The best starting pitchers of the past decade
The year 2019 marks the end of the last decade, which gives us the opportunity to take a quick look at the last ten years. In the last few weeks, we have been analyzing the outfield and inner field positions, including the receivers. We then ranked the top 10 players for each of them.
We are now on the mound with position number one: the starting pitcher. No position has changed more over the past decade, and certainly over the past 30 years, than that of the starting pitcher. Sometimes we don’t even let them start the game at all, they come after the opener …
Here are the top 10 starting pitchers of the past decade. Remember, this is not infused science!
1 – Clayton Kershaw (2010-2019)
Kershaw won his first National League Cy Young Trophy at the age of 23, in 2011, and has won two more since. Your grandchildren will ask you what it was like to see him play.
2 – Max Scherzer (2010-2019)
It took a while for Scherzer to become the dominant pitcher he is now, but today he could be the most intimidating pitcher at the mound.
3 – Madison Bumgarner (2010-2019)
Bumgarner has been the centerpiece of three different championships for the Giants, and for two of them he essentially won the title on his own. When you look back to that decade, and think of the playoffs, Bumgarner is the first pitcher that comes to mind.
Happy birthday, Madison Bumgarner!
Bumgarner has the lowest career ERA (0.25) and WHIP (0.528) in World Series history! (min. 20 IP) pic.twitter.com/y77vnb5xXM
– MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 1, 2019
4 – Justin Verlander (2010-2019)
Verlander was already a formidable pitcher when the decade began, but it wasn’t until he was 27 that he got to his best. He also bought himself a World Series ring and, quite possibly, a spot in Cooperstown.
5 – Chris Sale (2010-2019)
When the White Sox finally let him start a game in 2012, he had seven star seasons in a row. His transfer to Boston gave him his first World Series ring.
6 – Cole Hamels (2010-2019)
Like many of the other pitchers on this list, he hatched in his 30s. His 2.36 Chicago GPA in 2018 was the highlight of his last ten years.
7 – Zack Greinke (2010-2019)
He won the American League’s Cy Young Trophy in 2009 and then had the worst year of his career in 2010 during his final season at Kansas City. After that, however, it was extraordinary. He even won the Golden Glove five times.
8 – Felix Hernandez (2010-2019)
In its heyday, there was nothing better than King Felix. He’s had double-digit wins for eight consecutive seasons (on teams that haven’t always been so good). And let’s not forget his greatest moment, that day in August 2012 when he was, quite simply, perfect.
9 – Stephen Strasburg (2010-2019)
In the first nine seasons of his career, Strasburg built his reputation on a three-pitch mix of an electric fastball, a knee-bending curveball and a shifting shift that froze the most seasoned hitter.
Stephen Strasburg now has a career 1.10 ERA in the postseason. 🤯#CarryTheFreight pic.twitter.com/8OxYoAjUUE
— MLB (@MLB) October 15, 2019
10 – Jacob deGrom (2014-2019)
deGrom is the 20th pitcher to win multiple Cy Youngs and the 11th to win it consecutively. Over six seasons, he has a superb earned-run average of 2.62 ERA, but he has just 66 career wins against 49 losses. He has been dragging his team since joining the Majors.
Honorable mentions to Johnny Cueto, Corey Kluber, Jon Lester, David Price and CC Sabathia.