garf112 wrote:But Danks WAS a minor league stud. He was picked ninth overall in the 2003 draft and was ranked #56 overall for prospects in 2007 by Baseball America.
Yup, part of the famed DVD trio (Danks-Volquez-Diamond). Man did the Rangers pick the right one to keep around
I do see him as being a little high though in the rankings, but to each their own (which is the fun of the rankings). I was glad to see this up as I just completed my player rankings for all offensive positions as well as my starters (relievers still to go) and wanted to see how my list compared. For the most part the top 50 or so we in agreement with guys up or down a handful of spots, and a few guys in mine that weren't in yours, etc. The top ten was essentially the same for the two of us, though my slotting was a tad bit different, but everyone seemed to fall into the same "tiers" I had them in.
Danks was the biggest outlier for me. Though Danks is a very good pitcher (with a nice pedigree as garf noted), his K/9 was down last year and his BB/9 was up from the 2008 season. He did induce more GB's and less LD's, but given a BABIP of .273 last year, I'd say he was a bit lucky. While it's not out of the question to see him take a leap forward, I think a more realistic goal (and one that won't as likely result in disappointment) is him recreating his 2008 season over more innings (perhaps 210+ if he stays healthy?).
I was actually surprised (somewhat disappointed really) to see the love you showed Gavin Floyd in your rankings. I see you have him at 28, and I personally have him at 34 in my pitcher rankings and thought I may be "reaching" a bit if I picked him where I had him projected. I love his growing K/9, lowering BB/9 and increasing GB rate
(his velocity was even up a tick in 2009
!). I really think those looking at his surface stats would be surprised to know just what kind of gains he made last year as a pitcher, and I believe he will be a top 35 pitcher next year, and could even crack the top 25. He's another guy, like Danks, that was a former first round pick with some pedigree. He was rated very highly in the Phillies organization before being dealt (in fact checking the baseball cube as high as 1 as well as a couple 2nd's and one 3rd in the Phillies organization prospect ranks). If his name happens to come up with league mates going into the draft, you may want to throw some deception into the mix and discuss Bill James projections for him (which inexplicably aren't favorable).
The other differences in our ratings came toward the back of the top 100 (which makes sense, as after the top 50-75 pitchers it starts to turn into an eye of the beholder type deal IMO), but I'll echoe the sentiments of others and say I'd squeeze Bailey into my top 100. I'm probably a bit higher on him then others (have him at 70), and believe some of his September numbers should be taken with a grain of salt as they came during roster expansion time, but I do believe he'll produce next year. I'm of the opinion that Bailey's biggest problem (other then the obvious inability to keep his BB/9 in check) was a lack of an off-speed offering outside of a curveball. His changeup was ineffective, and it really hurt his fastball IMO. I think the most promising change to Bailey's repertoire was the addition of a splitter while in Triple-A. While the numbers show it as being ineffective at the Major League level (even more so then the changeup according to fangraphs), I'm of the belief that it helped play up his fastball (a positive pitch for the first time in his career), and will be more effective as he becomes more comfortable throwing it at the big league level. My reason for the belief that the splitter will come along rather then the changeup stems from his effectiveness in Triple-A this past season after implementing in relation to prior performance for those wondering.
On another note, I'll echoe the beliefs of Element and say I'm believer in Manny Parra. His GB rate, solid K rate at times in the Majors, and minor league track record lead me to believe it'll all "click" at somepoint. Given you won't have to spend more then a late round pick on him, he'd crack my top 100 (76 for a matter of fact) as the upside is solid enough to warrant that type of selection.
Finally, I'll be avoiding Johan Santana this year. His K/9 is dropping, he's coming off an injury (bone chips in his elbow I believe
), he's not owning lefties like he used to (as Shandler notes and is correct on), and most importantly he's giving up more fly balls. While most won't see the fly balls as an issue at Citi Field (as they likely won't result in as many HR's as they would at another park) I see them as a serious concern with Bay manning LF, Beltran possibly not being able to exhibit his awesome defense of old (he has missed time due to knee and hammy issues if I'm not mistaken, and his poor UZR to open the season at the new ballpark was a topic of conversation over at fangraphs if memory serves me correct) in CF and Jeff Francoeur of a -6.1 UZR (which is "good" for bottom 6 for those that qualify in RF). All signs point to a guy being over valued for name on draft day, who simply won't come close to matching his former top 1-3 pitcher status.
Overall, interesting list though, and great leftovers fodder