Pre-Draft Player Rankings

6 Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 6.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 16 9 0 236.0 232 1.83 0.92
2014 Projections 22 5 0 237.0 255 2.00 0.95
3 Year Average 17 8 0 232.3 236 2.21 0.97
Outlook: Kershaw took home his second NL Cy Young award in three years, recording the lowest ERA (1.82) since Bob Gibson's 1.12 mark in the low-offense 1968 season. Kershaw also led the league in strikeouts (232) and WHIP (0.92) while tossing a career-high 236 innings. Basically he's the best pitcher in "real life" and in fantasy. Amazingly, he'll pitch all of 2014 as a 26-year-old, and the 2.0 BB/9 that Kershaw carried last season was actually the best result he's ever returned in that department.
20 Yu Darvish (Tex - SP)
DL60
ADP: 18.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 13 9 0 209.7 277 2.83 1.07
2014 Projections 14 9 0 209.0 249 3.20 1.16
3 Year Average 14 9 0 200.7 249 3.32 1.17
Outlook: Darvish enjoyed a Cy Young-caliber season in just his second year in the majors, leading the AL in strikeouts with 277 in 209.2 innings pitched. He also cut back a tick on his walks allowed, but he had some truly terrible luck to only end up with 13 victories on the year. Darvish pushed his swinging-strike rate up to 12.6% (from 11.8% in his first big league season), as he continues to keep hitters off balance with an arsenal of nasty offerings. He also erased concerns about having to pitch half of his games in Arlington, posting a better ERA at home (2.69) than on the road (3.05) as well as a better home-run rate in his home starts (0.9 HR/9 vs. 1.3 HR/9). In most situations, Darvish will be one of the first five starting pitchers off the board in 2014.
24 Max Scherzer (Det - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 22.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 21 3 0 214.3 240 2.90 0.97
2014 Projections 14 11 0 204.0 225 3.51 1.20
3 Year Average 17 6 0 199.0 215 3.66 1.19
Outlook: Based on the strong advanced metrics (9.4 K/9, 3.56 xFIP) that he has posted throughout his career, pundits have been clamoring for Scherzer to hit that next level for years. Not only did the long-awaited breakout from Scherzer fully materialize in 2013, but he exceeded even the most optimistic of projections. The 28-year-old starter took home the AL Cy Young Award after leading the league in wins (21) and WHIP (0.97) while finishing second in strikeouts (240) and fifth in ERA (2.90). His fastball continued to hover in the mid-90s with movement and his slider developed from a solid pitch to one of the more elite breaking balls in the majors. Scherzer also improved his walk rate, allowing a career-best 2.4 BB/9. His improvements across the board can be attributed to his continued refinement of a more consistent delivery, which has corralled some of the wildness displayed earlier in his career while allowing his electric stuff to post more consistent results. The Tigers freed up a significant portion of their future budget by trading Prince Fielder to Texas, opening up the possibility of long-term extension to keep him in Detroit. Scherzer appears headed for another strikeout-heavy campaign filled with plenty of fantasy value.
26 Adam Wainwright (StL - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 24.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 19 9 0 241.7 219 2.94 1.07
2014 Projections 16 12 0 221.0 196 3.05 1.13
3 Year Average 16 11 0 220.0 202 3.40 1.15
Outlook: Wainwright was dominant again in 2013 as the ace on the Cardinals' staff, logging 241.2 innings for the National League champs and striking out 219 while throwing five complete games. Wainwright has five pitches, four of which he uses regularly and he gets his strikeouts by using those pitches well and hitting his spots, meaning he should continue to pitch well with age. His numbers have been incredibly consistent the past several seasons and there's no reason to think he won't be one of the games best pitchers again in 2014. As long as he's healthy, Wainwright should be a solid anchor on any fantasy staff.
29 Felix Hernandez (Sea - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 28.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 12 10 0 204.3 216 3.04 1.13
2014 Projections 13 10 0 223.0 220 3.41 1.20
3 Year Average 13 11 0 223.3 220 3.18 1.16
Outlook: A late-season back injury put a damper on an otherwise outstanding season for Hernandez in 2013. At the time of the injury, he had a 2.63 ERA. He made it into the seventh inning once over his last four starts, twice going no more than four innings and he posted a 6.86 ERA in that span. So, his year-end 3.04 ERA is a bit deceiving. Hernandez should dominate again this season. As a high-strikeout (fifth in the AL), groundball pitcher with outstanding control and command, few pitchers in baseball can touch him. Better run support this season (4.45 last year, 15th in AL) should help him notch more than the 12 wins he posted in 2013.
32 Cliff Lee (Phi - SP)
DL60
ADP: 34.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 14 8 0 222.7 222 2.87 1.01
2014 Projections 14 11 0 209.0 205 2.91 1.06
3 Year Average 12 8 0 222.0 222 2.80 1.05
Outlook: Lee was drafted to be a fantasy ace last season and he delivered on expectations. His ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate and walk rate were excellent and his 6.94 K/BB ratio was the best in baseball. The only concern from last season was the loss of one mile per hour off of his fastball. It didn't hurt his numbers, obviously, but it may serve as an early warning of further skills loss to come. Lee will turn 36 this season and he will eventually start showing more signs of inevitable decline. That said, there are not any other red flags in his profile, so he should continue to provide plenty of value as a near-elite starter, and one that will come at a lower price than the elite options currently in their respective primes.
33 Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 32.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 8 9 0 183.0 191 3.00 1.05
2014 Projections 13 4 0 123.0 134 2.38 1.02
3 Year Average 8 5 0 122.0 137 2.95 1.07
Outlook: Oh, the agony of being a Stephen Strasburg owner. He tossed a career-high 183 innings in 2013, with a plus strikeout rate, ERA and WHIP, yet somehow managed to win just eight games. He had an injury scare to boot, although the eventual culprit seemed to be nothing more than bone chips in his elbow. All the tools are there for him to be among the game's elite pitchers, but until he actually strikes out 200 batters or wins 20 games in a season, there are going to be question marks. Of course, those same question marks could make Strasburg a relative bargain in 2014 if he does finally put it all together.
39 Jose Fernandez (Mia - SP)
DL60
ADP: 38.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 12 6 0 172.7 187 2.19 0.98
2014 Projections 14 10 0 175.0 180 2.94 1.15
3 Year Average 12 6 0 172.7 187 2.19 0.98
Outlook: A surprise addition to the Opening Day roster, Fernandez had no problems adjusting to life in the big leagues, dominating his way to the NL Rookie of the Year award and a third-place finish in the NL Cy Young voting. Fernandez leaned on a mid-90s heater and a knee-bending curveball to hold opposing hitters to a .182 batting average against during his rookie season on his way to a phenomenal 2.19 ERA and microscopic 0.98 WHIP. Fernandez registered 12 starts (in 28 turns) with eight or more strikeouts and put together an impressive pair of wins in late July and early August in which he struck out 27 batters in 16 innings. His true Cy Young chances were, perhaps, dashed by a team-imposed innings cap that shut him down after 172.2 frames -- and that prospect will loom largely down the stretch again in his sophomore season as he's just 21 years old. Still, owners can expect Fernandez to inch his way toward 200 innings in 2014 with elite numbers across the board.
45 Chris Sale (CWS - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 46.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 11 14 0 214.3 226 3.07 1.07
2014 Projections 17 12 0 164.0 166 3.11 1.10
3 Year Average 10 8 3 159.0 166 3.00 1.10
Outlook: Sale's win total dropped from 17 in 2012 to 11 in 2013, but the rest of his repertoire was impressive enough to lead him a fifth-place finish in the AL Cy Young race. His 9.5 K/9 was tops among the league's left-handed starters, and his walk rate fell to a career-best 1.9 BB/9. Opposing batters hit a measly .138 off his slider, and the pitch was virtually unhittable for left-handed batters. Sale was pegged as a reliever in his early days in the league because of durability concerns, but he threw 214 innings in 2013 and led the league with four complete games. There should not be much cause for concern about regression in 2014. Sale will potentially be an injury risk to some due to his "inverted W" delivery, but he has yet to hit the disabled list through his first 512 professional innings. Look for him to lead the White Sox's rotation again in 2014.
47 Madison Bumgarner (SF - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 49.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 13 9 0 201.3 199 2.77 1.03
2014 Projections 14 9 0 200.0 183 3.29 1.18
3 Year Average 14 11 0 204.7 194 3.12 1.12
Outlook: Bumgarner put together a career year in 2013, getting his ERA under 3.00 for the first time as a full-time starter. He also experienced improvements in his K/9 (8.9) and HR/9 (0.7) from the year before, while keeping his walks (2.8 BB/9) in check. He only netted 13 wins for an offensively-challenged Giants team, but victories are almost impossible to predict on a yearly basis. Looking ahead, Bumgarner projects to throw 200-plus innings for the fourth consecutive season and should be one of the more reliable arms taken early off the board.
49 David Price (Det - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 47.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 10 8 0 186.7 151 3.33 1.10
2014 Projections 14 9 0 212.0 189 3.26 1.13
3 Year Average 14 9 0 207.3 191 3.13 1.11
Outlook: Coming off the AL Cy Young Award in 2012, expectations could not have been higher for the southpaw Price. While his win total declined from 20 to 10 and he missed over a month of the season with a triceps injury, his overall numbers were about on par with his excellent past few seasons. In just 27 starts, he tied for the lead in the AL with four complete games. Though his strikeout percentage dipped slightly, he took a big step in improving control, with 1.3 BB/9 and a 5.59 K/BB ratio, both tops in the AL. He finished the season with a 10-8 record and 3.33 ERA and he continued his run of dominance over AL East opponents, going 6-3 over 14 starts. Entering the 2014 season at age 28, Price remains one of the top fantasy options on the mound and is the true ace of his pitching staff.
50 Cole Hamels (Phi - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 59.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 8 14 0 220.0 202 3.60 1.16
2014 Projections 16 12 0 223.0 198 2.90 1.06
3 Year Average 13 10 0 217.0 204 3.15 1.09
Outlook: Hamels earned only eight wins last season, despite finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA over 33 starts. He had some blowups early in the season, but after making a mechanical adjustment at the end of May, he went on to post a 2.96 ERA over the rest of the year. His strikeout and walk rates were in line with his career norms, and for the third straight season, his K:BB ratio was over 4.0. All signs point to Hamels producing numbers that can anchor a fantasy staff again in 2014. With a little more luck, he may get his win total back into double digits as well.
52 Justin Verlander (Det - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 44.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 13 12 0 218.3 217 3.46 1.31
2014 Projections 13 12 0 242.0 215 3.94 1.27
3 Year Average 18 8 0 236.0 235 2.82 1.09
Outlook: Due to the lofty standards Verlander set the previous two seasons, his 2013 campaign was seen as a slight disappointment. He finished 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, numbers well off the pace from his 41-13, 2.52 ERA and 0.99 WHIP line over the previous two seasons. While he remained a workhorse (218.1 innings) and eclipsed 200 strikeouts (217) for the fifth consecutive season, Verlander wasn’t his usually dominant self for most of the season. He saw a drop in fastball velocity, averaging 93.3 mph after hovering near 95.0 mph the past handful of seasons. His walk rate also inched above three free passes per nine (3.1 BB/9) for the first time since 2008. However, after some late-season mechanical tweaks, Verlander started to resemble his MVP form. His fastball started hitting 95-plus mph with more regularity in September, and he finished the final month of the season with a 2.27 ERA and 48:10 K:BB ratio in 39.2 innings. The dominance continued in the playoffs, as Verlander posted a 0.39 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 23 postseason innings. After failing to pitch at a Cy Young level for the first four months of the 2013 campaign, Verlander’s price tag on draft day could be discounted compared to previous years, but his late-season surge and the return of his velocity should lead to Verlander once again performing like an elite starting pitcher option. Verlander's availability for Opening Day could be in jeopardy, however, after he had core repair surgery in mid-January.
53 Craig Kimbrel (Atl - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 44.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 4 3 50 67.0 98 1.21 0.88
2014 Projections 7 3 37 69.0 114 1.82 0.87
3 Year Average 4 2 46 69.0 114 1.43 0.87
Outlook: For the third consecutive year, Kimbrel led the National League in saves, becoming the 11th pitcher in major league history to reach the 50-save mark in a single season, while also becoming the first pitcher in the history of the game to record 40-plus saves in each of his first three full seasons. He set a Braves franchise record in 2013 by converting 37 consecutive save chances, and ended the season by converting 40 of his final 41 opportunities. After the calender turned to June, Kimbrel allowed just four earned runs over 46.2 regular-season innings (0.77 ERA), and he held opposing batters to a .161 average for the year. His strikeout rate did, however, drop by more than three per nine innings, to a career-low 13.2 K/9, and his swinging-strike rate was well below where it was in 2012 (13.6% from 19.2%). Lefties hit .211/.265/.309 against him, up from .116/.189/.143, and his walk rate was up slightly as well. All that aside, Kimbrel didn't lose any juice on his fastball, and is unquestionably one of most dominant end-gamers in all of baseball. He's still the easy choice for first reliever off the board in 2014.
56 Zack Greinke (LAD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 58.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 15 4 0 177.7 148 2.63 1.11
2014 Projections 12 9 0 184.0 174 3.44 1.20
3 Year Average 15 5 0 187.3 183 3.31 1.17
Outlook: Only the incident with Carlos Quentin prevented Greinke from a top-five Cy Young finish, as the Dodgers' No. 2 starter finished 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts. Pitching for his fourth team in four years in the first year of a lucrative six-year deal, Greinke was all that was advertised and more, solidifying the top of the Dodgers' rotation and giving the team arguably the top 1-2 punch in baseball. Greinke has never had a serious arm injury, and assuming there are no more odd injuries in his near future, he should be a top-10 or top-15 starting pitcher in 2014.
68 Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 65.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 4 3 28 76.7 111 1.88 0.86
2014 Projections 6 3 37 66.0 106 1.85 0.86
3 Year Average 4 2 19 65.0 102 2.35 0.91
Outlook: Well who knew Jansen would be a better closer than Brandon League last year? Okay, put your collective hands down. Jansen was spectacular, posting a 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and an eye-popping 111:18 K:BB in 76.2 innings. Jansen has cut his BB/9 rate from 4.4 to 3.1 to 2.1 over the last three years while maintaining a 13.0 K/9 rate. He should be a top-five closer again in 2014 and should not have a problem topping the 2013 save total (28) with a full season handling the Dodgers' ninth-inning role.
71 Anibal Sanchez (Det - SP)
DL15
ADP: 71.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 14 8 0 182.0 202 2.57 1.15
2014 Projections 14 9 0 188.0 197 3.38 1.21
3 Year Average 10 10 0 191.3 190 3.39 1.23
Outlook: Sanchez took the step from mid-rotation starter to ace in 2013. He posted career-high marks in nearly every category, including wins (14), ERA (2.57), WHIP (1.15) and strikeouts (202). He missed a couple starts in June due to a minor shoulder injury, but that proved to be the only hurdle in his breakout campaign as Sanchez came back even stronger after the injury. The 29-year-old pitcher’s ascent towards elite-level production was backed by increased fastball velocity, which climbed from 91.8 mph in 2012 to 93.0 mph last season. His slider and changeup also proved to be more effective than in past years, as he become better at mixing his pitches to keep hitters off balance. His trend of becoming more of a groundball-heavy pitcher continued with a 1.51 GB/FB ratio and noticeable gains were made to keep the ball in the park (0.5 HR/9). Further, both his FIP (2.39) and xFIP (2.91) indicate that the leap Sanchez made on the mound was legitimate. As part of the Tigers' deep staff, Sanchez remains the team No. 3 starter, meaning he won’t have the pressures of being relied on as heavily as most team’s aces. While some regression could follow his breakout season, Sanchez is well positioned to once again post strong numbers across the board.
72 Gio Gonzalez (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 71.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 11 8 0 195.7 192 3.36 1.25
2014 Projections 16 12 0 207.0 209 2.97 1.19
3 Year Average 16 9 0 199.0 199 3.12 1.23
Outlook: Gonzalez couldn't duplicate his Cy Young-worthy 2012, as his BABIP, K/9 and HR/9 all returned to the level he'd established during his Oakland stint. Cynics will sneer at his vague association with the Biogenesis furor as the reason for the regression, but you don't need wonder drugs to have a big season. Gonzalez's curveball is still a work of art, and he's been very healthy throughout his career. Consider last year's numbers a relatively safe baseline as pitchers go, and if the Nationals remember how to score some runs for him, his wins and overall value should tick up.
73 Mat Latos (Cin - SP)
DTD
ADP: 81.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 14 7 0 210.7 187 3.16 1.21
2014 Projections 14 9 0 200.0 181 3.33 1.19
3 Year Average 12 8 0 204.7 186 3.39 1.18
Outlook: Latos turned into exactly the workhorse at the top of the rotation that the Reds expected when they boldly traded for him in the winter of 2011. Given the travails of Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal, chalk one up for Walt Jocketty so far. Interestingly enough, Latos has actually pitched better in the cozy confines of Great American Ballpark (2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) than on the road (3.48 ERA, 1.28 WHIP), continuing a trend that started in 2012, despite the worries generated from his move out of Petco. After the season, it was revealed that he pitched through an abdominal strain the final three months of the season, and he also needed bone chips removed from his elbow in October. Check his status when pitchers and catchers report, but he looks to be a solid second-tier fantasy starter once again.
75 Matt Cain (SF - SP)
DL60
ADP: 79.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 8 10 0 184.3 158 4.00 1.16
2014 Projections 15 11 0 210.0 175 3.00 1.11
3 Year Average 12 9 0 208.3 177 3.20 1.09
Outlook: Cain had a down year in 2013, as he finished the year with a 4.00 ERA and had career-lows in innings pitched (184.1), strikeouts (158), and home runs allowed (23). Many pointed to Cain historically outperforming his FIP and xFIP numbers as the reason for his down year, but his K/9 (7.7), BB/9 (2.7), and average fastball velocity (91.2 mph) were all in line with his career averages. The big difference last year was an increase in both his HR/9 (1.1) and HR/FB (10.8%) rates, which were both outliers when compared to Cain's previous seasons. Cain is a flyball pitcher, but considering that his peripherals were in line with his career norms, it would be safe to say that last year's increase in longballs was a fluke. Those who believe in a bounce-back campaign from Cain in 2014 could benefit greatly, as his draft stock will be lower than it has been in years.
76 Jordan Zimmermann (Was - SP)
DTD
ADP: 78.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 19 9 0 213.3 161 3.25 1.09
2014 Projections 13 9 0 187.0 147 3.36 1.16
3 Year Average 13 9 0 190.0 146 3.13 1.13
Outlook: With Stephen Strasburg unable to buy a win and Gio Gonzalez taking a step back in 2013, it was Zimmermann who took his turn as the Nationals' staff ace and set career highs in innings, wins, total strikeouts and walk rate. Somewhat amazingly, all four of his pitches (fastball, slider, curveball and changeup) showed a positive run expectancy last year, which was the main engine of his success more than any one dominant pitch. He won't challenge the 200-strikeout mark, which keeps him from being an elite fantasy starter, but Zimmermann is solidifying his spot near the top of the next tier of pitchers.
78 Hisashi Iwakuma (Sea - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 88.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 14 6 0 219.7 185 2.66 1.01
2014 Projections 16 12 0 179.0 157 3.14 1.11
3 Year Average 12 6 1 172.7 143 2.81 1.10
Outlook: A strong finish to the 2012 campaign springboarded Iwakuma into 2013 where he dominated from start to finish. Iwakuma finished second in the AL in WHIP, third in ERA, BB/9, BAA and innings, and fourth in K/BB. Had it not been for Max Scherzer's dream season, he might have won the Cy Young award. As it was, he finished third in the AL voting. A groundball pitcher, Iwakuma has a solid strikeout rate (7.6 K/9) with great control (1.7 BB/9). He went through a summer stretch where his ERA peaked over 3.00, but he straightened out by posting a 2.14 ERA over his final 13 starts, including scoreless outings in four of his last five for another strong finish to the season. Iwakuma proved one of the best fantasy values last season, considering his average draft position. He won't be as profitable this year – and it could go the other way – but he should still turn in another quality season.
82 Greg Holland (KC - RP)
Healthy
ADP: 79.2
CHG: 0.0
Depth: CL-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 2 1 47 67.0 103 1.21 0.87
2014 Projections 5 2 31 63.0 89 2.08 1.02
3 Year Average 5 2 22 64.7 89 1.95 1.07
Outlook: While Holland looked impressive during the latter half of the 2012 season after finally being handed the closer's job, his 2013 campaign looked even better. The season opened a bit on the rocky side, but after the first few weeks, he settled down and proceeded to dominate hitters in outstanding fashion. His 47 saves ranked second in the majors and his 13.8 K/9 and 103 strikeouts over 70.1 innings each ranked second among qualified relievers. Add in a 5.72 K/BB and you certainly have all the ammunition needed to claim that Holland was indeed the best closer in baseball last year. Armed with a mid-90s fastball and a high-80s slider, Holland will continue to close for the Royals in 2014 and should be one of the first relievers off the board in most drafts.
88 Mike Minor (Atl - SP)
DTD
ADP: 96.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 13 9 0 204.7 181 3.21 1.09
2014 Projections 17 4 0 162.0 152 2.27 0.99
3 Year Average 10 7 0 155.7 134 3.70 1.18
Outlook: Just as many expected, 2013 was a breakout campaign for Minor, who led the team in innings pitched (204.2), strikeouts (181) and quality starts (23), while improving his strikeout and walk rates to 8.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9, respectively. He trimmed his ERA by more than 90 points, despite a 20-point increase in his opponents' batting average on balls in play. Further, Minor held opposing lefties to a .583 OPS and made 30-plus starts for the second consecutive season. However, despite a 4.94 run support average, second-highest in the National League, Minor finished with only 13 wins, and his line drive rate was up a bit. The left-hander induces very few groundballs (35.5 career GB%), and his fastball is not overpowering, but Minor has proven effective regardless, and he's still just 26 years old, so he's just entering his physical prime.
92 James Shields (KC - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 90.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2013 Season 13 9 0 228.7 196 3.15 1.24
2014 Projections 14 11 0 239.0 216 3.55 1.19
3 Year Average 15 10 0 235.3 215 3.14 1.15
Outlook: It had been a long time since the Royals had themselves a dominant No. 1 starter, so when the opportunity to acquire Shields came up, they debated internally for some time but ultimately decided the arm was more necessary than the prospect bat of Wil Myers. General manager Dayton Moore was highly criticized for parting with such a blue-chip prospect, but a seventh straight season of 200-plus innings with 13 wins, a 3.15 ERA and a 191:68 K:BB quickly turned the fan base's opinion around. A bit concerning is Shields' diminished strikeout rate and increased walk rate, as well as the reduction of groundballs induced. Fantasy owners should keep that in mind when making a move for the veteran right-hander this season. While it's not exactly a guarantee that he is on the decline, it does provide an indication that all that usage may be causing him to tire a little more. He should still be viewed as a top starter on draft day, but go in with cautious optimism.
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