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Strike Zone

2022 Starter Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: July 15, 2021, 11:08 am ET

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Up this week are my just-for-fun 2022 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.

Click to see other other preliminary 2022 rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

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1Jacob deGromMets11
2Gerrit ColeYankees35
3Brandon WoodruffBrewers1916
4Shane BieberIndians218
5Max Scherzer 54
6Walker BuehlerDodgers46
7Chris SaleRed Sox6449
8Zack WheelerPhillies343
9Joe MusgrovePadres217
10Corbin BurnesBrewers2211
11Julio UriasDodgers3119
12Clayton Kershaw 78
13Kevin Gausman 282
14Luis CastilloReds914
15Aaron NolaPhillies1010
16Jack FlahertyCardinals855
17Lucas GiolitoWhite Sox1215
18Trevor BauerDodgers*69
19Freddy PeraltaBrewers6024
20Trevor RogersMarlins14244
21Carlos Rodon 14023
22Yu DarvishPadres1313
23Tyler GlasnowRays11134
24Kyle HendricksCubs1812
25Pablo LopezMarlins3322
26Jose BerriosTwins2417
27Ian AndersonBraves3730
28Lance Lynn 3220
29Sandy AlcantaraMarlins3828
30Carlos CarrascoMets3033
31Jose UrquidyAstros1741
32Zac GallenDiamondbacks2529
33Zack Greinke 2621
34Shohei OhtaniAngels8036
35Robbie Ray 10246
36Dinelson LametPadres2086
37Chris BassittAthletics4627
38Mike ClevingerPadresNRNR
39Hyun-Jin RyuBlue Jays4026
40Blake SnellPadres1551
41Alek ManoahBlue JaysNR43
42Noah Syndergaard 96135
43Max FriedBraves3932
44Luis SeverinoYankees115107
45Zach PlesacIndians2937
46Stephen StrasburgNationals2768
47Chris PaddackPadres1635
48Tony GonsolinDodgers5140
49Tyler MahleReds7339
50Sonny GrayReds3634
51Sean ManaeaAthletics5425
52Lance McCullers Jr.Astros4445
53Framber ValdezAstros7653
54Shane BazRaysNR108
55Justin Verlander NRNR
56Kenta MaedaTwins1438
57Charlie Morton 3531
58Logan WebbGiants5569
59Taijuan WalkerMets9079
60Luis GarciaAstrosNR78
61Zach EflinPhillies5342
62Eduardo Rodriguez 7060
63Tarik SkubalTigers6362
64Marcus Stroman 6247
65John MeansOrioles7259
66Yusei KikuchiMariners*5252
67Anthony DeSclafani 7850
68Logan GilbertMariners17270
69Cade CavalliNationalsNRNR
70David PriceDodgers47129
71JT BrubakerPirates8982
72Luis PatinoRays123105
73Michael KopechWhite Sox11277
74Dylan CeaseWhite SoxNR66
75Jesus LuzardoAthletics23111
76Frankie MontasAthletics4957
77Patrick SandovalAngels15561
78Nathan EovaldiRed Sox6548
79Aaron CivaleIndians5672
80Nate PearsonBlue Jays74125
81Brady SingerRoyals6884
82Sixto SanchezMarlins4563
83German MarquezRockies7990
84Elieser HernandezMarlins48102
85Mike SorokaBraves42NR
86Hunter GreeneRedsNRNR
87Casey MizeTigers8773
88Huascar YnoaBravesNR122
89Matthew LiberatoreCardinalsNR133
90Jake OdorizziAstros6171
91Triston McKenzieIndians66157
92Danny Duffy 17464
93Dane DunningRangers94124
94Jordan MontgomeryYankees7567
95James KaprielianAthleticsNR99
96Drew Smyly 4154
97Ryan WeathersPadresNR93
98Dylan Bundy 4380
99Shane McClanahanRaysNR89
100Grayson RodriguezOriolesNRNR
101Spencer TurnbullTigers127121
102Ryan PepiotDodgersNRNR
103Cristian JavierAstros113109
104Andrew Heaney 8656
105Kyle GibsonRangersNR58
106Steven Matz 13975
107Adbert AlzolayCubsNR113
108Brendan McKayRays110119
109Ryan YarbroughRays5992
110Jameson TaillonYankees100112
111Alex Wood 13687
112Matt ManningTigers169NR
113Corey Kluber 71132
114Reid DetmersAngelsNRNR
115Garrett CrochetWhite Sox12880 RP
116Dakota HudsonCardinalsNRNR
117Matthew BoydTigers84104
118Dustin MayDodgers57NR
119Yonny ChirinosRaysNRNR
120Josiah GrayDodgersNR154
121Alex Cobb 15781
122Domingo GermanYankees6991
123Kyle MullerBravesNR76
124Kwang-Hyun Kim 85103
125Patrick CorbinNationals8274
126Joe RossNationals11995
127Max MeyerMarlinsNRNR
128Jon Gray 151148
129Wade MileyReds*16797
130Griffin CanningAngels9983
131Daniel LynchRoyalsNRNR
132Michael Pineda 8396
133Justus SheffieldMariners58117
134Marco GonzalesMariners67110
135Justin DunnMariners164NR
136Adam Wainwright 13865
137Roansy ContrerasPiratesNRNR
138Ross StriplingBlue Jays12188
139Sammy LongGiantsNR100
140Brad KellerRoyals88126
141George KirbyMarinersNRNR
142Spencer HowardPhillies101140
143Edward CabreraMarlinsNRNR
144Tanner HouckRed SoxNR150
145Johnny Cueto 15498
146Deivi GarciaYankees114147
147David PetersonMets92116
148Zach Davies 93123
149Garrett WhitlockRed SoxNR155
150Rich Hill 9585
151Nick LodoloRedsNRNR
152James Paxton 50NR
153J.A. Happ 81115
154Bailey OberTwinsNR101
155Dallas KeuchelWhite Sox165114
156Jackson KowarRoyalsNR153
157Mike MinorRoyals91118
158Brent SuterBrewers98131
159Joe RyanRaysNR137
160Carlos HernandezRoyalsNRNR
161MacKenzie GorePadres108152
162Austin GomberRockiesNR136
163Tucker DavidsonBravesNRNR
164Vince Velasquez 141106
165Brent HoneywellRays147NR
166Aaron AshbyBrewersNRNR
167Zach ThompsonMarlinsNR94
168Caleb SmithDiamondbacks104127
169Brailyn MarquezCubsNRNR
170Chris FlexenMariners170139
171Jordan BalazovicTwinsNRNR
172Cole WinnRangersNRNR
173Luke WeaverDiamondbacks122159
174Simeon Woods RichardsonBlue JaysNRNR
175Anthony KayBlue JaysNR128
176Josh FlemingRays173145
177Merrill KellyDiamondbacksNR144
178Jack LeiterRangersNRNR
179Adrian MorejonPadres97NR
180Alec MillsCubs117151
181Clarke SchmidtYankeesNRNR
182Cole IrvinAthleticsNR120
183Carlos Martinez 77NR
184Luis MedinaYankeesNRNR
185Nick PivettaRed Sox175146
186Madison BumgarnerDiamondbacks105130
187Emerson HancockMarinersNRNR
188Tony SantillanRedsNR142
189Corbin MartinDiamondbacksNRNR
190Randy DobnakTwins124NR
191Adrian HouserBrewers143156
192Kumar RockerMetsNRNR
193Tyler BeedeGiantsNRNR
194Michael Wacha 120141
195Daulton JefferiesAthletics116NR
196Mitch KellerPirates152NR
197Brayan BelloRed SoxNRNR
198Touki ToussaintBravesNRNR
199A.J. PukAthletics106NR
200John GantCardinals111143


  • In part because some very good pitchers took one-year deals last winter, 13 of the top 70 starters here are free agents after the season (plus Trevor Bauer and whatever ends up happening with him). It’ll be interesting to see who gets the biggest deal of the bunch. The 37-year-old Max Scherzer could get the highest 2022 salary, but 31-year-old Kevin Gausman, 29-year-old Carlos Rodon and 34-year-old Lance Lynn should be in line for longer pacts. The 30-year-old Robbie Ray will also be in extremely high demand if his increased velocity and 5:1 K:BB ratio hold up; the Jays sure wish they could have gotten an option year tacked on to his deal when they re-signed him last winter.


  • No. 1 here was easy enough, and assuming Jacob deGrom finishes the year healthy, it’s hard to imagine a change in that spot prior to the offseason rankings. No. 2 is far less clear cut. I had Gausman there and Zack Wheeler third in the July rest-of-season rankings, but I think I still favor Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber for 2022. The other strong candidate was Brandon Woodruff. I’ve been worried about durability there since he doesn’t have many high-inning counts in his past. I’ll feel a lot better about him next year if he can make 30 starts and remain strong into September this season.


  • Justin Verlander should be ready to pitch at the beginning of next year after Sept. 2020 Tommy John surgery, though at age 39, it seems like a long shot that he’ll be the Verlander of old. Yonny Chirinos, one of my favorites, should also be ready to pitch, though there’s a chance he won’t have a spot in Tampa Bay’s rotation initially. I’m guessing Mike Clevinger, who had his Tommy John in November, will miss at least the first month or he’d be considerably higher than No. 38. James Paxton and Dustin May didn’t have their Tommy Johns until April and May of this year, so they figure to be limited in what they contribute next season.


  • Tops on the list of those yet to debut in the majors in Tampa Bay’s Shane Baz at No. 54. Baz, the third piece in the trade that sent Chris Archer from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh, has a 2.09 ERA and a 77/8 K/BB ratio between Double- and Triple-A this year. The Nationals’ Cade Cavalli, the Reds’ Hunter Greene, the Cardinals’ Matthew Liberatore and the Orioles’ Grayson Rodriguez also crack the top 100.