2012 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Pitchers – Top 10

by on March 9th, 2015
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2012 Fantasy Baseball Breakout Pitchers are based on a standard single season redraft mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball league for the 2012 season. Scoring settings include: wins, losses, saves, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP – (W, L, SV, K, ERA, WHIP). ( ) = players age.

Fantasy Baseball Breakout Pitchers are based on pitchers who have the potential to post a significant increase in pitching statistics during the 2012 season. Breakout Pitchers are pitchers to consider drafting a round or two earlier in your fantasy baseball draft, based on their pitching stat potential likely being greater than what their fantasy baseball draft position is to begin the 2012 season.

These breakout pitchers are NOT SLEEPERS, they are established pitchers who offer a ton of upside, and for example: from being drafted in the 10th round to begin the season, to finishing the season as a 5nd round pick. Think VALUE with these pitchers, and be willing to draft them a round or two earlier than what their ranking says they should be drafted.

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Pitchers – Top 10

Jeremy Hellickson – TB – SP (24)

After earning a spot in the Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation to begin the 2011 season, Hellickson put together an excellent rookie season that included an outstanding 2.95 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 189 innings pitched. At age 24 and with a full season of major league experience under his belt, Hellickson is poised to break into the elite starting pitchers realm during the 2012 season.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #119 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 189 IP, 13 W, 10 L, 117 K, 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 15 W, 6 L, 165 K, 2.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Gio Gonzalez – Was – SP (26)

Having steadily improved his overall pitching stat line during the 2011 season, Gonzalez is an ace caliber starting pitcher who is flying under the fantasy baseball radar entering the 2012 season. Making the move from the AL Oakland Athletics, to the NL Washington Nationals for the 2012 season, Gonzalez could easily improve is stat line even further in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #136 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 202 IP, 16 W, 12 L, 197 K, 3.12 ERA, 1.32 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 210 IP, 16 W, 6 L, 220 K, 2.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Michael Pineda – NYY – SP (23)

Moving from the low pressure confines in Seattle, to the blood boiling pressure in New York, Pineda could either break out as a huge success during the 2012 season, or he could find himself struggling and having problems dealing with all the pressure and high expectations that will be placed on him by the Yankees. However the breakout potential is absolutely there for Pineda entering the 2012 season, so if fantasy baseball teams want to gamble on Pineda and draft him a round early in their fantasy baseball draft, they could be rewarded handsomely.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #80 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 171 IP, 9 W, 10 L, 173 K, 3.74 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 15 W, 8 L, 200 K, 3.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Stephen Strasburg – Was – SP (23)

After blowing out his arm during the 2010 season, Strasburg made a quick recovery from Tommy John Surgery, and was able to make five appearances with the Nationals during the month of September last season to finish out the year. With health back on his side entering the 2012 season, Strasburg’s huge strikeout potential combined with low ERA and WHIP numbers, could make him a top 10 scoring starting pitcher in fantasy baseball leagues during the 2012 season.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #96 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 24 IP, 1 W, 1 L, 24 K, 1.50 ERA, 0.71 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 165 IP, 14 W, 6 L, 190 K, 2.75 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

Matt Moore – TB – RP (22)

One of the most highly touted minor league prospects entering the 2011 season, Moore made his much anticipated major league debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in September last season. Boasting exceptional strikeout ability during his time in the minors, Moore definitely translated that ability to the major league level as he quickly racked up 15 strikeouts over 9 innings pitched to finish out the 2011 season with the Rays. With a spot either in the Rays starting rotation or possibly as their closer, Moore has outstanding upside no matter what his pitching responsibilities will be in 2012, as he should tally excellent strikeout numbers to go along with solid ERA and WHIP numbers that can help any fantasy baseball team in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #94 overall

2011 Minor League Double A Stats: 102 IP, 8 W, 3 L, 131 K, 2.20 ERA, 0.94 WHIP

2011 Major League Stats: 9 IP, 1 W, 0 L, 15 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 160 IP, 12 W, 5 L, 180 K, 2.80 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Jordan Zimmermann – Was – SP (25)

Coming back from Tommy John Surgery in 2009, Zimmermann was able to put together a full season of health as a starting pitcher during the 2011 season. With health issues seemingly in the past, Zimmermann who offers high strikeout ability, has loads of potential to become an excellent starting pitcher during the 2012 season.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #99 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 161 IP, 8 W, 11 L, 124 K, 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 190 IP, 14 W, 8 L, 190 K, 2.80 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

Chris Sale – CWS – RP (23)

The Chicago White Sox 1st round pick (13th overall) in the 2010 MLB draft, Sale made a quick rise to the majors as he made his major league debut in 2010, and then spent the entire 2011 season in the White Sox bullpen as one of their top relief pitchers. With a transition to the starting rotation in store for Sale for the 2012 season, his ability to rack up excellent strikeout numbers combined with solid ERA and WHIP numbers, could have Sale finishing the 2012 season as an easy top 50 scoring fantasy baseball starting pitcher in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #193 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 71 IP, 2 W, 2 L, 79 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.11 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 150 IP, 12 W, 5 L, 160 K, 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Max Scherzer – Det – SP (27)

Even though Scherzer tallied 15 wins for the Detroit Tigers during the 2011 season, the reality is that Scherzer was a fairly large disappointment as a starting pitcher both for the Tigers and fantasy baseball teams in 2011. However, the ability and potential is definitely there for Scherzer to take the next step up as a front of the line starting pitcher in the majors during the 2012 season. Expecting an ERA below 4.00 and close to 200 strikeouts is within reach for Scherzer in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #141 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 195 IP, 15 W, 9 L, 174 K, 4.43 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 16 W, 6 L, 190 K, 3.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Jaime Garcia – StL – SP (25)

Having tallied respectable seasons in the majors in both 2010 and 2011, Garcia has flirted with breakout potential, but he has never really reached his best yet as a starting pitcher in the majors. Entering the 2012 season as the Cardinals #3 starting pitcher behind both Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, Garcia should have plenty of pitching match-ups in his favor this season, which means a 15 win and sub 3.00 ERA season is definitely within reach for Garcia in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #172 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 194 IP, 13 W, 7 L, 156 K, 3.56 ERA, 1.32 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 15 W, 8 L, 170 K, 3.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Vance Worley – Phi – SP (24)

Taking over a spot in the Phillies starting rotation to finish out the month of April last season, Worley was an absolute hidden gem as a rookie during the 2011 season. Finishing with 11 wins and just 3 losses to go along with a 3.01 ERA over 131 innings pitched in 2011, Worley easily has the ability and potential to improve upon his rookie season stats during the 2012 season. A sophomore campaign of 15 wins is definitely within reach for Worley in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #234 overall

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 50 IP, 5 W, 2 L, 50 K, 2.31 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

2011 Major League Stats: 131 IP, 11 W, 3 L, 119 K, 3.01 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 180 IP, 15 W, 5 L, 170 K, 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

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