41. Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians
42. Anibal Sanchez, Florida Marlins
43. Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees
44. Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays
45. Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels
46. Ricky Romero, Toronto Blue Jays
47. Derek Holland, Texas Rangers
48. Cory Luebke, San Diego Padres
49. Wandy Rodriguez, Houston Astros
50. Ted Lilly, Los Angeles Dodgers
51. Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers
52. Gavin Floyd, Chicago White Sox
53. John Danks, Chicago White Sox
54. Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves
55. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
56. Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals
57. Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins
58. Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers
59. Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
60. Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
While Jeremy Hellickson had a monster rookie campaign (2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP over 189.0 IP), do not overlook the fact that he had significant luck in his corner. While he could improve his strikeout rate (5.57 K/9), there is no doubt that he will regress on a .223 BABIP and 82.0-percent strand rate. In other words, no matter what he does, the numbers are likely to be significantly worse. As I’ve said before (click here to view the article), don’t overdraft him based on last season’s success.
Speaking of AL East pitchers with the potential to regress, Ricky Romero definitely also falls into that category. I touched on him earlier (click here to read the article), but he too should regress in both his BABIP (.242) and strand rate (79.2%). He does bring with him a solid strikeout rate and good control, but there is little chance of him posting a 2.92 ERA or 1.14 WHIP once again. Just keep that in mind when you figure him into your rankings.
Cory Luebke has become a popular name this offseason, and it definitely makes sense. When you get 100.2 IP as a starting pitcher and post a 3.31 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 9.92 K/9, you are bound to get some attention. I wouldn’t get too giddy about the strikeout rate quite yet (7.54 K/9 over his minor league career), but pitching in San Diego should help him excel even if that number were to regress.
Ricky Nolasco and Chad Billingsley are names we all know. They come with high ceilings but have also been consistent disappointments the past few seasons. As they slip down draft boards, they become intriguing late-round fliers, and I definitely wouldn’t ignore them. They still have the upside that they’ve shown before and could prove to be nice steals.
I know everyone wants to think of Gio Gonzalez as a stud starting pitcher, but leaving Oakland (2.70 ERA at home, 3.62 ERA on the road in ’11) is going to have a major effect on his performance and he consistently has shown control issues. Over his Major League career, Gonzalez has posted a 4.44 BB/9, a number that sooner or later could come back to haunt him.
Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: