The Change: Eno’s Pitching Ranks

We looked at strikeouts plus pop-ups minus walks, even if I need to re-run those numbers with pop-ups divided by plate appearances. And then we looked at Arsenal Scores, even if I need to re-run those numbers with more precision. Those things, plus projections, all inform my rankings, which I’ll run below.

But a word about my process. Pitching foils projection systems more than hitting for a reason: there are small changes that can make a huge difference. And changes in role are huge.

So, if you sort for the third category in my rankings below (difference percentage), you’ll find a bunch of guys that made small changes down the stretch that I think will make a big difference. And a bunch of guys that I think will win the fifth starter role. As well as guys that get hidden outs with the pop-up, and a bunch of guys undervalued by their overall numbers despite good arsenals.

You might be surprised to hear that I don’t run this all through a projection system and press go, and then run the rankings. That might be the best way to go. But I’m more intuitive. I’d rather play the would you rather and rely on my first impression in some cases. I’d rather go by my own sense of the depth charts than any that is put together for me. I’d rather feel my way through the ranks.

So, yeah, my default rankings are basically straight out of the auction calculator. That helps me stay grounded in the numbers. But then I move guys around like a human being, using all the inputs at my disposal, making intuitive choices along the way. And this is what popped out of my brain machine.

Eno Sarris Pitching Ranks
Eno Sarris Player RG RK Diff%
1 Clayton Kershaw 1 100
2 Max Scherzer 2 100
3 Chris Sale 3 100
4 David Price 4 100
5 Jake Arrieta 5 100
6 Madison Bumgarner 8 133
7 Zack Greinke 12 171
8 Stephen Strasburg 10 125
9 Jose Fernandez 6 67
10 Matt Harvey 9 90
11 Jacob deGrom 11 100
12 Corey Kluber 7 58
13 Chris Archer 17 131
14 Carlos Carrasco 14 100
15 Gerrit Cole 16 107
16 Noah Syndergaard 19 119
17 Felix Hernandez 13 76
18 Danny Salazar 24 133
19 Johnny Cueto 20 105
20 Jon Lester 18 90
21 Dallas Keuchel 15 71
22 Sonny Gray 27 123
23 Masahiro Tanaka 23 100
24 Cole Hamels 22 92
25 Adam Wainwright 26 104
26 Michael Wacha 36 138
27 Tyson Ross 21 78
28 Michael Pineda 29 104
29 Francisco Liriano 25 86
30 Garrett Richards 28 93
31 Jeff Samardzija 30 97
32 Drew Smyly 50 156
33 Yordano Ventura 40 121
34 Marcus Stroman 31 91
35 Raisel Iglesias 43 123
36 Yu Darvish 38 106
37 Carlos Martinez 37 100
38 Jose Quintana 33 87
39 James Shields 39 100
40 Lance McCullers 48 120
41 Steven Matz 56 137
42 Luis Severino 54 129
43 John Lackey 47 109
44 Taijuan Walker 42 95
45 Wei-Yin Chen 44 98
46 Patrick Corbin 49 107
47 Hisashi Iwakuma 32 68
48 Justin Verlander 41 85
49 Carlos Rodon 60 122
50 Jake Odorizzi 34 68
51 Collin McHugh 46 90
52 Scott Kazmir 35 67
53 Jordan Zimmermann 45 85
54 Mike Fiers 59 109
55 Kevin Gausman 66 120
56 Jaime Garcia 69 123
57 Shelby Miller 62 109
58 Anthony DeSclafani 68 117
59 Eduardo Rodriguez 74 125
60 Jason Hammel 61 102
61 Gio Gonzalez 51 84
62 Kenta Maeda 76 123
63 Aaron Nola 63 100
64 Julio Teheran 55 86
65 Anibal Sanchez 64 98
66 Joe Ross 71 108
67 Andrew Cashner 52 78
68 Kyle Hendricks 57 84
69 Ian Kennedy 58 84
70 Nathan Eovaldi 78 111
71 Hyun-Jin Ryu 75 106
72 Clay Buchholz 53 74
73 Rich Hill 65 89
74 Rick Porcello 70 95
75 Andrew Heaney 77 103
76 John Lamb 99 130
77 Alex Wood 85 110
78 Nate Karns 86 110
79 Jerad Eickhoff 105 133
80 Brett Anderson 67 84
81 Derek Holland 73 90
82 Jimmy Nelson 72 88
83 Mike Leake 80 96
84 Jake Peavy 88 105
85 Kris Medlen 102 120
86 Hector Santiago 101 117
87 Jesse Hahn 87 100
88 Marco Estrada 79 90
89 Trevor Bauer 91 102
90 Rubby de la Rosa 97 108
91 Phil Hughes 81 89
92 Erasmo Ramirez 92 100
93 Chase Anderson 134 144
94 CC Sabathia 121 129
95 Robbie Ray 83 87
96 Edinson Volquez 94 98
97 Kyle Gibson 103 106
98 Matt Moore 90 92
99 Ervin Santana 98 99
100 Nicholas Tropeano 145 145
101 Vincent Velasquez 132 131
102 Chris Bassitt 158 155
103 Henry Owens 146 142
104 Brandon Finnegan 155 149
105 Chris Tillman 110 105
106 Chris Heston 111 105
107 Drew Hutchison 118 110
108 Homer Bailey 125 116
109 Matt Cain 107 98
110 Adam Conley 157 143
111 Wade Miley 84 76
112 Tyler Duffey 147 131
113 Jonathan Gray 113 100
114 Brandon McCarthy 159 139
115 Alex Cobb 116 101
116 Matt Shoemaker 117 101
117 Daniel Norris 112 96
118 Zack Wheeler 115 97
119 Mat Latos 106 89
120 Jeremy Hellickson 93 78
121 Danny Duffy 119 98
122 Jesse Chavez 95 78
123 Roenis Elias 151 123
124 J.A. Happ 82 66
125 Trevor May 154 123
126 Bartolo Colon 114 90
127 Chad Bettis 143 113
128 Jorge de la Rosa 108 84
129 Drew Pomeranz 184 143
130 Yovani Gallardo 96 74
131 C.J. Wilson 100 76
132 Mike Foltynewicz 127 96
133 Lucas Giolito 137 103
134 Jose Berrios 120 90
135 Zachary Davies 177 131
136 Martin Perez 109 80
137 Robbie Erlin 126 92
138 Jarred Cosart 150 109
139 Kendall Graveman 144 104
140 Josh Tomlin 104 74
141 Archie Bradley 175 124
142 Tyler Lyons 185 130
143 Charlie Morton 136 95
144 Tom Koehler 138 96
145 Marco Gonzales 149 103
146 Ubaldo Jimenez 89 61
147 Adam Warren 192 131
148 Taylor Jungmann 135 91
149 Joe Kelly 123 83
150 Tyler Glasnow 167 111
151 Chris Young 133 88
152 Yusmeiro Petit 162 107
153 Shane Greene 174 114
154 Sean Manaea 199 129
155 Matt Boyd 181 117
156 Tanner Roark 163 104
157 Michael Lorenzen 172 110
158 Matthew Wisler 128 81
159 Jon Niese 124 78
160 Jered Weaver 139 87
161 Dylan Bundy 180 112
162 R.A. Dickey 122 75
163 Jameson Taillon 171 105
164 Miguel Gonzalez 148 90
165 Frankie Montas 198 120
166 Jeff Locke 129 78
167 Vidal Nuno 194 116
168 Matt Garza 142 85
169 Tyler Skaggs 140 83
170 Dan Straily 165 97
171 Shaun Marcum 178 104
172 Ryan Weber 200 116
173 David Phelps 160 92
174 Colin Rea 173 99
175 Williams Perez 186 106
176 Henderson Alvarez 188 107
177 Doug Fister 141 80
178 James Paxton 130 73
179 Mark Buehrle 153 85
180 Julio Urias 164 91
181 Kyle Lohse 161 89
182 Jordan Lyles 193 106
183 Wily Peralta 131 72
184 Scott Feldman 169 92
185 Ryan Vogelsong 196 106
186 Alfredo Simon 183 98
187 Aaron Harang 187 100
188 Justin Masterson 189 101
189 Colby Lewis 166 88
190 Tommy Milone 152 80
191 Blake Snell 156 82
192 Ivan Nova 168 88
193 Erik Johnson 170 88
194 Brett Oberholtzer 179 92
195 Ricky Nolasco 182 93
196 Cody Anderson 190 97
197 John Danks 191 97
198 Carlos Frias 195 98
199 Manny Banuelos 197 99
200 Tyler Matzek 200 100
RG RK = RotoGraphs ranks
Diff% = (RGRK – my Rank)*100
(higher means I like them more than consensus)

Here’s a fun thing to do with the ranks. Sort by Diff% (descending) like I said above. You’ll basically get all the guys I like more than consensus. Without really looking at other peoples ranks, I outed my own ‘sleepers.’ It’s full of all the names you’d expect.

I’ll update these again in March, when we know a little bit more about depth charts — after all, there are 70 unsigned free agents that may change things up in the next month. And, hey, since this is the product of my sense of reasoning, I may even listen to your impassioned defense or attack on one player or another in the comments section. Keep it civil, though, I have a three year old at home that yells at me enough for three lifetimes.



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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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asreitz
Member
Member
asreitz

Carlos Rodon should be higher. No? Also, I love D. Smyly but a little surprised how high you’ve got him here, especially with the health concerns. Thoughts?

Eno Sarris
Guest
Eno Sarris

I don’t think I could push him past Lackey. McCullers and Severino and Matz have shown more complete arsenals and command. So a few higher, but he’s still a guy I love.

I was probably aggressive on Smyly now that you mention it. I guess Shields convinced me that the Rays’ shoulder strengthening routine is the best in the business and I rode that too far.

gus
Guest

yeah smyly is what stands out most for me as out of line.