Pitchers have been the most sought after assets in the MLB over the past few years, and teams' attempts to add pitchers have led to fans overrating many of them. Here are eight pitchers who are severely overrated entering 2018.
8. Sonny Gray
Many fans still believe that Sonny Gray is an ace, even though the 28 year old hasn't posted an ace-like season in two years. Gray is a quality, middle-of-the-rotation starter at this point in his career but seems unlikely to recreate his earlier career success.
7. Chris Archer
Fans and the media tend to overrate Chris Archer because of his impressive strikeout numbers. Archer is a good pitcher, but some believe he is in the conversation for top 10 in the league and that is far too high of a ranking. Archer hasn't posted an ERA below 4.00 in either of the past two seasons and would not be an ace on a World Series contending team, even though people tend to think of him that way.
6. Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola is sometimes thought of as a borderline ace, but the 24 year old is and has never been that pitcher. Nola was a top 50 prospect but has never fully reached his potential and owns a decent but not amazing 3.94 career MLB ERA. He's young, so his future is bright, but that's part of the reason why he's also overrated. People love a great prospect.
5. Aroldis Chapman
Seduced by his incredible velocity, Aroldis Chapman is thought of as one of the best, if not the best, reliever in the league. The reality is that Chapman hasn't been an All-Star in two years and was removed from his role as Yankees closer after struggling last season. Chapman is a great reliever, but he should no longer be considered the best in the league.
4. Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana is a very valuable pitcher because of his team-friendly contract, but the interest he received in the trade market while on the White Sox makes fans believe Quintana is better than he actually is. Quintana is a durable innings eater who will pitch to a mid-3's ERA, but that's it. He's a solid, mid-rotation starter, not the borderline ace that some people believe him to be.
3. Andrew Cashner
Andrew Cashner signed a two year, $16 million deal (with a third year vesting option for $10 million) with the Orioles this offseason in what was largely considered to be a solid move by the O's. Cashner has pitched in over 150 innings just three times over his eight year MLB career and has posted an ERA south of 4.00 only three times. His pitch velocity has steadily declined since 2012 and although he had a strong season last year, Cashner is unlikely to replicate that success often. Advanced metrics suggest that Cashner will regress significantly this season, so O's fans shouldn't get their hopes up for the starter.
2. Jon Lester
Lester will be the Opening Day starter for the Cubs, but the 34 year old is coming off of a season during which he posted a poor 4.33 ERA. Lester is just one season removed from a second place Cy Young finish, but he is likely entering his decline. While Lester is unlikely to be as bad as he was in 2017, Cubs fans should temper their expectations for their ace.
1. Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole is oftentimes thought of as an ace by fans, but the 27 year old only showed that potential in one season. Cole posted an uninspiring 4.26 ERA last season. Although Cole may still have ace potential, his performance has been closer to that of a No. 3 starter than a No. 1.