I opt for the safe hitters, and load up on young and steady arms. Also utilize my Positional Tiers for more insight on which Pitchers to target and their values in your remaining drafts.
So with that, let’s take a look our Rankings
2014 Starting Pitcher Rankings
[table id=59 /]
For ours, as well as other Industry Expert rankings be sure to check out FantasyPros.com Consensus rankings, or make a cheatsheet while your there.
These players really don’t need an introduction and have been consistently dominant as their teams staff Ace.
Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, Adam Wainwright, Felix Hernandez, Stephen Strasburg, David Price
The Next Wave:
Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey(Out for 2014), Gerrit Cole, Alex Cobb, Julio Teheran, Danny Salazar, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Sonny Gray, Corey Kluber, Mike Minor, Matt Moore, Chris Archer, Zach Wheeler, Tony Cingrani.
That is plenty of names listed above, and many of these guys will be top targets by your opponents. Owners will likely reach for these guys in drafts and I won’t blame them. They also are potential aces of their owners Fantasy Squads this year and for years to come. Players such as Fernandez, Miller, and Harvey (Reminder he’s out for 2014) all have dominated in their Major League stints, and everyone else on the list has similar potential.
Stay tuned for more articles and breakdowns on Prospects, and Pitching Breakouts for 2014 soon.
Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller, Andrew Cashner, Rick Porcello, Lance Lynn
All of the above showed flashes of brilliance, or maintained an entire season of success in 2013. Poised for breakouts, with the combination of experience, as well as being in the prime of their careers should benefit them in 2014, as well as the Fantasy Owners who “Buy-In” this season. If I get two or more of these Pitchers on my teams this season, I am very excited.
Avoiding. Avoiding. Avoiding
These players still have talent and some use for Fantasy Baseball in 2014, however their price tag may exceed their values this season.
C.C. Sabathia, Clay Buccholz, R.A Dickey and Travis Wood.
Sabathia and Dickey seem to be wearing down in front of our eyes, and I am avoiding both of them in all of my drafts this season. They are also over 30 which in large part go against my draft strategy of 30 or under pitching only.
Buccholz has the talent, and was pitching like an ace last season, but his continual magnetism towards injuries, or breaking down late in the season have taken their toll on me, and plenty of Fantasy Owners. If he is available late, and for the right price I will still draft Buccholz, but I will avoid him if at all possible.
Wood seemed to look like a high potential pitcher plenty last year. Look at his numbers closely however and you’ll see there was significant luck involved. His peripherals will all increase this season without a doubt. I am avoiding him and his risk this season. In his defense, he did have little to no run support in 2013 as well.
[table id=42 /]