After checking in with the guys behind the plate, the next stop for the B/R MLB 500 is the guys they do business with the most: starting pitchers. 

We have 150 starting pitchers to get to, and they’ll be scored like so: 30 points for Control, 25 points for Whiffability, 25 points for Hittability and 20 points for “Workhorse” factor for a total of 100 points.

The Control category mainly concerns how good guys are at finding the strike zone and limiting walks. But it also considers command within the zone and if pitchers are good at toying with the zone.

The Whiffability category considers how good guys are at missing bats. The focus will be on what kind of stuff they’re working with and how good they are at using it to get hitters to swing and miss.

The Hittability category is a little different. Missing bats is great, but pitchers can also help themselves by manipulating contact. Guys who can get ground balls are ideal, but we’ll also be looking at proneness to home runs and line drives and for guys who just seem to have a knack for not getting hit hard.

Lastly, the Workhorse category is what it sounds like. It evaluates pitchers’ capacities for eating innings, which is not just a matter of endurance. Efficiency also helps. So does good health. And a track record.

On that note, we’re not doing a separate category for health this year. Any injury concerns we have will be applied to the category (or categories) that stand to be impacted.

Also note that a score in the middle (i.e. 15/30 or 12/25) denotes average, not failing. And while the discussion will be centered on 2014, we also have one eye on 2015. B/R prospect guru Mike Rosenbaum has thus provided some scores and scouting reports for a couple MLB-ready starters, and we’ll also be looping in a couple big-name pitchers who will be returning from injuries.

Lastly, any ties will be resolved with the following question: “If we could pick only one, who would it be?”

When you’re ready, you can read on.

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