Niko here, over the last month we have composed our list of Top 5 players at each position. Now while we have reached our last position (SP), there is still one big grand finale ahead. Prime 25 the show where we rank the top 25 players in MLB Today. You can find all of the other Prime Lists atPepper’s Blogger So now, here is our “feature presentation” Ben Grieco’s list of the Prime Starters in MLB:
This was an extremely tough list. How was I supposed to leave guys of this list like Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Cliff Lee, and Zack Greinke? Other players who missed the cut include Chris Sale, Adam Wainwright, and Stephen Strasburg.
5. Matt Harvey – New York Mets
It doesn’t matter that Harvey will miss nearly all of 2014 because of Tommy John surgery. He was one of the best pitchers in 2013, before his season ended in late August due to the surgery. He was the main reason why the Mets had their most successful season in a while last year, and was expected to continue that turnaround this year, but now will have to wait until 2015. In 178 innings in 2013, Harvey went 9-5 with a dominating 2.27 ERA, his first full season in the bigs. While Harvey will miss most of the season, he is still only 24 years old, and has a bright future ahead of him.
4. Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
Darvish’s sophomore season was his best, as he lead the AL in strikeouts with 277, and posted a great 2.83 ERA in 209.2 innings with a 13-9 record. He fools hitters with his huge variety of pitches (According to Darvish, he has 7) which make him one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball.
3. Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
Jose Fernandez came out of nowhere to become one of the best pitchers in baseball, posting a remarkable 2.19 ERA, which is amazing for a rookie, while striking out 187 in 172.2 innings. He won the NL rookie of the year in 2013, one of many more awards that are likely to come for Fernandez. And remember, he is only 21 years old.
2. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
King Felix, one of the most consistent starting pitchers in baseball, is coming off another great season in 2013, going 12-10 with a 3.04 ERA, and striking out 216 in 204 innings. Hernandez, who rarely gets hurt, had his season shortened a little down the stretch, but still pitched like a workhorse. And while Hernandez has been in the league for a decent amount of time, he’s still only 27 years old, smack in the middle of his prime.
1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
No debate here. With Kershaw’s string of dominance over the past few seasons, he’s reminded people of Sandy Koufax in the 1960’s or Greg Maddux in the 90’s. Kershaw has lead the NL in ERA in the past 3 years, winning the Cy Young Award two of those times. He is coming off his finest season in 2013, leading the NL with an ERA of 1.83, the first pitcher to have a sub-2 ERA since Roger Clemens in 2005. He also lead the NL in K’s with 232, and was second in innings pitched with 236.