Here’s part two of yesterday’s article about the top 10 hitters in the game of baseball.
Because, hey, pitchers are important too. If you can trade for one of these guys, do it. You won’t regret it.
Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Halladay is unquestionably the best pitcher in the majors right now. He leads the league in innings pitched, wins, and is one strikeout behind teammate Cliff Lee for the league lead in strikeouts as well. Oh, and he has a 2.39 ERA. Yeah, he’s good.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Verlander has a no-hitter this year already. He also has an ERA under 3.00, 93 strikeouts and seven wins. He also throws harder than anyone else in the league. He’s certainly not a bad guy to build a pitching staff around.
Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins – Johnson is battling some shoulder inflammation right now, but when he comes off the DL, he should pick up right where he left off. His ERA of 1.64 probably won’t last the whole season, but I’d be surprised if it rose above 3.00. If he can stay healthy for the rest of this season and beyond, he could end up surpassing Halladay on this list in a couple years.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – King Felix has a higher ERA this year (3.29) than we are used to seeing from him, but by no means is it a bad ERA. He also has 97 strikeouts and six wins for a Mariners team that simply doesn’t score enough runs to support anyone.
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays – No one expected the Rays to be competitive this season after losing Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano. But, they find themselves only four games back of the Red Sox thanks to the efforts of guys like Price and James Shields. Price has seven wins, 89 strikeouts and a 3.51 ERA. Oh, and he’s still improving. As he continues to get better, he’ll continue to lead your team into the future.
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – Lincecum has been roughed up in his last couple starts after throwing a 120+ pitch complete game against the Oakland A’s. But, he’s still one of the most dynamic young pitchers in the game right now. He strikes out a ton of batters (94 so far this season) and typically doesn’t allow many runs (last couple starts excluded). He’ll bounce back the rest of this season and into the future.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Lee is the league leader in strikeouts right now, with 107 in just 95 innings pitched. He has six wins for the division-leading Phillies and has dominated National League hitters. It looks like he chose the right team this offseason, and that should allow him to be dominant for the rest of his contract.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels has really stepped up his game after the Phillies added Hallady, Lee and Roy Oswalt. As of now, he’s the second-highest rated pitcher on the team, behind Halladay. He has eight wins, 91 strikeouts and a 2.58 ERA. It looks like the All-Star pitchers around him are rubbing off on him.
Alexi Ogando, Texas Rangers – Ogando has burst onto the scene this season for the Rangers. He has simply been dominant. He has seven wins and a microscopic 2.10 ERA. If he can keep this momentum going all season, he’ll be even higher on this list before the start of the 2012 season.
Michael Pineda, Seattle Mariners – Speaking of bursting onto the scene, Pineda has been an outstanding sidekick for King Felix this year. He has a 2.72 ERA, six wins and 80 strikeouts. If the Mariners offense was better, this team would be winning the division instead of 2.5 games behind the Texas Rangers.
Honorable Mentions: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Clayton Kershaw