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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 200 Starting Pitchers, #121-149

Despite a scorching hot stove (I can’t believe the player you’re thinking of did or did not sign with the team you thought they would!), January and February can be some of the darkest months of the year (figuratively and literally). But fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were celebrating the holidays and ushering in the New Year, our brave group of writers has been ranking, debating, re-ranking, re-debating, and re-re-ranking over 600 players for dynasty leagues. The fruits of our efforts will be filling January and February with the deepest, most thoroughly and painstakingly selected dynasty baseball rankings on the internet. We have top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, top-500s (of course!), and even ultra-deep prospect rankings. PLUS, this season we’re including a “Where They’d Rank” section, that outlines where we would put multi-positional guys if we ranked them at their secondary positions.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2019 consensus rankings by looking at our 121-150 dynasty starting pitchers.

121) Adonis Medina, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 175)

Medina finished 2018 at High-A with a 4.12 ERA (3.42 xFIP), a strikeout-per-nine under ten and a walks-per-nine near three. Around this time last year, Adam Lawler wrote in our Triple Play that he’s got some stuff but struggles with his command and control. If you’ve been intrigued by him in the past, stay the course and stay intrigued by him now. (Ian Hudson)

122) Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 56)

Aaaarrron has had a bit of a slide, dropping from 56 in last season’s rankings. What happened? A major-league debut of over 100 innings of 4.98 xFIP ball happened (4.89 ERA, 7.37 K/9 and 4.97 BB/9).  Over 450 innings of major league innings (strewn across four years, 2014-2018) has yielded an xFIP of 4.20 (nice), a K/9 under eight and a BB/9 near 5. Most projection systems predict more of the same, so this is who he is. Sometimes ranks make sense. (Ian Hudson)

123) Gio Gonzalez, FA (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 61)

A man out in the cold, Gio remains unemployed as of this writing. A 4.17 DRA, 4.44 xFIP across 2 teams in 2018 may be why he’s not employed just yet. Those numbers are in line with his 2017 xFIP, but a stark difference from his 2.97 ERA in 2017. It seems that 2.97 ERA was buoyed by an unsustainable .258 BABIP. At this point, this is who he is. If your league requires innings and you’re in a rebuild, you could still probably do better but you could also do worse. (Ian Hudson)

124) Justin Dunn, Seattle Mariners (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Formerly with the Mets, Dunn finished 2018 with 89.2 innings at Double-A, compiling a 10.54 K/9, 3.71 BB/9 and an xFIP of 3.45. Steamer projects a regression of the strikeout rate, and with that an overall effectiveness regression to an xFIP of 5.00. Seattle clearly sees something in the former first-round pick, and you should too. But while we’re talking about first-round picks…(Ian Hudson)

125) J. B. Bukauskas, Houston Astros (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 140)

Well lookee here, two peas in a pod. Dunn was drafted 19th overall in 2016, Bukauskas was drafted 15th overall in 2017. Both have a future value of 50 according to Fangraphs. And both are ranked back-to-back here and at Fangraphs. Bukauskas’ began at 2018 at Rookie Ball and finished the year with one start in Double-A. His fastball/slider combo seems to be louder than Dunn’s, but thus far Dunn has better control. These guys are both interesting and should both be worth a roster spot (Ian Hudson). 

126) Zach Eflin, Philadephia Phillies (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Eflin had quite the jump from 2016-2017 to 2018-  he pitched as many innings in 2018 as the two previous years combined, he nearly doubled his strikeout rate (4.41 in ’16, 4.90 in ’17, 8.65 in ’18), and his xFIP saw improvement every year (5.36 to 5.21 to 4.02). Eflin’s DRA from 2018 (4.67) is more in line with his ERA (4.36) than his xFIP, so maybe don’t expect another huge jump forward from him. But the strikeout rate is projected to be closer to 8 than its previous 4, so maybe don’t expect too much of a regression either. (Ian Hudson)

127) Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Singer comes to us from UF via the 2018 draft. Selected 18th overall by the Kansas City Royals and signed for almost a million over slot, he features a solid fastball/slider combo and an emerging changeup. There was some chatter once upon a time of a first-overall selection for Singer, so there should be a lot to get excited about in his future. (Ian Hudson)

128) Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 31)

Over a six-year, 900+ inning career, Gray sports a 7.88 K/9, 3.09 BB/9, and a 3.66 ERA (3.71 xFIP). His DRA last season was 5.00, however. His 2018 ranking was due in large part to a 3.55 ERA and a strikeout rate over 20%. But here’s something: his peripherals from 2017 and 2018 are fairly similar across the board. The only exception is his BABIP (.269 in 2017, .326 in 2018). Assuming normalization there, and assuming peripherals staying in line with his last two seasons’, there could be a buy-low opportunity here. (Ian Hudson). 

129) Dereck Rodriguez, San Francisco Giants (Age: 26, Previous Rank: NR)

After four minor league seasons in the Twins system, the son of hall of fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez was granted free agency and signed with the Giants last offseason. After nine very good starts in his first bout with Triple-A, in which he featured a BB/9 under 2 and a K/9 of 9.5, Rodriguez was called up to San Francisco in late May and his success continued, staying in the rotation through the end of the year. While the K-rate naturally declined, Rodriguez kept the ball in the park, allowing only 9 home runs in 118 innings, and finishing with a 6-4 record and 2.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. A .257 BABIP may not be sustainable and a repeat performance is unlikely in his second year, but Rodriguez should be able to provide solid ratios later in the draft to stabilize your pitching staff, while others are taking risks on more volatile pitchers. Rodriguez is not a flashy buy in a dynasty league, but has three solid pitches in his repertoire (fastball, curveball, and change) and could provide cheap pitching help to complement other high-strikeout upside pitchers. (Bob Osgood)

130) Jakob Junis, Kansas City Royals (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 187)

Junis’s second season with the Royals was similar to his first season with a nearly identical 4.30 vs. 4.37 ERA, but instead of a 9-3 record, he finished 9-12. A HR/FB rate of 16.2% certainly contributed to some bad luck, canceling out improved strikeout and walk rates. With a WHIP that stayed just under 1.3 for the second consecutive season, it seems like you know what you’re getting with Junis: a matchup-dependent starter that can round out a pitching staff in the reserve rounds. Junis’s three worst outings of the year all came against playoff teams: Oakland, Houston, and Cleveland. An improvement in keeping the ball in the yard (1.5 HR/9 over his first two seasons) would go a long way, but wins will be hard to find on a rebuilding Kansas City squad. (Bob Osgood)

131) Sean Reid-Foley, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Reid-Foley finally broke into the major leagues last year after some very impressive minor league seasons, and the resulting performances were very mixed. The 28% strikeout rate was wildly impressive, but the 14% walk rate sapped just about all of that value. There’s no question that Reid-Foley will be a high-K and high-BB pitcher throughout his career, and he clearly has some serious upside if he can harness his electric stuff, but it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to consistently throw strikes to MLB hitters. This is definitely a volatile asset with a lot of potential, but ineffectiveness and perhaps even a demotion to the bullpen are potential reasons to be concerned. (Matt Meiselman)

132) Jhoulys Chacin, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 31, PREVIOUS RANK: 123)

Chacin was a staple of the Brewers surprise postseason run last year, mostly because of his durability (he made 35 starts) in an otherwise tumultuous rotation. Chacin was his usual average-ish self in 2019, but some fortunate BABIP luck (.250) allowed him to turn a 4.03 FIP and 4.47 xFIP into a 3.50 ERA. Chacin is extremely likely to regress back towards his peripherals in 2019, but he’s still a decent bet to put up serviceable and stable numbers for deeper league owners. (Matt Meiselman)

133) Dane Dunning, Chicago White Sox (Age: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 176)

Dunning hasn’t appeared in the majors yet, but 2019 should be his first chance to test how his impressive minor league numbers translate at the MLB level. Dunning’s talent isn’t really in question, as he posted over 10 strikeouts per 9 innings at Double-A last year and an ERA of 2.76. The bigger concern is his health, as Dunning’s 2018 season was cut short by an elbow sprain, although it appears as though he’ll be healthy enough to start 2019 at Triple-A. Dunning has a chance to be a solid major league contributor as early as this fall, but there’s still definitely some risk here. (Matt Meiselman)

134) Garrett Richards, San Diego Padres (Age: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 37 )

Richards will miss the entire 2019 season due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The injury probably cost him several millions of dollars in free agency, but perhaps more importantly, it probably cost him several dozen spots on this list. Projecting Richards as a dynasty league asset is definitely a challenge, as he won’t help any fantasy owners for another year, and it won’t be easy to know what to expect when he returns in 2020 either. Richards is coming off arguably his most volatile MLB season (26.9% K rate, 10.5% BB rate) so even a healthy Richards would have been tough to forecast. (Matt Meiselman)

135) Matt Harvey, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 37)

Harvey certainly isn’t what he once was, but he bounced back from a horrid 2017 season to put together a passable 2018 stat line. He was especially competent after moving to Cincinnati, posting a 4.50 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 4.14 xFIP, and a 7.8/2.0 K/BB ratio in 24 starts. It’s far from special, and a league switch (to the AL) with the Angels won’t help, but Harvey looks like he still has something left in the tank and it could translate to deep league value. He’s now over three years removed from greatness, and the hope of a return to that is just about completely gone (especially with reduced velocity), but Harvey has at least reclaimed his status as an MLB-caliber starting pitcher. (Matt Meiselman)

136) Luis Patino, San Diego Padres (Age: 19, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Patino is just 19 years old and nowhere near the major leagues, but his raw talent and impressive minor league numbers have landed him squarely in dynasty league consideration. Scouts seem to love him, and the results thus far have matched the hype. Patino made 17 starts in Low-A last year and amassed 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings while walking only 2.6, finishing with a 2.16 ERA. The age and distance (from the MLB) are still extremely notable for fantasy purposes, but there’s clearly a ton of upside here. (Matt Meiselman)

137) Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants (Age: 33, PREVIOUS RANK: 49)

Cueto is now two years removed from his prime, and last season’s 3.23 ERA in 9 starts over an injury-plagued season probably isn’t fooling anyone. He struck out just 6.5 batters per nine innings, and his FIP and xFIP were both in the mid fours. It’s unlikely that we see more than average real-life value from Cueto going forward, but he does benefit from pitching in the NL and also in a pitcher-friendly stadium (now called Oracle Park). He’s become a very uninteresting asset, but Cueto might still provide a little bit of value to fantasy owners in 2019. (Matt Meiselman)

138) Franklin Perez, Detroit Tigers (Age: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: 77)

Perez dominated the lower levels of the minor leagues when he was with the Astros, but 2018 was much more of a struggle after he wound up on the Tigers in the Justin Verlander trade. Perez walked almost as many batters as he struck out in 11 innings across four High-A starts, but he’s still just 21, and four starts is obviously a pretty small sample size. The recent struggles would be easier to write off, however, if Perez hadn’t been dealing with injury issues (lat strain) for most of last year. If he stays healthy there’s potential for a quick jump up the organizational ranks (the Tigers don’t exactly have a ton of quality pitching) but there’s definitely some reason to be concerned here. (Matt Meiselman)

139) Anderson Espinoza, San Diego Padres (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: 124)

Espinoza is yet another former top prospect who has had his progression derailed by injuries (also Tommy John) and he hasn’t actually pitched since 2016. Espinoza clearly still has a lot of potential, and he’s still only entering his age-21 season, but two years is a lot of time to miss. I think the one thing we know for sure here is that we don’t know anything for sure, as there’s literally no recent statistical data to go off of. On a more positive note, it does appear as though Espinoza will be healthy entering Spring Training. (Matt Meiselman)

140) BRAD KELLER, KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: NR) 

You read that age correctly. Brad Keller is just 23 years old and has a rotation spot locked up for the Royals. Keller was a Rule 5 draft pick who originally was drafted by the Diamondbacks. A Rule 5 success story is always nice, and that is exactly what Keller looks like to Kansas City. Starting the season as a bullpen arm, Keller found his way to a spot start and really never looked back. Keller finished the year 27th in the league in ground balls among starting pitchers and that was only starting 20 games. Keller is a part of a rotation that might not be bad as far as the top three go (more on that later with Danny Duffy) and it would not be a surprise to see Keller post 10-12 wins along with an ERA around 3.50 this season. (Nic Yonter)

141) TAIJUAN WALKER, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (AGE: 26, PREVIOUS RANK: 52)

Did you know that Taijuan Walker made his MLB debut back in 2013? He has been working on staying healthy and avoiding the walks since. A significant drop for the former 43rd overall pick. Walker will not bring a ton of value this year, as he will most likely be out until midseason due to Tommy John surgery. The Diamondbacks might be in a position to see what they have in some of their younger guys at that point in the season, and Walker could find himself competing for starts. He did have an ERA below 3.50 before getting injured and does have the talent to be a middle of the rotation starter. The biggest thing for Walker will be his rehab and the Diamondbacks will be hoping for the pitcher they had before the injury. (Nic Yonter)

142) DL HALL, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AGE: 20, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Another newcomer to the list and Baltimore is excited about this one! According to multiple sources, DL Hall is the top prospect in the Orioles organization. At this point, that might be asking for the healthiest bar food at your local pub. All jokes aside, Hall had a fantastic full-season debut in 2018, as he posted a 2.10 ERA at Single-A. He will be an essential part of Baltimore’s rebuild and could team up with the 2019 first overall pick as the keys to success for the future Orioles. He is a lefty with a mid-90s fastball with a solid amount of movement paired with a plus curve. He’s very young and does carry a significant amount of risk, but he could debut in a couple of years as a middle of the rotation starter for the birds. (Nic Yonter)

143) DINELSON LAMET, SAN DIEGO PADRES (AGE: 26, PREVIOUS RANK: 71)

So much excitement coming into 2018 for Dinelson Lamet, as he was the number two starter heading into Opening Day for the Padres. Unfortunately, we were not blessed to watch him develop further due to Lamet needing Tommy John surgery and sitting out the rest of the season. Lamet should be returning around the same time as Walker and carries a plethora of potential for San Diego. Still only 26 years old, Lamet has the swing and miss stuff that can be near the top of the rotation. The Padres are only getting better, and Dinelson can only help in that journey. As shown by his ranking of 71 last season, Lamet has the goods that writers are excited about. (Nic Yonter)

144) MICHAEL WACHA, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (AGE: 27, PREVIOUS RANK: 96)

Wacha drops all the way down to 145 after being at 96 last season and I envision a very solid year for Wacha. Lucky for you, he is basically being ignored in most drafts. This is the same pitcher that whenever he was fully healthy in 2015 was 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA. Last season, before going down with an injury, Wacha was 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA. Sign me up for that eight days a week in this spot. All readers that are taking a look at who might be a potential sleeper, this is your guy! Wacha will be on a team with a very good offense and will be surrounded by other good starters. The competition is fierce in St. Louis, but do not be surprised if Wacha puts up high-end SP3 numbers this season. (Nic Yonter)

145) JOE ROSS, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: 141)

From first-round pick, to bust, to the next big thing, to injured, to possibly the bullpen. What a journey for Joe Ross and he is only 25 years old. Still, a ton of talent in that right arm for Tyson’s younger brother, and the flashes that Joe has shown have been incredible. Rumor has it that Ross is on the outside looking in for the Nationals rotation this season and might even start the season in the minors. The re-signing of Jeremy Hellickson have really put down his chances. For the last couple of years, I have been a huge fan of moving Ross to a Andrew Miller / Josh Hader kind of role and that would be a good spot for Washington to utilize his abilities. He might very well be on a new list next year, but please do not give up hope in this young, electric arm just yet. (Nic Yonter)

146) MATTHEW BOYD, DETROIT TIGERS (AGE: 28, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

There is a real chance that Matthew Boyd is the Opening Day starter for the Tigers this season. You did not misread that. Opening Day! The day that hopefully will be a national holiday soon and Matthew Boyd might be pitching in it. Even if Boyd does not get the nod, he figures to be a big part of a rebuilding Tigers team. “Matty B” did log 31 starts this year and can definitely be a guy that can be a plug-and-play kind of starter at the back-end of your rotation. Keep in mind that Boyd does play in the American League Central. And even though that division is getting better, there are some lineups there that should not scare you too much. No one will go crazy when you select Boyd, but he may very well be a guy you can turn to for innings and strikeouts. (Nic Yonter)

147) DAKOTA HUDSON, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Is it just me or do the Cardinals seem to produce one or two prospects every single year that were on very few people’s radar and now they are shooting up prospect lists? Enter Dakota Hudson. There is a very real chance that Hudson starts this year in the Cardinals bullpen (which will be one of the better bullpens in baseball) and sticks there for most of the year. St. Louis seems to be just fine with deploying Hudson as a reliever this year and seeing where the team is in the future when deciding if he will make the change back to starting. Hudson has the goods. He is going to produce in whatever spot the Cardinals decide to put him in, but he does lose some value being in the bullpen. At 24, this is the kind of guy you would love to see where his next three years take him. It would be even sweeter if those three years were on your team. (Nic Yonter)

148) CORBIN MARTIN, HOUSTON ASTROS (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Corbin Martin is a non-roster invite and was drafted in 2017. That should tell you all that you need to know about the confidence that the Astros have in the former Aggie. Martin does not seem to have a realistic shot to crack Houston’s starting rotation, but those within the organization would not be surprised. Martin grew up a Killer B’s fan and he was a killer in his own right in 18 starts in Double-A. Corbin posted a 7-2 record with a 2.97 ERA. The Astros love what they see out of this kid and after a productive spring training, he will be on even more lists. Make sure to nab him if you still have the chance. (Nic Yonter)

149) DANNY DUFFY, KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AGE: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 63)

One of my favorite bounce-back candidates for 2019 right here. I promised I would chat about him when talking about Brad Keller and here we are. It is no secret that Duffy has declined a bit in the last few years. In our rankings alone, he has dropped from 41 to 63 to 150. Yikes! But Duffy is going to find it this year. This is a guy I am looking to draft in every draft, because I am a believer that he still has the same stuff that led him to a 12-3 record with a 3.51 ERA in 2016. He has had some off-the-field issues, but the talent is there. I have always been a fan of betting on talent and consider my chips pushed in for this Royal. (Nic Yonter)

The Author

Ian Hudson

Ian Hudson

Ian is an editor for The Dynasty Guru and a bowtie enthusiast. If you guessed one of those things about him you could probably guess the other.

He's also an attorney in Tampa, Florida.

Go Rays.

6 Comments

  1. Tim
    February 26, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Umm why is Josh James #57 but also appearing again here at #140? So good he makes the list twice?

    • February 27, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      He’s very good, Tim.

      Good catch- the list has been updated, haha

  2. Bob W
    February 26, 2019 at 8:53 am

    So we have Josh James at 57 and Joshua James at 140?

    • February 27, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Good catch- the list has been updated, haha

  3. Scott Ruland
    February 26, 2019 at 10:09 am

    How come #57 and #140 look so similar 😉

    • February 27, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Good catch- the list has been updated, haha

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