Yesterday we expanded the 5×5 project by discussing elite hitters. Among the revelations: There are no consensus 30-30 players projected for 2010.
Now it’s time to look at the pitchers. Check out the final post on ERA that contains links to all the other parts of the series.
The series itself reviewed three different and highly respected sets of fantasy projections — CHONE, Marcel and FanGraphs fan consenusus — to pinpoint the “safest” picks in your fantasy baseball draft.
The pitchers listings offered fewer interesting facts, but a couple really big ones.
Super-elite starting pitchers
First off, there are three super-elite starting pitchers — the Giants’ Tim Lincecum, the Phillies’ Roy Halladay and the Yankees’ CC Sabathia.
These pitchers were the only three to be consensus locks to get 180 Ks, 15 Ws, a sub-1.20 WHIP and sub-3.50 ERA. Not surprisingly they are going 1-2-3 in most early mock drafts.
There are only two super-elite relief pitchers — and one of them will surprise you — the Twins Joe Nathan and the Yankees Mariano Rivera.
These two guys are locked in, according to the projections, to get 30 saves, a sub 1.00 ERA and a sub 3.30 ERA. It’s surprising that Rivera made the mark and not Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon or Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, who a lot of drafters consider more sexy picks.
The best of the rest
Only four other starters qualified in three of the four starting pitcher categories:
- Royals SP Zack Grienke — Ks, WHIP, ERA
- Mariners SP Felix Hernandez — Ks, Ws, ERA
- Diamondbacks SP Dan Haren — Ks, Ws, WHIP
- Phillies SP Cole Hamels — Ks, Ws, WHIP
Hamels looks like he could be a great value in 2010. The rest of this list is being picked among the first 42 picks in most drafts. The Phillies’ No. 2 is being picked around 100th overall.
Five other starting pitchers made two of the four lock lists — Tigers SP Justin Verlander, Yankees SP Javier Vazquez, Red Sox SP Jon Lester, Red Sox SP Josh Beckett and Cardinals SP Chris Carpenter.
Three relievers qualified in three of the four reliever categories:
- Red Sox RP Jonathan Papelbon — SV, ERA
- Royals RP Joakim Soria — WHIP, ERA
- Dodgers RP Jonathan Broxton — WHIP, ERA
While Rivera and Nathan are the top two relievers according to these projections, Rivera’s age and Nathan’s health have allowed both Papelbon and Broxton to take the top two spots in early mocks. But Soria is dropping to nearly 30 picks later.
Any of you going after any of the players on this exclusive (and pricy) list in 2010? Let us know in the comments.