2015 List of 12

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Zach back with you,

The long anticipated 2015 List of 12 has arrived! If you’re not familiar with the principles of the List of 12, check out the opening portion of this post from a few years ago.

Now I’ll hand things over to Cory:

The List of 12 comes out to 14 names this year. See the attached spreadsheet for career stats on the entire gang. Here’s how I rank them for 2015:

Darvish, Yu – Assuming his elbow checks out healthy he should be a top-5 fantasy pitcher again in 2015. Keep an eye on his rapidly increasing fly ball rate though; that could portend a few more homers in hitter-friendly Arlington and a mild bump in his ERA.

Cobb, Alex – A variety of injuries have limited his innings over the past three seasons, and may make him a little under-the-radar, but none are arm-related. In his last 56 starts going back to August 23, 2012, he has a 2.78 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 321-106 K-BB ratio in 353 IP. That’s not just fun with selective end dates, that’s a borderline ace in fantasy. Strong buy.

Iwakuma, Hisashi – He slumped at the end of last season but his overall numbers were exceptional once again. He has a 2.97 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 417-to-91 K-BB ratio in 493.2 IP since joining the Mariners rotation in July of 2012 and there’s no reason to expect any sudden decline this year.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
Quintana, Jose – This is why we don’t chase wins: Quintana is only 24-24 despite a solid 3.50 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in his first three seasons. If he can maintain last season’s decreased home run rate, he could be line for a big step forward this year, and major improvements to the White Sox offense and bullpen should help bring more wins.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Alvarez, Henderson – His ERA’s done seem to match his relatively pedestrian strikeout numbers, but it doesn’t hurt at all that he’s extremely stingy allowing walks and homers. The truth is probably somewhere in between his last two seasons, with an ERA in the low 3’s and a WHIP around 1.15. Only the weak strikeouts keep him from being a #2 in fantasy.

Collmenter, Josh – In his last 22 home starts going back to June 22, 2012, he is 9-5 with a 2.74 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 89-24 K-BB in 131.1 IP. He’s not that good of course, but let this serve as your reminder to not forget him on Draft Day… and particularly in Pitch-or-Ditch friendly formats!

Chen, Wei-Yin – His ERA dropped by a half run last year, but the home run and strikeout rates suggest to next expect a repeat. He’s end-of-rotation material, but useful.

Simon, Alfredo – Started out surprisingly well, and faded somewhat predictably, in his first full season as a starter. Moving from Great American Ballpark to Comerica Park will help mitigate his gopheritis somewhat, but the deeper AL lineups won’t do him any favors. Don’t expect a repeat.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates
Anderson, Brett – He’s generally effective when he pitches, with a 2.91 ERA last season, but doesn’t pitch that often, making only eight starts due to finger and back problems. He’ll compete for a spot in the Dodgers’ rotation and could be a sneaky end-game play if he breaks camp with a regular turn.

                                                                                                                                                                                           Medlen, Kris – Remember him? He looked like a budding ace in 2012-13 before needing Tommy John surgery; the Royals think he’ll be able to contribute by the second half of this season. Keep that in the back of your mind.

Nova, Ivan – He’s expected to return from Tommy John surgery at some point in the first half, and hopefully will show the form that led to a 3.10 ERA in 139.1 IP in 2013. If the strikeout rate holds, don’t rule out some end-of-rotation value.

Milone, Tommy – He pitched exceptionally well in 16 spot starts with the A’s last year but was awful after coming to the Twins. He’s a homer-prone soft-tosser who can be useful when he’s on his game, but there’s probably no upside to look forward to.

Lyles, Jordan – He’s on this list by virtue of crossing the 500 IP mark last year, not by virtue of his 5.09 career ERA. He might be worth a few Pitch or Ditch looks though if and when the matchups are friendly enough.

Estrada, Marco – His 2013 and 2014 seasons were very similar, except for the spike in his HR/FB rate last year that resulted in his banishment to the bullpen. Working long relief in the Rogers Centre homer palace won’t lead to a rebound.

18 Comments

LOVE the annual List of 12. Once the composite rankings come out, my draft prep is complete! Keep up the good work guys

Would you deal Springer ($10) and Hughes ($5) for Arenado ($5), Baez ($5) and Cole ($5) in a dynasty league where 3b are in short supply? Thanks.

Answered your question on Twitter. Short version: Yes!

Zach

Why is Stephen Strasburg not on the list? Did he just make the list last year?

My guess is that he didn’t meet the specifications for inclusion, but I’ll run this by Cory.

Zach

Hey guys! What are your thoughts on Lance Lynn this year? I have this sneaking suspicion that he breaks out this year and goes all Ace on us, yet I’m not getting the feeling that those that know far more than myself agree.

As always, thanks for you input.

Philip

Not sure that he’ll reach ace status but I do like him as a guy who you can draft as a SP4 in 12-team mixed leagues who could put up SP2 level stats. Gotta love those K’s! The main concern with him is the walk rate (3.3 career BB/9). That will be the biggest key in determining whether he will indeed have that breakout season.

Zach

That makes sense and thanks for the input Zach. I might just reach for SP3 depending on the draft because I still have this sneaking suspicion…

Philip

Lynn had a 2.84 ERA and 186 Ks last year. He’s a boarderline ace, who’s getting better every year, but for some reason gets treated like a low 3/4 starter. I would rather take him a bit earlier than the experts project, than have someone snag him out from under me.

Agreed. I think Lynn is being undervalued. The big concern with him is the mediocre walk rate will make another sub-3.00 ERA very difficult. But even if he puts up a 3.50 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 180 K’s, that’s high-end SP3 worthy. And I think he will do better than that. I just drafted him as a cheap #2 in an NFBC league (15 teams) and I’m fine with it.

Zach

Any suggestions on who to keep next year? Need to pick 8, 10 team – h2h.
Adam Jones $33
Duda $6
Kinsler $24
Arrieta $10
Gausman $6
Sale $23
Aybar $8
Hamels $12
Cobb $15
Khris Davis $6
Adrian Gonzalez $21

That’s a tough one. In a keeper league, where inflation is a factor, $33 seems like a fair price for Jones. If you threw him back into the pool, he would probably go for more. So ultimately, I’d keep him. Hamels, Cobb, Sale and Arrieta are definites in my mind. Not a huge fan of Duda but at that price and with power down throughout baseball, I think you have to keep him. No one else really stands out as a bargain, so I’d seriously consider leaving the other two keeper slots empty. But if I had to pick two, I’d lean towards Davis and Aybar. Not overly enthusiastic about either though.

Zach

throw out Davis (not guaranteed to start), Aybar, and Gausman. Gonzalez drives in 100 EVERY year. Maube a toss-up between Gausman (potential and low salary) and Kinsler (proven potential 20/20, but high salary for closer to end of career)

My league will start drafting next week in a 12 team head to head….I pick 11th and its a snack draft so Im looking at Harper\ Desmond\ Donaldson\ Rizzo\ Kemp\ Posey as possible 1st\2nd round picks…too early for them?

Personally, I consider Rizzo to be the only one of that group who belongs in the late first/early second round conversation. You can wait a bit longer for all of those other guys. But if any of them last until your late third round pick, absolutely jump on them there.

Zach

so with a 11th pick and 14th what players do you feel should be available and worth taking….would you consider a pitcher such as Sale at that point or wait til 3rd round if avail…….last year took Votto and Harper at about the same picks and nether were much help although finished 2nd,,,,,,where do you think Fielder will go in drafts

I have seen Carlos Gomez slide a bit. He may be available at 11. Fielder has been sliding as far as round 5 in some leagues. I would grab one the top 5 starting pitchers, if still there.

Fielder is actually shooting back up the draft boards, so I think the window to get him in the fifth round is just about closed. He’s being drafted as a third rounder lately, in both mocks and real drafts, and if he looks good throughout spring training, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him creep into late-second round territory.

Zach

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