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Pitcher Rankings with Bill James Projections

On Monday, I looked at the top hitters according to the recently added Bill James Handbook Projections. Today, I will see how the projection system sees the pitchers performing this season.

A few items to keep in mind.

1. Again, the projections are provided to FanGraphs by Baseball Info Solutions. Our agreement with them states that the data is only to be on each player’s page and not in one location. If you want the complete data, it can be bought from BIS. Don’t ask for a full list, it can’t be given out.

2. For the rankings, I used Zack Sander’s ranking system to rate the pitchers against all pitchers. Then, I divided the pitchers into 2 lists, starters and relievers. If the pitcher was projected to make more starts then relief appearances, I put him as a starter. Otherwise, the pitcher was grouped in with the relievers.

3. I completed 3 rankings. The first ranking used the 5 values (Wins, K, ERA, WHIP and Saves) as the Bill James Projections reported them with no adjustments. For he second list, I adjusted all the numbers to 200 IP for starters and 60 IP for relievers. Also for the second list, I removed Wins and Saves from the calculations. This ranking represents more of the pitcher’s talent level instead of his role and the talent around him. For the third list, I used my work from last year where I found a pitcher’s fantasy value can be determined from their K% and BB%.

Here are the rankings

Non-adjusted rankings
Starters

Rank Name Wins ERA K WHIP Saves
1 Stephen Strasburg 17 2.68 255 1.04 0
2 Clayton Kershaw 18 2.65 227 1.04 0
3 Justin Verlander 18 3.00 220 1.10 0
4 Matt Cain 17 2.95 188 1.08 0
5 Jered Weaver 17 3.07 187 1.09 0
6 David Price 16 3.13 202 1.14 0
7 Chris Sale 14 3.09 214 1.11 0
8 CC Sabathia 16 3.28 211 1.17 0
9 Cliff Lee 15 3.17 193 1.11 0
10 Kris Medlen 14 2.94 173 1.08 0
11 Cole Hamels 14 3.23 211 1.12 0
12 Felix Hernandez 14 3.18 216 1.16 0
13 Jake Peavy 14 3.20 200 1.12 0
14 Mat Latos 15 3.16 194 1.16 0
15 Roy Halladay 15 3.21 189 1.14 0
16 Yu Darvish 14 3.45 247 1.23 0
17 Matt Moore 13 3.25 232 1.21 0
18 Dan Haren 15 3.47 186 1.16 0
19 Zack Greinke 15 3.45 209 1.22 0
20 Chris Carpenter 15 3.25 157 1.17 0

Relievers

Rank Name Wins ERA K WHIP Saves
1 Craig Kimbrel 5 1.38 109 0.86 39
2 Mariano Rivera 6 1.89 59 0.92 46
3 Kenley Jansen 4 1.55 95 0.93 35
4 Jason Motte 5 2.52 85 1.03 45
5 Joe Nathan 5 2.28 79 1.00 37
6 Aroldis Chapman 4 2.42 98 1.13 48
7 Jonathan Papelbon 5 2.51 81 1.06 41
8 Grant Balfour 5 2.22 83 1.05 35
9 Sergio Romo 6 1.83 75 0.89 16
10 Huston Street 4 2.53 59 1.04 44
11 Fernando Rodney 4 2.77 72 1.17 47
12 J.J. Putz 4 2.29 65 1.00 28
13 Chris Perez 4 2.79 59 1.10 41
14 Rafael Betancourt 4 2.55 65 1.03 29
15 Drew Storen 4 2.50 50 1.11 33
16 Addison Reed 4 2.67 65 1.11 32
17 Joakim Soria 4 2.70 53 1.12 33
18 Vinnie Pestano 5 2.72 89 1.14 25
19 Ernesto Frieri 5 3.04 79 1.21 36
20 Jose Valverde 5 3.04 73 1.22 37

200 and 60 IP, only WHIP, ERA and K
Starters (200 IP)

Rank Name ERA K WHIP
1 Stephen Strasburg 2.68 245 1.04
2 Clayton Kershaw 2.65 205 1.04
3 Chris Sale 3.09 216 1.11
4 Brandon Beachy 3.09 217 1.13
5 Kris Medlen 2.94 182 1.08
6 Justin Verlander 3.00 190 1.10
7 Matt Cain 2.95 166 1.08
8 Jered Weaver 3.07 170 1.09
9 Cory Luebke 3.02 181 1.13
10 Jake Peavy 3.20 190 1.12
11 Cole Hamels 3.23 189 1.12
12 Matt Moore 3.25 230 1.21
13 David Price 3.13 187 1.14
14 Cliff Lee 3.17 172 1.11
15 Mat Latos 3.16 187 1.16
16 Felix Hernandez 3.18 186 1.16
17 Michael Pineda 3.37 196 1.14
18 Yu Darvish 3.45 231 1.23
19 A.J. Griffin 3.24 162 1.12
20 Roy Halladay 3.21 164 1.14

Relievers (60 IP)

Rank Name ERA K WHIP
1 Craig Kimbrel 1.38 101 0.86
2 Kenley Jansen 1.55 98 0.93
3 Sergio Romo 1.83 70 0.89
4 Mariano Rivera 1.89 57 0.92
5 Joe Nathan 2.28 71 1.00
6 J.J. Putz 2.29 66 1.00
7 Koji Uehara 2.25 59 1.00
8 Grant Balfour 2.22 65 1.05
9 Jason Motte 2.52 68 1.03
10 Rafael Betancourt 2.55 65 1.03
11 Jonathan Papelbon 2.51 71 1.06
12 Huston Street 2.53 62 1.04
13 Aroldis Chapman 2.42 88 1.13
14 Mike Adams 2.45 60 1.09
15 Joel Peralta 2.66 57 1.06
16 Jake McGee 2.59 66 1.10
17 Darren O’Day 2.71 54 1.05
18 Addison Reed 2.67 72 1.11
19 Joaquin Benoit 2.75 66 1.08
20 Drew Storen 2.50 56 1.11

Core Talent (K% and BB%)
Starters

Rank Name K% BB%
1 Stephen Strasburg 31.7% 7.1%
2 Chris Sale 27.5% 7.3%
3 Clayton Kershaw 26.5% 7.0%
4 Brandon Beachy 27.8% 8.4%
5 Kris Medlen 22.9% 4.8%
6 Jake Peavy 23.7% 5.6%
7 Yu Darvish 29.3% 10.4%
8 Matt Moore 29.5% 10.7%
9 Cliff Lee 21.3% 3.5%
10 Cole Hamels 23.8% 5.9%
11 Justin Verlander 24.1% 6.4%
12 Max Scherzer 25.6% 7.8%
13 Michael Pineda 24.8% 7.6%
14 Mike Fiers 24.7% 7.6%
15 Zack Greinke 23.2% 6.3%
16 Felix Hernandez 23.3% 6.5%
17 Yovani Gallardo 26.2% 9.2%
18 Dan Haren 21.0% 4.6%
19 CC Sabathia 22.5% 6.0%
20 Brandon Morrow 25.7% 8.9%

Relievers

Rank Name K% BB%
1 Craig Kimbrel 46.2% 9.3%
2 Kenley Jansen 45.0% 10.9%
3 Sergio Romo 30.4% 4.5%
4 Mariano Rivera 24.4% 4.1%
5 Joe Nathan 30.5% 6.2%
6 J.J. Putz 28.3% 5.2%
7 Koji Uehara 24.8% 3.8%
8 Grant Balfour 28.6% 9.7%
9 Jason Motte 29.1% 6.2%
10 Rafael Betancourt 27.5% 4.2%
11 Jonathan Papelbon 30.3% 6.4%
12 Huston Street 26.6% 5.9%
13 Aroldis Chapman 38.9% 12.7%
14 Mike Adams 25.6% 7.0%
15 Joel Peralta 24.2% 6.5%
16 Jake McGee 28.1% 6.9%
17 Darren O’Day 22.8% 5.5%
18 Addison Reed 30.7% 7.5%
19 Joaquin Benoit 28.3% 7.5%
20 Drew Storen 23.6% 7.5%

Notes

1. Looking at the non-adjusted rankings, there is no real surprises. For the relievers, having some predicted Saves was key to getting ranked.

2. One the second set of lists, a few good non-save relievers make the jump into the rankings (Uehara, Peralta, McGee, Benoit, O’Day Adams). With the starters, Brandon Beachy and Michael Pineda make an appearance near the top even though both will have limited innings in 2013 because of injuries.

3. With the relievers on the final list, not much changed. With the starters, several names, Greinke, Morrow and Scherzer, make the list. The third ranking uses no batted ball data and those three pitchers have always had higher ERA than FIP because they give up a bunch of hitss. Also, Mike Fiers makes an appearance.

I did not find as many surprises on the pitcher rankings compared to the hitter rankings. As we get more rankings added here at FanGraphs, I will run this analysis on them and compare them to previous rankings.