Happy Monday everyone! This is the last of my positional power rankings. Thank you for all of the support and good feedback. Baseball season starts six days from today, and I guess we’re going to find out just how smart I am when we see which of my predictions will come true.
So without further ado:
Matt Harvey (New York Mets)/ Garrett Richards (Los Angeles Angels)/ Masahiro Tanaka (New York Yankees), Jeff Samardzija (Chicago White Sox), James Shields (San Diego Padres), Phil Hughes (Minnesota Twins), Cole Hamels (Philadelphia Phillies)
I’m breaking my own rule here by technically making this list a “top 22” list due to the three-way tie at the 20 spot; however, I cannot predict injuries, nor how a pitcher will come back from one. Richards had a great year and established himself as the ace of the Angel’s pitching staff before injuring his knee in August. Harvey, like Richards, was injured in August, but Harvey’s injury came in 2013. After the Mets’ ace’s break-out in 2013, he missed the entire 2014 season. Tanaka was injured multiple times in 2014 but has been announced as the Yankees’ Opening Day starter. Tanaka performs as well as any American League pitcher when he is playing. The question is, how much will he be playing? Samardzija, Shields, Hughes, and Hamels all will be in the All-Star game, if healthy.