FanShot

So what exactly constitutes an ace?

10

After this term has been bantered around on here for the last few weeks, I happened to hear a really good explanation of how I felt on the issue in the BP podcast (HIGHLY recommended, by the way) with Kevin Goldstein. An ace is a guy who if you surveyed all the managers/GMs/baseball people in the know for their top 10 in the game, his name would be among the 5-8 most mentioned names. Statistics from year to year may waver, but people making the game plan know who the real aces are. We aren't talking about the #1 pitcher, or an opening day starter, or even the first starter in the playoffs. We're talking about the true elite of the elite. I posed this question to an unnamed MLB beat writer that I know and he wagered that a good explanation is that if you would consider taking the guy ahead of a power-hitting first baseman when drafting a REAL LIFE team (emphasis mine, to deter those only thinking in fantasy terms), he's ace-quality. To me there are a small list of aces in the game right now, and here's my list: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia - 34 years old - 179 career wins, 137 ERA+, 6.8 k/9, 3.67 k/bb Felix Hernandez, Seattle - 25 years old - 79 career wins, 131 ERA+, 8.2 k/9, 2.92 k/bb Cliff Lee, Philadelphia - 32 years old - 111 career wins, 114 ERA+, 7.1 k/9, 3.19 k/bb Tim Lincecum, San Francisco - 27 years old - 62 career wins, 138 ERA+, 10.0 k/9, 3.09 k/bb CC Sabathia, New York - 30 years old - 168 career wins, 124 ERA+, 7.5 k/9, 2.72 k/bb Justin Verlander, Detroit - 28 years old - 94 career wins, 120 ERA+, 2.87 k/bb Adam Wainwright, St. Louis - 29 years old - 66 career wins, 140 ERA+, 7.5 k/9, 2.91 k/bb Next two on my own list are Jon Lester, Boston, and Josh Johnson, Florida. What would be your list of the aces in the game?

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