2020 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

The Dynasty Guru’s 2020 Top 200 Dynasty League Starting Pitchers, #61-90

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2020 consensus rankings by looking at the 61-90 best starting pitchers in dynasty leagues.

61) Spencer Howard, Philadelphia Phillies, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

It’s been quite the ascension for Spencer Howard since 2016. He’s gone from unknown bullpen guy in the Big West to 2nd rounder to a premier pitching prospect whose MLB debut is imminent. Howard has been dominant thus far in his pro career and may have sniffed the majors last summer had he not had an IL bout for a shoulder injury. Not to worry, he picked up right where he left off when he returned and was promoted to AA where he tortured Eastern League hitters throughout July and August and earned an Arizona Fall League appearance for some additional seasoning. The 6’2” right-hander features a deep 4-pitch repertoire of a plus fastball and cambio and an above-average curve and slider. Between the arsenal, good frame, and success on the mound so far, Howard looks like a lock as a mid-rotation starter who might even sneak into the Phillies’ rotation this spring. (Joe Drake)

62) Sean Manaea, Oakland Athletics, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 85)

Mr. Manaea is a mystery man… a magician of sorts. You see, in the age of velocity in Major League Baseball, Manaea is working well below the standard (he sat 89.8 in 2019 and 90.4 in 2018), but is still finding success. He has one of the league’s best changeups (23rd in FanGraphs pVAL since 2016 and great depth) and I think it makes his fastball play up. The pitch looks exactly like his fastball – it has nearly the same amount of run – and suddenly drops off the table. Frankly, it’s a little more smoke and mirrors than you want since Manaea doesn’t have outstanding command. Counterpoint: Manaea has shown that he has the ability to get hitters out even without good velo. After all, it’s not like he came into the league sitting 95. I think there’s still a few more seasons of his career averages left in the tank and now he’s coming off a healthy off-season. (Joe Drake)

63) Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 52)

The best way to describe Mitch Keller’s debut season is this: how can someone so good be so bad? I heard that more than once this winter and it’s the perfect way to sum up his 2019. Keller, who has a plus fastball and curve, an above-average slider, a fringe changeup, and good command, was obliterated in his 48 MLB innings. His 7.13 ERA speaks for itself. So… what made him good? Well, just about every underlying metric. Somehow, his FIP was only 3.19, his xFIP was 3.47, and his SIERA was 3.78 — all a far, far cry from his preposterous ERA. Keller missed bats (28.6% K), didn’t walk too many (7.1% BB), and suppressed home runs (1.19 per 9). Under the hood, it looks like Keller has all the ingredients for success and things just didn’t come together for him in 2019. I have to believe that brighter days are ahead for my man Mitch. (Joe Drake)

64) Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 64)

In a system that is stuffed with pitching talent, Ian Anderson just might be the best of them all. The 2016 3rd overall pick has laid waste to minor-league hitting from the day he stepped on a pro mound. He’s mowed down the field with K rates around 30%, swinging strike rates in the high teens and ERAs in the mid to high 2s. Sure, things didn’t go smoothly in his AAA debut this past season, but AAA pitching is a disaster in itself right now. I’m not going to hold it against Anderson and not to mention, he was only 21. Going forward, Anderson projects as a mid-rotation guy with some stellar secondaries to go with an average MLB fastball and good command. He’s got the pedigree, he’s got the frame, he’s got the stuff, he’s got the hooch, baby. What? Sorry, I grew up in the 90s, it’s not my fault. (Joe Drake)

65) Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Way to go, Scoob! Sorry, I just can’t help but say that in my head whenever I see Tarik Skubal’s name. But you know what? The praise is valid. Skubal has vaulted himself from relatively unknown 9th rounder in 2018 to rubbing elbows with the best pitching prospects in baseball. He’s a lanky lefty who brings absolute cheese from a crossfire motion. The ball just seems to jump on you when he lets it go and batters clearly can’t see given his ungodly 48% K rate and 21.5% swinging-strike rate in Double-A last year. His Double-A numbers are eye-popping. He boasted a 2.13 ERA with an even better 1.26 FIP and 1.27 xFIP – who does that? The only blemish on his resume was a 10.7% walk rate. The kid is good. The question going forward is whether the secondaries will be good enough to play at the highest level., but right now, it’s all systems go. (Joe Drake)

66) David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 34, Previous Rank: 41)

Oh, what a ride it’s been. David Price has been all over the map in baseball both literally (Tampa, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, LA) and emotionally. There was a time when Price’s name was synonymous with pitching excellence. He won a Cy Young at 26 and was dicing up hitters in the brutal AL East. Fast Forward nearly a decade and Price’s name elicits groans more often than cheers. His days in Boston ranged from great to awful and you never knew quite what you were going to get each year. In 2018, Price threw 176 innings of a 3.58 ERA with 177 Ks. In 2017 and 2019 combined, he managed 182 IP with an ERA that ranged from 3.38 to 4.28. It’s best to temper expectations going forward because it’s unlikely that Price will be the bastion of health as he enters his age 34 season, but when he’s on the field the results should be good. (Joe Drake)

67) Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 58)

Heaney is a tough rank, there’s no way around it. He’s a talented lefty with a 1st round pedigree and he’s only 28. Unfortunately, he’s totaled merely 438 MLB innings since the start of 2014 due to a bevy of injuries. He’s cracked 100 innings twice in that time frame: 105 in 2015 and 180 in 2018. When he’s been on the field, it’s been pretty up and down, as well. 2019 brought a 29% strikeout rate and 7% walk rate, but a 4.91 ERA. 2018 was 180 innings of a 4.15 ERA, much more palatable, but the K rate was 5 points lower. Before that, you have to go back to 2015 for stats because 16 and 17 were pretty much lost entirely. Putting it all together, it’s not surprising that Heaney is a polarizing player. Those with a high tolerance for risk are happy to take a chance on his upside while the risk-averse would probably rather draft someone more predictable. (Joe Drake)

68) Marcus Stroman, New York Mets (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 93)

The Stroman Strut is one of my favorite celebrations in baseball. It’s just fun. The same can be said of his statcast page which is painted with a nice light red hue across most of the board. Stro does a lot of things pretty well (suppresses exit velo/xwOBA/xSLG, spins the ball) but nothing great. You can count on him for 180 innings of solid ratios and strikeouts. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s a sinkerballer who sits in the low-90s with a nasty slider, but he generates far more ground balls than whiffs. What you gain in home run suppression, you lose in strikeout potential which stunts his fantasy value to a degree. The trade to the Mets brought about concerns over their poor infield defense, but I’m not sure it’s much of a downgrade over what he was going to be getting in Toronto. Let’s just say Vlad really could have benefitted from some extra defensive work. (Joe Drake)

69) Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 105)

Griffin Canning debuted in the majors just under 2 years after he was drafted out of UCLA. He’s a 6’2” righty with a 4 pitch arsenal who was solid in his first foray into baseball’s highest level. His fastball averaged 94 with good ride, but the rest of his offerings weren’t much to write home about movement-wise.That said, it was the fastball that got him in trouble the most in 2019 (-3.9 pVAL) while his secondaries weren’t hit nearly as hard. Canning struck out 96 in 90.1 innings with a 4.58 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, but finished the season hurt, in true Angels fashion. It was “only” elbow inflammation, so he should be all systems go this spring, but still something to note.  Canning’s a polished pitcher with multiple MLB-level offerings that should entrench him as a mid-rotation starter for a while. (Joe Drake)

70) Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees, (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 44)

What happens when a splitter won’t split? Well, you get Masahiro Tanaka’s 2019 campaign. While the ERA (4.45) wasn’t quite as bad as 2017, Tanaka really stopped missing bats in 2019 as his K% tumbled from 25% in 2018 to 19.6%. League average in 2019 was 23%. Big yikes. All in all, it feels like Tanaka managed pretty well considering he essentially lost his out pitch for the season. Coming into this season, he’s “only” 31 which seems impossible since it feels like he’s been around forever already, but conceivably, there are still some good seasons left in the tank at that age. The 2019 version of Tanaka is a solid rotation filler for the backend of your fantasy staff, but if he’s able to find the splitter, he could bounce back to a K per inning guy, too. (Joe Drake)

71) Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 146)

Boyd’s 2019 is a tale of two halves: a first half ERA of 3.87 gave way to a second half ERA of 5.51. It didn’t help that his first-half strikeout-to-walk ratio was 7.10, and his second-half was 3.20. Further, his Strikeouts-per-nine dropped from double-digits all season to 8.41 in September and October. His full season DRA (Deserved Run Average was 3.93, per Baseball Prospectus. I think this is a good spot to take Boyd if you believe in a late-season swoon (2019 saw him pitch a career-high 185.1 innings), and have the flexibility to wait and see how he performs to start the year. I’m setting his ceiling at last year’s numbers, and I doubt he hits it again. (Ian Hudson)

72) Shane Baz, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 189)

The PTBNL in the Chris Archer deal, Baz managed 81 solid innings of A-Ball in 2019. A perennial top-prospect list resident, Baz has the upside of a frontline-starter on the back of a high-90s heater, a sharp slider and a mid-80s change-up, but he does carry some TINSTAPP risk. Treat him like you would treat any up-and-coming prospect: buy if you can, hold if you’ve got him. (Ian Hudson).

73) Mike Minor, Texas Rangers (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 163)

Topping 200 innings for the second time in his career with an ERA of 3.59, Minor out-performed his FIP (4.25) and xFIP (4.60) by a healthy margin. Further, his DRA was 4.04. Last year, Minor decreased the use of his fastball to throw the changeup more, increasing the value and effectiveness of both. He ended the season with a 5.29 ERA in September and October, though, so it’s possible the league noticed and adjusted. Or, as someone in their thirties, he got tired, like we all do, because time comes for us all. (Ian Hudson)

74) Jake Odorizzi, Minnesota Twins (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 160)

This was years ago, obviously, but I once bet someone that Jake Odorizzi would be better than Jacob DeGrom. Reader: he is not. But 2019 Jake Odorizzi WAS better than 2018 Jake Odorizzi, managing to shave about a run off of his ERA and bump his K/9 to over double-digits. Odorizzi decreased use of his slider a little bit and increased use of his fastball a little bit, probably due to the fact that he turned the heat up a little on said fastball (an increase of 1.8 MPH, to around 93). He didn’t suffer any late-season swoon, either. I’m tentatively ready to say you can buy in on Odorizzi to outperform this ranking by just a little bit. (Ian Hudson)

75) Joe Musgrove Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 82)

After a tumultuous 2018 season health-wise, we were looking for Musgrove to stay healthy and provide mid-rotation value in 2019. He did just that, logging over 170 innings, winning 11 games, and slightly improving his strikeout rate. He also finished the season strong with a 2.25 ERA and 11.81 K/9 in September. The bad news is that he was very inconsistent over the course of the season, getting absolutely torched in one start and then pitching like an ace in the next. Musgrove’s fastball is the key to his success – as his velocity increased entering September, his strikeout rate and ERA improved dramatically. If his health and fastball stabilize he could provide a great return at his current ranking. However, there is an inherent risk with a pitcher that’s been this inconsistent. (Tyler Burgess)

76) Domingo German, New York Yankees (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 155)

Germán showed improved control on the field in 2019, lowering his 2018 walk rate from 8.8% to 6.6%. Despite out-pacing his 4.72 FIP with a 4.03 ERA, his improved control should help maintain that ERA into 2020. He’s pitching for one of the top offenses in baseball and manages higher than a strikeout per inning pitched, so all he needs is a low-4’s ERA to net you a decent number of wins. The drawback on Germán is that he’s suspended for the first 63 games of the season due to a domestic abuse incident, so be prepared to have him burning a spot on your bench to start the season. (Tyler Burgess)

77) Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros, (Age: 25, Previous Rank: NR)

Entering the 2019 season, Urquidy had an outside chance at a rotation spot but ultimately started in the minors. Eventually, he made his way to Houston and pitched 41 innings across seven starts and 2 relief appearances with moderate success to a 3.95 ERA 1.19 WHIP 8.78 K/9 and 1.54 BB/9. The low walk rate is Urquidy’s calling card as he’s never had control issues at any level and he uses that to his advantage to sequence his pitches well. His strikeouts kicked up significantly in 2019 in Double-A and Triple-A so it’s worth questioning how true those rates were. But if his fastball advances enough to a true first pitch, 10+ K/9 is easily sustainable. Entering 2020, Urquidy again is on the outside looking in at a rotation spot, but should be given a chance to earn it. (Keaton O. DeRocher) 

78) Deivi Garcia, New York Yankees, (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 191)

Garcia cruised through three levels of the minors last season reaching Triple-A as a 20-year-old and it showed. He finally hit a level of competition that gave him a challenge. Prior to that, he was mowing batters down without much resistance, tallying strikeout rates of 37%+ at his previous four stops in the minors. Along with the usual risks that come with pitching prospects, Deivi comes with the small power pitcher risks as he stands only 5’9″ tall, which leads some to believe his best route to success is as a high leverage reliever. Prior to going that direction, however, the Yankees are going to give Garcia every possible opportunity to be a top of the rotation starter that his skill set displays. (Keaton O. DeRocher)

79) Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 27)

A drop of 52 spots usually means something went terribly wrong last year—that was the case for Mike Foltynewicz. After his 2018 campaign where he struck out more than a batter per nine while posting an ERA of 2.85 we were all ready to anoint him the best of the Atlanta Braves starters, what wasn’t to like? Folty was in his prime, had elite velo and two strong secondaries he used regularly. If you liked him then you should love him at his current price. Folty dealt with a right elbow bone spur last year and it drastically reduced the effectiveness of his fastball. With a reduced fastball he threw his sinker more, generating fewer whiffs and his slider which was a wipeout offering in 2018 was hit hard in 2019. If Folty can regain his health and gain back the lost velo from 2018 he can still be a really strong pitcher. I don’t believe he’s top 30 like we thought, but I do think he is easily top 50 and a likely rebound candidate.  (Jake Devereaux)

80) Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 53)

Jon Gray is weird. In 2018, he posted the following marks: 9.56 K/9, 2.72 BB/9, 3.47 xFIP, and a 5.12 ERA. All of those marks were better than what he did in 2019 except he was able to reduce his ERA to 3.84. Huh? He generated slightly more grounders in 2019 while allowing 1% fewer home runs, but while doing this he also allowed more hard contact than in 2018. Still confused? Yeah, me too. As far as I can tell the biggest difference was how Gray pitched in high leverage situations, particularly with men in scoring position. He went from a line of .272/.352/.494 in 2018 to .184/.248/.270 over roughly the same sample size in 2019. Maybe this is something he can repeat; I am not going to bank on it.  Homeruns remain a huge problem for Gray and he still pitches at a terrible ballpark for what he does. While there are elite K-BB rates to be had I am still continuing to exercise caution. (Jake Devereaux)

81) Matthew Liberatore, St. Louis Cardinals, (Age: 20, Previous Rank: 75) 

LIberatore is a high-upside prospect who debuted well for Tampa after the Rays drafted him 16th overall in 2018. The lefty was traded this offseason and is now a member of the Cardinals organization. He’s in good hands there, and I’m excited to learn more about the former first-rounder. Seeing him spend the bulk of the season in Double-A should provide plenty of insight into his MLB ETA. The high-floor prospect has room for more growth should he refine his changeup. Doing so would allow him to maximize the value of his dominant fastball/curveball combo which he already has a masterful command over. He’s going to be good, the only question is, ‘how good?’ (Jonathan Merkel)

82) Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 22)

Taillon has all the talent in the world, but none of the luck. He and Mitch Haniger are two of my favorite players to root for when healthy, but neither is healthy often. Taillon has been assaulted by a freak version of the injury bug as he has dealt with two separate Tommy John surgeries, and one round of testicular cancer. That’s a lot for anyone to overcome, and those are just the most major ailment he’s suffered. But you can be sure Pirates fans are pulling for the still-young player everyone thought would be their future ace. We’ll see how he does come 2021, but now may be a good time to buy very low on a talented player. (Jonathan Merkel)

83) Caleb Smith, Miami Marlins, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: N/A)

Caleb Smith was a surprising omission from our 2019 list. His 2018 debut was memorable for flashes of high strikeout potential. Despite our oversight, there may be some cheap upside in the Marlin. He provides plenty of strikeouts, for one, and limits walks well enough to inspire hope. The biggest worry has to be how he got killed with the home run ball last year–he gave up nearly two dingers per nine. And that may happen again as Smith is an extreme fly-ball oriented pitcher. No pitcher who threw over 150 innings induced fewer grounders than Smith. He’ll continue to live and die by the home run ball in 2020. If he can keep it in the yard, he should be a quality arm. (Jonathan Merkel)

84) Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins, (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 89)

Kenta Maeda is the newest member of the Minnesota Twins, and this writer could not be happier for him. Gone are the days of innings limits and being relegated to the Dodgers bullpen due to their constant stockpiling of capable arms. But the Twins, who whiffed on free agents Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Wheeler, finally have the upgrade they’ve wanted for their rotation. And Maeda is ready to be let loose. Since coming to the MLB, he has proven himself as a valuable arm who can generate strikeouts, limit walks, and avoid too much damage from the home run ball. If Minnesota lets him pitch 180 innings or more, this is a pitcher who could exceed 200 strikeouts. And if he also maintains his career 3.87 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, he’ll be a major steal for owners who’ve waited patiently for Maeda’s day in the sunshine. (Jonathan Merkel) 

85) Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: N/A)

Grayson Rodriguez has massive upside and the eleventh overall pick from 2018 is already displaying his dominance. Even though he’s young for his level, Rodriguez pitched 94 innings and finished with ERA, FIP, and xFIP all under 3.00. He started 20 games and allowed two or fewer runs in 85% of those. Reports all speak highly of the big pitcher’s ability to command all of his pitches in any count, and although he remains a few years away from the MLB, it is exciting to dream on what Rodriguez might become for an organization starving for hope. If there’s one knock on Grayson, it is that he does play for the Orioles. How the team’s new regime develops players remains to be seen, but Rodriguez should be a perfect test case on their capability. Here’s to hoping they get it right. (Jonathan Merkel)

86) Josiah Gray, Los Angeles Dodgers, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: N/A)

Josiah Gray joined the Dodgers organization after being swapped in the Yasiel Puig and Homer Bailey. 2019 was a great year for the new Dodger. With already nearly 40 solid Double-A innings under his belt, Gray looks like an arm on the move. So far, he has managed to pile up the strikeouts while limiting batters to less than 3 walks per 9. All that’s left to do now is watch how the young arm fares against more advanced competition. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Gray get a brief Double-A tune-up before advancing to Triple-A and then the majors this year, most likely as a reliever. What’s most exciting about Gray is that he is still relatively new to pitching. If he’s this good already, how much better can he get? I’ll be anxious to find out. (Jonathan Merkel)

87) Joey Lucchesi, San Diego Padres, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 84)

Joey Lucchesi has been a favorite pitcher of mine since he debuted in 2018. His 130 inning sample looked exhilarating for a late-round arm with very little prospect hype or pedigree. Over 10 K/9 with under 3 BB/9 from a late-round pick? Sign me up! Sure, the 4.08 ERA was middling. His 3.45 xFIP, however, looked particularly appealing as Petco is not exactly a bandbox. Alas, we’ve seen 163.2 more innings from Joey, and though he’s only dropped three spots in our rankings, my own infatuation has faded a bit more. His strikeouts sagged, and though he did well to limit homers, his final results don’t look any better than they did in 2018. He’d have to have a major step forward to really emerge as the pitcher I was hoping to see him become. It’s still possible, as Lucchesi is only 26, but I’m definitely tempering my hopes and expectations. (Jonathan Merkel) 

88) Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners, (Age: 22, Previous Rank: N/A)

Gilbert is another member of the 2018 draft class to make our list, and he looks as exciting as any other member of the class. The Stetson product pitched a nice amount of innings in his first year as a pro–over 130 across three levels–and dominated at each step. As an advanced college pitcher, it’s hard to tell how much of what he did is real. 2020 should give us a good indication of how well Gilbert can do against the best bats in the minors, as it seems likely he’ll at debut at Double-A and should taste  Triple-A shortly after. If we’re lucky, we might even see him get a cup of coffee with the Mariners. The team has no need for him in the short term, as contention remains a ways off, but Gilbert will be the most exciting pitcher in a Mariners uniform since King Felix. He should be a very valuable Mariner before too long. (Jonathan Merkel)

89) Daniel Lynch, Kansas City Royals, (Age: 23, Previous Rank: N/A)

Daniel Lynch is an exciting arm in the Kansas City Royals system. Another member of the 2018 draft class, Lynch reportedly gained a few ticks of velocity after being selected in the 34th overall. He parlayed the extra velocity into some juicy numbers from his time in the low minors. An injury sidelined him in 2019 and limited him to only 96.1 innings for the season, but they were all solid. Lynch needs more seasoning in the minors, as he hasn’t yet cracked the Double-A level, but his advanced age will give KC some incentive to develop him and see what he can do. I’d expect Lynch to begin the year at Double-A and close out 2020 in Omaha if all goes well. Better days are ahead for the Royals, and Lynch should be a big part of the team’s future. (Jonathan Merkel)

90) Steven Matz, New York Mets, (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 107)

Steven Matz entered the league with a wave of excitement in 2015, and delivered 132 very solid innings as an encore in 2016. Since that time, he has become a pitcher who is not very exciting. We definitely know what we’re getting with Matz at this point: nearly a strikeout per inning, about three walks per nine, and a whole lot of homers given up. It’s hard to imagine Matz delivering better marks than his career 4.05 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. While he is a pitcher who piles up Ks and has a role with the Mets, I think it’s foolish to think Matz will ever break through again and deliver a throwback season. It’s time to look elsewhere if you’re still waiting on Matz to fully blossom. This is who he is. (Jonathan Merkel)

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.

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