Did MLB.Com snub SF Giants starter in pitching power rankings?

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants
Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

MLB.Com published its power rankings through the first two weeks of the season. While it recognizes some of the best arms in baseball such as Corbin Burnes and Zack Wheeler, it omits one of the best pitchers so far - SF Giants hurler Jordan Hicks.

Did MLB.Com snub SF Giants starter in pitching power rankings?

Hicks was not included on the top-10 list and was not even among the 13 other pitchers who received votes to make the cut.

Sure, many of the players on the list are established veterans with long track records of performance like Burnes, Wheeler, and Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Zac Gallen. However, some relatively inexperienced arms made the cut as well such as Ronel Blanco and Garrett Crochet of the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox, respectively. Hicks aligns more closely with Blanco and Crochet in terms of experience as a starter.

Power rankings are not necessarily meant to highlight the best pitchers in baseball, but rather to identify the best performers at a specific point in time. It is more of a discussion point than anything concrete.

Of course, it is designed to get a dialogue going and that is what it is doing among Giants fans. Jordan Hicks has been excellent through his first three starts, quelling any concerns that many people had with his transition from the bullpen to the rotation.

The stuff has never been an issue. The righty pitcher has usually flashed a high-90's sinker with a sweeper out of the bullpen, but he has toyed with a splitter in 2024 as well. One of the big performance questions was whether he would throw enough strikes. And, he has answered that call in the early going, issuing just three free passes in 18 innings.

The next question will be durability. Can he keep this up over a full season? The 27-year-old came up as a starter in the minors but he has never pitched more than 77.2 innings in a season since he debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2017. He has faced his share of injury setbacks as well, so the Giants will likely be cautious with pushing him too much. Perhaps, the eventual returns of both Alex Cobb and Robbie Ray will help to augment some of Hick's workload.

So far, he has tallied a 1.00 ERA, 3.17 FIP, 0.83 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 4.33 SO/W ratio and a 56.3 percent ground ball rate through three starts. It is too early to be filtering stats, but Hicks is 13th in baseball in ERA among pitchers with at least 10 innings. Plus, his 0.8 bWAR is 11th in baseball currently.

Again, it is too early to be filtering stats to make a case. However, I am using these to highlight that Hicks is, at the very least, on the fringes of being one of the best pitchers through three starts. Does that mean anything over a 162-game season? Not necessarily, but it is hard to argue that he has not been one of the best pitchers so far.