THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2023 TOP 200 DYNASTY LEAGUE STARTING PITCHERS, #131-200
Buckle up, buttercups, as this is going to be a strange trip down a long, winding, road, over a river, through some woods, to find the last 70 starting pitchers ranked by our distinguished industry experts. Below are the players ranked #131-200.
131. IAN ANDERSON, ATLANTA BRAVES (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 32)
Atlanta produces MLB quality pitching like clockwork, but it often seems like it is just for one year (where did you go Hector Ynoa?). Anderson had a K/9 above ten in the minors, and had a great 32 inning debut in 2020. 2021 looked good as well, as Anderson posted a 3.58 ERA and nine wins in 128 innings pitched. But the signs for regression were ever present: a 4.12 FIP and walk rate of 3.72 are not stats of a top-three starter, and that was where he was being drafted going into last season. 2022 saw Anderson bottom out, with an ERA of 5.00 and a walk rate of 4.35 in 22 starts, which saw him get demoted to Triple-A, and an oblique injury ended his season there. Still relatively young, the former #3 overall draft pick is, at best, a number four starter; at worst, isn’t rosterable in non-NL-only leagues. (Phil Barrington)
132. KYLE MULLER, ATLANTA BRAVES (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: 200)
Traded to A’s, Muller has the potential to shine in obscurity this season in Oaktown. Not saying he will, but at this point, he is going to get every opportunity to do so. 2022 at Triple-A saw Muller show off the best version of himself; in 134 innings he compiled a 3.42 ERA, supported by a 3.52 FIP with a K/BB of 3.98 (above three is very good). If he can reach near this height while pitching in front of 572 fans at home games, a #3 starter he will be. If not, send him to the waiver wire. The cost of acquiring should be low (or free), so he’s a bet I am placing in a lot of leagues this offseason. (Phil Barrington)
133. Quinn Priester, Pittsburgh Pirates (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: 106)
A top-100 prospect on most prospect lists at this time last year, he is 60th overall on MLB.com’s recently released top prospect list, as Priester climbed from Single-A to Triple-A in 2022. He spent most of the season at Double-A Altoona, starting 15 games with a 2.87 ERA (supported by a 3.23 FIP) with a K/9 of 9 and a walk rate of only 2.63. If successful at Triple-A expect to see Priester in Pittsburgh as soon as next season. (Phil Barrington)
134. Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
The former 7th overall choice back in 2016, Garrett was able to make 17 starts for the Marlins in 2022, and produced. A 3.58 ERA (backed by a 3.56 FIP), 1.25 WHIP and a strikeout an inning in 88 innings pitched. If there is one stat that is quite important when evaluating pitchers, its Strikeouts to Walks (K/BB). Above three, and I’m usually going to like a guy, and above four gets my heart all aflutter. with a great 3.75 K/BB. Garrett’s was 3.75 in 2022. Roster Resource has Garrett starting the season in Triple-A but that assumes Trevor Rogers beats him out for the 5th starter role in Spring Training; if Garrett wins the job, he may be a sneaky play in deeper leagues and will near the top 100 next season. A worthwhile, low-risk, option with a chance to pay off big time. (Phil Barrington)
135. Ryne Nelson, Arizona Diamondbacks (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
A second-round pick by the Diamondbacks back in 2019, Nelson started the 2022 season in Triple-A and ended it with 18 major league innings pitched; not before right scapula inflammation sent him to the DL to end the season. In Triple-A Nelson pitched 136 innings over 26 starts, with an awful 5.43 ERA and 5.49 FIP. The Diamondbacks still took a chance and Nelson did really well over those 18 innings (which is probably why he is ranked here and not way later) with a 1.47 ERA and left on base % of 90.2%. Possibility of a boom, but more the chance of a bust, so I would try to sell high if possible. (Phil Barrington)
136. Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox (AGE: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 132)
Pivetta is just a dude (as my fellow TDG writer Andrew Jurewicz likes to say), meaning easily replaceable. Not sure why a guy with a 5.02 career ERA is on this list, but we had to rank 200 so here we are. He used to have a K rate of above ten, but last season it was only 8.77, still with a walk rate of 3.66 (which is not good), yielding a K/BB of 2.40 in 2022. He did strike out more than eight guys six times and averaged a strikeout per inning. He signed a $5.35 million one-year contract to remain in Boston; as a spot starter against bad teams in 14+ leagues one could do much worse. (Phil Barrington)
137. Jackson Jobe, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 20, PREVIOUS RANK: 113)
Fellow TDG writers Ryan Felix Fernnades, Andrew Jurewicz, and I are currently in the middle of a 16-team startup Dynasty draft, and Andrew just drafted Jobe as I was doing my writeups in the 24th round, pick 382 overall, so, I asked him why. To paraphrase “Couple things. He’s a top end pick (#3 overall), is Detroit’s #1 prospect right now and inside Baseball America’s top 100 preseason 2023 prospect list. 3000+ RPM slider very good (BA graded it a 70) and less reliever risk with the chance at having four (at least) plus offerings with plus control.”
Coming in at #63 on the MLB top 100 prospect list (this is one of the few updated lists out there, and, of course, they factor in defense so should not be used primarily as a Dynasty/Fantasy league list, especially for hitters, but for pitchers it can be a bit more accurate), Jobe has a bright future and could jump into the top-75 starters as early as next year. (Phil Barrington)
138. Luis Patiño, Tampa Bay Rays (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: 51)
How the mighty have fallen; Patiño has tumbled down our rankings (even though he wears the #1, which is so odd for a pitcher; anyone out there know some one at Elias that can confirm how many other pitchers in baseball history wear #1?). Anyway, injuries were his bugaboo in 2022, as his spring training was cut short with shoulder discomfort and an oblique strain 13 pitches into his 2023 debut sent him to the IL until he returned the 6th of June to the minors. He shuffled back and forth between Triple-A Durham and the bigs the rest of the season; putting up a putrid 8.10 ERA in 20 big league innings. Patiño has pitched a lot in the minors (300.1 innings to be exact) striking out 360 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, so he doesn’t have much left to prove. A buy-low opportunity may present itself for the former top-20 overall prospect, as his worst case is a top-end reliever. (Phil Barrington)
139. Chase Silseth, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in California, USA (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Silseth made his MLB debut in 2022, as the former 11th-round pick skipped Triple-A completely after 83 innings in Double-A where he started 15 games with a 2.28 ERA (though with a much higher 3.78 FIP) and 110 Ks to only 27 walks, good for a K/BB rate of 4.07. Silseth made seven starts at the big-league level, and he got molly whopped (I think that’s the term) to the tune of a 6.59 ERA and a K/BB of two in 28.2 innings pitched. The Angels are going with six starters to accommodate Ohtani so there is room to fit Silseth into the rotation if he pitches well in Spring. He is a 45-grade prospect with three plus pitches, and if it all comes together the Angels have a solid #3 or #4 starter, and is a solid flier in 16 teams+ Dynasty leagues. (Phil Barrington)
140. David Peterson, New York Mets (AGE: 27, PREVIOUS RANK: 195)
Entering his fourth big league season, Peterson has improved his K rate every year, with a 10.73 K/9 in 2022. Though that came with a 4.09 BB/9, giving him a basic 2.63 K/BB. He doesn’t have much value if he’s not a starter and, right now, Peterson is predicted to pitch out of the bullpen for the Mets. However, it is pretty easy to see the possibility of injuries (Scherzer, Verlander, Carrasco) and ineffectiveness (Senga and Quintana) of the current five listed Mets starters, opening the door for Peterson to get 20+ starts in 2023. A solid spot starter in deeper leagues. (Phil Barrington)
141. Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: 119)
I feel like the clock is running out on Matt Manning. It feels as if the fantasy baseball community has been waiting years for the breakout to come, only to be disappointed. Manning did have some success in 2022, posting a 3.43 ERA in 63 innings. It seems like a successful year but a look under the hood doesn’t inspire much confidence for 2023. His 11.1% K-BB% is below average, his 18% K% isn’t well below what you would want from a fantasy pitcher and his 4.45 SIERA is probably a better indicator of his talent level. The good news is that Manning is only 25 and is working on improving his pitches, but he’s not someone I’m going out of my way to acquire. (Colin Coulahan)
142. Graham Ashcraft, Cincinnati Reds (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 290)
Ashcraft’s value is likely the lowest it will ever be. A 4.89 ERA and poor 8.8% K-BB% will certainly make you unappealing to fantasy owners. But there’s a lot to like in Ashcraft’s profile. First, his ERA estimators (xFIP, FIP, SIERA) are all lower than his actual earned run average. The groundball rate (54.5%) is great for his ballpark, his cutter hits 97 MPH, and he doesn’t walk many batters (6.5% BB%, the league average was 7.6%). He’s another pitcher who is working on improvements, mainly on his off-speed pitches. If Ashcraft can add some swing-and-miss to his profile he can take off in 2023. (Colin Coulahan)
143. Dylan Lesko, San Diego Padres (AGE: 19, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Tommy John surgery can kill a draft profile but Lesko going under the knife didn’t scare the Padres off at all. He was drafted 15th overall in the 2022 MLB draft, he could have easily been a top 5 pick if weren’t for the injury. Lesko has a fastball that sits at 95 MPH and can hit 98 and the change-up is already plus plus. The plan is for Lesko to return to pitching this summer at the Rookie Level for San Diego. As long as the arm is healthy, Lesko is a number 2 starter at peak. (Colin Coulahan)
144. José Suárez, Los Angeles Angels (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: 196)
I feel like playing in deeper leagues is an art form. Every year I see people in 20-team leagues go crazy about acquiring studs and stars, selling off mid-round draft picks in startups to acquire early picks. The great thing about this is that you can get studs such as Soto and Acuna on the same team, but you have no depth. And depth is critical to winning deep leagues. Enter José Suárez – a totally average pitcher. His 3.96 ERA was average, his 15.2 K-BB% is about league average. The stuff is good, but not great. I don’t know if there is another level to Suarez’s game and he may not be the best pitcher on your staff when looking at the numbers, but arms like this are an absolute must-have in a deeper league. (Colin Coulahan)
145. John Means, Baltimore Orioles (AGE: 29, PREVIOUS RANK: 59)
Means will be coming back from Tommy John surgery this year and should be back around the midway point of the season. He never has posted huge strikeout numbers, he’s always hovered around 20% K%. The excellent command has been his key to success as he’s never had a BB% over 6%. Now that Camden Yards has become more pitcher-friendly we might see a slight improvement in Means’ ratios, but I wouldn’t be tripping over myself to have him on my team this year. The command takes a while to return after TJ, and we still don’t have a concrete return date. But if I was punting this year and the price was low enough I could see acquiring him for a team that will be competitive in 2024. (Colin Coulahan)
146. Ryan Pepiot, Los Angeles Dodgers (AGE: 25, PREVIOUS RANK: 158)
Pepiot is the perfect example of how easy it is to fall in love with pitching prospects, and why it’s dangerous too. Let’s look at the good stuff – Pepiot just strikes out the world. He struck out 31% of batters at Triple-A in 2023, and 29% in Triple-A and Double-A the year before. The strikeout rate followed him to his 36-inning stint with LA, putting up a 26% K%. The bad news is his command. He’s hovered around a 10% walk most of his career and walked almost 17% of batters at the MLB level. Despite the poor command, Pepiot put up a 3.47 ERA, but his 4.96 SIERA is closer to how he was truly performing. He’s trending toward being a reliever if he doesn’t shore up the command. (Colin Coulahan)
147. Gorfon Graceffo, St. Louis Cardinals (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: UR)
Gordon is good, but he could be better! All of the tools and foundation for success are here, but he hasn’t found a way to truly break out yet. The righthander has a legit four-pitch mix, led by his fastball that reaches 99 MPH. His slider, changeup, and curveball are all at least average, and have above-average command of all of them. In 45 innings at High A, Graceffo was elite, putting up a 31.5 K-BB% and a.099 ERA. Double A was a wake-up call for him, as the whiffs plummeted to a 22% K% and his ERA skyrocketed to almost 4. He is not a finished product, but with good command, a deep arsenal, and a mature understanding of how to pitch I would not be surprised if he took a big step forward in 2023. (Colin Coulahan)
148. Robert Gasser, Milwaukee Brewers (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: UR)
Gasser was part of the trade that sent Josh Hader to San Diego. He doesn’t have premium velocity, his fastball only tops out at 95 MPH. The slider is a legit weapon that he often pairs with his fastball. Gasser also features a decent changeup and cutter to get weak contact. Despite not having elite velocity Gasser has had success so far in his pro career, putting up a 29% K% over the past two seasons. Normally he has featured good command but the walk rate was creeping up in 2022, getting as high as 13% in Triple A – a small sample alert. At the end of the day, he’s likely a back-of-the-rotation starter, but the Brewers have had success with pitching development in the past, so there may be another level for him. (Colin Coulahan)
149. Cade Horton, Chicago Cubs (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: UR)
Man, Cade Horton seems like he could be a lot of fun to roster. He came back from Tommy John surgery in 2022 and had some struggles on the mound, but had a hell of a run to end the year, setting a strikeout record in the College World Series finals (13 strikeouts). This was good enough to have him drafted seventh overall in the 2022 draft. As good as he is, there is not much of a track record here, only having pitched a partial college season (to be fair, he was also an All-American pitcher in high school). Horton’s arsenal relies on power, the fastball has a natural ride and hits 98 MPH and the slider sits at 87 to 90 MPH. He also features a curveball and a changeup. There isn’t much to go on here, but the skills for a mid-rotation with an above-average strikeout rate are present. He’s a high-risk/high-reward prospect. (Colin Coulahan)
150. Wilmer Flores, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: UR)
Flores doesn’t get the respect he should be getting. He’s a near-elite pitching prospect. Flores pounds the strike zone with a 94 MPH fastball, a cutter with a 9 MPH velocity difference, and a curveball that had a 41% whiff rate. Flores was able to put up a ludicrous 43% K-BB% at High A last year, and while he did take a step back at Double-A, a 21.4 K-BB% and 3.01 ERA are great. The Tigers are looking like they got a steal with Flores after he went undrafted in 2020 – don’t let him slip through your fingers as well. (Colin Coulahan)
151. Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 26 Previous Rank: 199)
It was a good season but at the same time a disappointing season for Mitch Keller. On one hand, he pitched in over 30 games for the first time, starting 29, and managed a sub-4.00 ERA. On the other hand, he showed up to spring training throwing 98 mph again, but only struck out 7.81 batters per nine innings pitched. Keller offers a fastball, slider, and curve, and sprinkles in a change, all of which can be effective pitches except his fastball when it sinks. He did manage to limit home runs again, and his last 15 starts produced a 2.71 ERA. Keller is looking poised to become a solid back-of-the-rotation starter for fantasy purposes even if Wins might continue to elude him given the team he plays for. (Ken Balderston)
152. Jarlin Susana, Washington Nationals (Age: 19 Previous Rank: NR)
There are plenty of ‘pop-up’ prospects every year who put up noticeable stats in low A ball, but Susana did that but with truly impressive stuff. His fastball is just lights out, with incredible spin, and movement, and comes at hitters between 96 and 99 mph. At 6’6” and 225 lbs I can’t imagine how intimidating a pitch it is to hitters, especially when they have to prepare for a slider as well, which also has high velocity but will need work to be more than an above-average pitch. Jarlin also has a change that is a work in progress, as is his command. While you don’t like to project 19-year-old prospects for the pen, Susana has all the makings of an elite high-leverage reliever. If that’s the downside, sign me up for all the Susana shares I can get. (Ken Balderston)
153. Emerson Hancock, Seattle Mariners (Age: 23 Previous Rank: 83)
Hancock was one of the big three college pitchers taken in the 2020 FYPD, being taken 6th overall by the Mariners. He offers a fastball reaching mid to upper 90s, but with little movement and low swing and miss. He also has a plus slider that plays down because of the less-than-dominant fastball, and a changeup that could be plus, but still developing. In the two years he’s played since being drafted, Hancock has missed some time with injury and hasn’t pitched deep into games. While the Mariners seem to take this approach with pitching prospects, the results haven’t been eye-popping as of yet. Not only has he consistently struck out less than a batter per inning with more walks than you’d like, he also let up almost 1.5 HR/9 last year in AA. Emerson has been a bit of a letdown so far but still projects to be an effective major league regular, and if he can polish his changeup there’s still some hope for a little more. (Ken Balderston)
154. Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins (Age:34 Previous Rank: 133)
In a true out-of-sight, out-of-mind manner, Kenta Maeda while recovering from Tommy John surgery has actually fallen over twenty spots in our rankings as he’s moved closer to returning to the field. In fact, reports are Maeda will be ready for spring training and look to help the Twins compete this year. The problem is even if healthy, we’re unlikely to get the 2020 version of Maeda who came in 3rd in the Cy Young voting that year. The small sample that year covered the weak opposition he faced in a weak AL Central, but outside of that outlier year, Kenta does have nearly 700 career innings with an ERA hovering just below 4.00, and striking out over a batter per inning. He may not compete for the Cy again, but Maeda is more than capable of being a solid back-of-the-rotation piece for your team. (Ken Balderston)
155. Brock Porter, Texas Rangers (Age: 19 Previous Rank: NR)
High School pitching prospects have a terrible track record of becoming successful major leaguers, but we keep getting sucked in every year. That’s not to say no pitchers get drafted out of high school and become successful, but many do scuffle along the way. So why draft Brock Porter you ask? Talent and dominance that makes you drool. His senior year he allowed a 0.29 ERA and a .056 batting average against, and cream of the crop he only allowed two extra-base hits his last two seasons. The arsenal is a fastball mid to upper 90s, a slider, and a change, the latter two needing work but the fastball is plus. While there’s a long way to go, some recent high schools pitchers like Mick Abel and Andrew Painter have shown you can move quickly through the minors as a high school pick. Here’s hoping Porter can do the same. (Ken Balderston)
156. Cooper Hjerpe, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 22 Previous Rank: NR)
One of the exciting names from this past FYPD, the Cardinals used their first-round pick (22nd overall) to select Cooper Hjerpe. What really stands out from a delivery standpoint is Cooper’s extreme sidearm delivery, similar to Chris Sale and Josh Hader though living in the lower 90s and touching 95 mph. He also offers an 80 mph slider a curve and a changeup but the fastball has been his bread and butter in college. As do most first-round picks, Cooper put up video game numbers his last season in college, with a 2.70 ERA, 161 strikeouts, and only 23 walks in 103.1 innings. He has good command of all pitches and should move through the system quickly. (Ken Balderston)
157. Steven Matz, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 31 Previous Rank: 88)
On the surface, 2022 was a forgettable year for Matz, who had just signed a 4-year deal with the Cardinals after a bit of a revival with the Blue Jays in 2021. In the time he was healthy between two lengthy IL stints, Matz found some bad luck as his strand rate was incredibly low at 66.9%, and his xERA, SIERRA, & xFIP were each at least one run lower than his actual ERA (5.25) and in some cases a full two runs lower. He managed a career-high strikeout rate of 26.1%, and a career-low walk rate of 4.8%, albeit in only 48 innings. There are several signs of improvement here, and while Matz may never be an ace there’s a good chance he can outperform this rank if healthy in 2023. (Ken Balderston)
158. Corey Kluber, Boston Red Sox (Age: 36 Previous Rank: 125)
What a long strange trip it’s been for Corey Kluber, from a nobody prospect to multi-time Cy Young winner to journeyman. Kluber showed last year he can still throw a large number of quality innings and stay healthy but also saw his strikeout rate drop below 9 for the first time in a decade at 7.63/9 no less. He’s still showing good control, and keeps the ball in the yard but just isn’t outright beating hitters like he used to. Kluber was effective though, allowing two earned runs or less in 18 of his 31 starts, and managing 10 wins as well. This isn’t a flashy pick by any means, but there’s something to be said about someone who can give you quality innings and double-digit wins, something Kluber’s proven capable of for a long time. (Ken Balderston)
159. Owen White, Texas Rangers (Age: 23 Previous Rank: NR)
Things really started to come together for White last year, using a plus fastball and plus slider to keep ~50% of the batted balls on the ground, en route to a 3.70 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 11.7 K/9 between A+ & AA. His season was cut short in July with forearm fatigue which unfortunately has been a trend since being a second-round pick in 2018. White missed most of the 2019 season and would have missed the ’20 season as well recovering from Tommy John surgery. He also missed a large chunk of ’21 with a fractured bone in his hand, meaning the 80 1/3 innings he threw last year represent a pro high for him. White has since been added to the 40-man roster, and had some success at AA meaning a might not be that far away, assuming he can stay healthy of course. (Ken Balderston)
160. Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants (Age: 32 Previous Rank: 94)
It’s been an up-and-down career for Alex Wood, who’s also battled injuries at times but also put up several quality seasons especially early in his career. Lately though has been a bit more hit or miss, as Wood managed a 3.83 ERA in 2021, but put up ERAs over 5.00 the other three seasons of the last four. His FIP is much more attractive sub 4.00, and he strikes out about a batter per inning, has attractive walk rates, and is good at keeping the ball on the ground. Alex ran into some bad luck in 2022, with a strand rate of only 63.9% so there’s room for improvement. If you need a pitcher to fill out the back of your rotation Wood is an interesting option, just don’t hold on too long if things start going sideways. (Ken Balderston)
161. Sixto Sánchez, Miami Marlins (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 82)
It’s tough to decide how to handle Sixto. He’s had shoulder surgeries in each of the past two years. He hasn’t pitched since 2020 and it’s just seemed like a nonstop river of bad news about him. But we can’t give up on such a talented arm yet. Sánchez is only 24 and very talented. Word is that he’s healthy and ready to go for spring training, and let me ask you something – do you want to watch him get back to what he was on someone else’s team? Maybe he can’t be that guy again, but you have to hold on and see what happens before moving on. (Colin Coulahan)
162. Mason Montgomery, Tampa Bay Rays (AGE: 22, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
A 39th-round draft pick, Montgomery is a very intriguing pitcher. He doesn’t blow batters away with premium velocity or wipeout sliders. While he doesn’t routinely throw it hard, Montgomery has been relying on his plus fastball for his success. It plays about its 89-94 MPH range because of this and his plus command of the pitch. Montgomery also has a slider and changeup, but they are both below average. After posting a disgusting 32% K-BB% in High A, the more advanced hitters at Double-A were able to get to Montgomery, as his K-BB% fell to 17%. He’s going to need to work on his secondary pitches to have success at the MLB level. (Colin Coulahan)
163. Brandon Barriera, Toronto Blue Jays (AGE: 19, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
The 23rd overall draft pick has a 4-pitch mix but relies on his fastball and slider. The fastball is plus, sitting 92-95 with late movement. The slider is his best pitch, it makes some hitters look ridiculous. Barriera also throws a curve and a changeup. Both of these pitches have the potential to be above average. Everything projects to be solid, especially if the rest of his secondaries approve. A mid-rotation pitcher seems like the most probable outcome. (Colin Coulahan)
164. José Quintana, New York Mets (AGE: 34, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
I’m going to try not to say that Quintana got lucky last year. That would insinuate that he wasn’t good and that isn’t accurate. His command regressed from an almost 12% BB% in 2021 closer to his career norm of 7%. His BABIP also regressed to a career norm of .302. But the K% also dropped from 2021, 28% to 20%. The 10% swinging strike rate is also below average, and there isn’t a high probability of him pitching a full season with a 5.3% home run to fly ball rate. In deeper leagues, Quintana will likely be a solid depth arm, but I wouldn’t expect a sub-3.00 ERA again. (Colin Coulahan)
165. Spencer Turnbull, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 154)
Turnbull falls into the same bucket as John Means for me. Some stuff to like in his profile, but not sure how much to expect in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Before going under the knife, Turnbull was 50 innings into the 2021 season when he cut his walk rate in half while keeping his average strikeout numbers. Control is one of the last things to come back to pitchers after undergoing TJ, so it will be interesting to see if Turnbull can hang onto the improved command he found. (Colin Coulahan)
166. Jake Eder, Miami Marlins (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: 193)
Eder was enjoying a breakout 2021 season before he went down with TJ and missed all of the 2022 season. Before he was hurt he primarily threw a fastball and slider combo, and mixed in a changeup. It’s easy to forget how good he was in Double-A, but before the surgery, he was at 71 innings of 25% K-BB% and 1.77 ERA ball. It’s hard to say if the plus command returns after going under the knife, but the upside of a mid-rotation starter should be there if he remains healthy. (Colin Coulahan)
167. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals (AGE: 41, PREVIOUS RANK: 104)
Wainwright is no longer an ace but he’s still a solid pitcher in real life. For fantasy, he’s probably better suited as a bench piece in deeper leagues. He’s not going to kill your ratios but he doesn’t have the strikeout upside he used to have. As hard as it is to admit, Wainwright is probably not much more than an innings eater at this point (around 200 IP in the past two seasons) in his career. But as we saw last year with Martin Perez these older arms with lower strikeout rates can still have solid seasons. (Colin Coulahan)
168. Drew Smyly, Chicago Cubs (AGE: 33, PREVIOUS RANK: 206)
Smyly falls into the same category as older arms in this area of rankings. Solid pitcher, but limited upside. His 3.47 ERA from this past season is probably his ceiling, and his 4.06 SIERA is probably truer to his profile. But Smyly did limit walks and struck out a respectable 20% of batters, but it’s hard for me to see him doing that again. He throws three pitches, but his curveball is the only one that didn’t get hit hard. Plus he’s only pitched more than 120 innings once since 2019 (he only started 5 games in 2020). He’s certainly not a bad pitcher, but there are higher-upside arms I would reach for before turning to Smyly. (Colin Coulahan)
169. Jacob Misiorowski, Milwaukee Brewers (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Misiorowski is filthy. He has some of the best stuff in the 2022 draft class. The fastball lives in the mid-90s and will likely sit higher as he matures. His slider is his best pitch and his curve which hasn’t been used much has the chance to be plus. Whether or not he sticks as a starter will depend on his command. In his final college year, Misiorowski walked 45 batters and hit 11 in 76 innings. There is front-of-the-rotation stuff here but he is far from a finished product. However, the Brewers have developed one of the top relief arms and one of the top starting pitchers in recent years, so Misiorowski is definitely with the right team. (Colin Coulahan)
170. Chris Paddack, Minnesota Twins (AGE: 27, PREVIOUS RANK: 90)
Paddack fired off 22 innings of 4.03 ERA ball before going down with TJ. It was encouraging to see, as he’s come off back-to-back poor seasons. The K-BB% was the best it’s been since his rookie season (19.4%) and his 3.41 SIERA hints that he was pitching better than his surface stats showed. Plus he was finally starting to use the curveball more. There’s a chance he’s back on the mound at some point in 2023, but as with the other post-TJ arms in this area, it’s not a guarantee he bounces back right away, but the improvements he made were exactly what you want to see. (Colin Coulahan)
171. Matt Allan, New York Mets (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: 183)
I had a pretty good comment on how if Allan showed some health this year without a diminishment of skills he could be a very quick mover throughout the system due to his stuff. Unfortunately, he has just undergone the third surgery on his throwing arm in around two years so all I’m going to write here is that I wish him a speedy recovery. (Ryan Epperson)
172. Dean Kremer, Baltimore Orioles (AGE: 27, PREVIOUS RANK: 314)
The nicest thing you can say about Kremer is that he had a 3.23 ERA last year, unfortunately, the underlying metrics don’t really back that up. His expected ERA (or xERA) stood at 4.46 for the year which suggests a bit of good luck falling into Kremer`s lap when he was on the mound and will probably revert back to the mean sooner than later.
In the minor leagues, Kremer was known to have a hammer of a curveball but it seems he has lost the feel for it only throwing it twelve percent of the time and either missing the strike zone or leaving it middle-middle for opponents to feast on. The cutter has turned into his best pitch, locating it well and invoking weak contact with it. He’s most likely not going to give you innings, strikeouts, or good ratios. (Ryan Epperson)
173. Blake Walston, Arizona Diamondbacks (AGE: 21, PREVIOUS RANK: 168)
An aggressive promotion to Double-A last year did Walston`s prospect stock no favors as he ran through the gauntlet that is the Texas League. A tall and lanky left-handed pitcher with a projectable frame Walston has struggled when going through the order more than once, routinely dropping velocity and losing shape on his curveball and slider. This is a problem for a lot of young pitchers who haven’t built up the stamina to make a turn or two through the rotation but it will be something to monitor this year. I am going to assume he will start the year off in Double-A again trying to build up his command and endurance. (Ryan Epperson)
174. Domingo German, New York Yankees (AGE: 30, PREVIOUS RANK: 144)
I implore everyone to go take a look at German`s Baseball Savant page and look where he locates his 92mph fastball and get back to me. That is certainly not the recipe for success, as he routinely leaves it in the heart of the plate and batters feast on it to the tune of a .569 slugging percentage. I have a feeling that’s why he only throws it 27 percent of the time, while he pounds the zone with an effective curveball. It looks like he will battle for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation in Spring Training against Clarke Schmidt. I assume the Yankees front office are vociferous readers of us and will see that we have German ranked above Schmidt so it’s all but confirmed hell beat out Schmidt for the last spot in the rotation. (Ryan Epperson)
175. Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians (AGE: 24, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Here’s what you need to know about Logan Allen, as there are two of him. The Logan Allen I’m writing about is the one that hails from Florida, wait they’re both from Florida. Ok, I’m writing about the Logan Allen that has played in the Guardians farm system *you’ve got to be kidding me.* Last try, Im writing about the Logan Allen that is CURRENTLY in the Guardians farm system.
His profile doesn’t inspire much confidence, he’s a soft-tossing lefty and his fastball tops out around 92 mph, and yet, he somehow makes it work and the pitch plays up. He has a nice four-pitch mix throwing his (soft) fastball, splitter, slider, and cutter with the splitter being his best pitch. He may push for a rotation spot this year with the Guardians and could settle into a fantasy-relevant arm as soon as this year. (Ryan Epperson)
176. Johnny Cueto, Miami Marlins (AGE: 36, PREVIOUS RANK: 249)
CUETO, CUETO, CUETO *drops the ball* immediately gives up a homer to Pirate legend Russell Martin in the 2013 NL Wild Card game. That was truly the best moment I’ve had as a Pirates fan since Sid Bream was out (he was, you can’t tell me otherwise.)
While that was a fun trip down memory lane it was also ten (oh my god) years ago this season. Cueto no longer plays for the Reds and has had a few stops along the way until settling in with the Marlins this offseason. If you haven’t checked out the introduction video, you should, its just superb. Now 36, Cueto isn’t going to blow your socks off or anything but he is still an effective MLB pitcher as he posted a 3.35 ERA last year while throwing 158 innings. The juice in Cueto`s squeeze comes from his ability to throw any of his pitches in any count and situation keeping the hitter off balance. Expect more of the same this year from Cueto, whether that’s good (ERA) or bad (a 5.80 K/9.) (Ryan Epperson)
177. Clarke Schmidt, New York Yankees (AGE: 26, PREVIOUS RANK: 160)
In all fairness to Domingo German, Schmidt should be ranked ahead of him in these rankings and I apologize to the readers that I didn’t fight tooth and nail to have it so. Schmidt has been primarily used as a long reliever by the Yankees but figures to fight for the last spot in the rotation this year. Switching to a slider-heavy arsenal (38% of his pitches) last year seems to have unlocked Schmidt`s potential as he finished the year with a 3.12 ERA with the metrics not too far off from that. This will probably be the last year we can consider Schmidt a starting pitcher (it was tenuous to start with) but I do think he can be a high-leverage reliever at some point. (Ryan Epperson)
178. Michael Wacha, Boston Red Sox (AGE: 31, PREVIOUS RANK: 198)
The three seasons preceding the `22 season were not kind to Michael Wacha to put it mildly. From 2019 to 2021 Wacha failed to achieve an ERA under 4.5, with moderate strike-out rates and all the metrics pointing towards horribleness. Last season saw him record an ERA of 3.32 and a 7.3 K/9 rate. He’s able to induce weak contact by spotting his changeup well but is able to throw all five offerings for strikes much as Cueto does. His BABIP did drop almost 50 points sporting a .260 BABIP this year compared to the high threes where he has resided the last few years which suggests lady luck was on his side pitching for the Red Sox. In deeper leagues, Wacha may be worth rostering but in most cases, he probably shouldn’t be worth your time unless you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel in desperate need. (Ryan Epperson)
179. Matt Boyd, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 32, PREVIOUS RANK: 187)
Boyd rejoins the Detroit Tigers this year after taking a short detour through the Pacific Northwest where he was only able to pitch 13 innings after spending most of the year recovering from a flexor tendon surgery. According to Fangraphs depth chart projection Boyd is slated to be the SP2 for the Tigers, which speaks more to the lack of talent in the organization than Boyd’s potential. But he should be able to trot out there every five days or so for most of the season as Mize and Skubal will be sidelined for the foreseeable future and there’s not much talent that’s close. If you’re in some weird AL Only 15 team dynasty league sure, give him a shot but for the love of god don’t expect much from him other than him chewing through innings (and probably not that many.) (Ryan Epperson)
180. Reese Olson, Detroit Tigers (AGE: 23, PREVIOUS RANK: 266)
Look above to the previous blurb and you’ll see that I mentioned that there was hardly any talent in the minor leagues that was close enough to displace Boyd for a shot at the starting rotation. Olson could be the exception, after a repeat year in Double-A where he posted a stellar 12.64 K/9 and an xFIP of 3.08 he could be poised to get a shot at the rotation this year. The knock on Olson from the time he was drafted is that he is wildly inconsistent, sometimes inning to inning so if he wants to have any staying power in the Major Leagues he must become more consistent. (Ryan Epperson)
181. MARCO GONZALES, SEATTLE MARINERS (AGE: 30, 2022 RANKING: 108)
“Every year I have at least one moment where I scream at my phone when checking out the scores and yell, “Why do I do this!” So, if you don’t want to end up yelling at your phone because you have a lot of boom or bust pitching on your team, maybe adding a guy like Gonzales is the wise move in the late rounds or in free agency.” 2022 Ryan Felix Fernandes
“Why do I do this?” That is also probably what you said if you decided to take my advice and take a shot at Gonzales. Yeah. That was my bad. Not the ideal way to start my analysis of starting pitchers this season. 73 spots down from last year. Well, I did say “maybe“ add him.
The longest-tenured Mariner will be bumped down to the fifth starter which should help him when it comes to pitching matchups. Will have good run support with a very good offense coupled and a bullpen that improved throughout last season to help lockdown wins or limit the damage. If you looked up the word crafty in the dictionary of crafty you will see this babyface Marco Gonzales. The definition of crafty with his reliance on breaking pitches for outs and using a below-average fastball as only a setup pitch. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some jalapeno up in his nose. Yes, snot on the ball (from the movie Major League). He leans on a fading changeup that has a positive run value. He did start 32 games with a record of 10-15 with a 4.13 ERA in 183 innings. The bad news was his 15 losses were the most in the majors last season.
- Gave up the third most home runs in the majors with 30.
- Had the lowest strikeout rate in the majors for qualified starters at 13.2%
- Was left off the Mariners’ postseason roster last season
- Both his BB/9 (-.18 difference) and HR/9 (-.34 difference) were actually lower than last year. Hitters didn’t barrel up the ball as much as last season with a 4.2% decline.
- He has been able to reinvent himself twice since entering the majors.
- I wouldn’t be surprised if the coaching staff staggers his starts at home as often as possible where he has a sub-3.60 ERA.
- Gonzales will start at least 25 games and give you 150-160 innings this coming season. Don’t count for any positive points in any statistics except maybe wins with being on a very good Mariners team. He is signed till after the 2024 season with the Mariners but that doesn’t guarantee he will always be a starter. Chris Flexin will start 2023 in the bullpen but will be in the mix for the 5th starter if Gonzales struggles. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
182. EMMET SHEEHAN, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (AGE: 23, 2022 RANKING: NR)
Sheehan spent last season between High-A and was promoted to Double-A at the end of the season. H will begin the season in Double-A as a starter. He finished the season 7-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 68 innings with 101 strikeouts.
- 12.33 K/9 between High-A and Double-A ball for the Dodgers.
- He has a nasty changeup that can be a plus pitch. Scouts say the ball dies at the plate when he is on.
- Since being drafted his fastball which has a 60 grade has had an uptick in 3 to 4 mph which lands anywhere between 94-97 and tops at 99 mph.
- The Dodgers seem keen to see if he can be stretched into a starter.
- Has only pitched 90.3 innings in the NCAA and 83.2 innings of professional ball in the last four seasons.
- Scouts have said he is not a consistent strike thrower and will struggle against better hitters.
- Durability concerns popped up after limited work he needed to be shut down for six weeks due to arm soreness in 2021. But, he is in the right organization to help him with development and harnessing his control concerns. The arm soreness that he had experienced with the limited innings he pitched concerns me about his value in the future. Scouts have him as a high-leverage reliever but as I said the Dodgers saw something in him to first see if he can start. This will be a key season for his dynasty value going forward. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
183. KYLE GIBSON, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AGE: 35, 2022 RANKING: 143)
Gibson pitched for the Phillies last season where he started 31 games as their 4th starter. He has won at least ten games in the last five full seasons (excluding 2020). He signed with the Orioles to be in their rotation and as you will find out the Orioles have a number of pitchers competing to be part of that rotation in this part of the rankings. He finished with a 10-8 record, a 5.05 ERA, and 4.46 xERA in 167.2 innings with 144 strikeouts.
- Six-pitch mix in which he plays off his sinker but developed a cutter in 2021 that is his best pitch value at 4.1 runs above average.
- Had a career-best 2.58 BB/9
- His velocity was lower in all of his pitches while his four-seamer has been on a downward trend since 2018. (2021 was an outlier but decreased to a career-low outside the year he had Tommy John surgery)
- Gave up a career-high 33.8% fly balls which led to 24 home runs (10th most in the NL)
- Has started at least 25 games and 147 innings in every season in his career. (except for his rookie and the shortened Covid season) He should do the same this coming season but is coming to the tail end of his career so don’t count on him after this season for your roster. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
184. SIMEON WOODS-RICHARDSON, MINNESOTA TWINS (AGE: 22, 2022 RANKING: 135)
A former top 100 prospect was the youngest pitcher to make his MLB debut last season. In 2022, he pitched between Double and Triple-A with a 5-3 record with a total of 107.1 innings in 22 starts. He finished with a 2.77 ERA/1.05 WHIP. He gave up 3 runs in his one start for the Twins; he pitched a total of 5 innings with 3 Ks. This call-up was for a spot start and experience. The Twins optioned him back to Triple-A after that start. Woods-Richardson has a four-pitch mix with a 4 seam fastball that tops at 96 mph with good movement, a curve that cuts downward in the high 70s, a slider that is still a work in progress, and a very good change that has a 60 grade.
- Was known as a strikeout/thrower with below average control when drafted. He reinvented himself in 2022.
- With better control, he cut his walk rate to 3 per 9 innings and dropped his ERA from 5.90 to 3.09. His K/9 rate did take a hit and dropped from 13.0 to 9.8 in that span.
- He also reduced hard contact, fly balls, and line drives during this time as well.
- Groundball rate jumped up almost 10% during this span as well. Improving his GO/AO rate to 0.89
- No significant injuries since being drafted in 2018. The Twins are still limiting his pitch count for the coming season.
- With the acquisition of Pablo Lopez it looks like Richardson will start 2023 in Triple-A. He is their second-highest-ranked pitching prospect and will likely be the first prospect called up if anyone in the Twins rotation struggles or is hurt. The Twins do have two pitchers in their bullpen who can start in Bailey Ober and Josh Winder that are ahead of him in the pecking order this season. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
185. COLE IRVIN, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AGE: 29, 2022 RANKING: 179)
Swirvin’ Irvin was traded to the Orioles this off-season after starting 30 games for the Athletics in which he finished with a 9-13 record with a 3.98 ERA and 4.40 xERA in 181.0 innings. He should be in the Orioles’ starting rotation but it is not a guarantee. There has been talk that the Orioles will use a six-man rotation this coming season. Irvin has a five-pitch blend with a good change and average-graded secondary pitches. He did start to implement a cutter last season to help mask a four-seamer that is losing velocity.
- He had far better numbers at home in the Oakland Coliseum compared to the road. That would be concerning but he will pitch in Camden Yards where it has a similar overall park factor and his expected home runs number would have been four less.
- Had his career-best ERA in 2022 and for the second year in a row had 15 quality starts.
- The hard-hit rate was at 39.5% which landed him in the 32nd percentile.
- He cut his BB/9 to 1.79 (-.33 difference from 2021) and his K/9 was slightly up but still is only 6.36.
Are you starting to see a theme when it comes to the makeup of the veteran pitchers in this part of the rankings like I do? If he makes the rotation he should start at least 20 games this season. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
186. BRYCE MILLER, SEATTLE MARINERS (AGE: 24, 2022 RANKING: NR)
Miller was thought to be the prototypical long reliever after being drafted in the 4th round in 2021. He didn’t start pitching till his senior year in high school. He was primarily a bullpen guy in both Blinn junior college and Texas A&M. He started in 2021 for A&M and showed that he has the makeup to be a starter and a very good one. The Mariners have been able to target and develop starting pitching very well in the last five years and Miller is another example. He posted impressive numbers in 26 starts between A and Double-A ball with 133.2 innings pitched posting a 3.16 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 163 Ks which is 11K/9 and 46 BB. He will in all likelihood start the season in Triple-A and be the second man up if Gonzalves and Flexin who are both on the major league roster falter. He has a very good chance of making his MLB debut in 2023. He has a four-pitch mix with a high spin fastball that can top out in the triple digits which is considered a plus pitch with a 65 grade. His power slider and slow curve have swing-and-miss potential and a changeup that also has been effective.
- He throws with ease and simple delivery. For a guy who started pitching five years ago, his mechanics are textbook and looks like he can repeat his delivery in his sleep.
- His fastball produced an 18% whiff rate
- He has been singled out by GM Jerry DiPoto as the next minor league player of the Mariners system to be their next impact prospect. Ahead of their #2 ranked overall prospect, Emerson Hancock.
- He is going to have to wait his turn but he looks to be a huge building block to the Mariners’ rotation. Matt Brash taking himself out of possibly starting by deciding to play for Canada in the WBC before the season. As I touched earlier in the rankings, Gonzales is on shaky ground as the fifth starter. Flexin should be next in line but after that, I can see Miller as the next one getting a shot at being in the rotation. I’d pencil him in their starting rotation in 2024.
If you can’t tell. This is the guy I was most excited to write about in this part of the rankings. Andrew Painter was in this part of our rankings last year as the 184th-ranked SP. This season he rocketed up to 43rd and is considered by many as the best pitching prospect in all of baseball. Miller seems to be in that trajectory and is a must-add to your roster. He reminds me of former Cy Young pitcher Doug Drabek in his prime with the Pirates. If you don’t know he is. He was one of the most dominant pitchers between 1989-1993. He put up video game numbers in those five years. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
187. DANE DUNNING, TEXAS RANGERS (AGE: 28, 2022 RANKING: 128)
Dunning started 29 games for the Rangers in which he posted a 4-8 record with a 4.46 ERA with 137 Ks in 153.1 innings. He had his season cut short in late September when he tore the labrum in his right hip. As of right now, there is no update on his status for Opening Day. With all the flashy moves the Rangers made to their pitching staff this offseason. It looks like Dunning is no longer part of the starting rotation. He will likely be a spot starter and long reliever which significantly lessens his value I’m surprised he is in our top 200. Has a five-pitch mix but he barely throws the four-seamer. He relies on his hard sinker that he throws 40% of the time. He has a slider, changeup, and cutter that he has very good control of.
- None of those pitches have a positive value for runs above average.
- His primary pitch has been progressively getting worse and is producing fewer swings and misses.
- The uncertainty of his opening day status is an issue. Most of the reports I came across last year said he was due to make a full recovery and be ready by Opening Day. He is also not on the depth chart on Roster Resource but is on the Texas Rangers’ official website. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
188. TYLER WELLS, BALTIMORE ORIOLES (AGE: 28, 2022 RANKING: NR)
I told you the Orioles would be dominating this part of the rankings. And yeah I don’t think that is a good thing either. Wells was a Rule 5 pick in 2020 from the Twins and became the Orioles’ best reliever in 2021. In 2022 he was moved to the starting rotation and did pretty well. He started 23 games and went 7-7 with 4.25 ERA and 3.78 xERA. In 103.2 innings he had 76 Ks and 28 BBs. His season ended in mid-September when he started to experience shoulder discomfort. There are conflicting reports on whether he will stay in the rotation or move back to the bullpen where he seemed to be more effective. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. Equipped with a four-pitch mix that boasts an impressive four-seamer that has a spin rate that lands him in the 93rd percentile. He also possesses a slider, change, and curve.
- His slider has a 60 grade but carried a negative value with -0.8 runs above
- His fastball spin rate was in the 93rd percentile and what made him a very good reliever in 2021 with 7.6 runs above average. But in 2022 his fastball became his worst runs above average pitch value with -2.0.
- His curve also generates a lot of spins that land him in the 73rd percentile with a -0.6 value.
- Local analysts have pointed out that his high fly ball rate (46.5% in 2022) doesn’t play well in Camden Yards.
- In his first 16 starts last season he had a 3.09 ERA in 75.2 innings; in his last seven starts his ERA was 7.39 in 28 innings.
- Wells’s injury history isn’t pretty. He missed 2020 after Tommy John’s surgery. In 2021 he missed time with wrist and shoulder injuries. Last season before his shoulder discomfort ended his season. He missed a month prior to that with an oblique injury.
- With conflicting reports on what the Orioles will have Well pitch and still having a shoulder issue that can pop up any game. I wouldn’t rely on Wells even if he is healthy and makes the rotation. If the Orioles move him into the bullpen and if your league hands out points for holds. He has the stuff to be a good setup guy for Felix Bautista. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
189. BRYCE ELDER, ATLANTA BRAVES (AGE: 23, 2022 RANKING: NR)
Elder started 2022 in Triple-A with a 6-5 record with a 4.46 ERA in 105 innings with 97 strikeouts. His major league time was sandwiched around his minor league time. In April he was promoted to the Braves for a spot start and was recalled again in August. He finished with a 2-4 record with a 3.17 ERA in 9 games started in the majors. He is on the Braves’ 40-man roster but isn’t on the Roster Resource site and has only been mentioned on one site as someone who competes for a roster spot at either the fifth starter or a bullpen piece. Elder has a five (but really could be three) pitch mix. He is a younger Dane Dunning with a power sinker. He doesn’t have the control Dunning has but has a better bit to his sinker. He had some buzz after a shutout in mid-September with Rob Friedman posting his ninja-type breaking pitches against the Marlins.
- His sinker had a 3.4 run value which again is his primary and by far his best pitch.
- Only his changeup was a negative run value.
- Dane Dunning, who I compare him to because they both rely on their sinkers, had similar or better numbers his first season. Danning fell off a cliff the following season.
- With the uncertainty of where he will play and if he is turned into a reliever. He will be a good pitcher for the Braves. He just won’t be worth much value in fantasy. After this season he might find his way into the starting rotation. I’m just worried about him being the Wish version of Dane Dunning. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
190. JAMES KAPRIELIAN, OAKLAND ATHLETICS (AGE: 28, 2022 RANKING: 153)
Kaprielian in his second full season as a starter for the Athletics went 5-9 in 26 starts in which he had a 4.23 ERA and 4.65 xERA in 134 innings. He did have off-season surgery to repair this AC joint in his throwing shoulder. He is expected to be ready for opening day and be part of the rotation. He has a five-pitch mix with a four-seamer, slider, curve, changeup, and sinker. He mixes his pitches very well and has good control of all the pitches.
- His change is his worst pitch in terms of run value the last two seasons and he has a 55 grade on it.
- His Hard Hit% (-6.4% less) and Barrel% (-1.3% less) both declined from last season.
- He is coming off a pretty serious injury on his pitching arm. All reports from the Athletics management and medical staff say he is currently throwing long toss and is on schedule. If he is healthy he will be in the starting rotation but for maybe the worst team in the majors. If you roster him you can hope he pitches well enough that he gets traded to a better team to help him rack up more wins. Moneyball! (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
191. NICK MARTINEZ, SAN DIEGO PADRES (AGE: 32, PREVIOUS RANK: NR)
Ol’ Tight-Pants! (Writeup coming soon -Ed.)
192. COLE WILCOX, TAMPA BAY RAYS (AGE: 23, 2022 RANKING: 277)
Wilcox pitched in Rookie and Single-A Ball in 2022 after having Tommy John surgery in September of 2021. He was part of the return for the Blake Snell trade and was drafted in 2020. He started his professional career dominating A ball before his injury with a 2.03 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in 10 starts. After coming back from rehab in rookie ball he pitched only 5 innings and didn’t fare well but that was expected coming from that type of injury. The Rays promoted him to A ball where he was more like himself in 4 starts where he had an ERA of 2.45 and 0.91 WHIP with 15 Ks in 11 innings. With last season being lost Wilcox will probably start in A ball and move up to Double-A if all goes well. He is still projected to be a starter but with the Rays, you never know what they will do. He has a three-pitch mix that consists of a fastball, slider, and change-up.
- The consensus has him with two-plus pitches. His fastball is graded a 65 and his slider with a 60 grade. He also has a change-up that is graded 55.
- His control is a 55 grade and has shown excellent control so far in his professional career with 76 Ks and 9 BBs in 60.1 innings. He did show that he still had good control after coming back in 2022 with 24 Ks and 4 walks in 16.0 innings.
- Fangraphs doesn’t think he will come anywhere close to what he has produced so far. With 2023 projections of 5.69 K/9 and 4.04 BB/9 when he had 12.27 K/9 and 1.65 BB/9 even after his slight hiccup in ROK ball in 2022 is perplexing. Maybe they haven’t updated that information just yet.
- Fangraphs also rated all of his pitches along with his command at lower grades than the consensus I came across. Fastball – 55, Slider – 55, and Changeup – 45 with a 35 grade for command.
- Pitchers coming off of Tommy John surgery are always a gamble but I am encouraged by what he showed in the limited innings he pitched in A ball. He has no prior injury history at the University of Georgia. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
193. NATE PEARSON, TORONTO BLUE JAYS (AGE: 26, 2022 RANKING: 89)
I am going to do my best to be impartial because this is my dude. I’ve been a fan of his since he was drafted in 2017 and yes paid for it handsomely in ridicule. Pearson had missed most of 2022 with a lat injury and only pitched in 13 games between A and Triple-A as a reliever. He looks to be ready and fully healthy for 2023 to compete for a bullpen spot on the Blue Jays.
- Coming out of junior college in Florida he was looked upon as a top-of-the-rotation starter but after his 2018 injury that shattered his ulna bone in his throwing arm and missing most of 2021 with elbow, shoulder, and sports hernia injuries. He is projected to be a bullpen piece.
- His velocity is still there after touching triple digits when he came back in 2022 after his lat injury. His fastball sat around 97-98 mph and topped 101 mph.
- In Triple-A last season he still was able to have 18 Ks in 12.2 innings and held hitters to a .163 average.
- With the Blues Jays starting rotation set the only avenue Pearson has to be on the major league roster is in the bullpen. C’mon even I can’t say to believe he will stay healthy and be someone you want on your roster.
- If healthy he will be a late-inning weapon for the Blue Jays and if he reaches his ceiling he might be the closer in 2024 with Jordan Romano fading a bit late last season and due to be a free agent after 2023. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
194. J.T. BRUBAKER, PITTSBURGH PIRATES (AGE: 29, 2022 RANKING: 142)
JT Brubaker started 28 games for the Pirates in which he pitched 144 innings and finished with a 3-12 record with a 4.69 ERA and a 4.56 xERA for the 2022 season. He is penciled to be part of the rotation again this season and unfortunately for him, the Pirates will have the same supporting cast around him.
- With a four-pitch repertoire that consists of a better-than-average curve. He also throws a four-seamer, slider, and changeup. He is graded with average command with a 3.38 BB/9.
- Even though the 3-12 record will be the first thing anyone would gravitate to. He had better statistics than last year. He improved in his ERA (-.65) and xERA (-.07) as well as gave up home runs at a lesser clip almost going a full home run less per 9 innings than last year at 1.06 HR/9. (an improvement of -.97)
- He did get hit harder compared to last year and his velocity was a shade lower across the board with all of his pitches.
- Only curve had a positive value of 3.8 runs above replacement while his fastball and slider both took a dive. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
195. DAX FULTON, MIAMI MARLINS (AGE: 21, 2022 RANKING: 317)
This guy doesn’t look like a Dax. But, who does? Anyway, Dax had a rebound 2022 season after having to recover from blowing out his elbow in 2019 and having Tommy John surgery which cost him the abbreviated 2020 season. He seemed to regain his velocity across the board in all of his pitches and showed why he was widely considered one of the best arms in the 2020 draft class. Between High-A and Double-A, he started 23 games and carried a 3.80 ERA in 118.1 innings.
- His curveball is what graded highest among all scouts with a 60 grade. His fastball was anywhere from a 50 to 60 grade. He has a three-pitch mix that also consists of a changeup. His command is in question but scouts think once he is fully recovered and comfortable he can average command. Last season he threw over 36% of his pitches that were called balls which isn’t that far off from average.
- His K/9 rose to 11.98 from 9.19 against the lower competition in A ball
- He is still projected to be a starting pitcher and will be brought along slowly this coming 2023 season on a strict pitch count by the Marlins. (Ryan “DAX” Felix Fernandes)
196. BRANDON WILLIAMSON, CINCINNATI REDS (AGE: 24, 2022 RANKING: 220)
Williamson was part of the trade that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Mariners. In 2022, he rose up the prospect rankings to where most analysts project him to be a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. He spent 2022 between Double-A and Triple-A with a 6-7 record and 4.11 ERA in 122.2 innings. He struck out 123 and walked 77 with opposing hitters hitting .246 against him. Most scouts have compared him anywhere from Barry Zito to Blake Snell for his pitch repertoire and feel for all four of his pitches. He will be at the Reds’ spring training this season. He isn’t expected to break camp with the big league club but is a possibility of a late-season call-up if all goes right for him in the minors this season.
- Four-pitch mix with a 12-6 curve that many scouts say is his best pitch. His fastball is also considered a plus pitch. And his slider is borderline plus but Fangraphs does have it on their site as his best pitch.
- Fastball 50-60 grade, Curveball 50-60, Slider 50-55, and Change 45-50 grades
- His command is easily his biggest weakness and some scouts have said he is easily flustered. The 5.69 walk rate per 9 is a concern and that is why he isn’t expected to start his 2023 season in the minors. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
197. ZACH PLESAC, CLEVELAND GUARDIANS (AGE: 28, 2022 RANKING: 93)
Plesac took a tumble down the rankings as you can see. Once a fantasy darling after his 2020 season. Many felt he would be the next Guardians pitching prospect to take that next step to be elite. He continued his descent to mediocrity with another horrid season after receiving a mulligan from many last season. Plesac finished the season with a 3-12 record in 24 starts compiling 133.2 innings, ERA 4.31 ERA, and a 5.28 xERA. In his last start in 2022, he gave up a home run and proceeded to punch the mound in frustration. He fractured his hand which led to the second season in a row that he broke his hand. He came back from that injury to pitch one game from the bullpen. There have been mixed reports with some saying that the move was a sign that he already lost his spot in the starting rotation while others say he is penciled in as the fifth starter.
- His 4.31 ERA was -.36 less than in 2021 but his xERA rose by .97 during that time. Sabermetrics to the rescue shows his true value.
- He happened to throw his fastest pitch in his last start after he broke his hand by topping out at 93 mph.
- There is no shortage of competition for that 5th spot in the Guardians’ rotation. I came across a report that had seven candidates besides Plesac that will compete for that spot in spring training. (Ryan Felix Fernandes)
198. JAMES PAXTON, BOSTON RED SOX (AGE 34, 2022 RANKING: 209)
Wouldn’t it be cool if his name was Dax? Dax Paxton. Wait. That sounds like a porn name. But, I guess so does his nickname the Big Maple. Paxton missed all of the 2022 season and has only pitched 21 ⅓ innings since 2020. He is a candidate to be in the Red Sox rotation. (if he comes back healthy by spring training) The Red Sox might decide to go to a six-man rotation if they see what they like from Paxton. Yeah, the pickings are getting slim at 198. If you are reading this and hoping to find someone to fill a spot in your rotation. Ehhh…you are in some trouble, my friend.
- I think most of the Gurus thought they voted for the actor or refuse to move on from 2019 when he had a very good year. He finished with a 15-6 record in 29 starts for the Yankees. 2020 and most of 2021 did suck so I don’t blame them for that.
- I know we are at number 198 in the rankings but I think Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom hacked the rankings to get Paxton in the top 200. How did he rise up 11 spots from last year without pitching a game? (Ryan BIG MAPLE Felix Fernandes)
199. STEPHEN STRASBURG, WASHINGTON NATIONALS (AGE: 34, 2022 RANKING 122)
Now, this makes sense to me when it comes to the bottom of these rankings. Strasburg did pitch one game in 2022 but unfortunately, that was it, and for the third consecutive season was abbreviated due to an injury. Jon Heyman reported on 02/02/23 that he has been on a throwing program. Right now Nationals manager Davey Martinez is not expecting him to pitch in 2023 but is hopeful. Maybe if he comes back healthy the Padres will trade the other half of their prospect to the Nationals.
- $245 million for eight starts = $30.625 million per start
- $245 million for 30.1 innings = $8.14 million per inning
- $245 million 1 win = $245 million per win
- Well at least they didn’t resign Anthony Rendon
I don’t know why I pictured Nationals GM Mike Rizzo scrolling down this list looking for Strasburg in these rankings and after reading this blocked me. Shaking his fist like that Skeletor GIF. I wrote it was a good move that you didn’t sign Rendon! You only blew $245 million on him, let Harper leave, and couldn’t afford to sign Soto. (Ryan Felix Fernandes-Rizzo)
200. MICHAEL LORENZEN, DETROIT TIGERS (AGE: 31, 2022 RANKING: 309)
We made it! Number 200! I’m not sure what Lorenzen did to jump up 109 spots in our ranking but still wasn’t good enough to be ahead of two guys who barely pitched in three years. He did pitch in 2022 so there is a positive. He had a winning record at 8-6 in 18 starts. Another positive. He pitched 97.2 innings last season which is more than the two guys above combined in their last six seasons. Setting the bar low I know. He did miss time last season with a shoulder strain which might be why he struggled after a good start. He signed with the Tigers to be a starter but it isn’t a certainty with the Tigers bringing back the five pitchers that started last year and have four pitchers in the mix vying for the fifth spot other than Lorenzen.
- Always been able to throw with good velocity but poor spin rate. Lorenzen adapted a bit last season and threw a hard sinker with really good movement to compliment his fastball for a 50/50 mix.
- He does throw a cutter but ditched that last season. He also has a slider and changeup in his repertoire
- After he came back from injury he had five quality starts but two of them were against a depleted Athletics lineup in which he has 15 Ks in 11 innings.
- The Tigers gave him an $8.5 million contract after getting 8 wins. So about a million and sixty grand per win. Sounds about right.
- The last three guys in this list will make $53.5 million combined in 2023. Are you contemplating your life decisions like me? I wish my parents didn’t let me quit little league. (Ryan Felix “I’m available to pitch for a million” Fernandes)