Top 10 Third-Year Starting Pitchers

Tommy Hanson
Text: Eric Mack,
Photo: Al Tielemans/SI


Tommy Hanson

24, Atlanta Braves

We break down 10 top starting pitcher breakout candidates for 2011 in the category of 40-70 career starts, roughly their third season as starters. The pitcher's positioning in this top 10 list is not an actual ranking as much as a projected ability to outperform their fantasy draft position.

This list-topper is an easy selection. After his first full major-league season you might even see him go later in drafts than he did a year ago. That is because he won fewer games in 34 starts (10) than he did as a rookie in 21 starts in 2009 (11). He did surpass the 200-inning mark and cut down on his walk rate to 2.5 BB/9, but he didn't quite perform like the top 20 starter he was drafted to be. But this will be the year he wins 15-plus games, reaches 210-plus innings and goes over 200 strikeouts. If he falls past the top 20 fantasy aces picked on draft day, he is going to carry your team to elite heights.

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