I've gone a little rankings crazy of late. For this morning's column at The Hardball Times, I put together a list of the five deepest rotations in baseball. I think it's more than just my Brewers fandom that makes Milwaukee #2 on my list:
While neither Villanueva nor Jackson (nor Dillard or Ben Hendrickson, for that matter) has a very high ceiling, either would probably be a capable MLB fifth starter right now. In six starts last year, Villanueva managed a 3.69 ERA with a nearly 4/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Jackson wasn't so successful, but performed above replacement level in his seven starts. Gallardo is the most exciting of the bunch: he probably won't be ready until the all-star break, but is one of the top pitching prospects in the game.
Update [2007-3-18 2:14:7 by battlekow]: I just had to bump this: Dave Stewart--yes, that Dave Stewart--picks the top ten rotations in baseball. Granted, Jeff was ranking the deepest rather than the best, but the contrast, in both process and results, is still pretty awesome. I'm inordinately amused by "reasons" such as: