2021 Dynasty Baseball Rankings

THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2021 TOP 200 DYNASTY LEAGUE STARTING PITCHERS, #126-200

WELCOME BACK!!! 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!), these long winter months can be some of the darkest of the year (figuratively and literally). But fear not, restless readers. The Dynasty Guru is here to the rescue.

While you were quarantining and enjoying virtual holidays, 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-40s, top-50s, top-125s, top-200s, and of course top-500s.

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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2021 consensus rankings by finishing up starting pitchers with 126-200 in dynasty leagues.

Y’all, it gets bleak.


126. Ryan Yarbrough, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 29, Previous rank: 99)

Yarbrough felt like a cheat code in 2018. He’d enter a game following an opener, and since he was technically a reliever, he didn’t need five innings to get a win. He won 16 games in 2018, 14 in relief. Eight of his 11 wins in 2019 came the same way, but late that season Tampa Bay began using him as a more traditional starter. Not great for his fantasy value, as he started nine times last season, but his only win came in one of two relief appearances. As a pitcher, Yarbrough is the stereotypical soft-tossing lefty, great at throwing strikes and inducing soft contact, but lacking in velocity and strikeouts. He’s a nice back-end SP, but nothing more unless the Rays get cute with his role again. (Ben Sanders)

127. Kris Bubic, Kansas City Royals (Age: 23, Previous rank: 134)

Bubic posted a 4.32 ERA and 1.48 WHIP as a rookie. Not that impressive, but considering he hadn’t pitched above High-A before, it could’ve been a lot worse. A plus changeup is his best pitch, his low-90s fastball relies on deception to be effective, and his curveball is good at inducing groundballs. To take the next step, he’ll need to improve his command, as his 9.9% walk rate held him back in 2020. Bubic may not have high-end upside, but his solid three-pitch mix gives him the potential to slot into the middle of a fantasy rotation. (Ben Sanders)

128. Jhoan Duran, Minnesota Twins (Age: 23, Previous rank: 162)

Duran has always had plenty of potential, but spent the first few years of his pro career struggling in the low levels of the Diamondbacks’ system. That changed when he came to the Twins in the 2018 Eduardo Escobar trade. Since the deal, he’s had a 3.34 ERA, 29.7% K-rate and 58.4% groundball rate across three levels. His revamped arsenal includes a fastball that can reach 100, a developing curve ball, and a “splinker” – a cross between splitter and sinker that excels at getting grounders. It’s high-end stuff, but concerns about his mechanics and his inconsistent history keep the expectations down a bit. If Duran can continue his upward trajectory, he could shoot up the rankings and perhaps even start contributing in MLB in 2021, so he’s worth keeping an eye on. (Ben Sanders)

129. David Peterson, New York Mets (Age: 25, Previous rank: NR)

Peterson was very fortunate to end up with a 3.44 ERA in his rookie season, relying heavily on batted ball luck with a .233 BABIP. He might be able to post a more deserved mid-3s ERA in the future if he can get back to what made him successful in the minors – throwing strikes and getting groundballs. His walk rate was an ugly 11.7%, and his 44.4% groundball rate was well short of his 59.2% MiLB mark. Those need to improve because he lacks a dominant pitch or significant strikeout upside. Peterson is probably more of a back-end fantasy starter, though he could overachieve on a Mets team with a strong lineup, pitcher-friendly park and Francisco Lindor leading the defense. (Ben Sanders)

130. Mick Abel, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 19, Previous rank: NR)

Abel was the 15th overall pick in the 2020 draft, and has just about everything you could want in a high school pitching prospect. His build is ideal at 6’5″, 198 pounds. His fastball has touched 100, his slider is already looking like a plus pitch, and he’s got a curveball and changeup in the works as well. The ceiling is high, but experienced dynasty managers know how perilous the road from high school draftee to ace can be. There are many failures, and even the success stories are often filled with twists, turns and injuries. (Ben Sanders)

131. ROBBIE RAY, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AGE: 29, PREVIOUS RANK: 50)

Strikeouts. That’s it. Just strikeouts. If you need ‘em, Ray can help; but he will likely obliterate your ratios. From 2017-2019, Ray maintained a 31+% strikeout rate, but paired that with a double digit walk rate each of those years. In 2020, his K-rate dipped to a still above average 27.1%, but that came with an untenable 17.9% BB-rate. That led to him spiking a 6.62 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. That’s unrosterable, even if he were still near the top of the league in Ks. The hope with this ranking is that he can corral his walks a bit, and garner some wins with the support of a potent Jays lineup. Usually the suggestion with Ray is to pair him with Kyle Hendricks, Mike Soroka, etc., but my suggestion will be to pair him with a bottle of Excedrin. (Aaron Cumming)

132. SPENCER TURNBULL, DETROIT TIGERS (AGE: 28, PREVIOUS RANK: 152)

Turnbull fluked his way into a sub-4 ERA in 2020 despite a drop in strikeout rate and increase in walk rate from the year prior. His stuff was good, but he didn’t maximize his offerings. His worst starts were directly correlated to bumps in his sinker usage, which got hit hard. If he can stick to a plan of 4 seam fastballs and sliders, with the change, curve and sinker sprinkled in, he should be able to be a solid contributor. Based on age and contract, I expect Turnbull to take over for Matthew Boyd as the “veteran presence” with highly touted prospects Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal occupying the top of the rotation by year’s end, so he should maintain his starting gig into next year. (Aaron Cumming)

133. DANIEL ESPINO, CLEVELAND BASEBALL TEAM (AGE: 20, PREVIOUS RANK: 144)

Espino is one of the most exciting arms in the minors, but the problem is that we haven’t seen much of it. In his pro debut out of high school in 2019, he only pitched 4 innings in a game once, and was handled with extreme caution around a minor shoulder injury during 2020. His long delivery doesn’t portend sustainability for his upper-90s fastball velocity, but he seems to be developing command of all of his above average secondaries: a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. One of the hallmarks of the many recent successes for Cleveland’s pitching development has been their ability to throw a heavy workload, so he is certainly in the right place to succeed. (Aaron Cumming)

134. CADE CAVALLI, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Cavalli was a big college arm that slipped a bit in the 2020 draft based on minor injury and command questions. The Nationals are the perfect organization to have that type of pitcher move quickly, and all indications are that those concerns were overblown anyway. A mid-90s fastball and plus slider, with a beautiful and repeatable delivery, will push him up to the majors as early as this year. With his body type and the way the Nats handle their staff, I fully expect him to be taking on 170+ inning workloads as soon as 2022. A player with his upside and volume projection is incredibly valuable. (Aaron Cumming)

135. ADRIAN MOREJON, SAN DIEGO PADRES (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: 115)

Morejon has an arm you could fall in love with, but always seems to be less than the sum of his parts. A checkered injury history doesn’t bode well for his durability; the hittability of his fastball makes you question why he uses it so much; and the fact that Padres acquired so much pitching over the last year limits his short term upside. Still, he is only entering his age-22 season, and having demonstrated good command against major league hitting over the course of two short samples, there’s a foundation to build on. (Aaron Cumming)

136. REID DETMERS, LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)

Detmers doesn’t blow you away with his stuff, but it all plays up. His low-90s fastball has pinpoint accuracy, and he works off of that with a dominant curveball. He’s proven himself in every setting, from college to Team USA to the alternate site. He very nearly could’ve joined Garrett Crochet in making their major league debut in the same season they were drafted, but there was less pressure to push him with the Angels out of contention. Even though the organization has added some depth, they are constantly in need of starters, and Detmers could fill that role relatively early in the 2021 season. (Aaron Cumming)

137. ETHAN HANKINS, CLEVELAND BASEBALL TEAM (AGE: 20, PREVIOUS RANK: 123)

Have you ever smashed the gas pedal down on an on-ramp, only to have to slow down to actually merge onto the highway? That’s basically Ethan Hankins’ career so far. He came into pro ball with electric stuff, headlined by a fastball that touched 99 MPH. Command and injury issues creeped up (as they are wont to do), so he pumped the brakes a little. Hankins appears to be in better shape, tuned his fastball down to low- to mid-90s, but with better command, and spent the instructional league sharpening his changeup. He may not have the excitement he once had, but he’s doing everything he needs to in order to get in the fast lane to the big leagues. (Aaron Cumming)

138. MADISON BUMGARNER, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (AGE: 31, PREVIOUS RANK: 52)

Bumgarner is a legend. His 2014 playoff stretch is the single most dominant pitching performance I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean anything going forward. In 2020, he saw his strikeout rate drop to an abysmal 15.8%. He has spent time on the IL in 3 of the last 4 years, missing 4 weeks last year with a back injury. He lost 3 full MPH off all of his pitches. His hard hit rate allowed over the last 2 years is over 30% worse than during his peak. He’s giving up more fly balls after moving from the best stadium for home run suppression during his tenure to a league average offensive environment. Take away the name, and his profile is dismal. This ranking is more of a nod to his legacy than to any future performance expectation. Sincerely, the only ranker to not have him in their top 200. (Aaron Cumming)

139. JACKSON RUTLEDGE, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: 136)

Rutledge is one of the biggest prospects in baseball, standing 6’8” and weighing 250 lbs. That certainly helps him generate the power behind his triple digits fastball and power slider, but it could also be a strain on his health, already having surgery on both hips and dealing with back ailments. A pitcher that big also faces a tougher road to good command than most, and he is no exception. If Rutledge figures out how to pitch without a blindfold, he’ll be unstoppable. With his otherworldly repertoire and having the full faith of the organization, expect the staff to just point him in the right direction and unleash fury on the majors later this summer. (Aaron Cumming)

140. JACKSON KOWAR, KANSAS CITY ROYALS (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 142)

Kowar is a college arm, but needed more refining than most with his experience and pedigree. That’s not meant to disparage his upside; his changeup is perhaps the best in the minors. His mid-90s fastball plays well, and he just needs to hone in his command and the curveball (the closest he has to a third pitch) to become a bonafide starter. His strikeout rates will never be eye popping, but he should be a high-volume contributor with better than average ERAs and WHIPs. Expect him to join the Royals rotation early in 2022. (Aaron Cumming)

141. Taijuan Walker, Free agent (Age: 28, Previous rank: 150)

Walker made for a nice feel-good story in 2020, coming back from Tommy John surgery and returning to his original team, the Mariners, to finally fulfill the promise he once showed as a top prospect. That last part isn’t really true though. Walker’s 2.70 ERA was nice, but look a little deeper and he was basically the same mediocre pitcher he was pre-injury. His 8.44 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, 1.35 HR/9 and 4.56 FIP were pretty similar to his career line of 8.17 K/9, 2.85 BB/9, 1.24 HR/9 and 4.24 FIP. The only real difference was that he changed his pitch mix a little, throwing fewer fastballs to compensate for the fact that his velocity is down a couple ticks from his younger days. Walker should get a rotation spot from someone because SP are always in short supply, and he’s capable of eating some innings at the back of a fantasy staff. Just don’t get any delusions that he’s ever going to be the ace we once hoped for. (Ben Sanders)

142. Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves (Age: 25, Previous rank: 112)

Wright is a former 5th overall pick and has all the physical tools to be a high-end starter. You’d never guess this from looking at his statistics. His minor league numbers were decent but not dominant, and his MLB numbers are flat-out bad, especially the walks. He throws five pitches, a number which certainly needs shrinking. His four-seam fastball and curveball have been massacred by major-league bats, so focusing on his more promising sinker and slider would be a good place to start. He’ll be competing for a rotation spot this spring and probably won’t get it without some improvement. Wright is still worth watching for his potential, but a breakout hardly seems imminent. (Ben Sanders)

143. Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies (Age: 29, Previous rank: 80)

Gray is a rare starting pitcher who has managed to have multiple good fantasy seasons in Colorado, and will be a free agent after this season. The idea of him pitching somewhere other than Coors Field would’ve been really exciting a few years back. However, his 2020 wasn’t good regardless of park. His velocity was down, his strikeout rate fell off a cliff, and after eight miserable starts and a 6.69 ERA, he was shut down with a shoulder injury. If Gray returns to health and puts up some decent numbers, then leaves the Rockies via free agency or even a deadline trade, he’d become more interesting to dynasty managers. I wouldn’t rush to acquire him based on that possibility, but it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind. (Ben Sanders)

144. Brad Keller, Kansas City Royals (Age: 25, Previous rank: 177)

Keller somehow has a 3.50 ERA over 360.1 MLB innings. ERA estimators aren’t buying it – xFIP and SIERA both have him more than a full run higher for his career. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, walks too many (although he improved there in 2020), and isn’t even particularly good at avoiding hard contact. The combination of a high groundball rate and pitcher-friendly Kauffman Stadium keeps the home runs down and may enable him to keep outperforming advanced metrics. Even in that case, the upside is a low-strikeout innings eater. The downside is regression really sets in and he’s barely rosterable. (Ben Sanders)

145. Bryce Jarvis, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 23, Previous rank: NR)

Jarvis looked like a completely different pitcher in 2020 than he ever had before. He made four impressive starts for Duke, including a 15-strikeout perfect game against Cornell. He struck out 40 batters and walked just two in 27 innings, finishing with a 0.67 ERA and 0.48 WHIP. He added some muscle and his fastball velocity sat in the mid-90s, up from its previous 88-92 range. He showed improved command, a great changeup, and a couple decent breaking balls. Alas, COVID-19 shut everything down early, so we didn’t get a full college season or any time in the minors to see if he could maintain this new level. The Diamondbacks are believers, making him the 18th overall pick in the draft. If they’re right, he could be a steal in first-year player drafts. If not, he could be fall off the dynasty radar fairly quickly. (Ben Sanders)

146. Adrian Houser, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 28, Previous rank: 110)

Houser’s 2019 made him an intriguing sleeper, but he stumbled to a 5.30 ERA in 2020. Bad luck on batted balls had something to do with it, as he had a .325 BABIP and 24.2% HR/FB rate. His strikeout rate was the bigger culprit, though – it fell from 25.3% to 17.9%, and his 9.6% swinging strike rate in 2019 should’ve been the warning sign that some regression was inevitable. His other issue is that he struggles the third time through the order, where he has a career 7.78 ERA. The Brewers seem to be well aware of this and rarely let him go deep into games. Houser is great at getting ground balls and soft contact, so he can still be useful to Milwaukee. But if he’s making four-inning starts and not striking guys out, your dynasty team can probably do better. (Ben Sanders)

147. Kwang-hyun Kim, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 32, Previous rank: NR)

Kim’s 1.62 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in his 2020 rookie year were much better than anything he ever posted in 12 seasons pitching for SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization. Either that means KBO has blown past MLB in terms of talent and you should prepare your dynasty rosters for the inevitable wave of Korean dominance… or maybe just this one pitcher got really lucky in a strange season. Given Kim’s .217 BABIP and 86.6% left-on-base rate, I’m going with the latter. His 15.6% K-rate isn’t very exciting, and his 3.88 FIP and 3.81 xERA seem like more reasonable estimates of what to expect going forward. It’s a typical back-end, soft-tossing lefty starter profile, and at his age, significant improvement is unlikely. (Ben Sanders)

148. Bryse Wilson, Atlanta Braves (Age: 23, Previous rank: 117)

Wilson tossed six one-hit innings against the Dodgers in the 2020 playoffs, but his regular-season sample of MLB work is far less impressive. In 42.2 innings from 2018-20, he has a 5.91 ERA that seems well-deserved based on his 18.6% K-rate and 12.6% walk rate. His arsenal is very fastball-heavy, with nearly 70% of his pitches so far being either four-seamers or sinkers. His changeup is decent, but he lacks a good breaking ball. There are positives – Wilson has above-average fastball velocity, had a solid 2019 at Triple-A, and scouts like his work ethic and makeup. He’s still young enough to reach his mid-level fantasy SP ceiling, and will compete for a spot in the Braves’ rotation this spring. (Ben Sanders)

149. Corbin Martin, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 25, Previous rank: 164)

Martin generated some buzz with his MLB debut for the Astros in May 2019, striking out nine batters in 5.1 innings, at a time when everyone wanted Houston pitchers. He followed that up with four bad starts, got sent back to Triple-A, eventually had Tommy John surgery, and then was dealt to Arizona in the Zack Greinke deal. He hasn’t pitched since. Martin’s stuff is intriguing, with mid-90s fastball velocity and four above-average pitches. He has mid-rotation upside, but before he can reach it, he needs to show he’s healthy, win a spot in the Arizona rotation, and improve his command. (Ben Sanders)

150. Mike Minor, Kansas City Royals (Age: 33, Previous rank: 73)

Minor’s 5.56 ERA in 2020 was nearly two runs higher than the 3.59 mark he posted the previous season, but under the surface he wasn’t all that much different. His K-rate actually rose from 23.2% to 25.9%, but his HR/9 also went up from 1.30 to 1.75. Most ERA estimators had Minor in the low-to-mid 4s both seasons, and that’s probably where to expect he’ll end up in 2021. Minor will be making his second stop in Kansas City, previously reviving his career there as a reliever in 2017. That won’t be the plan this time – the Royals are looking for Minor to eat up innings, which is probably all you should hope for from him on your fantasy team. (Ben Sanders)

151. Seth Lugo, New York Mets (Age: 31, Previous rank: NR)

Seth Lugo is a curious case: is he a starter? A reliever? What is he!? For fantasy purposes, one could make the case that he should be a full-time reliever, and the numbers see to check out on this front. He has almost as many innings pitched as a reliever in his career (188.2 vs. 194.2), and his ERA is almost a full two runs lower. Either way, he should be eligible at both for 2021, so use him wisely in your lineups if your team rules allow. He’s not an ace, but he’s capable of helping out in strikeouts and WHIP, provided he can stop allowing homers at a 29.6% HR/FB rate, which he should, as his career rate is a much more palatable 12.2%. (Taylor Case)

152. Joe Ryan, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 24, Previous rank: 169)

Even in a small sample, Joe Ryan’s strikeout rates are eye-popping. Those should be enough to entice dynasty managers, but combined with the Rays recently trading their ace to the Padres, color me interested. Ryan’s arsenal consists of an awesome, 60-grade fastball, an above-average slider, and a few average show-me pitches as well, although I think his changeup has some potential to grow into a definite, usable third pitch. If he hasn’t gotten any hype in your dynasty league, he’s well worth the flyer in case he blows up in 2021. (Taylor Case)

153. Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 29, Previous rank: 108)

Carlos Martinez is another player whose 2020 season I’m willing to throw out. Reason #1: he reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 before the season. And reason #2: he only pitched 20 innings – let’s give him a break, we all had a tough year. That being said, there is much uncertainty regarding his status on the mound. Will he be a starter or a reliever in 2021? Well, Roster Resource is projecting a spot in the rotation, and he recently started games in the Dominican Winter League and currently in the Caribbean Series, giving hope to the idea that he’s conditioning for a starter’s workload. He is definitely a player to monitor in spring training, and here’s to hoping we see him on the mound in the first inning with higher pitch velocities than we saw in 2020. (Taylor Case)

154. Justin Dunn, Seattle Mariners (Age: 25, Previous rank: 125)

Justin Dunn finished the 2020 season with a 4.34 ERA, 7.49 K/9 and a 1.36 WHIP across 10 starts, giving dynasty managers a glimmer of hope that he can provide *close to* league average production in their roto lineups. I hope he can keep up said production, but I have some doubts. First off, his FIP was an unfortunate 6.54, and his walk percentage was a rough 15.7%. Combine that with iffy fastball velocity and a low whiff rate, and I wonder if he makes his way to the bullpen at some point in 2021. (Taylor Case)

155. Miles Mikolas, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 32, Previous rank: 91)

Prior to 2020, Miles Mikolas was going to provide dynasty managers with two things: 180+ innings, and a mediocre WHIP. If you pair those with his excellently low walk rate and what should be an above-average defense behind him in 2021, Mikolas could be a decent target to acquire very late in your startups or as the back-end piece of an offseason trade. Unfortunately, a forearm injury knocked him out for the 2020 season, but he appears to be on track to play in 2021. (Taylor Case)

156. Adbert Alzolay, Chicago Cubs (Age: 25, Previous rank: NR)

Adbert Alzolay is an exciting pitcher with more fantasy upside than I think he gets credit for. The Cubs traded away this offseason so one would think that opened up a rotation spot for him, but at this point anything is possible. It’s nice to dream on his 2.95 ERA (3.05 FIP) and 12.23 K/9 (33.3 K%) playing out over a full season, so he may be worth a flyer if you can acquire him cheap. And at #156 on our list, my guess is you can! (Taylor Case)

157. Merrill Kelly, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 32, Previous rank: 140)

Have to hand it to Merrill Kelly, he’s played very well since he traveled to St. Louis from the KBO. He does an especially good job of limiting walks (4% walk rate), which I think goes a long way in today’s game. However, I wouldn’t be fooled by his shiny 2.59 ERA from 2020. If I had to guess, that was the result of a deflated .247 BABIP against, coupled with an extremely high 92% left-on-base percentage. Those are most likely back toward league average, as he does not appear to have the nastiest stuff or strikeout potential to maintain. (Taylor Case)

158. Garrett Richards, Boston Red Sox (Age: 32, Previous rank: 102)

Garrett Richards had an okay year on the mound, but not okay enough to remain in what should now be a high-octane Padres rotation. Regardless, I still think he can provide league-average numbers across the board in redraft and in dynasty leagues for the next few years, as evidenced by his 4.03 ERA and 1.25. Strikeouts were a bit down in 2020, but spin rates on his two best pitches, his fastball, and curveball, were still tremendous (97th and 99th percentile, respectively). This gives me hope that perhaps with a few tweaks and another year removed from injury, Richards could provide some excellent value on the Boston squad. (Taylor Case)

159. Daulton Jefferies, Oakland Athletics (Age: 25, Previous rank: 179)

I’m a little higher than most on Jeffries heading into the 2021 season. As I’ve stated time and time again, command grade is extremely important as a baseline, and he brings above-average control as well as three average to above-average offerings in his fastball, changeup, and slider as well. At this point, it’s hard to tell if he will be a bullpen arm or a starter, as his minor league track record has a bit of both. My hope is that he can find his way into the rotation long-term, as anything close to his 121 career strikeouts in 99.1 career minor league innings could definitely do my dynasty rosters good. (Taylor Case)

160. Ryan Weathers, San Diego Padres (Age: 21, Previous rank: 167)

Hooo boy, this Padres team is exciting. Ryan Weathers made his much-awaited (at least, for me) debut during San Diego’s abbreviated postseason run in 2020, and while he only faced six batters, he came unscathed against a solid Dodgers lineup on the big stage. Color me impressed. He uses a fastball/curveball combo with great command, and while he probably won’t crack the Padres’ loaded rotation in 2021 unless injuries pop up, I expect he’ll have a better chance to make the roster in 2022. He is someone I’ve been speculating on in a few dynasty leagues, as I think pitching prospects have a better chance to succeed in the bigs when they start with a baseline of great command. (Taylor Case)

161. Yonny Chirinos, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 27, Previous rank: 97)

Yonny Chirinos had a solid fantasy season in 2019 and was someone I was high on as a sleeper for 2020. Unfortunately, he will miss the entirety of the 2021 season after Tommy John Surgery in November. If you can hold out in the hopes that he eats up some innings for you in 2022, well, kudos. He has #5 starter potential and plays for an organization that helps pitchers to find their best selves, but this injury makes his profile pretty risky. (Taylor Case)

162. Anthony Desclafani, San Francisco Giants (Age: 30, Previous rank: 114)

Disco time! While his 2020 stats do not look great, I still think Desclafani is a worthwhile late dart throw in both redraft and dynasty next season. 2020 aside, I think he can provide plenty of innings, around a 4.00 ERA, a decent WHIP, and you have to love him signing with the Giants. He doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, so don’t count on them. But if you can pluck him off the wire, I say go for it. (Taylor Case)

163. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 32, Previous rank: 111)

Talk about full circle for this guy. Chris Archer recently signed back with Rays, after spending parts of the last three years in the Pittsburgh organization, a good chunk of which he spent on the Injured List. Fantasy managers rejoice! Since Archer was traded in 2018, the Rays have continued their wizarding ways with pitchers, both starters and relievers, and one has to hope that he can recapture some magic with his former team. That being said, the last we saw of him on the mound was the homer-prone, 5.19 ERA, .352 xwOBA-against Chris Archer, so I’d advise being cautious before you take the leap. (Taylor Case)

164. Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 31, Previous rank: 106)

I feel like I’ve had to say this a lot lately, but do not be turned away from Ross Stripling solely based on his stats from last season. That may not seem like good advice on the surface, as he unfortunately set career-worst numbers in ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate, walk rate, and barrel% against. Yikes. But that just means there is a solid window to acquire him on the cheap. Before 2020, he had a career 3.51 ERA (3.60 FIP) and an 8.8 K/9, and while he may have to fight for a spot in the back of the Toronto rotation, he’s worth a speculative add. (Taylor Case)

165. Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox (Age: 24, Previous rank: NR)

Tanner Houck burst onto the AL East scene last September and provided Red Sox fans and dynasty manager a few very polished starts, something the former had had a tough time finding up to that point. Houck has an average to above-average grade fastball and a nasty slider, one he seems to be able to throw in any count with confidence. He did ride a low .161 BABIP against on his way to helping managers to the playoffs last season – I, in turn, confidently expect that number to regress. However, on a team that is starving for pitching and with an above-average offense to guide him, Tanner Houck could be a real steal heading into 2021. Garrett Richards signing with Boston puts a little bit of a damper on his 2021 outlook, but I’d guess Houck finds his way into rotation somehow next season. (Taylor Case)

166. Ethan Small, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 23, Previous rank: 196)

Ethan Small is an interesting pitcher for dynasty leagues in 2021 if you can stand the wait. He’s a mainly fastball/changeup pitcher with decent control and from what I can tell, he could be up for his cup of coffee in the back half of next season. We don’t have too much minor league data to go off of, but with any luck he can keep up the high K/9 (14.8 K/9) that he was able to achieve in his time at Mississippi State in 2019. (Taylor Case)

167. Quinn Priester, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 20, Previous rank: 197)

Now Priester is an exciting young pitching prospect. Even though he’s projected to debut in 2024, the hype train is rolling and there doesn’t seem to be any use in holding it back. A multi-sport athlete in high school, he takes the mound with an above-average fastball/curveball combo (55/60 grades, respectively), and I have big hopes for his future, despite his placement on one of the worst teams in baseball. Hopefully that changes by the time he debuts! Seek him out in a trade this offseason before that hype train rolls too fast and other managers start demanding more in return. (Taylor Case)

168. Matthew Allan, New York Mets (Age: 19, Previous rank: 183)

You have to love a guy with two first names. Unfortunately, this 6’3”, 225 lb. right-hander isn’t set to debut for a few years, but with time and the development of a third (and fourth?) pitch, we just may have a #2 starter on our hands. That’s optimistic, of course, but it always feels good to dream on these young pitchers. Allan definitely has the moxie and baseline control and command to rise up the ranks quickly, and he’s yet another pitcher to pounce on before the buzz gets too loud. (Taylor Case)

169. Cal Quantrill, Cleveland Baseball Team (Age: 26, Previous rank: NR)

Now, I’ll come out and say it. I think Cal Quantrill should be ranked higher than #169. He limits hard contact well and uses a hard sinker to get a lot of groundballs, which should be nice in front of Cleveland’s above-average defense. Does he have what it takes to break into the starting rotation? Well, that remains to be seen. My guess is yes, and even if they use him in long relief, he could be up for a decent amount of wins and good ratios. He also randomly mixed in a save last season, and the way that the organization finds a way to get the most out of pitchers, I wouldn’t count that option out for 2021 either. (Taylor Case)

170. Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 25, Previous rank: 104)

When you look Brent Honeywell’s stats up, the last recorded professional outs he turned in came in 2017. He had Tommy John surgery in 2018. In 2019, he fractured his elbow. Finally (or should I say “recently”?), Honeywell had surgery to decompress his ulnar nerve. At this rate, he is going to have several revolutionary surgical procedures named after him, once they are invented, of course. The elite and diverse arsenal is still present, but whether or not he is ever going to be healthy and impact the league is a question that we get closer and closer to answering with each lost season. (Kyle Brown)

171. Daniel Ponce De Leon (Age: 29, Previous rank: NR)

Ponce De Leon burst on to the scene in 2019 as a spot starter and long reliever for the Cards and turned in a three-true-outcome type of season. No he isn’t a hitter, he just seems to only be able to give up homers, walks dudes, and rack up strikeouts. A pitch-mix change which saw Ponce De Leon nearly abandon his changeup, throw his curveball more than twice as often as the previous season, and lower his fastball usage to 61% (from 70%), led to career highs in K/9, BB/9, and HR/9. He is currently scheduled as the long reliever out of the Cardinal pen and will likely grab some spot starts this season. Streamers beware. (Kyle Brown)

172. Tejay Antone, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 27, Previous rank: NR)

Tejay Antone is surging into the hearts and rosters of fantasy players everywhere. Why is a pitcher without a clear role causing such a rucus in the fantasy community? Well, probably because his statcast page looks like it went to the same prom as Carrie. Atone was in the 85th percentile or better for xBA, xwOBA, xSLG, xERA, K%, fastball spin, and curve spin. That’s a lot of red, folks. Unfortunately, the Reds don’t really know what to do with Antone. He might get a few starts, a few saves, and a few multiple-inning relief gigs. Until his debut in 2020, Atone had started all but two of his professional games. If the Michael Lorenzen experiment fails and he gets bounced from the rotation, Antone will be ready to take over. Tejay is definitely worth a draft and stash in 2021. (Kyle Brown)

173. Kyle Gibson, Texas Rangers (Age: 33, Previous rank: 139)

Kyle Gibson, better known as the ace of the Texas Rangers (at least to his friends), is exactly what you think he is: average. He altered his pitch-mix a bit last year, throwing his slider more than ever before. The change was not a positive one, and Gibson’s SwStrk% dropped to its lowest number since 2014. The lack of whiffs also brought with it the worst HR/FB ratio of his career, a big concern considering that the new Rangers park is supposed to be pitcher-friendly. The best thing that Gibson has going for him, at least in terms of his fantasy value, is job security. If you just need some innings late in a draft, Gibson is your man. (Kyle Brown)

174. Luis Medina, New York Yankees (Age: 21, Previous rank: NR)

Luis Medina has been throwing straight fire in the minor leagues for several seasons, teasing a Yankees fan base and dynasty managers everywhere with each subsequent strikeout. Sadly, he can’t really control (or command) his potent arsenal. The lack of command is clear when you look at his double-digit BB% for every single year of his career. As with every fireballer who can’t throw his pitches for strikes, the bullpen may come calling. We could even see Medina in the majors at some point this season. Let’s see what he learned at the alternate site before we seal his fate one way or the other. (Kyle Brown)

175. Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 26, Previous rank: 113)

Hudson’s big fall on this list is mostly due to the Tommy John surgery he underwent in September of 2020. His fastball lost velocity in the sprint season and he threw his curveball nearly twice as often as the previous year, which probably didn’t help his UCL. All that said, between the weird COVID season and needing Tommy John, there’s nothing to do with Dakota Hudson but wait and see. If he can come back firing that premium fastball and inducing a 59%+ ground ball rate, his stock will rise again. But that’s a lot of question marks for a young arm who hasn’t really ever put together a great fantasy season. (Kyle Brown)

176. Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals (Age: 32, Previous rank: 192)

Two staff aces in the 170s of this list?!? Crazy. Ok, slow down, Danny Duffy is no ace. He will probably start game one of the season for the Royals, but chances are his best years are behind him. Frankly, there are so many intriguing arms in the Royals system and rotation that Duffy might get pushed to the 5th spot by next year. You can count on Duffy to do what he does: pitch around 130-150 innings with less strikeouts than innings pitched and an ERA over 4.50. However, anyone who can throw innings consistently has a role to play in deeper dynasty formats. (Kyle Brown)

177. Tahnaj Thomas, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 21, Previous rank: NR)

A truly exciting name to find this low on the list, Thomas is a power arm in the burgeoning Pirates system that can throw baseballs with electric velocity and devastating break. The fastball has touched 101 and Thomas was able to maintain his velocity deep into games in 2019. The Pirates have been stacking pitching arms like Jenga since Cherington took over, so the competition moving forward will be stiff. If Thomas doesn’t win a starting rotation spot in the near future he can easily slot in as a high-leverage reliever or closer. (Kyle Brown)

178. Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins (Age: 23, Previous rank: NR)

Taken with the 7th overall pick in the 2016 draft, Garrett has posted good strikeout and walk-rates in his minor league career. The Marlins gave him a big vote of confidence when they promoted him to the majors in 2020, despite the fact that Garrett had thrown all of 1.2 innings above High-A before his debut. As of now, Garret is slated to start the season back in the minors, but we all know how quickly plans can change for a pitching staff once the injury bug starts biting. Garrett likely still needs some seasoning (read: a little more velocity) before he is ready to be an impact pitcher. That said, his TJ is in the rear view mirror and there should be opportunity to make the starting rotation in the future in Miami. (Kyle Brown) 

179. Nick Bitsko, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 18, Previous rank: NR)

Bitsko makes this list due to his awesome potential and arsenal. One of the youngest pitchers in the 2020 draft class, Bitsko has already gone under the knife for a shoulder injury. He is young enough to come back strong, but the road to success for prep-pitchers is paved with the broken dreams of pitchers with elite stuff who either couldn’t stay healthy or couldn’t put it all together on the mound. He is likely to go in the first or second round of you FYPD this season and the pick is warranted. Not only are more and more pitchers returning from injury than ever before, but Bitsko is in one of the best organizations for development in baseball. (Kyle Brown)

180.  Cole Wilcox, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 21, Previous rank: NR)

One of the pawns on AJ Preller’s chess board this offseason, Wilcox was drafted by the Padres in the 3rd round last season and sent off to Tampa Bay in the Blake Snell deal. Like Bitsko, Wilcox’s stock and development should both receive a boost while playing for the Rays. Well, not so fast, he could just end up as a 2-inning reliever given how the Rays do things. Until that happens, we can marvel at the incredible start Wilcox was having in the 2020 college season. In his first four starts, Wilcox had struck out 32 dudes in just 23 innings while only walking 2 batters. That and the Rays targeting him is enough to merit inclusion on our list. (Kyle Brown)

181. Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 200)

I’m not sure that it’s entirely accurate that Freddy Peralta has been included in the Starting Pitcher ranks considering that he worked almost exclusively in relief in 2020, but he’s here, so we’re going to talk about him. The move to the ‘pen proved fruitful for Freddy who notched his best ERA as a big leaguer (3.99) as his K-rate spiked to more than 37%. Savant thinks that he added a slider to the arsenal in 2020, but he might just be altering the shape of the curve since it doesn’t show a discernable velocity difference. Peralta’s success in relief in concert with his continued walk issues (10.7% career BB rate) will likely keep him in the bullpen, but I suppose there’s still a chance Milwaukee gives him one last shot at a rotation spot in 2021. (Joe Drake)

182. Jose Quintana, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 101)

After 8 seasons as a workhorse who rarely ever missed a start, Jose Quintana posted just 10 innings in 2020. It feels like Quintana has been around forever at this point, but entering 2021, he’ll only be 32 years old. He’s certainly no spring chicken, but there may be another reasonable season or two remaining in that left arm. Quintana underperformed his FIP by nearly a run in 2019, suggesting some room for a bounceback in his ratios in 2020 — unfortunately, we didn’t get to see it due to neck and back injuries. Coming into 2021 after nearly a year off and with a new team, it’s fair and perhaps even prudent to be a bit skeptical of what Quintana may have to offer going forward. He fits well as a backend rotation guy on competing teams. (Joe Drake)

183. Adam Kloffenstein, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 20, Previous Rank: NR)

Kloffenstein is a large (6’5″, 240+) right-hander drafted out of Texas back in 2018. Given his frame, he was projected to add velo as he filled out and potentially grow into a fastball that grazes triple digits. Following the 2020 “season,” he was still sitting in the low 90s. Kloffenstein is a sinker/slider guy with a blah curveball, potentially average change, and developing command. He projects as more of a backend guy at best since he doesn’t have a bat-missing offering with the potential to slide into the pen if he can’t turn over a lineup more than once. His age works to his advantage as he was still just 17 when he was drafted. (Joe Drake)

184. Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins (Age: 23, Previous Rank: NR)

Rogers is a big lefty with a mid-90s fastball and decent command. His secondaries include a promising changeup and a mediocre slider/cutter that appears to be more of a change of pace pitch than a true weapon. Though some were skeptical that Rogers would be able to stick in the bigs as a starter without a viable breaking ball, the combination of his fastball, changeup, and command appears to be good enough to provide a backend starter floor with room to get to a mid-rotation type if he finds a breaking ball that works for him. With just 26 innings at Double-A in 2019, it’s likely that he wasn’t quite ready for his debut in 2020 (ahem, 6.11 ERA), but I think we’ll see him back in Miami before the end of 2021. (Joe Drake)

185. Josh Lindblom, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 20)

Lindblom’s triumphant return to MLB was… not so triumphant. Despite a revamped arsenal that features good movement profiles almost across the board, Lindblom’s ERA checked in at 5.16 when the 2020 season came to a close. While that’s nearly a 3 run improvement over his 2017 cameo, I’m sure it’s not quite what the Brewers had in mind when they brought Josh back stateside. It wasn’t all bad news though. Lindblom’s FIP was more than a full run lower than his ERA suggesting that he may have had some bad luck in 2020. Combine that with a 27% strikeout rate and there’s some potential here if Lindblom can limit the walks a little more going forward (8.4% BB rate in 2020). Just keep in mind that he’s nearly 34. (Joe Drake)

186. Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 153)

At 35 years old this upcoming season, it’s easy for us to say that Johnny Cueto’s best years are behind him and when you look at his numbers, that confidence grows into absolute conviction. Cueto had a second straight season with an ERA over 5.00 (if you can call 2018’s 16 IP a season) and that ERA was accompanied by walk rate, FIP, swinging-strike rate, and groundball rate all moving the wrong direction from career averages. With a fastball that sits 91 now, Cueto simply doesn’t have the stuff to succeed without excellent command and we’re seeing it come to fruition in the stat line. I’m afraid it may be the end of the line for our pal, Johnny, sooner than later. (Joe Drake)

187. Blake Walston, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)

Walston is a big lefty with mid-rotation upside but a long way to go to get there. The fastball sits low-90s for now with a good movement profile and projects to tick up in velocity as Walston grows into his frame and puts on muscle. His best pitch is a banger of a curveball that he can attack any hitter with in almost any count. As good as his fastball/curveball combo is, it’s not quite good enough to get through the lineup multiple times and he’ll need the slider or change to take a step forward to have a real shot at reaching his ceiling. The building blocks are there, but Walston has some work to do. (Joe Drake)

188. Joey Lucchesi, New York Mets (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 87)

I’m going to warn you now that I don’t have anything nice to say about Joey Lucchesi other than that I like his first name. Fair warning, Lucchesi fans. Typically, you want a pitcher to either have good stuff or good command or some combination of the two (or in a perfect world, both). Well, Lucchesi has neither. His sinker sits 90 at best, his secondaries have decent movement but are also quite slow and his command is also average at best. So how does he get hitters out? Smoke and mirrors. He’s got a funky, jerky delivery that adds deception and makes it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball. The thing is, you can’t rely on deception alone to get the best hitters in the world out on a consistent basis. (Joe Drake)

189. Steven Matz, Toronto Blue Jays (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 90)

Bluntly, there wasn’t a lot to like about Steven Matz when he was in New York and now there’s even less to like that his home games will be in Toronto — yes, it’s quite possible the Jays will be playing their home games Stateside in 2021, but no, it’s probably not going to be much of a park upgrade, if at all. Matz’s arsenal features a sinker, changeup, and curveball with the occasional slider mixed in. If that sounds like an odd combination, that’s because it is — the sinker and curveball just don’t play off each other well. And on top of that, he elevates the sinker often. Perhaps Toronto has a plan to either ditch the sinker or increase slider volume, but either way, I’d watch from a distance before throwing him in your starting lineup any time soon. (Joe Drake)

190. Bobby Miller, Los Angeles Dodgers (Age: 21, Previous Rank: NR)

Bobby Miller is by far my favorite pitcher out of this entire section of 10 that I have written up. He was a 1st round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft out of a college baseball powerhouse in a good conference and landed in what might be the best pitcher-developing org in the world. And did I mention that he throws gas, has a trio of solid secondaries? On top of all that, he’s built like a frontline starter (6’5″, 270), holds velocity deep into his outings, and throws strikes. There was a lot to like about Miller before he was drafted by the Dodgers and now there’s even more reason to think that could reach that mid-rotation upside (which is a very good outcome). (Joe Drake)

191) Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 148)

The Giants have done well with reclamation projects under Farhan Zaidi and Wood is the most recent starting pitcher to get his shot in San Francisco. At just 30 years old, Wood has pitched 48 and a third innings combined the last two seasons. When you are this deep in the pool it’s better to get 20 decent starts from a pitcher that won’t tank your ratios or get you negative points in head to head than it is to get 30 bad starts. Wood fits that bill; the question marks are obvious but if he could stay healthy the payoff could be nice. He’s young enough to give him another shot in dynasty. (Paul Monte)

192) Jon Lester, Washington Nationals (Age: 37, Previous Rank: 131)

A great career will soon be coming to an end as the 37-year-old lefthander enters 2021 on a one year deal with the Washington Nationals. It’s a decent landing spot for Lester, but if things continue to progress as they have the last several years he will be a streaming option at best. The 4-seam fastball dipped under 90 MPH for the first time in his 15 year career and it’s not coming back again. The margin for error will be thin but he has a chance at getting seven wins to get to the 200 win mark. (Paul Monte)

193) Logan Webb, San Francisco Giants (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 193)

2 years, 19 starts, and a 5.36 career ERA. We have now reached the deep league portion of the rankings. Well, we have probably been there for a while now, but Webb is just 24 years old and currently has a spot in the starting rotation. AT&T Park is not quite the pitcher’s dream that it had been but is still a good park to pitch in. In his 11 2020 starts he only made it to the 6th inning once. Part of that was the Giants carefully managing his innings and part was due to his ineffectiveness. If you are in a Quality Start league, keep that in mind when drafting. (Paul Monte)

194) Patrick Sandoval, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 175)

2 years, 15 starts, and a 5.33 career ERA. Hey, at least he’s left-handed! The problem is it looks like Sandoval will be starting the season in Triple-A unless he has a very strong spring. The Angels plan to use a 6 man rotation again in 2021 and Ohtani and Canning have struggled with injury recently. Add in the newly signed Jose Quintana and Sandoval drops down the pecking order. He should still see starts in 2021 although it might be a “be careful what you wish for” situation. 24 years old means he is worth rostering in deep leagues. (Paul Monte)

195) Jay Groome, Boston Red Sox (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft out of high school, you might think that Groome would be getting ready for his major league debut. Things have not gone smoothly for the young lefty and he has managed just 66 innings over those five years. He was part of the 60-man pool in 2020 and was added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The 40-man roster means we could see Groome in the next two years and he will still be young enough to be relevant. This is the point in drafts where you need to decide if taking guys like Lester makes more sense than just sitting on Groome. (Paul Monte)

196) Tyler Beede, San Francisco Giants (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 158)

Having three of your pitchers in the 191-200 section of the dynasty rankings is not a good look. Another former first-round pick, Beede debuted in 2018 and made 22 starts in 2019. His ERA was in the 5’s but he struck out 113 batters in 117 innings. 2020 was supposed to be a big year for him but it was over before it started as he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery. A decent stash if you have Injured List slots that he can be used or just keep him on your watch list. He is expected to return towards the end of 2021 and his stats may not be pretty as he works his way back. (Paul Monte)

197) Tanner Burns, Cleveland Baseball Team (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Burns was a 3-year starter at Auburn and did very well in the SEC. He was drafted at the end of the first round in 2020 and despite being only 6 feet tall he is expected to stick as a starter in the Cleveland system. He showed good progression from year to year and was sitting at 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings before the college season was shut down. Cleveland has been a great organization for developing pitchers, this is a guy who can shoot up the dynasty rankings with a good professional debut in 2021. (Paul Monte)

198) Joey Cantillo, Cleveland Baseball Team (Age: 21, Previous Rank: 188)

If Cantillo makes it to the Major Leagues he will be a late-round success story. Originally drafted by the Padres in the 16th round of the 2017 draft, he was traded to Cleveland with five other players in the Mike Clevinger deal. He has found success at all levels, reaching High-A at just 19 years old he was over four years younger than the men he was competing against. Cantillo has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s but it’s his change-up that has been his best pitch. He worked 111.2 innings in 2019 and will look to pick up where he left off in 2021. (Paul Monte)

199) Hans Crouse, Texas Rangers (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 157)

2021 will be an important year for Crouse who will now be over a year and a half removed from his elbow surgery in 2019. If we assume that his 2019 stats were down because of the bone spur that was eventually removed and just look at his first two seasons the picture is much better. He will likely start the season in High-A and look to bounce back and finish the season in Double-A. The shine has worn off of the form second-round pick but it doesn’t take much to jump up this list when you start the season ranked 199th. (Paul Monte)

200) Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 138)

To be honest, Rodon snuck into the top 200 because other pitchers were moved to the reliever list. These rankings were done before he signed the 3-million-dollar deal to return to the White Sox. I think he would have jumped up the rankings had it been known that it looked like he would have a shot at the 5th starter role for Chicago. This is a guy that you can get for cheap and pray that he starts the season hot. If he does, try to move him for someone that can manage to stay healthy. If he is beat out by Reynaldo Lopez for the last spot in the rotation he could be an interesting bullpen option in deep leagues. (Paul Monte)

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Aaron Cumming

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