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Strike Zone

2017 Starter Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Time for some post-All-Star break fun: here are my very, very preliminary 2017 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams and asterisks if those options are likely to be exercised.

 

Along with the position rankings is a top-300 list for 2017. Click to see other preliminary 2017 rankings:

 

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

 

 

Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.



2017 Starting pitcher Rankings

 

2017 SP Team 2016 July
1 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 1 1
2 Jose Fernandez Marlins 6 10
3 Jake Arrieta Cubs 4 2
4 Max Scherzer Nationals 2 3
5 Madison Bumgarner Giants 3 5
6 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 11 4
7 Jacob deGrom Mets 8 7
8 Chris Sale White Sox 5 6
9 Carlos Carrasco Indians 12 9
10 David Price Red Sox 7 11
11 Johnny Cueto Giants 21 8
12 Corey Kluber Indians 9 12
13 Gerrit Cole Pirates 10 24
14 Noah Syndergaard Mets 19 15
15 Danny Salazar Indians 26 13
16 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 29 16
17 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 16 30
18 Yu Darvish Rangers 51 33
19 Sonny Gray Athletics 17 23
20 Cole Hamels Rangers 18 14
21 Taijuan Walker Mariners 33 35
22 Dallas Keuchel Astros 13 26
23 Jose Quintana White Sox 36 17
24 Jon Lester Cubs 28 21
25 Felix Hernandez Mariners 15 31
26 Julio Teheran Braves 54 19
27 Adam Wainwright Cardinals 20 27
28 Tyler Glasnow Pirates 123 62
29 Justin Verlander Tigers 25 28
30 Kenta Maeda Dodgers 45 29
31 Jeff Samardzija Giants 24 22
32 Lance McCullers Astros 44 43
33 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 35 32
34 Steven Matz Mets 41 51
35 Michael Fulmer Tigers 194 34
36 Aaron Nola Phillies 78 67
37 Jake Odorizzi Rays 30 25
38 Kyle Hendricks Cubs 47 18
39 John Lackey Cubs 43 20
40 Alex Cobb Rays 149 114
41 Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 107 74
42 Chris Archer Rays 27 36
43 Michael Pineda Yankees 31 37
44 Anthony DeSclafani Reds 52 47
45 Lucas Giolito Nationals 162 60
46 James Paxton Mariners 119 39
47 Michael Wacha Cardinals 39 41
48 Jaime Garcia Cardinals* 46 38
49 Danny Duffy Royals 120 44
50 Tyson Ross Padres 32 53
51 Julio Urias Dodgers 175 113
52 Carlos Rodon White Sox 85 72
53 Vincent Velasquez Phillies 86 86
54 Raisel Iglesias Reds 34 50 RP
55 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 22 46
56 Wei-Yin Chen Marlins 38 42
57 Matt Harvey Mets 14 57
58 Francisco Liriano Pirates 42 61
59 Drew Smyly Rays 48 52
60 Marco Estrada Blue Jays 67 54
61 Steven Wright Red Sox 146 40
62 Alex Reyes Cardinals 220 133
63 Jason Hammel Cubs* 59 58
64 Brandon McCarthy Dodgers 131 70
65 Rick Porcello Red Sox 75 45
66 Adam Conley Marlins 73 69
67 Jon Gray Rockies 117 87
68 Matt Moore Rays 69 55
69 Matt Shoemaker Angels 97 49
70 Zack Wheeler Mets 148 138
71 Joe Ross Nationals 56 77
72 Jameson Taillon Pirates 243 106
73 Mike Leake Cardinals 57 65
74 Drew Pomeranz Red Sox 101 50
75 Jesse Hahn Athletics 74 119
76 Kevin Gausman Orioles 68 76
77 Rich Hill   95 66
78 Alex Wood Dodgers 83 115
79 Jose Berrios Twins 102 81
80 Chris Devenski Astros 253 104
81 Lance Lynn Cardinals NR NR
82 Trevor Bauer Indians 133 73
83 Garrett Richards Angels 23 141
84 Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 53 63
85 Shelby Miller Diamondbacks 58 94
86 Blake Snell Rays 139 78
87 Tanner Roark Nationals 132 48
88 Hisashi Iwakuma Mariners 49 59
89 Sean Manaea Athletics 167 97
90 Michael Feliz Astros 152 128
91 Archie Bradley Diamondbacks 214 88
92 Yordano Ventura Royals 40 84
93 Gio Gonzalez Nationals* 50 56
94 Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks 37 64
95 Jimmy Nelson Brewers 71 68
96 Scott Kazmir Dodgers* 65 71
97 Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 90 90
98 Ian Kennedy Royals 76 75
99 J.A. Happ Blue Jays 103 91
100 Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 77 110
101 Jerad Eickhoff Phillies 159 103
102 Nick Tropeano Angels 118 82
103 Luis Severino Yankees 64 150
104 Erasmo Ramirez Rays 81 92
105 Nate Karns Mariners 89 38 RP
106 Nathan Eovaldi Yankees 79 89
107 Clay Buchholz Red Sox* 61 142
108 Daniel Norris Tigers 116 129
109 Brett Anderson   155 144
110 Tyler Skaggs Angels 115 132
111 Collin McHugh Astros 72 80
112 Zach Davies Brewers 201 93
113 Dylan Bundy Orioles 198 NR
114 Tyler Chatwood Rockies 246 102
115 Kyle Gibson Twins 82 95
116 Josh Hader Brewers 229 162
117 Adam Warren Cubs 87 105
118 Josh Tomlin Indians 114 83
119 Chris Tillman Orioles 151 100
120 Tim Cooney Cardinals 112 NR
121 Jake Thompson Phillies 313 165
122 Andrew Cashner   84 99
123 Hector Santiago Angels 99 96
124 Anibal Sanchez Tigers 70 121
125 Cody Reed Reds 203 131
126 CC Sabathia   142 101
127 Doug Fister   140 111
128 Jose De Leon Dodgers 189 153
129 Drew Hutchison Blue Jays 134 137
130 Andrew Suarez Giants NR 155
131 Mike Fiers Astros 62 98
132 Henderson Alvarez Athletics 202 154
133 James Shields White Sox* 66 118
134 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 124 134
135 Wade Miley Mariners 104 116
136 Shane Greene Tigers 100 147
137 Mike Foltynewicz Braves 196 140
138 Jake Peavy   80 107
139 Martin Perez Rangers 106 127
140 Kendall Graveman Athletics 96 126
141 Daniel Mengden Athletics NR 85
142 Homer Bailey Reds 135 146
143 R.A. Dickey   98 109
144 Travis Wood   130 161
145 John Lamb Reds 178 117
146 Bud Norris   173 79
147 Derek Holland Rangers* 88 151
148 Colin Rea Padres 177 164
149 Joe Musgrove Astros 285 NR
150 Matt Wisler Braves 163 145
151 Matt Cain Giants 93 123
152 Phil Hughes Twins 63 NR
153 Bartolo Colon   136 108
154 Chris Heston Giants 108 NR
155 A.J. Griffin Rangers 172 122
156 Edinson Volquez Royals* 154 124
157 Charlie Morton Phillies* 141 NR
158 Henry Owens Red Sox 161 NR
159 Ervin Santana Twins 147 148
160 Jeremy Hellickson   138 136
161 Rubby De La Rosa Diamondbacks 91 168
162 Chase Whitley Rays 217 NR
163 Junior Guerra Brewers NR 120
164 Jarrod Parker Athletics 283 NR
165 Chase Anderson Brewers 111 158
166 Marco Gonzales Cardinals 126 NR
167 Brent Honeywell Rays NR NR
168 Colby Lewis   183 125
169 Ivan Nova   157 160
170 Carson Fulmer White Sox 309 NR
171 Brandon Finnegan Reds 179 130
172 Mike Clevinger Indians 302 NR
173 Reynaldo Lopez Nationals 261 NR
174 Chad Kuhl Pirates 372 112
175 Kris Medlen Royals* 92 167
176 Mark Appel Phillies 222 NR
177 Jeff Hoffman Rockies 317 171
178 Josh Johnson   NR NR
179 Braden Shipley Diamondbacks 257 NR
180 Austin Voth Nationals 244 NR
181 Matt Andriese Rays 219 135
182 Tyler Beede Giants 303 NR
183 Sean Newcomb Braves 212 NR
184 Dillon Overton Athletics 324 NR
185 C.J. Wilson   122 NR
186 Luke Weaver Cardinals NR NR
187 John Gant Braves 230 173
188 Zach Eflin Phillies 358 NR
189 Chris Bassitt Athletics 94 NR
190 James Kaprielian Yankees NR NR
191 Tim Lincecum   236 157
192 Amir Garrett Reds 323 NR
193 Matthew Strahm Royals 305 RP NR
194 Stephen Gonsalves Twins 401 NR
195 Tyler Duffey Twins 180 152
196 Jorge Lopez Brewers 213 NR
197 Steven Brault Pirates 322 NR
198 Kendry Flores Marlins 263 NR
199 Jacob Faria Rays 251 NR
200 Roenis Elias Red Sox 170 NR

 

Starting pitchers

 

  • Is that the ugliest crop of pitching free agents ever seen or what? The highest FA on the list is Rich Hill at No. 77, and he’s going to be 37 with two seasons in his career in which he’s made 20 major league starts (assuming he gets the seven he needs to reach that total this year). Scott Kazmir will opt out if he puts together a strong finish. Otherwise, he can stay with the Dodgers for $32 million the next two years. There’s a good chance the Nationals will move from Gio Gonzalez, but not until after they pick up his $12 million option; in this market, someone will give up a prospect for Gonzalez on that kind of deal.

 

  • There’s some worry about the arms of Noah Syndergaard (No. 14) and Steven Matz (No. 34) built into their rankings, but they’re just too talented to be listed much lower. Syndergaard would be 7th on the list if he seemed like a better bet to stay healthy and Matz would crack the top 25.

 

  • Don’t read anything into Garrett Richards’ No. 83 ranking. He’s an impossible call for 2017 until he either comes back from his elbow sprain in August or undergoes Tommy John surgery.

 

  • The Cardinals lead the way with 10 starters in the top 200. This is why I didn’t want them to sign Mike Leake last winter, although given the barren pitching market, they could probably just trade him this winter without eating any salary. He might be their eighth-best starter if everyone is healthy next spring, and while it’s not all that likely that everyone will be healthy, they should take the chance that they can do without him. A rotation of Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn, with Alex Reyes and Tim Cooney in reserve and Luke Weaver on the way, should be plenty good.

 

 

  • The Padres, on the other hand, have just two starters here (Tyson Ross and Colin Rea) after trading Drew Pomeranz to Boston on Thursday. Their farm system is certainly on the way back up, thanks largely to the Red Sox, but they lack any pitching prospects that seem like good bets for 2017.
Matthew Pouliot

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of NBC Sports Edge and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.