It’s been almost two months to the day since I’ve updated my top 100 starting pitchers list. Obviously, a lot has happened, and so the list has changed rather significantly. Due to this, there may be some changes that may need further tweaking, some minor, some perhaps major. In any case, this list is, on the whole, a reflection of how I think about the current landscape of starting pitchers.
I tried my best to think of this list as how I’m viewing pitchers rest-of-season, so, unlike Nick, many pitchers currently on the Injured List are present on the list:
Top 100 Starting Pitchers
Since this is my first discussion of the list since I’ve dropped my other, it’s time to take some victory laps, and also eat some crow. I’ll go and address notable ones by tier.
- As much as it pains me to say, Trevor Bauer has maintained his 2020 pace, outside of some dingers. I’m holding him at his spot because of the volume I expect.
- Corbin Burnes! I’m a believer. He went on the IL with what many are speculating is COVID-19, but he leads all pitchers in K-BB% and has yet to surrender a walk.
- Joe Musgrove is shoving! He ranks just behind Shane Bieber in K-BB%, and when you sandwich his 2020 and 2021 numbers, he ranks in the top ten in K-BB% in that time span.
- I feel like I can victory lap Tyler Mahle being good, although he hasn’t been quite as dominant as I’d hoped.
- I regret not going harder on Trevor Rogers in the preseason, but I thought he was an innings limit risk due to his role. As it turns out, Sixto Sánchez is out of the rotation for now! Rogers is legit.
- Jameson Taillon is going to give up more home runs than you’d like, but he’s so good.
- People made me feel like I ranked Sandy Alcantara too high before. I didn’t rank him high enough.
- Zach Eflin wields the fourth-best K/BB of all starters. (Although I’ll admit, his K-BB% is good, but not great.)
- I feel good about JT Brubaker being pretty high on my initial list. He’s legit!
- Yusei Kikuchi has flashed a ton of promise and seems like he’s trending up.
- I almost wrote an article for Lookout Landing saying that the Mariners should sign Tyler Anderson. I’ve been high on him for a while now, and with the Mariners’ injuries, they should have!
- I’ve never quite fully understood the Germán Márquez hype.
- I liked Triston McKenzie too much to factor in the velocity concerns.
- Chris Flexen has been a solid late add. I still think there’s more here.
- Gerrit Cole has shoved more than I anticipated. Shane Bieber has been good, just not as dominant as Cole. That’s reflected in them swapping spots.
- Despite being a contact suppressor with plus stuff, I had my doubts with Tyler Glasnow because of a two-pitch mix and low IPS. He added a slider, and he’s been incredible.
- I ranked Zack Wheeler low because of a low K-BB% and injury risk. He’s the best contact suppressor in baseball outside of Noah Syndergaard, so if he’s getting whiffs, he’s incredible.
- I initially had Luis Castillo ranked at number four on my initial list before dropping him down to number twelve. That looks like it was a judicious decision, even if I think he turns it around.
- I think we all made this mistake, but Kenta Maeda has been struggling.
- I wanted to see him continue his success some, but John Means looks like he’s figured it out.
- I didn’t think Freddy Peralta had a shot at starting, and I thought command would be a bigger issue. I was wrong!
- Zach Plesac has been disappointing, but there’s hope!
- I literally didn’t even consider Carlos Rodón.
- I think he’ll be fine, but Max Fried hasn’t been great.
- Huascar Ynoa? Huascar Ynoa! He’s thrown strikes as well as anyone in the league, and the home run issue looks more like a bad day than a prominent feature of his game.
- I think Aaron Civale gets the kinks worked out, but man, I expected much more.
- Nathan Eovaldi’s spring training velocity should have been a stronger indicator for me.
- This is perhaps the biggest whiff of draft season for me. Kyle Hendricks just had a pretty strong outing, but he’d been getting absolutely destroyed before that.
- I wrote Adbert Alzolay off too much. This is what I get for being too surface-level with my analysis!
- Marco Gonzales got shelled before looking like he was figuring it out. Then he strained his forearm. Yikes!
Photos from Jeff Robinson, Jimmy Simmons, Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)
Rest of season, K.Hendricks, E-Rod, and Brady Singer basically interchangeable in the same tier? With Cease a tier below despite recent outstanding outings?
I’d have to guess because Hendricks and E-Rod have a longer track record of success. I can’t say the same for Singer but he’s been good so far. Cease is on a nice tear but he’s seen some horrible valleys. I think he’d need more than 2-3 good outings to leapfrog those guys, wouldn’t you agree?
Cease has only gone past 5 innings in 2 of his 6 starts…just saying.
Yup, basically this! The lists are subject to change, but the idea is essentially “gun to my head…”
I imagine Hendricks will drift towards the initial #19 ranking I had him at, but if he doesn’t, he might legitimately be out of the top 100. so I think his rankings are fair.
Thanks Mikey for the update! Can you explain what you are seeing in David Peterson that has him above every starter on the Oakland A’s?
Upside! Irvin isn’t much of a strike-thrower, and doesn’t really get whiffs. Luzardo hasn’t blown me away. I like Bassitt a lot, but I don’t see much wiggle room for more Ks. So, in short, it’s because they’re probably capped around 25% for K% (Montas has pushed this before), whereas Peterson is currently sitting at 29% with a strong CSW. (Peterson *does* need more whiffs, though…)
Why so down on Montas? Feel like he should be at least a tier higher
He’s been a below-average starter since 2020, is mostly my reasoning. I think he probably needs to ditch the sinker in favor of more four-seamers, and he needs to throw the splitty and slider more. The potential is there! He’s just not optimizing his skillset.
Where’s Danny Duffy?
I missed him! Whoops! He should be in the early- to mid-40s.
Just so you know… I watched your pitchcon presentation. I’ll leave it at that. Lol just kidding but I only said that because you were so high on Castillo from what I remember and I see him at 21 and think” how could he go against nick the great ?” Lol just joking around man. I haven’t watched it recently but I’m curious to which pitchers you were actually right about so far
Thanks man! I think for the most part, my big wins are Corbin Burnes, Joe Musgrove, and Tyler Mahle.
No love for DeSclafani? He’s not going to win your league for you, but you’d take Flexen, Lyles, and Justus over him for the rest of the year?
I’m a dummy and forgot to put him in. Late-50s for me.
No Jesus Luzardo? I know he’s struggled, but surely he’s Top 100.
Forgot him too!
I don’t know, he’s projected for like 90 more innings ROS. I’d rank him, like, in the 80s? 90s?
Did you forget Dinelson Lamet? If so, where would you put him.
I don’t know, he worries me. If he’s somewhat healthy, I’d have him somewhere in the 50s. If I *knew* he was healthy, he’s a top 15-20 pitcher.
How about Domingo German?
When can we expect an updated list from you?
Love the ROS aspect of it, really enjoy it!
Hope it’s soon, cheers