Dynasty Baseball

TDG’S 2024 PLAYERS TO AVOID: STARTING PITCHERS

This is a companion piece to our 2024 Dynasty League Rankings. The opinions below are my own and do not reflect the TDG consensus.

LOGAN WEBB, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS(AGE: 27, RANK: 14)

For the purposes of dynasty fantasy baseball, and for the value you’d need to acquire or draft him, my pitcher to avoid is Logan Webb.  He is coming off of two strong seasons and entering his age 27 season so he should be in prime production years, but for reasons outlined below, a ranking in our top fifteen pitchers might prove to be ambitious.

Foremost, the past three years Webb has provided fantasy managers with great strikeout numbers, 158 in 2021, 163 in 2022 and 194 in 2023.  He accomplished that by being a workhorse and it is noteworthy that 2022 is the only one of those years when he averaged over one strikeout per inning.  His average K/9 as a major leaguer is 8.27 and he’s been below that for the past two seasons.  He has a sturdy build and hasn’t battled injuries, so there are not any injury red flags that would point to a decline, however for him to provide the number of strikeouts you want from a top fifteen pitcher, he’ll have to keep pitching 190 – 210 innings and that’s a lot to ask of pitchers these days.

For the most part, Webb is a ground ball pitcher who pitches to contact.  In 2023 he had good success with his changeup, which he threw 41% of the time, a jump from 31% in 2022. That was the first time in his career he threw the change more than any other pitch, prior to that his fastball was the pitch he threw most often. His whiff rate on his change was 22.8%, much lower than his slider (28.6%) or fastball (30.0%).

Aside from a real possibility that the strikeout totals will drop with more use of the change and if he pitches fewer innings, there’s also some concern raised by the contact rates and hard hit rates.  Last year, batters had a 90.6% contact rate on pitches in the zone against Webb, which is elite for the hitters, unfortunately not so much for Webb.  Also, the hard hit rate against was 46% which put Webb in the bottom 6% of the league. His ground ball rate of 62.1% led the majors for pitchers with 100 or more innings, so the hard hit rate didn’t hurt him as badly with all those ground balls. The bad news is that when the ball was hit in the air off of him, only eight pitchers with 100+ innings had higher home run to fly ball rates.

I think Logan Webb is an excellent major league pitcher and I’d want him on the team I cheer for, but as a fantasy pitcher, if he pitches fewer innings or batters get under that changeup, his value will fall considerably, which is why I am avoiding him at this ranking.

The Author

Drew Klein

Drew Klein

Lover of all things baseball and determined to keep the fan in fantasy.

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