2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsProspect Talk


The prospect mavens have been working hard over the past few months here at the TDG offices to bring you some of the best consensuses at least in our opinion rankings of the top and not-so-top prospects in the game that will hopefully give you a leg up on your competition that just looks at the MLB.com rankings (with all due respect of course.) If you`ve been with us for a while you will generally see the same rollout as past years, one week will focus on outfielders, next on shortstops, and so forth.

This year however we decided to break down our rankings into tiers and provide commentary for each tier as a whole with multiple Guru`s chiming in where they see fit. This will provide more than just a single voice to the readers while letting the authors offer their opinions on players they deem worthy enough to write about. Hopefully, it will be a fun, informative read and you will come away with an idea of how a certain player is looked at by the industry.

As always, our rankings are geared towards a 15-team OBP roto league with a three to five-year view on our team.

This week we`ll be looking at the pitching prospects.

Tier 1

1Paul Skenes
2Jackson Jobe
3Cade Horton
4Ricky Tiedemann
5Andrew Painter
6AJ Smith-Shawver
7Kyle Harrison
8Hurston Waldrep
9Jacob Misiorowski

Ahh, pitching prospects… These are the true wildcards for dynasty managers, but if you want SP1s on your roster, it’s cheaper to find them here than to make trades after they’ve been successful in the majors. So, let’s say they’re all risky, but these are risks you need to take.  I think the top three here present the lowest risks we’ve seen in prospect rankings in a while. Skenes, Jobe and Horton are all fastball/slider pitchers who will rack up the strikeouts and have shown good enough command and control to keep their walk rates low.   The risks I’m avoiding here are Harrison and Waldrep.  I continued to be concerned about Harrison’s walk rate, although his fastball can be electric.  I think it’s too soon to rank Waldrep this high, could be an organization bump in play here, and looking at his pitch mix, there might be reliever risk here.  (Drew Klein)

 Time for pitching and boy is it a wild one this year. So many great names with top tier potential, but even more names in the middle that could take a run at the top tier down the line. In Tier 1, the players I target the most are Ricky Tiedemann and Hurston Waldrep. If I am going to go all in on a left-handed starting pitching prospect, Tiedemann has everything I would want to be an ace. Great velocity (95+), two plus off speed pitches (slider and changeup), exceptional strikeout rate at 44.1%, and a batting average against under .200. He is hard to hit, with a deceptive delivery and is a strikeout throwing machine. The next step for the 21-year-old, is to limit the walks more than he has and pitch deeper into games. With his profile, he might just be the best pitching prospect in baseball right now. Waldrep is a bit of a wild card here. He has a game changing splitter, a good fastball, and an improving breaking ball. His overall command/control needs to be much more consistent and that might start with his delivery. Across four levels (Low-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A), he amassed 29.1 innings pitched, a 1.53 ERA, a 33.3% strikeout rate, and a 13% walk rate. If he can get the strikeout rate below 10%, he could have a massive year and become a dominant major league pitcher (Daniel Labude).

This top tier has all of the upper echelon and near major league ready starting pitching prospects. Big fastball velocity is the common denominator among this group, with all of these players sitting comfortably in the mid-to-upper-90s and having excellent offspeed pitches to compliment their flame throwing abilities. My eyes gravitate towards Hurston Waldrep, as I’ve probably mentioned a few times now this offseason. It seems that a lot of pitchers tend to improve once they leave the University of Florida and with Waldrep, I feel that will be the same. His disappearing splitter is what I think will separate him from the others in this tier. He can use it against both right-handed and left-handed hitters, giving him a leg up on the guys that have a mostly fastball/slider arsenal. In his short debut during 2023, he struck out 33.3% of the batters he faced and I think he can carry that into a full season at Triple-A. He should even be capable of producing similar numbers in the majors for a World Series contending Atlanta Braves, which only boosts his value in dynasty leagues (Brian Labude).

Tier 2

10Chase Hampton
11Mason Miller
12Noah Schultz
13Robby Snelling
14Dylan Lesko
15Jairo Iriarte
16Drew Thorpe
17Noble Meyer
18Daniel Espino
19Tekoah Roby
20Ben Brown
21Carson Whisenhunt
22Connor Phillips

This tier actually has three pitchers that I have in the top ten in my personal rankings. Tekoah Roby has a 60 grade fastball, 70 grade curveball, 28.9% strikeout percentage and 6% walk percentage.  I know we tend to look for statistics that confirm our opinions, but I can’t find a reason to keep Roby out of my top ten.  Dylan Lesko does walk more batters than I’d like, but in a small sample he put up a 36% K rate accompanied by at 17% swinging strike rate and has three pitches in his arsenal.  The highest risk/reward pitcher in this tier may be Espino, and I haven’t given up on his potential yet. (Drew Klein)

 Another action packed tier that is loaded with talent. Two names to watch are Connor Phillips and Daniel Espino. Phillips has a long history of superior stuff, but varying control of his pitches. This has led to a high walk rate at pretty much every level. What is eye popping was his Stuff+ numbers once he made the major leagues for the Reds. According to Fangraphs, he had a Stuff+ of 128 in 20.1 innings pitched. That came in as 3rd best for a starting pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched. It may be just hopes and dreams, but if he can throw strikes consistently, he might become one of the top breakout starting pitchers in the major leagues at some point in the next few seasons. Espino has long been plagued by injuries and a healthy year could see him catapult back into the upper echelon of pitching prospects (Daniel Labude).

Noah Schultz is my guy here and I wrote a whole spotlight article on him if you want more detailed insights. If I had to focus on a second pitcher it is hands down Daniel Espino. In all honesty, I believe he is ranked too low and of course that stems from his injury history, which in reality was just one big mismanaged injury. If you want to grab someone who is being undervalued, he is your guy. Before his injury, he was topping out at 103 mph with the fastball. It wasn’t just the velocity either, reports had his fastball at 20-23 inches of IVB, which is unreal for a starting pitcher throwing as fast as he was. There is a ton of risk here, but if he comes back and looks like himself, he will easily be the top pitching prospect for me. His strikeout rates in 2021 and 2022 were unreal, 40.5% and 51.5% respectively. If you don’t mind the risk, Espino is a must get (Brian Labude).

Tier 3

23Tink Hence
24Jared Jones
25Rhett Lowder
26DL Hall
27Christian Scott
28Max Meyer
29Cade Cavalli
30Chase Petty
31Mick Abel
32Brock Porter
33Anthony Solometo
34Jack Leiter
35Jackson Ferris
36Gavin Stone
37Robert Gasser

Jones, Scott and Stone are the pitchers in this tier who I have ranked the highest. Jones is trending right now, and for good reason. The 27% K rate paired with a 9% BB rate is very attractive and it will be interesting to see if he gets called up before he gets ranked in the top ten, both are likely outcomes by the end of this year. Don’t look now, but Jack Leiter is climbing back up the rankings.  He’s still walking a few too many batters, but he’s starting to get the strikeouts we all thought we’d see.  I think Tink Hence is ranked too high and if you are considering adding him to a roster, take a look at his low swinging strike rate and command grades. (Drew Klein)

 The player I am most intrigued with in this tier has to be Chase Petty. Coming into the Reds’ organization, he was touted as having a fastball that reached into the upper-90s. Last season didn’t see him pitch with that velocity, but he still put up great numbers. Across High-A and Double-A, he threw 68 innings and had a 1.72 ERA. He managed to have 66 strikeouts, but maybe the most interesting stat was he didn’t give up a single home run all year. Coming into this season his velocity appears to be back, reaching up to 100 mph again on his fastball. A huge season could be ahead with his stuff ticking up and getting better (Daniel Labude).

This tier has a pitcher I have refused to give up on and neither should you. DL Hall is now on the Milwaukee Brewers, with a real shot to begin the season in their starting rotation. His fastball velocity dropped from the mid-to-upper-90s at the end of 2022, to the low-90s in 2023 and it was very concerning. After he opted to leave Triple-A and go to the Orioles spring training facility in June, he returned to the big leagues in August and his fastball sat in the upper-90s again. If he can remain a starter, his value in tier three is an absolute steal. There is risk of a high-end reliever floor, but that is more or less where his value currently sits (Brian Labude).

The Author

Ryan Epperson

Ryan Epperson

Lead prospect analyst and managing editor for The Dynasty Guru.

Previous post


Next post

Prospect Spotlight: Noah Schultz