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The Amazingly Awesome rookie class of 2015: Pitchers

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2015 was a special year for rookies in Major League Baseball. We looked at the group of outstanding young hitters earlier today. The pitching group wasn't quite as strong but there's still a lot of promise here.

The Top 30 rookie starters, sorted by Fangraphs WAR.

Anthony DeSclafani Reds 9 13 0 31 31 184.2 7.36 2.68 0.83 0.318 69.90% 45.10% 9.10% 4.05 3.67 3.97 3.2 13050
Noah Syndergaard Mets 9 7 0 24 24 150 9.96 1.86 1.14 0.279 75.00% 46.50% 14.30% 3.24 3.25 2.91 3.1 11762
Lance McCullers Astros 6 7 0 22 22 125.2 9.24 3.08 0.72 0.288 75.00% 46.50% 9.30% 3.22 3.26 3.5 2.8 14120
Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 5 12 0 23 23 127.2 8.39 3.45 0.63 0.311 73.80% 43.30% 7.30% 3.52 3.53 4.03 2.1 11486
Carlos Rodon White Sox 9 6 0 23 23 133 9.14 4.53 0.74 0.311 74.80% 46.90% 10.70% 3.79 3.87 3.94 2 16137
Trevor May Twins 4 8 0 16 16 83.1 7.88 1.94 0.86 0.344 69.90% 38.00% 7.60% 4.43 3.35 3.96 1.8 6398
Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 10 6 0 21 21 121.2 7.25 2.74 0.96 0.289 74.20% 43.00% 10.40% 3.85 3.92 4.05 1.7 13164
Taylor Jungmann Brewers 9 8 0 21 21 119.1 8.07 3.54 0.83 0.29 72.80% 46.30% 9.90% 3.77 3.92 4.1 1.6 13119
Raisel Iglesias Reds 3 7 0 16 16 92.1 9.94 2.63 1.07 0.273 71.30% 47.00% 14.90% 4 3.58 3.21 1.6 17130
Nate Karns Rays 7 5 0 26 26 144 8.81 3.44 1.13 0.283 78.00% 42.30% 12.40% 3.69 4.05 3.91 1.6 12638
Andrew Heaney Angels 6 4 0 18 18 105.2 6.64 2.38 0.77 0.284 76.40% 38.30% 7.00% 3.49 3.73 4.41 1.6 15423
Chris Bassitt Athletics 1 8 0 13 13 75.1 6.69 2.51 0.48 0.307 74.20% 45.80% 5.50% 3.58 3.41 4.15 1.5 12304
Joe Ross Nationals 5 5 0 13 13 73.2 8.31 2.44 0.86 0.268 68.70% 49.50% 10.10% 3.79 3.42 3.57 1.3 12972
Chris Heston Giants 12 11 0 31 31 177.2 7.14 3.24 0.81 0.299 73.40% 53.00% 11.80% 3.95 4.02 3.98 1.3 10302
Tyler Duffey Twins 5 1 0 10 10 58 8.22 3.1 0.62 0.315 79.60% 49.70% 7.80% 3.1 3.24 3.64 1.2 13758
Jerad Eickhoff Phillies 3 3 0 8 8 51 8.65 2.29 0.88 0.257 80.40% 37.90% 8.90% 2.65 3.25 3.6 1.2 12664
Nicholas Tropeano Angels 3 2 0 7 7 36.2 9.33 2.45 0.49 0.346 67.10% 38.10% 4.80% 3.93 2.59 3.57 1.1 12385
Adam Conley Marlins 4 1 0 11 11 58.2 8.44 2.91 0.92 0.325 78.50% 40.40% 8.60% 3.68 3.66 4.09 1 14457
Cody Anderson Indians 7 3 0 15 15 91.1 4.34 2.36 0.89 0.237 78.30% 45.90% 9.20% 3.05 4.27 4.58 1 12799
Vincent Velasquez Astros 1 1 0 7 7 38 9 3.32 0.71 0.317 71.40% 28.80% 5.80% 4.03 3.27 4.26 0.9 11189
Aaron Nola Phillies 6 2 0 13 13 77.2 7.88 2.2 1.27 0.289 80.40% 47.60% 15.10% 3.59 4.04 3.58 0.9 16149
Jonathan Gray Rockies 0 2 0 9 9 40.2 8.85 3.1 0.89 0.384 67.30% 43.20% 9.80% 5.53 3.63 3.84 0.8 14916
Henry Owens Red Sox 4 4 0 11 11 63 7.14 3.43 1 0.293 68.20% 34.70% 7.50% 4.57 4.28 5.01 0.7 13143
Luis Severino Yankees 5 3 0 11 11 62.1 8.09 3.18 1.3 0.265 87.00% 50.90% 17.30% 2.89 4.37 3.72 0.7 15890
John Lamb Reds 1 5 0 10 10 49.2 10.51 3.44 1.45 0.376 69.30% 37.70% 14.30% 5.8 4.16 3.73 0.6 8493
Steven Matz Mets 4 0 0 6 6 35.2 8.58 2.52 1.01 0.3 91.40% 45.50% 11.80% 2.27 3.61 3.56 0.6 13361
Zachary Davies Brewers 3 2 0 6

6

34 6.35 3.97 0.53 0.245 70.70% 57.60% 9.50% 3.71 3.81 3.96 0.5 13183
Daniel Norris - - - 3 2 0 13 13 60 6.75 2.85 1.35 0.25 70.00% 39.90% 11.40% 3.75 4.63 4.63 0.5 13475
Kendall Graveman Athletics 6 9 0 21 21 115.2 5.99 2.96 1.17 0.302 75.70% 50.00% 13.90% 4.05 4.6 4.3 0.4 15514

Any big flukes here? None stand out as obvious to me.

DeSclafani put up the most WAR due to his innings load but the quality of his pitching on a per-inning basis seems reasonable.
Syndergaard and McCullers perhaps needed less adjustment time than one might normally expect, but no one has ever doubted their talent.
Lefties Rodon and Rodriguez. . .a bit erratic, but no questions about their upsides.
Chris Heston was the Matt Shoemaker of 2015.
Jerad Eickhoff exceeded expectations but had sleeper markers in his profile. We'll look at him more closely soon.
Severino and Nola are just getting started.

What about the relievers?

Carson Smith Mariners 2 5 13 70 0 70 11.83 2.83 0.26 0.292 78.50% 64.80% 6.90% 2.31 2.12 2.36 2.1
Ken Giles Phillies 6 3 15 69 0 70 11.19 3.21 0.26 0.311 75.40% 44.80% 3.30% 1.8 2.13 3.05 2
Keone Kela Rangers 7 5 1 68 0 60.1 10.14 2.69 0.6 0.314 80.80% 50.60% 8.90% 2.39 2.64 2.88 1.5
Alex Colome Rays 5 1 0 30 0 40.2 9.74 1.55 0 0.358 71.40% 38.90% 0.00% 2.66 1.71 3.12 1.4
Roberto Osuna Blue Jays 1 6 20 68 0 69.2 9.69 2.07 0.9 0.238 79.70% 34.30% 8.50% 2.58 3.02 3.45 1.3
Blaine Hardy Tigers 5 3 0 70 0 61.1 8.07 3.23 0.29 0.319 75.10% 39.00% 3.00% 3.08 2.89 4.08 1.1
Pedro Baez Dodgers 4 2 0 52 0 51 10.59 1.94 0.71 0.326 69.30% 37.60% 6.90% 3.35 2.51 3.17 1.1
Yimi Garcia Dodgers 3 5 1 58 0 54.2 10.87 1.65 1.15 0.254 73.50% 27.20% 9.20% 3.13 3.04 3.43 0.9
Sean Gilmartin Mets 3 1 0 49 0 52.1 8.77 2.92 0.17 0.317 79.00% 46.20% 2.00% 2.58 2.52 3.66 0.9
Felipe Rivero Nationals 2 1 2 49 0 48.1 8.01 2.05 0.37 0.25 72.40% 45.50% 4.50% 2.79 2.64 3.44 0.9
Hunter Strickland Giants 3 3 0 55 0 51.1 8.77 1.75 0.7 0.24 79.20% 39.80% 7.80% 2.45 2.9 3.35 0.8
Justin Miller Rockies 3 3 1 34 0 33.1 10.26 2.97 0.54 0.244 58.20% 37.50% 6.50% 4.05 2.62 3.22 0.7
Arodys Vizcaino Braves 3 1 9 36 0 33.2 9.89 3.48 0.27 0.295 85.50% 34.90% 3.10% 1.6 2.48 3.5 0.7
Andrew Chafin Diamondbacks 5 1 2 66 0 75 6.96 3.6 0.36 0.248 77.30% 58.50% 6.40% 2.76 3.35 3.75 0.7
Michael Blazek Brewers 5 3 0 45 0 55.2 7.6 2.91 0.49 0.242 76.60% 47.40% 5.80% 2.43 3.17 3.85 0.6
Erik Goeddel Mets 1 1 0 35 0 33.1 9.18 2.43 0.27 0.267 77.40% 41.20% 3.00% 2.43 2.47 3.55 0.5
Elvis Araujo Phillies 2 1 0 40 0 34.2 8.83 4.93 0.26 0.289 66.50% 48.90% 3.40% 3.38 3.19 4.05 0.4
Luis Garcia Phillies 4 6 2 72 0 66.2 8.51 5 0.54 0.34 78.30% 63.00% 13.30% 3.51 3.69 3.57 0.4
Jumbo Diaz Reds 2 1 1 61 0 60.1 10.44 2.69 1.34 0.316 75.30% 43.70% 16.40% 4.18 3.8 3.2 0.3
Jose Alvarez Angels 4 3 0 64 0 67 7.93 3.09 0.67 0.277 72.20% 51.00% 8.60% 3.49 3.6 3.9 0.3
Hansel Robles Mets 4 3 0 57 0 54 10.17 3 1.33 0.227 65.50% 32.80% 12.10% 3.67 3.91 3.79 0.2
Chaz Roe Orioles 4 2 0 36 0 41.1 8.27 3.7 0.87 0.342 76.20% 52.10% 12.10% 4.14 3.86 3.78 0.2
Arquimedes Caminero Pirates 5 1 0 73 0 74.2 8.8 3.5 0.84 0.276 76.00% 47.60% 11.70% 3.62 3.8 3.77 0.2
Tom Layne Red Sox 2 1 1 64 0 47.2 8.5 5.1 0.57 0.292 73.00% 54.70% 10.00% 3.97 3.89 4 0.1
Steve Geltz Rays 2 6 2 68 0 63.1 8.38 3.55 1.14 0.219 68.00% 31.70% 9.30% 3.84 4.19 4.55 0.1
Trevor Gott Angels 4 2 0 48 0 47.2 5.1 3.02 0.38 0.266 74.30% 57.20% 5.00% 3.02 3.74 4.44 0.1
Austin Adams Indians 2 0 1 28 0 33.1 6.21 3.51 0.54 0.315 74.20% 46.80% 5.00% 3.78 3.7 4.7 0.1
Corey Knebel Brewers 0 0 0 48 0 50.1 10.37 3.04 1.43 0.29 86.90% 49.20% 19.50% 3.22 4.03 3.16 0.1
Brooks Brown Rockies 1 3 0 36 0 33 5.45 4.36 0.55 0.278 67.10% 50.50% 6.90% 4.91 4.26 4.76 0.1

That gets almost every relief arm down to replacement level. The biggest surprise could be Roberto Osuna due to the big jump he was making from A-ball but there's certainly no question about his pure talent. Osuna, Giles, and Smith all seem like they can be long-term closers and there are other arms here with that kind of upside.

There's so much to love about baseball right now. I really think this is a golden age for the game.