The Dynasty Guru’s Top 200 Dynasty Starting Pitchers Nos. 126-200
Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.
It’s not often that someone leaves Petco park and still finds himself in an enviable park to pitch in, but that’s exactly the case with the next guy on the list:
126) Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)
Hahn backs up his grounder-inducing fastball with one of the best curves in the game. He’s been successful at every stop and passes the eye test, the only question is whether he can do it for more than 115.2 innings, his current career high.
127) Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 177)
The Scherzer signing pushes Roark to the bullpen and into fantasy irrelevance. Even if trade or injury provides an opportunity, his fringe-y stuff makes a repeat of 2014 highly unlikely, even if his control is impressive.
128) Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants (Age: 39, Previous Rank: 101)
Hudson will turn 40 during the 2015 season and is recovering from offseason surgery on the same ankle he broke in 2013. Provided he can get and stay healthy, the bottom of the strike zone will get one last workout from old man Hudson.
129) Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
Nelson led the PCL in ERA and WHIP before ascending to Milwaukee, where his results underwhelmed due in part to a .344 BABIP. The Gallardo trade locks in a rotation spot and his slider generates enough swings and misses to provide strikeout upside.
130) Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 81)
Big Time Timmy Jim was reduced to a cheerleading role during the Giants’ World Series run. With a 4.82 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over the past three seasons, a strikeout rate that is now league average, and dimensions that are still small, the top of a pyramid probably is a better place than the top of a mound.
131) Jarred Cosart, Miami Marlins (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 153)
If you like your walks and strikeouts in equal proportion and couldn’t get enough of Joe Saunders in the mid-2000s, Jarred Cosart is your guy for the mid-2010s.
132) Brandon Finnegan, Kansas City Royals (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Finnegan began 2014 pitching for Texas Christian and finished it pitching high leverage innings for the Royals in the postseason. He’ll return to the minors to stretch back out into a starter and will try to beat the rest of Kansas City’s enviable minor league pitching depth to Kauffman.
133) CC Sabathia, New York Yankees (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 45)
Sabathia’s strikeout and walk rates were at or near career bests when he had season-ending knee surgery in June. Despite the peripherals, his ratios were bloated by a .350 BABIP and a terrifying 1.96 home runs per nine innings. There is some concern about whether Sabathia’s knee will ever by fully healthy again and even if it is, the performance is likely to disappoint.
134) A.J. Cole, Washington Nationals (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 116)
Cole commands his low/mid-90s fastball well and pairs it with a decent change. His strikeouts dipped as he faced more advanced competition in 2014 but there is still some hope he’ll turn in to a mid-rotation starter. He’ll repeat Triple-A barring a trade to an organization with less depth.
135) Brett Anderson, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 95)
Smart call by Anderson moving to Los Angeles, where the medical options are plentiful. If Doogie Howser, Dr. Dre, Dr. Perry Cox, Dr. Feelgood, and Dr. Wordsmith are booked, maybe he can get a referral to Maude Lebowski’s guy. He’s a good man, and thorough.
136) Aaron Blair, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)
Perhaps the least talented of Arizona’s trio of pitching prospects, Blair compensates with the highest floor. He controls four above-average pitches and has the size to eat innings in the middle of the Diamondbacks rotation. Blair reached Double-A in 2014 and should be in Arizona for good by 2016.
137) Ivan Nova, New York Yankees (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 72)
Nova had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and is out until June. He has continually improved his walk rate over his professional career, so it will be interesting to see if he can pick up where he left off or if he’ll struggle with his control, as TJS returnees often do.
138) Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado Rockies (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 86)
Chacin has a career 1.84 K/BB, pitches half his games in Coors, lost two miles per hour on his fastball last year and missed most of 2012 and 2014 with a shoulder injury that is still not surgically repaired. Other than that he’s pretty good.
139) Michael Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NR)
Fiers’ 31.5 percent strikeout rate was easily the best among starters in the PCL last year and he had continued success in the majors in August and September. A .224 BABIP certainly helped his cause and he doesn’t have the raw stuff to repeat that performance, despite picking up some velocity.
140) Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 73)
There’s enough deception in Cingrani’s fastball to generate strikeouts but he’ll have to prove he’s healthy and vastly improve his secondary offerings if he’s going to hold off a move to the bullpen.
141) Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)
Kyle Hendricks uses scouting reports. I don’t know why this is especially relevant but when writing about Hendricks you have to mention that he went to Dartmouth, that he likes to use scouting reports, or both. Despite the fact that he can read and has plus command, there’s skepticism he can approximate his 2014 performance with strand rate regression and that, ahem, fastball.
142) Luis Severino, New York Yankees (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
A quick riser since signing out of the Dominican in 2011, Severino pitched well at three different levels last season. Scouts are split regarding whether he’ll end up as a starter or high leverage reliever. He’ll take his big heater and plus secondaries back to Double-A to open 2014.
143) Jamie Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 109)
Garcia missed most of 2014 after undergoing surgery on his shoulder to fix thoracic outlet syndrome, a procedure that effectively ended the careers of Chris Carpenter and Jeremy Bonderman. Let’s hope Garcia can make it all the way back so he can give us another 50 solid innings before hitting the DL for some unrelated reason.
144) Kris Medlen, Kansas City Royals (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 48)
Medlen has been terrific when he’s taken the mound but that has only happened 61 times as a starter since he broke into the big leagues in 2010. There is almost no precedent for pitchers who are on their third UCL and Medlen and the Royals will take his rehab slowly.
145) Justin Masterson, Boston Red Sox (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 74)
Masterson returns to the Red Sox more or less the same guy he was when he left in 2009 – grounders, walks, a nasty platoon split, and an unfulfilled destiny as a reliever. Injuries may be partially to blame for his poor 2014 but a three MPH decline in fastball velocity is worrisome.
146) Bud Norris, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 156)
Norris set personal bests in ERA and WHIP in 2014, thanks to a walk rate that resembled league average for the first time. He’s best used as a streamer or injury plug-in but if you can predict which outings he’ll get shelled and which he’ll be decent, congratulations.
147) Dan Haren, Miami Marlins (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 90)
Haren threatened retirement upon being traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins. There’s enough sunshine, sand, celebrities, and hair gel in South Beach to be a decent approximation of SoCal, so expect Haren to make one last run at the league lead in home runs allowed.
148) Nick Kingham, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)
Kingham lurks in the shadows of the high upside arms in the Pirates’ system but with Taillon working his way back from TJ and Glasnow yet to pitch above high-A, Kingham will arrive in Pittsburgh first. He has limited upside but enough size to chew up innings.
149) Tyler Kolek, Miami Marlins (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
Kolek has physical gifts you can’t teach but also hasn’t faced any real competition and doesn’t bring much to the bump besides a fastball that can get to triple digits. He’s worthy of an investment but will require patience while he learns how to pitch.
150) C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 65)
Wilson couldn’t get out of the first inning in the final game of the Angels’ season. It was a fitting finish to a brutal year for Wilson, who recorded the most walks among pitchers not named Burnett. The Angels owe him big money and have limited alternatives but you, fantasy player, do not.
151) Mike Folytnewicz, Atlanta Braves (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 148)
His career as a starting pitcher could be shorter than his last name. He’ll be a lights-out reliever if it comes to that, though.
152) A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 117)
After missing the entire season due to Tommy John surgery, Griffin will look to re-establish himself as part of a deep Oakland rotation, before they trade him for a 25-year-old Double-A middle infielder.
153) Rafael Montero, New York Mets (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 154)
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark had a smoother debut than Rafael Montero. He still has a chance to start but the Mets rotation depth could push him to a relief role in short order.
154) Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
Tyler Matzek, Tyler Anderson, Christian Friedrich, Drew Pomeranz.
155) Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
A strong partial-season debut in the tough-to-pitch-in Yankee Stadium yielded a one-way ticket to to Detroit. A full season could mean 12+ wins and a bevy of strikeouts. However, prolonged exposure and adjustments made by AL-hitters could also prove that the Shane isn’t always Greener on the other side.
156) Lucas Sims, Atlanta Braves (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 126)
You can add the first half of Sims’ season to this video, and it wouldn’t seem out of place:
157) Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 47)
Buchholz justifiably ranked 47th in this space last year. This year, he justifiably ranks 110 spots lower. If you can figure out what he’ll do next, you’re already a step ahead of Clay.
158) Dillon Gee, New York Mets (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 145)
There’s a joke to be made about how boring Gee is, but if you spend the time trying to find it you just get depressed. We speak from experience.
159) Rubby De La Rosa, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
Arizona has a strong track record of getting the most out of talented but inconsistent players, right?
160) Edinson Volquez, Kansas City Royals (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 183)
For someone whose best attribute is the ability to soak up innings, it doesn’t bode well that Volquez’s career high is 196. Between the .263 BABIP and a move to the AL (and away from the Pirates infield defense), your best bet is to stay away.
161) Drew Pomeranz, Oakland Athletics (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
Craig: Tommy Milone comes to mind
Ben: That seems harsh
Craig: Think about it though
Ben: /sadly nods heads
/takes a drink
162) Grant Holmes, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
He can touch 98 MPH, but generally sits 92-95 and supplements the fastball with a yellow hammer curve. There’s not much room for growth, but with an already potent repertoire, he could put more people away than Sherlock.
163) Joe Ross, Washington Nationals (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 178)
Ross should start the season at Double-A, and if he can continue the growth he showed in 2014, could be part of the solution should Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister depart in 2015. That is, if Mike Rizzo doesn’t deal him for Mike Trout, straight up.
164) Jeremy Hellickson, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 125)
The nickname “Hellboy” seemed cool once upon a time but at this point Ron Pearlman would likely produce better results on the mound.
165) Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)
A younger left-handed Dillon Gee.
166) Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 182)
An older left-handed Dillon Gee.
167) Josh Johnson, San Diego Padres (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 76)
The “Other Brands” in Bounty commercials hold up better than Josh Johnson.
168) Yusmeiro Petit, San Francisco Giants (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NR)
Right-handed pitchers who throw 88 MPH and pitch up in the zone never get exposed, right? Still the most talented Yusmeiro on this list.
169) Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 138
The Rockies keep investing in De La Rosa, and he’s yet to make them look bad for it. How often can you say that?
170) Charlie Morton, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 181)
Morton threw 157 innings, striking out 19 percent, and generating ground balls 56 percent of the time, to the tune of a 3.71 ERA. That’s about right.
171) Trevor Cahill, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 92)
The Diamondbacks keep giving him starts, and that’s a strange Cahill to die on.
172) Joe Kelly, Boston Red Sox (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 124)
The best thing that Kelly has done since arriving in Boston is block twitter miscreant Matt Collins.
173) Alexander Reyes, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 184)
Not the first A. Reyes to generate hype as a pitching prospect in St. Louis. Let’s hope Alex can avoid Anthony’s ultimate fate: pitching in Cleveland.
174) Max Fried, Atlanta Braves (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 79)
Not since the KFC Double Down has something fried failed to deliver on it’s considerable hype. Neither are sandwiches.
175) Vincent Velasquez, Houston Astros (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 172)
Probably a reliever? Probably a reliever. He should be a good one though.
176) Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 106)
Craig: The next guy is Jake Peavy
Craig: Age, or rank?
Ben: We can use that!
177) T.J. House, Cleveland Indians (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)
This is who Jeremy Sowers was supposed to be.
178) Alfredo Simon, Detroit Tigers (Age: 33, Previous Rank: NR)
We had a killer reference lined up for this comment, but we decided not to praise moral bankruptcy. Simon should fit in well in Detroit for a multitude of reasons.
179) C.J. Edwards, Chicago Cubs (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 146)
Likely a reliever, arguably the best pitching prospect in the organization.
180) Kyle Crick, San Francisco Giants (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 120)
Likely a reliever, arguably the best pitching prospect in the organization.
181) Miguel Almonte, Kansas City Royals (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 163)
Likely to be the best Almonte in the majors the moment he makes his debut. Granted, Zoilo and Abraham don’t present much of a challenge.
182) Ubaldo Jimenez, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 66)
In the last three years, Jimenez has ranked 221st, 66th, and now 182nd. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
183) Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 36, Previous Rank: NR)
He should probably be ranked 20 spots higher, but we didn’t want to change all the numbers. At least we ranked him this year?
184) Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 119)
Hey look, a Boston starting pitching prospect whose best role is probably in the bullpen!
185) Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 27, Previous Ranks: NR)
By all accounts should be a left-hander.
186) Sean Newcomb, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NA)
When Andrew Heaney graduates, Newcomb will be the best Angels prospect, which is like being the best flavor of Budweiser’s ____-a-Rita line.
187) Reynaldo Lopez, Washington Nationals (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
Could be the next Yordano Ventura, could be the next Kelvin Herrera, won’t be a version of Dillon Gee.
188) Francellis Montas, Chicago White Sox (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man has more consistent mechanics than Montas.
189) Dan Straily, Houston Astros (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 111)
What he lacks in upside he can provide in innings, as long as your team is at least two years from contending. Winner of the 2014 offseason superlative of Most Likely to Pitch for the Rockies.
190) Hector Santiago, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 129)
When he faces Austin Jackson, we’ll have the first Hector versus Ajax matchup since Troy. History suggests Santiago will win, then again right-handers are his Achilles’ heel.
191) Anthony DeSclafani, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)
We couldn’t even find a way to relate him to Dillon Gee. He should function fine as a back end starter. Dammit, that was it!
192) Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)
MLB has been waiting for someone with a good screwball for quite a while. Yes, we’re aware Hector Santiago exists.
193) Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
The young starter can reach the mid-9os with ease, but already has Tommy John on his resume and a high maintenance body. His mid-rotation upside is nice, but make sure to account for the risks too.
194) Jesse Chavez, Oakland Athletics (Age: 31, Previous Rank: NR)
He did a suitable imitation of a back of the rotation starter, but the plethora of options in Oakland mean he’s likely to vacillate between starting, relieving, the majors, and the minors.
195) Brandon Morrow, San Diego Padres (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 110)
While the Dodgers splurged on Brett Anderson, the Padres went to Costco and picked up the injured-starter two-pack of Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow.
196) Tyler Beede, San Francisco Giants (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
♫If you’re going to San Francisco♫ … you might as well be a talented but inconsistent pitching prospect.
197) Casey Kelly, San Diego Padres (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 130)
It’s interesting that the Padres felt the need to stock up on oft-injured starting pitching options since Kelly was right there all along.
198) Touki Toussaint, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 18, Previous Rank: NR)
It’s too bad Kevin Towers isn’t around to trade him for Brock Holt in a few years, and follow it up by disparaging his character.
199) Jacob Turner, Chicago Cubs (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 98)
One of many names Cubs’ fans will forget that they hung their hopes and dreams on.
200) Erick Fedde, Washington Nationals (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)
Would that the K in his last name stood for strikeouts. The first-round pick has a dynamic fastball and bat missing slider, but profiles more as a middle of the rotation option than anything else.
Commentary by Greg Wellemeyer, Ben Carsley, and Craig Goldstein