Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Review and Preview - SP, RP

by Todd Zola, on September 26, 2012 @ 07:18:19 PDT


Pages 1 | 2 | all

Today we conclude our 2012 and sneak peek at 2012 with a survey of the top pitchers. This will also be the final installment of Lord Zola's Fantasy Baseball Roundtable for 2012. As such, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone that contributed throughout the season and I hope we provoked some thoughts as well as provide some occasional entertainment. I'd also like to thank KFFL for providing me with this forum and their cooperation and patience throughout the season.

Starting pitchers

Preseason Top 50

Roy Halladay Jordan Zimmermann
Clayton Kershaw Brandon Beachy
Justin Verlander Ian Kennedy
Felix Hernandez Daniel Hudson
Jered Weaver Adam Wainwright
Cliff Lee Matt Moore
Dan Haren Yu Darvish
Cole Hamels Ubaldo Jimenez
Tim Lincecum Josh Beckett
CC Sabathia Jaime Garcia
David Price Chris Sale
Matt Cain Justin Masterson
James Shields Brandon McCarthy
C.J. Wilson Max Scherzer
Stephen Strasburg Matt Garza
Jeremy Hellickson Shaun Marcum
Zack Greinke Gio Gonzalez
Madison Bumgarner Ted Lilly
Yovani Gallardo Anibal Sanchez
Jon Lester Wandy Rodriguez
Josh Johnson Henderson Alvarez
Ricky Romero Hiroki Kuroda
Tommy Hanson Johnny Cueto
Cory Luebke Ervin Santana
Mat Latos Michael Pineda

Projected Final Top 50

St. Louis Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse
Will Lohse lose luster?

R.A. Dickey - Tommy Flanagan's top pitcher in the spring, yeah, that's the ticket
Justin Verlander - so much for the innings adding up and slowing him down
Clayton Kershaw - without the injury and with a couple more wins, would have been number one
Matt Cain - continues to defy sabermetric analysis
Felix Hernandez - so much for the early season loss in velocity concerns
David Price - great season but let me be the first to say he'll be overpriced next season
Jered Weaver - dynamite surface stats, but K rate trending in the wrong direction
Gio Gonzalez - move to NL helped, but increased control helped more
Kyle Lohse - good, but not this good
Chris Sale - filthy stuff, let's hope his elbow can hold up
Kris Medlen - handled perfectly by the Braves brass, though chances are with more innings, regression would have tempered numbers
Cole Hamels - Another steady season will lead to a big pay day
Madison Bumgarner - mirror image of last season, no reason not to expect the same again in '13
Johnny Cueto - will be hard pressed to repeat 2012 numbers, but will still be very good
Jordan Zimmermann - poised to take the next step up
Cliff Lee - the baseline is high when you're a disappointment at #17
Hiroki Kuroda - so much for the worries about the small park and increased pressure
Stephen Strasburg - if only the Nationals handled Strasburg like the Braves did Medlen
Jake Peavy - stayed healthy (a surprise) and effective (not a surprise)
Zack Greinke - almost the anti-Cain in that his peripherals again belie his results
Ryan Dempster - recovered nicely after initial struggles in Texas
James Shields - same guy for the last 3 seasons, '10 was unlucky, '11 was lucky and '12 was just right
Wade Miley - key will be maintaining incredible walk rate
CC Sabathia - skills still there, but beginning to show signs of all the innings
Mat Latos - took a bit to trust stuff, but once he did he excelled
Matt Harrison - expect regression next season
Jonathon Niese - quietly solid, reminds me a bit of Shields in terms of career arc
A.J. Burnett - amazing what happens when you throw strikes
Yovani Gallardo - gave back control gains even though ERA says otherwise
Max Scherzer - second half success is perfect illustration of why focusing on skills and not outcome is the thing to do
Ross Detwiler - benefitting from fortunate BABIP and HR/FB
Brandon Beachy - K rate was on the rise when he got hurt
Chris Capuano - solid and should remain so at least one more season
Yu Darvish - a disappointment to some but actually pitched rightfully as should have been expected
Edwin Jackson - inconsistency is frustrating but end result is solid as usual
Bronson Arroyo - amazing when giving up 24 homers means you basically cut last season's total in half
Ryan Vogelsong - showed last season was not a complete fluke, though health is now a risk
Doug Fister - if he maintains gains in K rate and stays healthy, will be potential value play next season
Jason Vargas - high home run rate should have led to higher ERA
Jeff Samardzija - actually pitched even better than surface stats suggest
Tim Hudson - another typical campaign
Mark Buehrle - a surprising number of homers bloated ERA a bit
Jeremy Hellickson - career arc a bit reminiscent of Clay Buchholz in that both outpitched their peripherals early in their career but instead of regression, a skills improvement is possible to compensate
Jarrod Parker - fine rookie season, ace potential with continued skills growth
Clayton Richard - extremely low K/9 means he will be lucky to repeat 2012 numbers
Lance Lynn - rejuvenated after a move to the bullpen, should be good for 200 frames nest year
Adam Wainwright - after early season rust, displayed pre-TJS form, though innings taking toll down the stretch
Bartolo Colon - really?
Phil Hughes - put him in any other park and he moves up twenty spots, homers only hindrance
Brandon Morrow - appears to have traded whiffs for fewer walks, curious if that continues next season

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top 50

Jon Lester - almost too easy
Tim Lincecum - but wouldn't make a top 30 list
Dan Haren - it's sort of funny, if he made top 50, I would have considered him as a candidate to fall out, something just not right but late season surge has restored some confidence
Matt Moore - should take the next step up to eventual ace
Homer Bailey - the NL equivalent of Hughes
Marco Estrada - 132 K's in 130 1/3 innings with only 28 BBs

Most Likely to Leave Top 50 in 2013

Kyle Lohse - works with such a thin margin of error
Ross Detwiler - luck won't repeat
Clayton Richard - unless he misses more bats
Ryan Vogelsong - concerned about injury
Bartolo Colon - really?

Relief pitchers

Preseason Top 20

Tampa Bay Rays RP Fernando Rodney
All about Fernando

Craig Kimbrel
Mariano Rivera
Jonathan Papelbon
Joel Hanrahan
Huston Street
Jason Motte
Rafael Betancourt
J.J. Putz
John Axford
Brian Wilson
Heath Bell
Jose Valverde
Sean Marshall
Sergio Santos
Jordan Walden
Brandon League
Tyler Clippard
Grant Balfour
Carlos Marmol
Jim Johnson

Projected Final Top 20

Fernando Rodney - even Tommy Flanagan couldn't have predicted this
Craig Kimbrel - awesome
Aroldis Chapman - him too
Jason Motte - quietly increased K's without sacrificing control
Jonathan Papelbon - typical campaign
Jim Johnson - save chances buoyed by Orioles penchant for playing (and winning) close games
Rafael Soriano - returned to form, will he opt out and test the market?
Tom Wilhelmsen - more innings than other relievers and a high K-rate helped increase value
Kenley Jansen - if healthy, in Kimbrel and Chapman's stratosphere
Joe Nathan - old reliable returns
Joel Hanrahan - BB/9 ballooning to 5.4 is a concern going forward
Huston Street - just can't say healthy
Ryan Cook - got exposed as a closer, was extremely fortunate as a setup guy
Rafael Betancourt - as advertised but will be 38 next season
Ernesto Frieri - high K's but an unsustainable LOB% is a problem
J.J. Putz - pitched better than surface stats suggest
Chris Perez - serious improvement in skills not reflected in ERA
Casey Janssen - improved peripherals led to ninth inning duties
Tyler Clippard - how owners will gladly trade fewer innings for 32 saves
Grant Balfour - probably should not have lost closing gig when he did

Most Likely to Enter 2013 Top 20

Addison Reed - the real deal
Drew Storen - should get closing gig back
Andrew Bailey - the AL's version of Street

Most Likely to Leave Top 20 in 2013

Ryan Cook - don't see him closing anywhere
Ernesto Frieri - Angels will pay for saves

Facebook Twitter Google +

Pages 1 | 2 | all

About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

Don't miss these great reports....

What do you think? Sound off!

Recent KFFL releases