What is happening!
I initially planned to have a few updates talking about a handful of players, but as we sit in the thick of draft season, I figured I’d release a new edition of The List prior to March 25th’s official relaunch of the weekly Monday column.
Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H leagues:
- I meant to add Brad Peacock as well and somehow left him off. He should be at #86—I don’t believe he’ll have the starting job for long if given it out of the gate.
- Remember, once it gets near the mid-50s, it’s a free-for-all. Go for your guy, even if I’m ranking someone else slightly ahead of him.
- Not a whole lot of movement in the first fifty ranks or so—not surprising as spring training shouldn’t do much to affect these ranks—though Luis Severino took a fall to the late teens with his shoulder problem. I expect him back around the mid-to-late April and return Top 10 SP value thereafter.
- Carlos Martinez is off The List as he’ll be on the IL for weeks as the season starts. Maybe he does return as a starter, maybe as a closer, for now, I’m not touching him save for the final round or two as an IL stash.
- Clayton Kershaw heads to the middle of the twenties, ahead of Jose Berrios. Yes, I’m incredibly concerned about his innings, though Berrios marks the spot where it’s a combination of risk and reward. Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda rise up a little with Kershaw’s injury woes.
- I elected to drop Luis Castillo slightly as I’m growing a bit wary of his ability to locate with his fastball. His mechanics don’t speak to precision, as he slings the ball at a lower arm-angle and I’ve found myself going with Marquez before Castillo—or even holding off on drafting Luis altogether.
- Falling as well due to injury is Mike Foltynewicz who will be missing Opening Day. I was already skeptical of a repeat from Folty and now I’m also concerned about a balky elbow that could continue to hamper him through the year.
- The chaos in the Atlanta Braves‘ rotation is rampant. Mike Soroka‘s shoulder has brought him down again and I’m heavily concerned we won’t see him at all this year. Luiz Gohara had an early injury and has been sent to Triple-A, and there’s suddenly room for Kyle Wright and his phenomenal spring to take the leap. Not a terrible flier at the end of drafts as we wait to find out more.
- We didn’t expect plenty of youth to make waves in spring training, but arms like Jesus Luzardo, Chris Paddack, Forrest Whitley, and Justus Sheffield looked the part and could all come up near the start of May. I elected to group them all together as one little mini-tier, though I completely understand if you want to go for something more secure behind them. Alex Reyes was included as he’ll be pitching out of the pen early.
- Dreams may come true as Matt Strahm is getting plenty of attention as a possible starter for the San Diego Padres. Don’t spend an exuberant amount and overlook more stable options, but Strahm is a solid flier in the later rounds.
- At the end of the ranks are a bunch of intriguing names. Aaron Sanchez and Martin Perez are each showing increased velocity and could be early pickups across 12-teamers. Pablo Lopez is also pumping gas and paired with two 16%+ whiff pitches, he could be a sneaky sleeper as well.
- There are plenty other considerations—Sonny Gray‘s adjustments in Cincy, Matt Boyd holding onto his second-half velocity, Michael Pineda looking healthy, and Wade Miley in Houston could return dividends—and it goes to show just how deep your options are at SP this year. Plan to have a spot or two to cycle through arms at the beginning of the year to find what sticks.
(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire)