Fantasy Baseball 2012: Spring Training Pitchers' Paradise

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Fantasy Baseball 2012: Spring Training Pitchers' Paradise
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Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano (2.77 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 18/2 K-BB, .143 opponents' batting average) has been the unofficial Cy Young of the Grapefruit League to date.

I usually judge Spring Training stats with a grain of salt. But given my fascination with pitching numbers, it's also proper to recognize the starters (or prospective starters) who have been consistently stellar in the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues. Here are the springtime leaders in ERA, WHIP and K/BB ratio.  

(Note: Rodrigo Lopez—2.25 ERA/0.83 WHIP—isn't on the Cubs' 40-man roster, so he doesn't warrant official inclusion.)

 

 

Strikeout-To-Walk Ratio

Brian Matusz, Orioles - 16/1
Madison Bumgarner, Giants - 15/1
Roy Halladay, Phillies - 15/1
Dan Haren, Angels - 15/1
Francisco Liriano, Twins - 18/2
Felix Hernandez, Mariners - 13/1
Justin Verlander, Tigers - 17/3
Chris Sale, White Sox - 12/1
Zack Greinke, Brewers - 11/1
Luis Mendoza, Royals - 11/1
Vance Worley, Phillies - 11/1
Craig Stammen, Nationals - 11/1
James Shields, Rays - 11/2
Christian Friedrich, Rockies - 10/1
Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks - 10/1
Chris Capuano, Dodgers - 10/2
Dillon Gee, Mets - 12/3
Kevin Millwood, Mariners - 12/3
Tim Lincecum, Giants - 10/3
Cory Luebke, Padres - 10/3

 

 

WHIP (1.10 or less—minimum 12 innings)

Felix Hernandez, Mariners - 0.46
Francisco Liriano, Twins - 0.62
C.J. Wilson, Angels - 0.71
James Shields, Rays - 0.75
Josh Beckett, Red Sox - 0.79
Mike Minor, Braves - 0.86
Blake Beavan, Mariners - 0.91
Jeff Francis, Reds - 0.92
Justin Verlander, Tigers - 0.95
Tom Milone, Athletics - 0.95
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers - 0.97
Chris Sale, White Sox - 0.98
Madison Bumgarner, Giants - 1.02
Kevin Millwood, Mariners - 1.07
Dillon Gee, Mets - 1.09
Kyle Lohse, Cardinals - 1.10

 

 

ERA (3.14 or less—minimum 12 innings)

Mike Minor, Braves - 0.00
C.J. Wilson, Angels - 0.64
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers - 0.73
James Shields, Rays - 0.75
Josh Beckett, Red Sox - 1.29
Felix Hernandez, Mariners - 1.38
Justin Verlander, Tigers - 1.84
Juan Nicasio, Rockies - 2.25
Blake Beavan, Mariners - 2.35
Brian Matusz, Orioles - 2.40
Madison Bumgarner, Giants - 2.45
Chris Narveson, Brewers - 2.70
Jeff Francis, Reds - 2.77
Francisco Liriano, Twins - 2.77
Dillon Gee, Mets - 3.07

 


Verdict: The omnipresent inclusions of Kershaw, Verlander, King Felix, C.J. Wilson, Bumgarner, Shields, Beckett and Dan Haren come as no surprise, but fantasy owners would be wise to target Gee (Mets), Beavan (Mariners) and Matusz (Orioles) in the final rounds of 12-, 14- or 16-team drafts.

As for Minor and Liriano, grab one of 'em before Round 22. It's a negligible cost...for two starting pitchers who will be given every chance to succeed this season.

 

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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