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RotoAuthority Retrospective: Position Rankings -- Pitchers

Well, we've come to the end of RA's coverage of the 2013 season and we're wrapping up by looking back at our original position rankings. You can check out the hitters here, or you can just scroll down a little. Today, we examine our pitcher rankings. To save space and force myself to be original, I'm not including the original rankings in this post, but check them out: starters took two posts, but the relievers are more brief. I do recommend clicking those links--it'll be a long, long time of scrolling before you find articles we posted in March....

Just as for hitters, we'll check out our predictions and see how we did when we were different from the fantasy community at large (measured by proxy with Yahoo! rankings). So, the fact that Jason Motte was out for the season but ranked high on our list ain't counting against us. Neither is Jonathan Papelbon's disappointingly mortal season. Don't worry, though, there were plenty of other hits and misses worth actually noting.

Relivers

Hits

Compared to the press some other guys got, I'm pretty pleased with tabbing Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan for our 4th and 5th overall slots. Nobody that had those pitchers was disappointed, except keeper leaguers having to say their goodbye to Mo. The thing that made this ranking good wasn't where we placed these pitchers--that was pretty close to standard--but the tier break we placed before them and disappointments Rafael Soriano, Fernando Rodney, and J.J. Putz. (More on those guys below, unfortunately.)

Our 10th-12th ranked guys were by far our best predictions: Jason Grilli, Sergio Romo, and Greg Holland. All three were huge hits...though, to be fair, almost everyone else knew about Romo and Holland too. Grilli is the gem, and if I hadn't told my dad to read the article it might have been me who owned him and won our league...that's why you don't grow up to be fantasy experts, kids. Below these guys but in the same tier, we had Glen Perkins, who was another underrated hit.

We were lower than most on Joel Hanrahan, and higher than most on Bobby Parnell--both rankings I feel good about. 

At the very end of our list of Quality Non-Closers we remembered Koji Uehara. I'll claim that as a sort of moral victory.

Misses

Biggest, most glaring miss: accidentally leaving Craig Kimbrel unranked. Just kidding. We nailed that one like everyone else in the baseball-watching world. No, our big miss was ranking John Axford 8th! Ouch. There was reasoning behind that, but whatever it was it doesn't justify missing by that far. Let that be a lesson in reading multiple sources, I suppose.

Actually, everyone we ranked from 6th-9th was a miss: J.J. Putz, Rafael Soriano, Axford, and Fernando Rodney. Our saving grace was that we were lower on them than others...but still. At least two of those guys kept their jobs all year.

Right, smack, in the middle of our very best picks we had Tom Wilhelmsen and Rafael Betancourt ranked 13th and 14th. Wilhelmsen ran out of the same magic bartending dust that Axford did and Betancourt just fell apart. Literally. (Well, almost literally.)

Addison Reed was so good to start that 17th was low for him...but he kinda made up for it down the stretch.

Jim Johnson, Grant Balfour, Chris Perez, and Steve Cishek were all guys we thought shaky, but they all got the saves. 

Starters

Hits

Max Scherzer at number 13 was a pretty nice hit. You know you didn't regret using a 4th or 5th round pick to make sure he was on your team.

We were low on Matt Cain (not, you know, low enough), and if that kept you from nabbing him you breathed easy.

High rankings (33rd and 34th) for Homer Bailey and A.J. Burnett gave us some pretty nice hits.

We tabbed Hisashi Iwakuma for our 55th pitcher, and he more than earned that slot.

We ranked Jon Lester rather lower than average, and you probably didn't mind missing out on him as his ERA climbed after his hot start.

Putting Patrick Corbin 78th on the list meant he was actually on our board...not on a lot of others, I don't think.

Misses

We certainly paid for being higher than most on CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey. I guess we've learned our lesson on guys with initials that don't pitch for Pittsburgh.

Between the strikeouts and our expectation that he take another step forward, we were more bullish on Yovani Gallardo (18th) than most. I, at least, paid for his hundred steps back into terrible-dom on multiple fantasy teams. We were willing to take the plunge on Roy Halladay (23rd) and Ian Kennedy (25th), which worked out horribly for anyone who jumped with us.

At 31st and 32nd, Josh Johnson and Jon Niese ruined some fantasy plans, while Marco Estrada (37th) wasn't any more helpful.

More aggression on young guns Matt Harvey (54th) and Shelby Miller (Prospects section) was warranted in retrospect, while our excitement for veterans Ryan Dempster, Phil Hughes, and Edwin Jackson was, ah, misplaced.

There were plenty of other hits and misses throughout our rankings but, unsurprisingly, most of those were us rising and falling with the fantasy community, which seems appropriate. A good rule of thumb in prediction is to have a very, very good reason when you disagree with everyone else in the world.

RotoAuthority is going dark now, to let you focus on the playoffs, or football, or fantasy cricket, or whatever it is you do to amuse yourself from October to March. Don't worry, though, RA will be back next January to give you an early leg up on your competition. See you next year.



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