Top Tier Pitchers – 2012 Fantasy Baseball Noobs
“You can wait on pitching. I cannot stress this enough. I didn’t take a pitcher until the sixth round, and my second pitcher didn’t come until round 9. I still put together an excellent pitching staff. I realize many of those guys won’t jump out at you but they are all low era pitchers (almost all in good parks too) with great K rates. I had Stauffer, Henderson Alvarez, and a few others in my queue until I realized (with one round to go) that we couldn’t draft bench players. My staff would have been fantastic, and that’s a Varnsen guarantee.”
Yes, that’s right I gave it a Kel Varnsen guarantee. I don’t just throw those things around. There is starting pitching depth this year…just like there was last year. This isn’t the steroid era, where guys were 5’8 and hitting 30 homers and then going home to beat their wife and flip tires over in their driveway. Those days are gone (at least for now) and we are now hip-deep in the era of some great starting pitchers. So with power down, I ask you, why would you take starting pitchers early?
Here is a case study for you (graphing calculators are not needed):
Clayton Kershaw currently has an ADP of 15.19. Surrounding him are offensive fantasy baseball wizards Prince Fielder, Dustin Pedroia, Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes, and Hanley Ramirez. Madison Bumgarner (my first pitcher selected in the mock) has an ADP of 76.53. He is surrounded by Adam Jones, Chase Utley, Rickie Weeks, and Joe Mauer. What are the realistic differences between Kershaw and Bumgarner? A few more wins & k’s, and a slightly lower era/whip for Kershaw? That sounds about right. Now what is the difference between grabbing Prince or Pedroia vs. grabbing Adam Jones or Weeks. Yikes City. It isn’t very close IMO.
I’ll be avoiding every pitcher in my first tier (unless someone reallllly falls), and more than likely (unless someone falls) everyone in tier 2. The starting pitcher rankings/projections will be out next week but I’ll give you a little clue as to who I am talking about:
Tier 1 (in no particular order): Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez, and Tim Lincecum
Tier 2 (in no particular order): Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, CC Sabathia, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and David Price
While those guys are being drafted look out folks Varnsen is still scooping up hitters. This is a slightly different 2012 Fantasy Baseball Noob post. I don’t think the top two tiers of pitchers are going to suck. They are all great pitchers, and should all have great seasons. I just don’t think they should be drafted where they are going in the mocks I have seen. I’ve seen the lineups from teams that decide to draft say Kershaw and Hamels and they are u-g-l-y. I am more concerned over my lineup coming out of the draft than I am with my pitching staff. You can streamline San Diego, Oakland, and Seattle pitchers at certain points in the season to pick up wins if you are low, and there are always a few pitchers who you can scoop up in the waiver wire. It is much more difficult to count on this from hitters.
So the lesson today is to break the habit of taking pitchers early. Focus solely on your hitters. Others may mock, but you did your mocks, and are secretly mocking those that are mocking you. Mock sense?