There are a lot of pitchers out there and you’re going to need anywhere from six to nine starters on your team, so we’ve made this target list our biggest yet.
Not every one of these SPs is going to be a hit, but you definitely want to try to get a couple of these targets for 2010.
Early round picks
Justin Verlander — Everyone expects Verlander to regress. Regression is almost inevitable, but to let a guy who struck out 269 batters last year drop into the fifth round while picking Zack Greinke — a player who could regress just as far as Verlander, but who plays for a much worse team — a round and a half earlier is pretty ridiculous.
jzak: Zack Greinke — Like Verlander, a bit of regression is almost inevitable. Still, Grienke appears poised to become the Roy Halladay to Tim Lincecum’s Johan Santana. Or is it the other way around? Now I’m confused. Just pick Greinke.
ep: Dan Haren — Yeah, there’s that whole first-half, second-half split thing. However, if some dude is going to rack up more than half of his 200 Ks in the first half of the season, get me out to a good start, I’m on board.
Matt Garza — So, when we say Garza, you think: Almost 200 Ks … a sub-4.00 ERA … a talented young lineup to back him up … Ace-in-the-making … He’ll be 27 this season … He’s going in the 12th round? I need to pick him.
jzak: Brett Anderson — His decent but not great season in 2009 hasn’t earned him his current 150s overall draft slot, it’s his K/9. More specifically, his minor league K/9 that fluctuated between 9.23 and 11.03. Oh, and he throws in a pitcher’s park, too.
ep: Cole Hamels — How quickly we forget Cole Hamels circa 2008. He should win 15 games easy in 2010 easy. He’s working on a third pitch and wasn’t as awful as you remember him from last season.
Jonathan Sanchez — Sanchez is getting picked around 230th overall. He could get you 200 Ks this season. That’s why he’s one of our consensus picks.
Brian Matusz — A lot of fantasy players are salivating over the Orioles top pitching prospect. You want ninja bold? He’ll be a No. 2 fantasy starter by the end of the season.
Phil Hughes — Hughes has just recently been announced as the Yankees fifth starter. That means unless your league awards for saves, Hughes is available on your waiver wire. For those of you who haven’t drafted yet, you can still get Hughes late and should do so.
jzak: Kevin Slowey — His wrist surgery in September is a distant memory. Apparently, a lot of folks are drafting based on rankings and lists in magazines that were printed in what seems so long ago it might as well have been 2002. Slowey is getting picked around 220th overall. He’ll give you nice WHIPs, approach 15 wins and his strikeouts won’t kill you.
ep: Justin Masterson — He’s going at around 330th overall and is currently slated as the Indians No. 3 starting pitcher. He’s only 25 years old, so we could still see a couple major advances in his game. I like him for 150 Ks this season, but he has serious potential to eclipse that. You will find few pitchers that late in your draft who will earn you 150 Ks, let alone have the potential to eclipse that total.