Top 20 MLB Pitchers of 2020: Projecting This Year’s Best

Tim Kelly
February 27, 2020 - 11:21 am
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Between 2017 and 2018, FanGraphs says that New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino was the fifth most valuable pitcher in all of baseball, ahead of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, among others.

After making his second All-Star team in his age-24 season, Severino signed a four-year/$40 million deal with the Yankees to buy out his arbitration years. At the time, the deal seemed as though it would prove to be one of the most team-friendly contracts in the sport.

Instead, as SNY's Andy Martino noted, Severino has turned into a reminder for all pitchers to get paid while they can, knowing how volatile a profession they are undertaking.

In 2019, rotator cuff inflammation and an injury to his latissimus dorsi limited Severino to just three starts during the regular season. There was quite a bit of excitement in the Bronx about the prospects of him potentially pitching a full season in 2020 as the No. 2 to offseason signee Gerrit Cole. Instead, Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery after an MRI showed damage to his UCL. Rather than being part of a team that has World Series aspirations, Severino will miss the entirety of the 2020 season.

Just a few years ago, Severino would have been a lock for the top 10 in this type of list, if not higher. That's the nature of being a pitcher, though. Easy come, easy go. Perhaps it will come back for Severino, who will only be 27 next season.

With Severino no longer an option, here is a look at RADIO.COM Sports projections of who will be the best starting pitchers in baseball in 2020:

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