(Photo by Frank Jansky/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, and Top 30 Starting Pitchers in dynasty leagues so far this week — today, day ten, we continue through the deluge of starting pitchers.
Tier Five: Live Long and Prosper Cont’d…
35. Mike Clevinger (Cleveland Indians, 27)
Tier Six: Dy-no-mite
37. Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers, 21)
Tier Seven: Sock it to Me
43. Jacob Faria (Tampa Bay Rays, 24)
Tier Eight: Yada, Yada, Yada
49. Danny Salazar (Cleveland Indians, 28)
Tier Nine: Come on Down!
50. Brent Honeywell (P) (Tampa Bay Rays, 23)
Tier Ten: It’s Gonna Be Legen — Wait For It —
58. Triston McKenzie (P) (Cleveland Indians, 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: Eric Pardinho (Toronto Blue Jays, 17), Marco Gonzalez (San Francisco Giants, 20), and Alfonso Hernandez (Washington Nationals, 18).
- I am thoroughly convinced I ranked Jimmy Nelson too low. Granted his shoulder injury will keep him out until June and I would take the remainder of his season with a grain of salt, but aside from Luis Severino, no pitcher had a better breakout season than Nelson. Nelson dropped his ERA down a full point to 3.45 (and a 3.05 FIP), raised his strikeout rate to 27.3% while lowering his walk rate to 6.6% (i.e. Severino-esque breakout numbers). Prospects can break out at any time and at age 28, Jimmy Nelson seems like the real deal. Much like Aaron Sanchez, I want to see how he performs post-injury before making any future determinations.
- Michael Fulmer has a lot going against him not least of which is his well below average 16.9% strikeout rate and a slightly above average groundball rate (49.2%). He’ll be on the Tigers, a team that will not generate many wins for the next few years (if your league still uses W instead of QS). While I’d like to blame it all on his season-ending injury – his underlying numbers were pretty consistent between each half of the season. I would expect his ERA to drop back down (3.15/5.33 half-season splits) now that he’s healthy — but he lacks the stopping power normally associated with this high of a rank. Look for Fulmer to bring stability to the middle of your rotation.
- The Tampa Bay Rays may soon have an embarrassment of riches in starting pitching. Leading that charge is Blake Snell and Jacob Faria. With the exception of an abysmal 21 innings between May and June – Snell dominated like a top 15 starter, his strikeouts were up and walks (oh the walks) went down. If he can keep the command he demonstrated in the second half of 2017, 2018 will see a huge Blake Snell breakout.
- To answer a hypothetical posed by PitcherList’s Austin Perodeau “Going Deep: Are Dinelson Lamet’s Strikeouts Worth It?” I would agree– yea, probably. I won’t detail Dinelson Lamet any better than Austin did – but I am pretty big on Lamet in dynasty leagues and will hold shares of him as I think he is poised for a breakout and will be playing in a pitcher-friendly park for years to come (which will aid in his development).
- While I wasn’t there, I’m sure Taijuan Walker must have wept with joy upon news Chase Field was installing a humidor. Walker is a pretty good pitcher who finally started to break out after years of hype – AND did – just not at home. His home/road ERA splits were 4.18/2.92. His HR/9 was nearly double at home than it was away. If the humidor acts as advertised, Walker’s home totals will normalize with his road splits and we’ll see an above average starter play like an above average starter — the wonder.
- I am convinced that Danny Salazar will take back a rotation spot from Josh Tomlin, not Mike Clevinger when he returns from the DL. The possibility always remains that he is relegated to the bullpen. Walks have always been a bane of Salazar’s and in the second half of last season, he was able to shave nearly 3 points off of his walk rate (to 8.4% – not great, but made a noticeable impact on his performance). If he can retain that control – look for his stock to continue to rise.
- Quick pause on Patrick Corbin. I’m not sure he breaks out the same way as Taijuan Walker with the humidor introduction as his home/away splits were the crazy opposite 3.15/5.09 ERA, 8.4%/21.8% HR/FB, and a 52.1%/48.5 GB%. Corbin, interestingly, seems to have mastered Chase Field as it once existed. I can provide no explanation at this time, but Corbin will be worth rostering.
- Tier Ten is the start of things to come in the 61-90 rankings: prospects. If we haven’t reached it already, there are tiers of pitchers that will be rostered to fill out rosters. The prospect heaviness of these rankings and the rankings to come are reflective of the ceilings these prospects have to go above and beyond – not to say they all will, in fact, most probably won’t, but in a dynasty league, chasing prospect ceilings is part of the game (I’m talking about you, Hunter Greene).
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.