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Prospect Rankings: Top 10 Rookie Pitchers Under 10% Owned

It’s hard to find decent pitchers that are not widely owned. That’s because any live arms with a semblance of potential and a rotation spot go like hotcakes, at least...

It’s hard to find decent pitchers that are not widely owned. That’s because any live arms with a semblance of potential and a rotation spot go like hotcakes, at least at a place where hotcakes are in demand. Many names that previously graced this list are thus ineligible under these stipulations, but there may yet be some value to be had.

1. – Well, he finally got his chance. He didn’t light the world on fire in his first start, but he didn’t get lit up, either. The infield’s a bit of a mess so he’s not going to get any favors and he’s in an unforgiving ballpark, but I think he should get more strikeouts the rest of the way and can post a low 4s ERA while limiting walks.

2. – Thus far, his debut has been better than most could’ve reasonable expected. While he’s alternated strong starts and weak starts, overall he’s had a higher strikeout rate than he had in the minors while maintaining a solid walk rate. He’s had some bad luck with runners on bases and he could post a mid-to-high 3s ERA the rest of the way.

3. – Davies unraveled quickly in his last start, but he still has solid stats in his small debut, which is no easy feat as a 22-year-old. He has a 3.97 ERA with 7 Ks and 2 BB in 11 1/3 Innings. He should continue to receive regular starts along the way, and he has moderate upside but moderate risk as he tends to be hittable.

– At the end of August, Kevin Cash said they discussed calling him up in September, but he didn’t specify when. I sure hope it’s soon. The Rays rotation is loaded enough that he may only get a spot start, or he may go straight to the bullpen. But with his talent he should offer an opportunity for a boost and is worth speculating on for that reason alone.

– What’s that? Why yes, it DOES say a lot about the dearth of sleeper starters that a reliever is in the top 10! I mean, even Tyler Duffey is even owned at 15%, and Jerad Eickhoff is owned at 12%! Shreve may not be sexy (even is name is weird) but he’s produced very well this year under the radar and has vultured 6 wins. I’d expect a few more with a low ERA to boot.

– Now that the Nationals have, quite surprisingly, effectively played themselves out of playoff contention, there’s at least a chance that he’ll be included in the next wave of call-ups. And that chance makes him already more intriguing than the current major leaguers after him on this list. He’s dominated Double-A with a strong strikeout rate and low walk rate all season but never got promoted. The 23-year old posted a 2.92 ERA with 148 Ks in 157 1/3 Innings and a 1.11 WHIP.

– I promise this is not a joke. He has been utterly demolished thus far in the majors, but he still has good stuff, has gotten strikeouts at a decent clip, and limited walks. His end-of-season line will be ugly, but there is no apparent reason to expect him to continue to get shelled. But he’s probably at least a flyer in bizarro leagues.

– He’s no spring chicken as a 26-year old, but it appears that this autumn chicken finally turned a corner this year in Triple-A by cutting down on his walk rate. The Brewers want to test him out for their rotation next year, and he’s not off to a great start as he went back to his walk-happy ways. But if he can keep the wheels on down the home stretch, he could provide average strikeouts and a mid-4s ERA.

– He got called up as a reliever, and has only pitched 2 fine innings. But there’s at least a chance he’ll get asked to make a spot start, and with his strikeout potential that certainly makes him intriguing. With his blazing fastball, his upside certainly is high.

– Don’t let his over-4 Triple-A ERA fool you… Jharel has been just as, if not more, dominant at Triple-A than he was at the previous levels. They clearly moved him to the bullpen because they want him on their playoff roster, so I certainly expect him to get called up soon. I expect him to be an excellent reliever in the majors, but there’s a limit to the value he can amass there. Yet he’ll still probably earn more value than some of the starters on this list.

Another guy who’s been quite good this year, although not as good as Voth, he DID get the promotion to Triple-A. He’s been solid at both levels, with a low walk rate but a less exciting strikeout rate as he showed last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he earned a couple of spot starts. But if he’s pitching at home he could get clobbered.

– Much like Montas, he’s a starter with an excellent fastball that’s currently pitching in the bullpen. But unlike Montas, he has a lot more in his way to earn such an opportunity, including the more intriguing Vincent Velasquez (14%) above him in the pecking order. – As a reliever, he’s been better than as a starter, though he did get 7 Ks in that one start and I think it’s not so unlikely for him to receive another one. – He really did nothing to deserve 9% ownership other than having an okay start or two. He’s still not striking out many and walking a lot. But unlike Wisler, he still has his job, cruel as the world may be. He still at least has the potential for strong outings when he can limit the walks, but the risk is also high. – While he doesn’t have a good ERA and lacks much upside, he is still being trotted out in the rotation and therefore is still relevant. His peripherals indicate that he’s performing exactly as expected, since he walks a fair amount and doesn’t strike out many. has been solid for the Rockies over 8 innings as a reliever, with a 3.16 ERA and 1.23 WHIP to go with 5 Ks and 2 walks. The 24-year-old doesn’t have very high upside, but he should be a solid reliever the rest of the way, but I’d be more wary when he’s pitching at home because it’s Coors, which is as terrible a ballpark for pitchers as it is a beer.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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