Support Pitcher List

Ad-Free Website + 24/7 Fantasy Help

Top 100 Prospect Pitcher Rankings 2022: #90-#67

PPL&R's second installment shares reviews of arms #90 - #67.

Click here for the introduction/rules to PPL&R and pitchers #108 – #91.

#90 – #67’s general theme might be arms pushing for MLB innings with questionable fantasy appeal, a few more profiles currently feeling like bullpen futures, personal favorites, a Ricky Vaughn impersonation, and a cautionary tale sprinkled in.

 

#90 RHP – Sandy Gaston – Rays – Low A Charleston – 6’3″ – 20
Execution: Gaston gets the Best Ricky Vaughn impersonation [below (no one was injured)].  In seriousness, there were moments luring you into the idea his execution was pretty decent, and then we’d get a run of wildness squashing the idea. A 58% strike rate needs to get much better. Gaston’s catchers mostly offer a generic target over the plate, which seems about right.
Development: Gaston started working in a third pitch more as the season progressed and may continue to grow the offspeed offering. He also seemed to get uncomfortable out of the stretch, where his tendency to miss glove-side exasperated itself. Consistent misses may be a tad less concerning. I’d call 2021, which included a full-season playoff start, a success as a whole for the young raw talent.
Stuff: A physical specimen of a pitcher who aesthetically speaking looks every bit the part on the mound featuring a powerful 97 mph fastball and a breaking ball flashing nasty late break (it also had stretches of hitting the dirt a lot). You know you’re talking power arm when the changeup hits 93 mph. It showed itself useful, capable of swing and miss. Gaston also spotted it decently at times.
Fantasy Thoughts: Gaston is the kind of nefarious dynasty speculation that could break your heart. He looks every bit the part of a big strikeout power arm in glimpses and then looks like a guy who may struggle to be bullpen-worthy. Gaston is high atop my “what if” list. A guy to watch or hold a very speculative share of in large leagues.
2018 International Signee – Cuba – 2.61M

(vs. Justyn-Henry Malloy on 8/26)
#89 LHP – Kyle Muller – Braves – MLB – 6’7″ – 24
Execution: Inefficiency and walks are the biggest hurdles for Muller. 60% strikes in minors, and 61% during his 36+ 2021 MLB innings is representative of the poor execution plaguing him. Muller is capable of executing pitches at a high clip in short stints, but it always feels like a non-competitive pitch is coming.
Development: There is plenty of nasty here to be successful, but the Braves keep waiting for the command to come around and it just kinda isn’t. If the misses simply became less egregious, it could maybe work. At the end of the day, he’s not at a level to be starting MLB games on a regular basis, so if it doesn’t come quickly, a bullpen job as a physically opposing flame thrower might hold a brighter future.
Stuff: Big high 90s fastball leads the way, with two good breaking balls and a changeup off it. Plenty of nasty to get hitters to swing and miss and enough to get them out multiple times…if only he could harness it all better.
Fantasy Thoughts: I’m cheating a little bit here with Muller because I don’t view him as a starting pitching prospect, but the project hasn’t been completely aborted yet. Impressive outings like 7/9’s when he threw a quality start, walked none, struck out 11, threw strikes at a 65% clip and remind you of that “maybe” happen. If you’re valuing Muller for fantasy, it’s probably wise to do so in a reliever sense, or a streamer you’re gonna roll the dice, hoping the 10% chance it comes together that day hits.
2016 Draft – TX Prep – 2.5M       40 man

(BB vs. Tres Barrera/WP vs. Gerrardo Parra on 8/6)

 

#88 RHP – Jean Pinto – Orioles – Low A Delmarva – 5’11” – 21
Execution: Pinto deploys a fun attack of balls darting off the plate in all directions while locating them well at any time. (65% strikes). There wasn’t a whole lot to see after his promotion in late July, in way of innings, but the arsenal and execution impressed. Pinto isn’t a power guy in a small frame, but missing bats isn’t outside his wheelhouse.
Development: Pinto is going to be deception and location and we’ll need to see how the stuff plays as he advances. The range of outcomes in way of the future role is large, but the requisite pitching acumen looks beyond his years.
Stuff: Pinto offers up a few fastballs, one with arm-side life and one that cuts, neither are great in a vacuum. They both sit low-90s, but they play up. The slider looks like it has to be packing some real RPMs, and the offspeed offering fades plenty.
Fantasy Thoughts: Pinto is hard for me because I enjoy watching him pitch so much, so I have to temper the dynasty value, but at the very least he’s a name to watch.
2019 International Signee – Venezuela – ? (75K or less)

(K vs. Hedbert Perez on 9/4)

 

#87 LHP – Joey Cantillo – Guardians – Double A Akron – 6’4″ – 22
Execution: Working his way back from an abdomen injury, Cantillo only pitched 13 innings over seven outings. He wasn’t nearly as crisp as some of his 2019 outings, but he was close, still flashing the ability to overwhelm hitters with his deceptive, well mixed, sum greater than the parts arsenal.
Development: Full disclosure; Cantillo was a favorite watch in 2019 and the trade to Cleveland, the land of doing the most with less than ideal fastballs, brought excitement to 2021’s campaign. Injury put the fun on pause until 2022. Cantillo might have to walk a fine line to get to MLB starter. The command will probably have to be elite, but he does hover around 70% strikes in the minors. Cantillo’s delivery felt a bit more violent now, perhaps playing into the little added velocity, but upon reviewing 2019 looks, it’s hard to definitively say.
Stuff: Cantillo is a modern-day soft-tossing lefty whose fastball now touches 93. Fastballs aren’t his big thing, but deception/tunneling is, as some of the ridiculous swings the curveball and changeup get indicate. Cantillo has an 11.89 K/9 during his pro career and although it may not be a wise bet to think MLB strikeout potential, completely ruling it out may not be wise either. He has shown the ability to badly fool hitters with all three pitches for strikeouts. There’s also been a knack for inducing strikeouts when up against it which could be a trait well suited for bullpen work (below).
Fantasy Thoughts: Cantillo should probably only be rostered in the largest of leagues right now, but he’s a guy I’m going to continue to watch. If it’s because I’m just a fan or really thinking about fantasy value is debatable.
2017 Draft – HI Prep – 303K

(Ks vs. Connor Kaiser and O’Neal Cruz to get out of 1st n 3rd jam on 9/4)

 

#86 RHP – Tyler Ivey – Astros – Triple A Sugarland – 6’4″ – 25
Execution: Taking anything in way of performance from 2021 is precarious. A significant injury limited Ivey to just 17 innings between minor and major league work. In the past, despite a unique delivery, Ivey commanded pitches well and thrown strikes at a 65% rate.
Development: The MLB outing can be crumpled up and tossed in the trash. Ivey was diagnosed with T.O.S. after this appearance and did not have surgery, making his way back to Sugarland at the end of the season. Ivey wasn’t typical Ivey, but is this new version what to expect moving forward? Is surgery coming?
Stuff: Ivey’s fastball used to sit mid-90s, but wasn’t there this year. His biggest attack is his fastball up paired with a good curveball. A hard slider and developing changeup are thrown in.
Fantasy Thoughts: Heading into 2021 I was giving Ivey significant value, as a starter knocking on the door with the Astros holds weight with me. Command, stuff and know-how felt there to find success but the injury stuff has thrown a major wrench in all this. Sitting in this slot is reflective of injury concern, not skillset.
2017 Draft – Grayson JC – 450K       40 man

(K in a jam falling behind 3-0 vs. Josh Jung on 10/1)

 

#85 RHP – Ryan Cusick – Braves – Low A Augusta – 6’6″ – 22
Execution: This current version is a classic power arm over any kind of polished pitcher. Without his velocity, he’d run into a lot more problems, as simply throwing strikes gets him by now.
Development: Cusick makes the cut here because he’s in an organization trusted to grow pitchers. A bit of an odd duck in a starting pitcher prospect list, but curiosity if the Braves have anything up their sleeves wins out here.
Stuff: Cusick’s calling card is a fastball sitting mid-90s capable of triple digits. He throws strikes with it but doesn’t show any sort of great command. The attack is a heavy fastball with a decent breaking ball tossed in commanded averagely at best. You’ll catch a few lame changeups too.
Fantasy Thoughts: Cusick’s high draft slot will garner FYPD appeal for some, but I’m not willing to use draft capital, at least anything post 75ish for a power thrower. The dream outcome may very well be future MLB closer. We’ll monitor how the starts in 2022 look and sit here for now.
2021 Draft – Wake Forest – 2.7M

 

#84 RHP – Brandon Pfaadt – D’Backs – Double A Amarillo – 6’4″ – 23
Execution: Pfaadt threw strikes at a great 68% pace, but he is not precise, adhering to the good-stuff-executed-close-enough-is-good-enough for the minor leagues, yet he may be discovering how it won’t be for long. Pfaadt gave up 11 home runs over his last three double-A starts (below).
Development: Paying close attention to the Diamondback arms from the get-go, the idea Pfaadt’s stuff might play better trying to induce more groundballs persisted. Then Pfaadt grabbed attention via crazy strikeout numbers. During his better outings, like 8/13, he induced substantially more groundouts than air outs. Perhaps Pfaadt is simply learning how to pitch up in the zone against better hitting, but questioning if this current version can get major league outs at a high clip feels warranted. It feels fair to question if current strikeout numbers hold.
Stuff: Pfaadt’s mid-90s fastball finds plenty of hard contact when not spotted well up. His changeup doesn’t get great velocity differential, and the two breaking balls are hard to separate. Pfaadt may throw a cutter too, or it’s just an unimpressive hard slider.
Fantasy Thoughts: The box score paints a prettier picture than the eye. Skeptical this current version of Pfaadt is a future major league starter, I’m planning accordingly. That being said, D’Back pitching prospects like to prove me wrong (at least wrong for a little while), so he’ll sit here under the watch of my raised brow. Enjoy the long ball extravaganza below.
2020 Draft – Bellarmine – 100K

(9/8: James Outman/Michael Busch/James Outman/Miguel Vargas 9/14: Josh H. Smith/Justin Foscue/Bubba Thompson/Matt Whatley/Josh H. Smith 9/19: Josh Stowers/Davis Wendzel)

#83 RHP – Freddy Tarnok – Braves – Double A Mississippi – 6’3″ – 23
Execution: Tarnook displayed solid pitch command over the course of the season, looking more precise down the stretch. Using the fastball to set up a nice 12-6 curveball is pretty much the name of his game. 63% strikes on the season.
Development: Tarnok took generic strides this season, ultimately looking like a more polished version of the June Tarnok by September.
Stuff: Tarnok’s fastball can get to the upper 90s with life. The curveball’s shape can vary, but it freezes hitters and gets swing and miss. The changeup offered to lefties appeared to achieve a good velocity differential with some arm-side fade.
Fantasy Thoughts: Tarnok is a nice pitching prospect in the hands of an organization growing them. Tarnok’s game may feel a little vanilla, but I’m not surprised if Tarnok comes into play fantasy-wise at some point. Not a fan of basically two-pitch prospects but this version of a one-two punch might be enough. I’m not sold we need to burn roster spots until that day though. We’ll be watching.
2017 Draft – FL Prep – 1.5M


(Ks vs. Luis Castro and Chad Spanberger on 7/23)

 

#82 RHP – Hans Crouse – Phillies – MLB – 6’5″ – 23
Execution: Crouse only threw strikes at a 61% clip, and walks became more of a concern in 2021. (He had six in seven MLB innings.) Crouse mixes the sequence and location of his three-pitch offering well, with a two-seamer that can play up in the zone.  Crouse is a different cat, liable to shimmy, shake, and switch up windups to throw off hitters. Crouse’s arm action gives hitters a different look as well.
Development: The former top Rangers’ prospect made just one triple-A appearance before making his MLB debut end of September. Crouse cut his MLB teeth logging two starts. Walks were a thing, but he managed to avoid excessive damage. Crouse needs to become more efficient to stick as a starter long term. There’s a juicier fastball….or at least there used to be. Does that come back? Or did that get lost during injury problems?
Stuff: Crouse’s sinker, which oddly induces a decent share of air-outs, sat in the low-90s. It used to have more velocity but is still a lively offering. There is a mid-80s slutter-type breaking ball and a lesser-used changeup.
Fantasy Thoughts: Crouse could find himself in the Phillies rotation this year. I have long been a fan, but I miss the old fastball. Without it, I feel the fantasy appeal dampens significantly. With the walks becoming a thing as well, I’m thinking more streamer type, whereas I had once been excited about fantasy possibilities.
2017 Draft – CA Prep – 1.5M       40 man

(K vs. Alex Jackson on 10/2)

 

#81 LHP – MacKenzie Gore – Padres – Double A San Antonio – 6’2″ – 23
Execution: With purpose, only the two starts during his final stop in San Antonio were taken in. As far as strike-throwing, he was at 59% there, while 58% on the season. It wasn’t very good and that was with a good number of one or two pitch at-bats.
Development: Not really happening. Fastballs, if they are strikes, land middle-middle too often, but he is still getting weak contact off a lot of them, which is good. Secondaries lack consistency in shape and location. This version isn’t working well.
Stuff: When the pitches are good, they are sharp, it’s just they aren’t good often enough. The mid-90s fastball, is backed by a slider and curveball that are very different, but inconsistencies with both. Didn’t see a lot of the changeups during these two starts but it hits the breaks. Stuff isn’t the problem, but rather the repeatability.
Fantasy Thoughts: It’s the developmental story, or should I say lack of development stories like Gore and the fantasy world behind some of my rules. Enamored with stuff, size, draft pedigree, and good-looking minor league box scores, coupled with an ability to look really good in a particular outing, coupled with the telephone game-like nature of popular prospecting …you get yourself a consensus #1 falling this short. Pitchers who struggle to throw strikes don’t just wake up one day able to do so. At his best, Gore was throwing strikes at 61%. There were a lot of fantasy fantasies it would come together and it hasn’t. If you were acting under our rules, you would have avoided this one, not saying it’s a perfect set of rules, as we will likely have our Gore at some point too, but throwing strikes matters, a lot. So here we are, and I’m still not giving up completely. I can’t help but long to see Gore standing on a mound, taking one little rock back and delivering with a simple step. The big wind-up thing has played itself out. Do you think the front foot is coming down consistently below? The arm talent is there in spades and maybe all that’s needed is crawling before walking? I have a spot here worth’s of take-a-look-in-2022 left on the matter.
2017 Draft – NC Prep – 6.7M       40 man

(K vs. Sam Huff on 9/17)

 

#80 RHP – Cristian Hernandez – Phillies – Low A Clearwater – 6’3″ – 21
Execution: With only one outing to view, but some backdoor Savant data offering up insight, the 66% strike-thrower struggled with fastball command in Bradenton, walking six, but I suspect that was more exception than the rule. Hernandez has a three-pitch mix he attacks hitters with in different ways as starts move along.
Development: Finally getting some full-season ball in, we’re just getting to see Hernandez’ touted curveball. There seems to be a nice combination of stuff and pitch acumen here to grow on.
Stuff: Hernandez throws a sinking fastball sitting low-90s and a four-seam fastball capable of touching 94/95. The curveball is the most deadly offering, and the changeup shows potential.
Fantasy Thoughts: There’s a plus pitch and sophisticated pitching with Hernandez. At the least, Hernandez is an exciting watchlist candidate. Might be a fun add in a deep league to try and get out in front of any helium coming.
2017 International Signee – Venezuela – 120K

(three-pitch K vs. Ernny Ordonez on 7/8)

 

#79 RHP – A.J. Alexy – Rangers – MLB – 6’4″ – 23
Execution: Strike throwing is Alexy’s biggest hurdle, but it’s hard to think it will be the 57.8% struggle it was during his five major league appearances (four starts). A 63% minors rate feels truer, but the best hitters in the world make strikes harder. During a brief three-start triple-A stint before MLB promotion, Alexy was able to hit the edges at a high clip, but that ability alluded him in the bigs, leaving too many pitches over the plate whilst offering up too many non-competitive offerings. A short-arm delivery offers deception to his essentially three-pitch attack.
Development: Starting long-term feels quite iffy, but strides have been made where needed with a rotation spot, at least to start 2022, possible. There’s an upward trajectory happening with a few exciting weapons leading the way. With reports about a driven young prospect, it’ll be exciting to see what version shows up this spring, battling for a big opportunity.
Stuff: The deceptive four-seam fastball averaged 93 mph with some Savant league comparisons less impressive than hoped. The slider is inconsistent, looking quite pedestrian and cookie-ish for stretches of starts, but will show nasty in stretches like his last two triple-A starts and MLB debut. The changeup is less inconsistent, but also a less impressive offering. There is a curveball too.
Fantasy Thoughts: Alexy dipped into streamer-type in redraft leagues near the end of 2021. I don’t have the motivation to label Alexy some sleeper/late-round target, but he’s going to be hanging around, and there is some fantasy appeal if he can find the consistency. I don’t condone throwing money on it, nor looking too much into the small MLB sample…he is better than that, it just may be better suited for short stints.
2016 Draft – PA Prep – 600K       40 man

(K vs. Shohei Ohtani on 9/6)

 

#78 RHP – Joan Adon – Nationals – MLB – 6’2″ – 23
Execution: Adon will keep his catchers awake. The fastball command is decent, but the breaking ball can hit dirt early. Over the minor league season, he had a 62% strike rate. During the major league debut, game #162, he racked up nine strikeouts, three walks, and sent Alex Avila into retirement with worn-out knee pads. The breaking ball is more of a chase pitch than a strike stealer.
Development: At the end of the day, 2021 was a three-level jump for Adon. There are plenty of inclinations to think relief pitcher here, but Adon continues to start effectively. The attack was more of a three-pitch offering than it showed during the debut…the fastball/breaking ball combo was working well. It’s fair to question the longevity of his success as a starter against big league hitters after they get a few looks at his power arsenal. Adon is blatant stuff over crafty pitching profile.
Stuff: Adon’s mid to high-90s fastball has some late arm side sink to it. A breaking ball, like a power curve with excess vertical drop is the wipeout, and there is a high-80s changeup flashing some appeal.
Fantasy Thoughts: There very well could be a bright MLB future here, but I’m reluctant to bank on any long-term starter here. In formats and spots where relief speculation applies, I dig a go here, taking whatever starter’s value you get in the meantime.
2016 International Signee – Dominican Republic – 50K       40 man

(First MLB BF, K vs. Kiké Hernandez on 10/3)
(Ninth and final K of his debut vs. Rafeal Devers on 10/3)

 

#77 RHP – Slade Cecconi – D’Backs – High A Hillsboro – 6’4″ – 22
Execution: From what I could tell with the bad Hillsboro angle, Cecconi spotted his pitches at a high clip, especially for the level. 64% strikes. There was a definite improvement in the last three viewable starts when the curveball looked harnessed.
Development: Cecconi is a tough read. The 2021 version feels different than the Miami version. The arsenal shift and injury clouds things. Cecconi recovered from injury getting some AFL work in, but there has been enough injury to cause concern. 2021 left me with more questions than answers, yet there’s still an exciting pitching prospect here. If there was a headline to his 2021 development, it was his curveball.
Stuff: Cecconi’s fastball once hit high-90s, but sat low 90s this year. Is that injury stuff? Intentional? Regardless, he has a few versions of it and my guess is they move quite well. The fastball seemed to be his out pitch in Miami, but it’s shifting, as a more classic downward breaking ball is growing. There is an occasional changeup too, but it was hard to gauge from my couch.
Fantasy Thoughts: There should be a wide range of opinions on Cecconi; from the best pitcher in their organization to hopeful bullpen ace. I’m sliding him in here curious to watch more, but I’m not paying any sort of premium for a share.
2020 Draft – Miami – 2.39M

(K vs. Will Wilson on 7/2)

 

#76 LHP – Kyle Harrison– Giants – Low A San Jose – 6’2″ – 20
Execution: A lot of Harrison’s 2021 success came from the ability to spot his fastball/slider combo well enough. That being said, it’s still a huge growth area in terms of major league ability. Until the 62% strike rate improves, my excitement is tempered.
Development: Not much in the way of a diverse attack as the season wore on. As with any two-pitch guy, there is a bigger command requirement, but Harrison’s stuff gives him a lot of leash at this level. Harrison only gave up three home runs (Eddys Leonard, Julio Carreras, and Zack Geloff), but there were plenty of hard-contact outs off pitches left over the middle. Curious to see if 2022 brings a larger arsenal, adhering to strict criticism for two pitch prospects trying to start feels warranted.
Stuff: 2021 didn’t offer a lot of good broadcast vantage points, but it was a blatant fastball/slider combo. There were some changeups, but it was a far-off third offering. Allegedly, there is data out there driving the high values being put on by some.
Fantasy Thoughts: Harrison holds dynasty value, at least plenty of perceived value. But if you aren’t there, I don’t blame you. As a 2021 Fresno Grizzlies addict, Harrison impressed well enough, but I need plenty more before I start treating him as a top 100 dynasty prospect.
2020 Draft – CA prep – 2.5M


[HR allowed vs. Eddys Leonard on 6/24 (shameless Leonard look)]

 

#75 LHP – Nick Swiney – Giants – Low A San Jose – 6’3″ – 23
Execution: There may be things going on you don’t want to teach, but Swiney makes it work, executing pitches at a high rate over his small 2021 sample. Swiney’s a rarer type, capable of executing breaking balls and off-speed pitches at an equal rate as his fastball. 64% strikes on the season.
Development: With only 24.1 low-A innings to get into due to injury, most of what we saw felt like getting settled in. The plan felt like simply trying to execute pitches at a high clip, tending to pitch hitters backward (breaking stuff and offspeed to set up fastball). Nothing seemed too varied from start to start. Swiney was punching below his weight in San Jose, but ending the season healthy and logging some pro innings was a positive finish.
Stuff: Swiney offers hitters a different change of pace and attack. The fastball capable of hitting mid-90s takes a back seat to the breaking balls and changeup, which helps it play up as a putout pitch. Swiney uses some unorthodox grips, particularly his knuckle-curve and an offering hard to decipher between a three-finger slider(??) and a changeup. At least a four-pitch pitcher, capable of throwing all of them for purposeful strikes, Swiney has ample tools at his disposal. MLB strikeout potential remains a question mark, but the stuff garnered 42 strikeouts in 24.1 innings, many of which came against hitting counterparts also punching below their weight.
Fantasy Thoughts: Swiney was one of my favorite cheap pitching targets of the 2020 FYPD. Yet an asset I want to pay too much for, or roster at all given format/league size, but a free speculative add I’ll pounce on quick if early 2022 shows well. An MLB debut in 2022 seems unlikely, but Swiney holds a profile capable of ascending quickly if that’s the route the Giants want to take.
2020 Draft – North Carolina St. – 1.2M


(Three pitch K after a leadoff walk vs. Joe Aeilts on 9/17)

 

#74 RHP – Xzavion Curry – Guardians – Double A Akron – 5’11” – 23
Execution: Curry’s 69% strike rate is top-shelf efficiency. It stems from a high fastball offering. Command of the secondaries isn’t quite as elite, particularly the offspeed stuff. Curry could really stay on the edges and wasn’t afraid to throw the same pitch twice in a row to the same impossible spot for hitters (like the back-to-back breaking balls below).
Development: It feels like the only major box to check is how the stuff plays against better hitters, and maybe get that changeup we saw a few times polished up to at least show-me pitch level.
Stuff: Curry’s mid-90s fastball sets up a slider and curveball capable of swing and miss. There’s also an immature changeup to be spotted occasionally, but Curry doesn’t have the greatest feel for this pitch.
Fantasy Thoughts: Curry does a lot of things I want in a pitcher very well, yet the idea of him starting against major league hitters brings skepticism. Perhaps the small stature gets to me too much or the arguably sophomoric attack? There is plenty of competition within the organization as well. Even so, Curry still has the ability to get hitters out at a high clip because of the fastball. I’m clearly conflicted here, experiencing some rule #4 stuff.
2019 Draft – Georgia Tech – 125K


(Strikes out side in order; Jacob Hurtubise/Matt McLain/Ivan Johnson on 8/19)

 

#73 LHP – Reiver Sanmartin – Reds – MLB – 6’2″ – 25
Execution: It sure feels like Sanmartin is baiting hitters up there, offering a lot of hittable first-pitch fastballs over the heart of the zone. It’s either that or fastball command magically improves after one pitch. It’s an odd watch. Plots from his first two MLB starts may confirm the approach felt in the minors (below). Sanmartin can execute pitches at a nice rate, but he’s going to need to be great with the questionable arsenal from the unique cross-fired release.
Development: Sanmartin blew through double-A in May and proved himself in two MLB starts to close out the season, going 11 and two-thirds allowing just two runs and striking out 11. Sanmartin may have that nasty pitch with overall command of arsenal to find prolonged MLB success. 2022 will give us a chance to see if the arsenal and know-how can move through MLB lineups efficiently and effectively enough to take more turns.
Stuff: The four-seam and two-seam fastballs sat 89 during the MLB run. Far from cheat code stuff. The changeup can be the real monster, and the slider’s no slouch itself. Sanmartin’s fastball comes out differently and plays up, but this looks more like a groundball maker than a strikeout machine.
Fantasy Thoughts: Sanmartin has a chance to carve out a role in the Reds rotation soon. The strike-throwing (65%) isn’t at the level I’d feel great about this profile in a traditional fantasy league. Productive MLB innings could surely be had, but I’m skeptical strikeouts keep coming the way they did over those two starts.
2015 International Signee – Colombia – ?       40 man


(Left: 0-0 pitches Middle: fastballs when behind or even in  count Right: Secondaries when ahead in count)



(Ks vs. Kevin Newman and Oneal Cruz on 10/3)

 

#72 RHP – Josh Winckowski – Red Sox – Triple A Worcester- 6’4″ – 23
Execution: Winckowski is a pitcher exemplifying the need for another kind of pitching grade…something attempting to measure maximizing tools at the disposal. The early season review was lackluster despite nice numbers, but the more you watch his well-mixed, well-located attack, the appeal warms up to you. The pitch execution went from good to great by the time he was starting in triple-A. The more over-the-top angle helps the five-ish pitch arsenal play up. 67% strikes on the season.
Development: There very well could be major league innings in the near future, with what feels a bit more like a grinder-type profile. Winckowski doesn’t seem to leave fastballs over the heart of the plate. He could probably execute well enough to get major league outs at a requisite clip, but being sold the secondaries offer enough in the way of producing fantasy juice is another story. But he has changed my tune about him rather quickly before.
Stuff: The two fastballs (mid-90s four-seam and low-90s sinker) are probably his best offerings in a vacuum, but with so many plus fastballs in the world today, they aren’t big separators. Winckowski seemed to improve the command of the varied breaking ball significantly over the season. The changeup still feels unimpressive, but he’s wise about the usage.
Fantasy Asset Evaluation: What feels to be, most likely, a new streaming name coming to you soon, the developmental trajectory has spiked. Winckowksi could be just a little improvement here or there with a secondary away from adding more fantasy appeal.
2016 Draft – FL Prep – 125K       40 man


(K vs. Raudy Read during AAA debut on 9/24)

 

#71 LHP – Jay Groome – Red Sox – Double A Portland – 6’6″ – 23
Execution: Groome mixes locations well and gets more swing and miss than you first expect watching the stuff. Most of the hard contact, naturally, comes when he leaves pitches over the plate, but he can go long stints of not doing that. The attack may not have been what you expected if you read a draft report, but the first-round skill still flashes. There might be a little knack for reading swings well in there as well.
Development: It feels like Groome has been around forever (only 66 innings since ’16 draft), yet he still could hit the bigs around 24 years old. We finally got to see some innings pile up this season as he went 97.1 innings between high/double-A, and got stronger through completion of starts as the season progressed, culminating in three Portland September starts, the first two he completely dominated hitters; 11IP, 19K, 1BB, 4H, 0ER. The third start at Hartford, the fastball velocity was down and he leaned on secondaries to gut through one. Groome has battled through a lot and finally started to find deserved success. Oddly enough, lefties give him a harder time than righties and will be a thing to watch in 2022.
Stuff: Groome employs a four-pitch mix capable of swing and miss. The fastball can get around 96/97 out of an arm slot hitters don’t seem to like. The velocity dips at times, but we are still talking about a pitcher building up. The curveball is a slower, loopy, 10-4(?) break, but gives righties and lefties plenty of trouble. The slider is a bit harder, but not employed as much, while the changeup could be better, working fine at current usage.
Fantasy Thoughts: Groome is a potential “late-bloomer” I’m anxious to watch in 2022, especially given how things ended. Perhaps a sneaky nice stash in the largest of leagues, but not going wild over anything yet.
2016 Draft – NJ Prep – 2.4M       40 man

(10 strikeout pitches AA debut on 9/4)
#70 RHP – Matt Canterino – Twins – High A Cedar Rapids – 6’2″ – 24
Execution: Elbow problems limited Canterino to just 23 innings, of which camera angles weren’t optimal. In addition, his catcher wasn’t always helpful clueing us into intent. Breaking balls hit the dirt, fastballs called down would go up at a noticeable clip. As crazy as his delivery is, he does seem to do a good job getting his release where it needs to be. He isn’t as good with his feet though; falling off like Mitch Williams at times.
Development: Playing into the difficulty reading Canterino is his whole delivery and demeanor. (see below) Reviewing these 23 innings several times, Canterino the person can really distract. 23 innings wasn’t enough to get a feel, so logging 2022 innings is in order.
Stuff: Canterino may be getting some big extension out of his unorthodox delivery, helping his low 90s fastball play up. The slider and curveball are effective, but the changeup may end up toughest on hitters with its differential and movement.
Fantasy Thoughts: One part Forrest Gump, running everywhere. One part Mitch Williams falling all over the place. Canterino has drawn praise from some prospectors I respect, it’s just sometimes the chemistry between you and a player just isn’t there, but I’m willing to commit to a 2022 date or two.
2019 Draft – Rice – 1.1M

 

#69 RHP – Hayden Wesneski – Yankees – Triple A Scranton/W-B – 6’3″ – 24
Execution: Over the course of the season, Wesneski’s ability to get chase improved as the curveball got nastier. There’s a nice mixture of four offerings here, but when things are really clicking it’s an unhittable two-pitch game…at least for this level of hitter. Throwing a high amount of strikes hasn’t been an issue and in outings reviewed, the command never seemed an issue for longer than a pitch or two. 66% strikes on the season.
Development: The riding four-seam/slower sharp curveball combo may be the most effective trending attack against today’s hitter and Wesneski has it. After a career-high 10 strikeouts against Bowie, he followed it up with an even better outing versus Hartford (below). After surrendering a solo home run early, he went Captain Insano striking out 11 of the last twelve hitters on way to a seven-inning complete-game win whereupon 59 of 75 pitches were strikes. Next outing he went seven scoreless, striking out eight, and moved up to triple A to cap off his breakout. Said fastball/curveball combo was the impetus. Wesneski has a little Unnatural in him, and doesn’t look the part of a prototypical MLB starter, but the arsenal and acumen do. Cracking a Yankees rotation is no small task, but if this trajectory continues, a 2022 debut could be had.
Stuff: A riding four-seam fastball and wipeout curveball are the headliners, while a slider and changeup show up mixed in at smart times, neither crazy noteworthy on their own. Wesneski mixes the location of the whole arsenal well, exuding command. Before the two-pitch strikeout machine really took shape, the arsenal was effective but somewhat lackluster feeling.
Fantasy Thoughts: Given his organization and profile, the future as a bullpen piece needs to be accounted for. The jump in the stuff is fairly new too, so proving it over more time isn’t a bad requisite. With one of the better finishes to the season on this list, at least a close watch in 2022 feels warranted with some speculative shares in larger leagues making sense. Wesneski is a guy I won’t be shy about inflating value if early 2022 gives me an iota of reason to.
2019 Draft – Sam Houston State – 218K

(14 K pitches vs. Hartford on 9/11)

 

#68 LHP – Drew Rom – Orioles – Double A Bowie – 6’2″ – 22
Execution: For a soft-tossing lefty (who are supposed to need pin-point accuracy) Rom sure misses his spots at times, particularly early in the season, but without it causing much damage. Is the stuff better than meets the eye? Down the stretch, he was executing pitches at higher clips, making some of the best hitting prospects at his level look silly (below). The 67% strike rate paired with the eyeballed execution test is as good as it gets on this list. Rom changes up his arm slot while deploying a four to five-pitch mix capable of getting plenty of double-A hitters off balance.
Development: Rom will need to continue proving his stuff at higher levels. “The crafty lefty” always has a tougher hill to climb, but Rom is doing it, getting some impressive results against good competition. Rom has found his thing, now it’s just a matter of how tight the screws can get.
Stuff: Rom’s fastball sits about 89-90, with a curveball, changeup, and slider playing well together. Rom may also be playing some tricks with his fastball. We got plenty of innings to review in 2021, but unfortunately, none are great angles to get looks at a LHP’s pitches.
Fantasy Thoughts: Soft tossing lefties reach more fantasy success than we may think. (link) That being said, Rom’s value is still a tricky proposition. Probably only a deeper league stash, but he feels destined to become a 12-team factor at some point too. Is the greatest fantasy outcome Kyle Hendricks-esque or Dallas Keuchel/Mark Buehrle-esque? Nonetheless, I think there’s potential profit.
2018 Draft – KY Prep – 650K

(Playoff start on 9/24, Bryan Rocchio/George Valera/George Valera strikeouts)

 

#67 RHP – Peter Solomon – Astros – MLB – 6’4″ – 25
Execution: Solomon’s execution waivered from ok to consistently landing pitches on the edges. He mostly played the fastball/slider game against righties in the majors, but he showed more diversity against them in the minors. Solomon has the requisite tools to be effective against lefties as well, giving himself an opportunity to fill a myriad of roles for the big league club. 65% strike rate on the season.
Development: The Astros with yet another college reliever success story, helping develop another good breaking ball and improving command. Solomon had three different successful MLB stints in 2021 and is pushing for more in 2022. Despite not starting in the bigs yet, it is within the skill set.
Stuff: Solomon’s curveball might be his best pitch (below). There’s a low-90s fastball and a slider he may alter.  Solomon’s circle changeup gets good velocity differential and arm-side fade, but he has the least feel for it.
Fantasy Thoughts: I’m not interested in underestimating Astros’ pitching prospects, especially those breaking in with a good breaking ball, which is like all of them. Solomon’s role looks unclear, but he’s in a position to spot start, and he may have it in him to turn it into more. I trust Solomon as a streamer type more than most, but the strikeout upside is questionable.
2017 Draft – Notre Dame – 420K       40 man

(Curveball for the K vs. Kevin Kiermaier on 9/29)

 

Pitchers #66 – #44 will be shared next installment.

Featured image by Shawn Palmer (@PalmerGuyBoston on Twitter)

Nate Handy

Nate is an advocate of drafting more pitchers. Originally from the planet Eternia, he aspires to become the Master of the Prospect Universe....or just watch baseball, share observations, and have an enjoyable dialogue about this great game, particularly the young players trying to make the major leagues.

  • Eric Knowles says:

    Hey Nate, where is Balazovic? Thanks!

  • Account / Login
    >