Fantasy Baseball First Half: Top Rookie Pitchers

By Ben Hargrove

Whether you play in fantasy baseball leagues for money or for fun, you need to know not just who the top players are, but the top rookies. Here are the best of the 2013 rookie crop:

Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

20-year-old Fernandez (he turns 21 at the end of July) finished the first half 5-5 with a 2.75 ERA (eighth in the NL), 1.08 WHIP (ninth) and 103 strikeouts in 104 2/3 IP for a 8.86 K/9 (ninth).  Fernandez’ ERA at the end of May was 3.78, but he has allowed more than two ER just once in eight starts since.  Fernandez became the third pitcher under the age of 21 to have multiple strikeouts in an All-Star game when he fanned Dustin Pedroia and Chris Davis. The first two pitchers to do so were Bob Feller and Dwight Gooden.  Fernandez was the 14th pick in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft.  He is expected to throw between 150 and 170 innings before being shut down, an important piece of info for those in fantasy baseball leagues for money.

Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals

Miller finished the first half 9-6 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 112 strikeouts. His 9.6 K/9 was fourth-best in the NL. On May 10 against the Rockies, Miller allowed a leadoff single, then retired 27 straight for a complete-game one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. Miller had a 1.82 ERA on June 1, but has had some struggles since then. Miller was the 19th pick in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft.

Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves

Teheran went into the break 7-5 with a 3.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 94 strikeouts in 113 IP.  After starting slowly with a 5.08 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in April, Teheran improved to 2.64 and 1.04 in May and 1.95 and 0.93 in June. His K/BB that month was 37-4 in 32 1/3 IP. On June 5, Teheran took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Pittsburgh, finishing with eight innings of one-hit ball and 11 strikeouts. Teheran has been more hittable so far in July, with a 4.58 ERA in three starts and four HR allowed, giving him 15 HR, ninth-worst in the NL.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers

Ryu finished the first half 7-3 with a 3.09 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 116 2/3 IP.  He had eight straight quality starts before allowing five ER against Arizona in his last start before the break.  Ryu, 26, came over from Korea after the Dodgers posted a bid of nearly $26 million, then gave him a contract for six years and $36 million.  Ryu has a 1.90 ERA at Dodger Stadium vs. 4.42 on the road.

Ben Hargrove writes on a variety of sports and business topics. DraftStreet.com offers fantasy baseball leagues for money and for free.

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