Pre-Draft Player Rankings

6 Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 5.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 21 3 0 198.3 239 1.77 0.86
2015 Projections 20 5 0 216.0 231 2.08 0.95
3 Year Average 17 7 0 220.7 233 2.04 0.94
Outlook: What could Kershaw possibly do to improve upon his three straight ERA and WHIP titles with a pair of Cy Youngs and a second-place finish in between? Surely, he can’t get better, so even though you can expect greatness, it’ll likely be regressed from 2013. Well, not exactly. Left with the seemingly impossible task of one-upping himself, Kershaw somehow did just that and then some, winning titles in the aforementioned categories, including career-bests in each, as well as his third Cy Young and his first NL MVP. And all of that despite missing April and failing to reach the 200-inning mark. At this point, it would be foolish to suggest he can’t possibly best himself yet again. How about a 1.00 ERA? He is the unquestioned best pitcher in the game and a surefire first-rounder regardless of league size and format.
10 Felix Hernandez (Sea - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 10.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 15 6 0 236.0 248 2.14 0.92
2015 Projections 16 12 0 225.0 223 3.14 1.14
3 Year Average 13 8 0 224.0 229 2.73 1.06
Outlook: Hernandez posted the lowest ERA and WHIP in the American League last season since Pedro Martinez in 2000, and the third-lowest opponent OBP (.243) in the designated hitter era. He also led the AL in BAA (.200) and quality starts (27) and was the only pitcher to finish in the top five in IP (236), strikeouts (248), K/BB (5.39), K/9 (9.46), GB/FB (1.35) and FIP (2.62). In 13 no-decisions, he had a 1.88 ERA. He also set a major league record with 16 consecutive starts of at least seven innings and two or fewer runs allowed. And yet, it wasn't enough to win him his second AL Cy Young Award. Go figure. Hernandez might not be historically great again this year, but he should turn in another typical Felix season, dominating throughout the season as he did last year when he posted a 1.66 September ERA. A better offense should give more run support, too, resulting in more wins.
19 Max Scherzer (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 15.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 18 5 0 220.3 252 3.15 1.18
2015 Projections 16 12 0 215.0 256 2.96 1.11
3 Year Average 18 5 0 207.3 241 3.26 1.14
Outlook: Scherzer backed up his 2013 Cy Young campaign with another stellar season for the Tigers. He finished 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.18 WHIP while setting career-highs in strikeouts (252) and innings (220.1). His 2.91 FIP was right on line with the 2.89 FIP posted in 2013, but Scherzer didn’t have as much luck with BABIP (.325) this time around. Scherzer continued to rely heavily on his fastball, which setup his changeup, slider and a curveball he used more than in past seasons. The 30-year-old righty hit free agency in the midst of his prime. For a starting pitcher his age, Scherzer has a surprising light workload of 1,239 innings, and he has proven to be very durable the last few years. He'll move to the NL after signing a seven-year deal with Washington. He should be among the strikeout leaders once again with the Nationals and a topnotch option to lead any fantasy staff.
25 Corey Kluber (Cle - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 26.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 18 9 0 235.7 269 2.44 1.09
2015 Projections 11 8 0 158.0 171 3.23 1.16
3 Year Average 10 6 0 148.7 153 3.27 1.20
Outlook: Kluber showed devastating secondary stuff throughout 2013 which hinted at a breakout, but his fastball command lagged behind meaning he was no sure thing. Understanding that, Kluber shifted from a four-seamer to a two-seamer and actually gained velocity, giving him a reasonable fastball offering to set up the elite secondaries, the best of which was an incredible curveball that was arguably baseball’s best pitch in 2014. The .241 OPS-against was the best for any single pitch with 150 batters faced and the .091 AVG was second to only Dellin Betances’ breaking ball (.075). It’s hard to believe that Kluber could get better, but if he began commanding his two-seamer like the breaking pitches, then his 2.35 FIP might be in reach. Batters still hit .304 on the two-seamer, but hitting .172 on the rest of his pitches mitigates that damage. He has improved his fastball OPS yearly, down to .821 last year. Another jump could stifle an ERA dip. Even with a backslide in ERA, he’s still a Tier-1 asset.
26 Chris Sale (CWS - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 25.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 12 4 0 174.0 208 2.17 0.97
2015 Projections 16 7 0 197.0 214 2.80 1.02
3 Year Average 13 9 0 193.3 209 2.79 1.06
Outlook: Sale led the AL with a 10.8 K/9 and 178 ERA+, but a month-long stay on the disabled list with a flexor strain curtailed his innings in such a way that he only finished third in the Cy Young race. Still, opposing left-handed batters managed just a meager .393 OPS against him, while hitters of all stripes only hit .137 against his slider. He allowed one run or fewer in 14 of his 26 starts, and struck out eight or more in 14 of his 26 starts. Sale looks to be the ace of the White Sox staff for the 2015 season, and should continue to be one of the top AL starters on the board.
27 David Price (Det - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 26.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 15 12 0 248.3 271 3.26 1.08
2015 Projections 14 9 0 224.0 221 3.35 1.14
3 Year Average 15 8 0 215.3 209 3.05 1.09
Outlook: In the surprise move of the 2014 trade deadline, Price was shipped from Tampa to Detroit. In 23 starts for the Rays, Price went 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 189 strikeouts and 23 walks in 170.2 innings. He had a couple of rough starts after joining Detroit, but the results were similar. His 271 strikeouts ranked first in the majors and easily eclipsed his previous career high of 218 strikeouts. Price’s fastball no longer sits in the 95-mph range it did earlier in his career, but he has offset that dip by developing one of the more effective cutters in the league. Price will return to the Tigers for at least one more season before hitting free agency. Leaving the pitcher-friendly confines of Tropicana, not to mention Tampa’s usual stellar defense, could result in a slight dip in Price’s peripheral stats over the course of a full season, but Detroit will provide more run support than the star southpaw is accustomed to seeing, which will lead to plenty of wins. Entering his age-29 season, Price will be the Tigers’ ace and the ace of many fantasy squads.
31 Madison Bumgarner (SF - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 28.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 18 10 0 217.3 219 2.98 1.09
2015 Projections 15 11 0 205.0 199 2.84 1.06
3 Year Average 16 10 0 209.0 203 3.06 1.08
Outlook: Bumgarner's price is almost certainly headed sky-high at the 2015 draft table. After a regular season that included career highs in innings, strikeouts (rate and total), walks (rate and total) and wins, he was already rising higher into the ranks of the elite starters. During the postseason on the biggest stage, he posted a 1.03 ERA in 53 innings with a 7.5 K/BB ratio. However, lost in the celebration is the fact that he logged 270 innings while continuing to chuck his slider at a 34.9% clip. His heavy slider rates increase injury risk, and while few guys scream workhorse more than Bumgarner, no one is impervious. Adam Wainwright used to the hold the mantle as Mr. Durable Workhorse who would be a lock for 200-plus innings a year...until he went down with Tommy John surgery. This isn't a projection of injury for Bumgarner, but rather a call for caution when investing, as there is less risk within the top five.
33 Johnny Cueto (Cin - SP)
DTD
ADP: 34.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 20 9 0 243.7 242 2.25 0.96
2015 Projections 12 9 0 172.0 149 3.04 1.08
3 Year Average 15 7 0 173.7 154 2.54 1.06
Outlook: 2014 was a big year for Cueto -- he proved both that his previous successes were not a fluke and that he could stay healthy through the course of a full season even with his unique delivery. Cueto didn't merely maintain his improved performance from 2011 and 2012, he reached a whole new level, striking out 25.2% of the hitters he faced, compared to 19.1% in 2012. The Reds had the easiest decision of the offseason when they exercised their $10 million option on him for 2015, but now they have a much more difficult decision. Cueto will be a free agent after 2015, and most of their best prospects are pitchers. Can they sign Cueto to a long-term deal, or will they be forced to deal him for a much-needed bat?
35 Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 36.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 11 0 215.0 242 3.14 1.12
2015 Projections 15 10 0 194.0 208 3.37 1.13
3 Year Average 12 9 0 185.7 210 3.10 1.11
Outlook: While it wasn't the breakout season his owners were likely expecting, Strasburg's 2014 was still his most successful to date, in no small part due to the fact that he managed to stay healthy. His 215 innings pitched and NL-leading 242 strikeouts (tied with Johnny Cueto) were career bests, as was his 1.8 BB/9 rate. Although his 3.14 ERA wasn't exactly elite, he certainly didn't hurt owners in that category, and his 1.12 WHIP actually landed him in the NL's top 10. Strasburg's arsenal (94-97 mph fastball, absurd high-80s changeup, and knee-buckling low-80s curve) still makes scouts drool, but he's finally showing signs of adding some savvy to his repertoire as well. Given that he won't turn 27 until mid-2015, there's little reason to think that he's hit his peak already. Health willing, top-tier ratios to match his strikeout rate should be on their way sooner rather than later.
41 Adam Wainwright (StL - SP)
DL60
ADP: 40.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 20 9 0 227.0 179 2.38 1.03
2015 Projections 14 9 0 206.0 177 3.31 1.18
3 Year Average 18 10 0 222.3 194 3.04 1.11
Outlook: Wainwright showed no signs of slowing down in his age-32 season, going 20-9 and posting career-best marks in ERA (2.38) and WHIP (1.03), while striking out 179 batters in 227 innings. Wainwright also threw five complete games, three of them shutouts (also a career high), on his way to finishing third in the Cy Young vote, marking his fourth top-three finish for the award. Owners shouldn't be overly concerned with Wainwright's age (33) heading into 2015, as he's only thrown 2,334.2 professional innings, which he started as an 18-year-old, compare that with Felix Hernandez (almost five years younger than Wainwright) who's thrown 2,367 innings since going pro at age 17. While age certainly factors in, Wainwright hasn't had the workload that most aces his age have had thus far in his career and he's a good bet to continue his dominant ways for at least the next year or two.
48 Zack Greinke (LAD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 46.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 17 8 0 202.3 207 2.71 1.15
2015 Projections 14 9 0 200.0 193 3.25 1.16
3 Year Average 16 6 0 197.3 185 2.96 1.16
Outlook: Greinke has evolved into one of baseball’s best pitchers and oddly, he doesn’t really get much attention for it. Part of that is the presence of Clayton Kershaw, but Greinke seems to have been lost in the shuffle a bit with the emergence of so many incredible arms. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually pay any fantasy dividends, because while he doesn’t get as much as ink as his rotation mate or a lot of the other stud arms in the National League, that doesn’t usually drop his price at the draft table. It is almost as if he has just become boringly awesome, kinda like Mike Mussina. You were never overwhelmingly excited to roster Mussina, but he carried a rightfully high draft price each year and consistently delivered on that investment. On the field, Greinke took his strikeout rate back up (25.2%) after a dip in 2013, while also dropping a career-best walk rate (5.2%) on the league. Expect another big season from the Dodgers’ second ace and don’t be afraid to pay market value for his services.
50 Jon Lester (ChC - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 48.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 16 11 0 219.7 220 2.46 1.10
2015 Projections 18 8 0 212.0 204 2.65 1.07
3 Year Average 13 11 0 212.7 188 3.64 1.26
Outlook: The A's traded for Lester as part of their push to go all-in for a World Series title last season, but he let A's fans down in the AL Wild Card Game, allowing six runs in 7.1 innings and failing to hold a late four-run lead. After a terrible 2012 (4.83 ERA), Lester has dropped his ERA by more than a full run in consecutive season, putting up a 2.46 ERA in 2014. He got his strikeout back up to 9.0 K/9 after it had slipped into the 7.0-range in back-to-back seasons, and his durability continues to increase his value, as he's made at least 30 starts in every season since 2008. Lester became a free agent after his short stint in Oakland, and landed a six-year, $155 million deal in December to head up the Cubs' rotation.
53 Jordan Zimmermann (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 55.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 5 0 199.7 182 2.66 1.07
2015 Projections 13 10 0 198.0 157 3.46 1.17
3 Year Average 15 7 0 203.0 165 2.97 1.11
Outlook: Zimmermann has become the workhorse of the Nationals' staff, averaging 203 innings and 15 wins over the last three seasons while producing consistently very-good-to-excellent ratios. His K/9 rate even spiked up to a career-best 8.2, giving him more juice than expected in five-category leagues, and while Stephen Strasburg has the shinier pedigree and gaudier strikeout numbers, it's Zimmermann that opposing hitters seem to dread facing the most, an opinion backed up by his September no-hitter. Although he continues to toy around with a changeup, he relied even more heavily than usual on his mid-90s fastball and vicious slider last year, and with free agency looming, he'll have plenty of motivation to gun for his first 20-win campaign. Given his contract status, there's a chance he could get dealt before spring training, but there aren't many teams that can provide him with the offensive and defensive support that the Nats can, so a trade wouldn't likely improve his value. In all likelihood, Zimmermann will be leading the club back into the postseason hunt in 2015.
67 Jeff Samardzija (CWS - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 70.6
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-2
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 7 13 0 219.7 202 2.99 1.07
2015 Projections 12 11 0 201.0 187 3.90 1.25
3 Year Average 8 13 0 202.7 199 3.69 1.21
Outlook: The Shark joined the A's in July and continued a 2014 season that proved the best of his young career. Samardzija finished with a 2.99 ERA and 8.3 K/9 rate over 219.2 innings and made his first career All-Star Game. Due to an incredible lack of run support, especially during his time with the Cubs, Samardzija only ended up with seven wins on the season, but his ability to pitch deep into starts and strong peripherals (3.07 xFIP) should enable him to significantly improve that total this season. The biggest factor that led to his breakout season was a big cut in his walk rate from 3.3 BB/9 in 2013 to 1.8 BB/9 in 2014 (a mark that improved even further – to 1.0 BB/9 – with the A's). Samardzija will return to Chicago after an offseason trade to the White Sox, forming one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball alongside Chris Sale. His 46.2 percent career groundball rate bodes well for his chances of maintaining success in the hitter-friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Field.
70 Cole Hamels (Phi - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 68.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 9 9 0 204.7 198 2.46 1.15
2015 Projections 15 11 0 212.0 214 3.16 1.12
3 Year Average 11 10 0 213.3 205 3.04 1.14
Outlook: Hamels missed the first few weeks of last season with a biceps injury, but still managed to top 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He also finished with a career-best 2.46 ERA. He features a low-90s fastball with an excellent changeup that generates a lot of swings and misses. Hamels will also mix in a cutter and curve to keep hitters off balance. The Phillies entered a rebuilding phase this offseason and Hamels name has been mentioned in trade rumors. He is the team's top trade chip and could be moved for a package of prospects. A change of scenery won't change the outlook on Hamels for 2015 -- he's one of the top starting pitching options no matter what team he is pitching for.
73 James Shields (SD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 79.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 8 0 227.0 180 3.21 1.18
2015 Projections 12 11 0 225.0 198 3.90 1.25
3 Year Average 14 9 0 227.7 200 3.28 1.20
Outlook: The 2014 season was a contract year for "Big Game" James, who set himself up to cash in by posting a 3.21 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 34 regular season starts. He relied a bit more on a cut fastball last season than in past years (24.2%), which led to a slightly higher groundball rate (45.2%) and lower K/9 (7.1) than in 2013. Despite the slight shift in focus, Shields actually posted a career-best average fastball velocity of 92.4 mph, proving that he still has plenty left in the tank. Shields signed a four-year deal with the Padres in February, where he'll likely become the team's No. 1 starter in 2015. The move to the National League, and into the most pitcher-friendly environment in baseball should help his numbers across the board.
75 Matt Harvey (NYM - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 66.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2015 Projections 11 8 0 155.0 167 3.14 1.15
3 Year Average 6 5 0 118.7 130 2.43 0.98
Outlook: Harvey took the league by storm in 2013 with one of the best seasons in the league, but the rug was pulled out from under him and everyone else when he missed the final month of that season and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery. That ended up costing him the 2014 season, but the timing is such that he will now be 16 months from surgery on Opening Day which puts him in line to be at least in the rotation by then if not starting that very first game. It is tough to know what to expect considering he last threw a pitch that mattered on August 24th, 2013, but that doesn’t mean he will come cheaply at the draft table. The fantasy community has become much more comfortable with Tommy John recovery cases, especially at the elite end of the spectrum, so you should expect to see Harvey’s name off the board relatively early. The pitching landscape mitigates some of the risk because even if he flames out, there will likely be a host of useful arms to pop up in-season. Meanwhile, the upside is an unquestioned ace, even if his innings are managed a bit throughout the season.
86 Alex Cobb (TB - SP)
DL60
ADP: 88.7
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 10 9 0 166.3 149 2.87 1.14
2015 Projections 13 9 0 161.0 137 2.99 1.13
3 Year Average 11 7 0 148.7 130 3.21 1.18
Outlook: Cobb, when healthy, is one of the better pitchers in the game. The problem has been injuries. His 2011 season ended in early August with a shoulder issue that required surgery. In 2012, a batted ball off his leg cost him time. In 2013, Cobb had a batted ball go off his head, costing him two months, and he missed six starts in 2014 after straining his oblique muscle while batting in an interleague game. When he is not in the trainer’s room, he’s piling up strikeouts with his split-change and generating tons of groundballs. He rarely gets himself into trouble, but has been known to have a stink-bomb of a game once a year. With injuries removed from his profile, Cobb would be a top-15 starting pitcher. As is, he provides the strong ratios, strikeouts and double-digit wins on an annual basis.
90 Julio Teheran (Atl - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 88.9
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 13 0 221.0 186 2.89 1.08
2015 Projections 11 8 0 170.0 145 3.45 1.15
3 Year Average 9 7 0 137.7 120 3.07 1.12
Outlook: At 24, Teheran has already proven deserving of the ace of staff label in Atlanta. Injuries to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in spring training thrust Teheran into the role and the right-hander went on to turn in eight straight quality starts to begin the year, leading to a 2.71 ERA and .224 BAA in the first half of the season. Like many of his teammates, Teheran regressed after the All-Star break, but his strikeout and walk rates remained intact for the most part and he showed great durability, holding up to a 221-inning workload (third-most in NL). He went the distance four times, notching two shutouts and shaved nearly 10 points off his WHIP. Teheran did see his fastball drop in velocity yet again, losing more than a mile per hour off it from 2013, and his .267 BABIP suggests he may have slightly overachieved, but he's already a top-20 pitcher and there's still room to grow.
95 Gio Gonzalez (Was - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 92.4
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-4
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 10 10 0 158.7 162 3.57 1.20
2015 Projections 13 10 0 165.0 169 2.95 1.18
3 Year Average 14 9 0 184.7 187 3.27 1.19
Outlook: For the first time in his major league career, Gonzalez dealt with a serious injury, as shoulder inflammation limited him to just 158.2 innings. His 10 wins were his lowest total since he became a rotation regular in 2010, but aside from the restricted workload, his overall stats were very similar to the year before and his K/9 rate ticked back above 9.0. As a result of the arm trouble, he relied on his premier curveball less than he had in previous seasons, throwing it a career-low 17 percent of the time, but Gonzalez compensated with increased usage of an effective changeup to keep batters off his low-90s fastball. Assuming the shoulder problems weren't a sign of bigger issues to come, he should be able to return to his usual level of production, and renewed confidence in his changeup could even be a boon in the long run. Just don't expect another 20-plus win, sub-3.00 ERA repeat of 2012 from Gonzalez.
97 Sonny Gray (Oak - SP)
DTD
ADP: 91.3
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-1
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 14 10 0 219.0 183 3.08 1.19
2015 Projections 11 8 0 146.0 130 3.04 1.18
3 Year Average 10 6 0 141.3 125 2.99 1.17
Outlook: After a great half-season in 2013 followed by a gem against the Tigers in the ALDS, the hype was high for Gray heading into 2014 and all he did was live up to it. In his first full season, Gray won 14 games and put up a 3.08 ERA over 219 innings. His K/9 rate fell from 9.5 in 2013 to 7.5 in 2014, but that was somewhat expected with the large uptick in innings as the strikeouts really dropped off in the second half. Gray appeared to be tiring late in the year after entering August with an ERA of 2.65, but he seemed to find a second wind with a 2.25 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning over his last five starts. Gray also added to his reputation as a fantastic big-game pitcher, throwing a complete game shutout gem on the final day of the regular season to get the A's into the playoffs. The sky appears to be the limit for Gray and he should be drafted even higher in 2015, especially since he gets to pitch half his games in a spacious home park.
102 Alex Wood (Atl - SP, RP)
Healthy
ADP: 102.8
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 11 11 0 171.7 170 2.78 1.14
2015 Projections 11 10 0 179.0 170 3.80 1.27
3 Year Average 7 7 0 124.7 124 2.89 1.20
Outlook: Gavin Floyd's return in early May afforded the Braves the option of moving Wood to the bullpen, and they took advantage, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to manage the lefty's innings. Following a brief assignment to the minors to get stretched out, Wood returned to the rotation June 25 and went on to post a 2.20 ERA and .227 BAA in 13 second-half starts. He cut down on his walks while maintaining a strikeout rate of 8.9 K/9 and lowered his ERA by more than 30 points despite his HR/FB nearly doubling (from 5.1% to 10.0%). Wood used his plus curveball far more often to great results and mixed in his changeup effectively, with his stuff proving equally difficult on lefties (.667 OPS) and righties (.645), providing hope that he can sustain a good deal of success at the major league level despite a fastball that averages under 90 mph. Along with Julio Teheran, Wood will form one of the youngest 1-2 punches in the league, but any innings restrictions will likely lifted and he already has an impressive major-league track record for a 24-year-old.
105 Gerrit Cole (Pit - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 107.1
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 11 5 0 138.0 138 3.65 1.21
2015 Projections 11 9 0 172.0 167 3.68 1.25
3 Year Average 10 6 0 127.7 119 3.45 1.19
Outlook: The budding ace battled injury and inconsistent velocity in his sophomore season for the Bucs. Cole, who made two separate trips to the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and a lat strain, made seven starts upon his return in late August, going 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. At times his velocity dipped, even within the same starts, though his overall fastball velocity fell only slightly (96.1 mph to 95.5 mph) from 2013. For the season, he compiled a 3.65 ERA (3.30 FIP), 1.21 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 138 innings. If Cole can improve upon his .316 BABIP, there's a good chance he'll return better overall numbers. With a little bit better luck in the injury department, the hard-throwing righty could break out the way many expected him to last season.
108 Hisashi Iwakuma (Sea - SP)
DL15
ADP: 103.5
CHG: 0.0
Depth: --
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 15 9 0 179.0 154 3.52 1.05
2015 Projections 13 9 0 172.0 140 3.39 1.13
3 Year Average 13 7 1 174.7 147 3.09 1.08
Outlook: Iwakuma missed the first month of the season last year with a finger injury, but when he returned it was business as usual. Iwakuma dominates with impeccable control. His 1.1 BB/9 was second in baseball and his 7.3 K/BB was third. Groin and back injuries and fatigue knocked him off his game down the stretch, however. In his last seven starts, he was rocked for a 7.88 ERA, and he walked nine in that stretch, only three fewer than he had walked in his previous 21 starts. Despite the ugly finish, Iwakuma's FIP was 3.32. He returns this season to take his place as the second starter in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez, giving the Mariners an excellent one-two punch.
111 Tyson Ross (SD - SP)
Healthy
ADP: 113.0
CHG: 0.0
Depth: SP-3
W L SV IP K ERA WHIP
2014 Season 13 14 0 195.7 195 2.81 1.21
2015 Projections 9 9 0 152.0 144 3.95 1.35
3 Year Average 6 11 0 131.3 120 3.63 1.30
Outlook: Since landing a starting gig in late July of 2013, Ross has been fantastic, to say the least, posting a 2.84 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 280:95 K:BB in 275.2 innings. During that span, he tallied 32 quality starts among 44 appearances, including 14 in a row in the second half of 2014, and earned the first All-Star bid of his career. Although he was shut down in September due to a flexor strain in his right forearm, the malady has already healed and won’t affect his status once spring training commences. Meanwhile, his recent success likely won’t result in a bargain for the Padres once arbitration talks arise in the offseason, but as he enters his age-28 season, he’s cemented himself next to Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy to establish a formidable trio at the top of the rotation.
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