To tier a position means to bundle players with a similar projected outcome, creating an alternate form of rankings that will better serve you on Draft Day. Knowing which position to target means knowing where the biggest drop-off is coming, and having tiers will make it immediately apparent during the heat of the draft.
Below are the starting pitcher tiers for 2021, depicting an incomparably large position that's mostly devoid of a middle class.
The Super Elite: Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole
The Elite: Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Aaron Nola, Lucas Giolito, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Luis Castillo, Kenta Maeda, Jack Flaherty, Walker Buehler, Zac Gallen, Carlos Carrasco, Brandon Woodruff
The Near-Elite: Lance Lynn, Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, Stephen Strasburg, Zach Plesac, Corbin Burnes, Dinelson Lamet, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kyle Hendricks
The Next-Best Things: Max Fried, Zack Wheeler, Sonny Gray, Framber Valdez, Dylan Bundy, Jose Berrios, Chris Paddack
The Fallback Options: Ian Anderson, Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Luzardo, Lance McCullers, Patrick Corbin, Charlie Morton, Mike Soroka, Sandy Alcantara, Kevin Gausman, Joe Musgrove, German Marquez, Triston McKenzie, Julio Urias, Corey Kluber, Frankie Montas
The Last Resorts: Marco Gonzales, Pablo Lopez, Tyler Mahle, James Paxton, David Price, Michael Pineda, Jose Urquidy, Aaron Civale, Cristian Javier, Shohei Ohtani, Dallas Keuchel, Marcus Stroman, John Means, Jameson Taillon
The Deep-Leaguers: Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Griffin Canning, Brady Singer, Dane Dunning, Nate Pearson, Drew Smyly, Zach Eflin, Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Heaney, Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Kopech, Domingo German, Elieser Hernandez, Chris Bassitt, Luis Severino, MacKenzie Gore, Zach Davies, Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard, Tarik Skubal, A.J. Puk*, Ryan Yarbrough, Brad Keller, Justus Sheffield, Sean Manaea
The Leftovers: Mitch Keller, Adbert Alzolay, Matthew Boyd, Adam Wainwright, Kris Bubic, Deivi Garcia, Spencer Howard, Rich Hill, Carlos Martinez, Kwang Hyun Kim, Casey Mize, Yusei Kikuchi, Chris Archer, Miles Mikolas, Taijuan Walker, Matt Manning, Forrest Whitley, Brendan McKay, Luke Weaver, Ross Stripling, Caleb Smith, Robbie Ray, Merrill Kelly, Dylan Cease, J.A. Happ, Madison Bumgarner, Jake Odorizzi, Nick Pivetta*, Michael Lorenzen*, Jose Quintana*, Matt Shoemaker, Cole Hamels, Danny Duffy, Tanner Houck, Dean Kremer, Randy Dobnak, Kyle Wright, Mike Minor, Jon Gray, Steven Matz, Trevor Rogers, Garrett Richards, Tyler Chatwood, Anthony DeSclafani, Carlos Rodon, Michael Fulmer, David Peterson, Alec Mills, Spencer Turnbull, Adrian Houser, Antonio Senzatela