Top 90 Starting Pitchers To Own in Dynasty Leagues
(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)
We featured the Top 25 Catchers, Top 30 First Basemen, Top 30 Second Basemen, Top 30 Shortstops, Top 30 Third Basemen, Top 30 Outfielders, Top 60 Outfielders, Top 90 Outfielders, Top 30 Starting Pitchers, and Top 60 Starting Pitchers in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, day eleven, we’re about to get real prospective.
Rosterable starting pitchers did make the list — these ranks were made with the idea of age and upside. I view a player like Dylan Bundy or Alex Cobb as a replaceable pitcher that a manager could fill their roster out with — I would prefer to stock up on potential ace prospects then fill out my roster. If my aggressive prospect rankings were removed, many of the league-average players (names missing from the top 90 now) would be on the list. (A guy like Michael Wacha, while ranked 84 – would be in the 50s were you to remove prospects). Just because they are not, does not mean they do not hold value – they absolutely do — they could make or break the bottom of a roster – draft accordingly.
Tier Ten: — Dary.
61. Mackenzie Gore (P) (San Diego Padres, 19)
62. Hunter Greene (P) (Cincinnati Reds, 18)
64. Sixto Sanchez (P) (Philadelphia Phillies, 19)
65. Michel Baez (P) (San Diego Padres, 22)
Tier Eleven: Hey hey hey!
Tier Twelve: Never assume…
73. AJ Puk (P) (Oakland Athletics, 22)
74. Jack Flarhety (P) (St. Louis Cardinals, 22)
75. Brendan McKay (P) (Tampa Bay Rays, 22)
76. Adrian Morejon (P) (San Diego Padres, 19)
77. Jon Duplantier (P) (Arizona Diamondbacks, 23)
78. Alec Hansen (P) (Chicago White Sox, 23)
79. Ian Anderson (P) (Atlanta Braves, 19)
80. Matt Manning (P) (Detroit Tigers, 20)
81. Mike Soroka (P) (Atlanta Braves, 20)
Tier Thirteen: Just one more thing…
82. Franklin Perez (P) (Detroit Tigers, 20)
Way Too Deep Prospects
I plan on doing three starting pitching prospects for each of my three starting pitcher articles. The next three I have my eye on but do not own (yet) are: Didier Vargas (Chicago Cubs, 19), Norwith Gudino (San Francisco Giants, 22), and Angello Infante (Oakland Athletics, 18).
- The best thing the Braves can do is to keep Luiz Gohara down in the high minors for the lion’s share of 2018. After spending his minor league career in low and high A ball with the Mariners, the Braves aggressively promoted Gohara after acquiring him last offseason. Gohara’s heater is electric, but with each level he ascended, his control began to slip, peaking at a 10.4% walk rate in AAA. Although he cut that back down in a small showing in the MLB, I think additional innings in AAA will serve him well in gaining the command necessary to make him an effective SP.
- Though only 21 innings of rookie-level ball – Mackenzie Gore looked unstoppable with a 40% strikeout rate and an 8% walk rate. Gore has an effective three-pitch arsenal and an elite control that should serve him well. It won’t hurt eventually playing in Petco Park – I would expect Gore to advance quickly if he remains as efficient as he was in 2017.
- Count me among Jake Arrieta‘s skeptics. I think that his first half of the 2017 season (4.35 ERA) is much closer to his future than his second half (2.28 ERA). While he will likely put up numbers justifying a better ranking, I want to take a stand and caution managers against investing in Arrieta. Arrieta struggled away from Wrigley (2.90/3.87 home/road last year) and is now moving to the standalone most batter-friendly park for home runs. He is 32 and does not have the command necessary to go deep into games (Arrieta only pitched at most 7 full innings four times last year).
- I had to put Rich Hill somewhere on this list. While he may be the crypt keeper’s dad – he’s still effective. More so than any other player on any of my lists – Rich Hill is a ride or die player. He’ll post a strikeout rate in or close to 30% and a low 3.0 ERA — but he’ll also be close friends with the DL. His short-term talents land him on my list — but there is a small group of teams that should enlist his talent, those intending to win this year. For reference, Hill went 7 or more innings 5 times last years with one of those games being a complete game (sorry, last Arrieta dig).
- Trevor Bauer may have finally broken out in the second half of 2017, throwing a 3.01 ERA (3.68 FIP) and a 26.7% strikeout rate (it gets even better if August through October are included). I’m still skittish after watching him in the AL Central these past three years, but Bauer seems to have put it together.
- I still remember watching Steven Matz‘ grandfather go nuts after watching his grandson have an amazing debut. Oh, what hopes we all had. Injuries have plagued Matz each season – but he is finally healthy and starting the year off in a roster battle for the fifth rotation spot on the Mets. If he cedes the role, his value will drop drastically, but I still think that if Matz could stay healthy his mid-90s fastball will return and the command he was praised for as a prospect will as well.
- Michel Baez finished the season between rookie and A ball with a 91:10 strikeout to walk ratio. He throws fire and has command that will assuredly move him up the affiliated leagues quickly — if he keeps this up, it would not be shocking to see him in a relief role during call-ups (although that would qualify as more of a “bold prediction.” The only knock against him is the 10 home runs he gave up last year – in part thanks to a 50% fly ball rate in Single-A. If flyballs remain an issue – expect that number to go down when Baez is calling Petco home.
- We have yet to see the real Joe Ross and if he ever stays healthy we would be able to evaluate. At this point in a draft, after watching him in 2016, I think there is enough upside to Ross to stash the 24-year-old as he recovers from Tommy John surgery this season.
- Sean Newcomb is the 2017 representation of why I dislike owning pitching prospects over batting prospects – sweet sweet upside, but lacking control. He threw a 23.7% strikeout rate but paired that with a 12.5% walk rate over 100 innings (exactly 100 innings). Were this a survey I would mark “slightly doubtful” as to whether he ever gains command of his pitches (he had terrible control in the minors too). He is 24 and didn’t implode upon impact (cough cough Amir Garrett) – at least for this year, it is worth watching how he proceeds after a passable, but underwhelming rookie season.
I’ll be making notes in each of my rankings for players/situations/choices worth noting — if there is something specific you wish to discuss regarding the ranks — drop a comment.