Dynasty Baseball Major League Pitcher Performance Report 4.0

An analysis of how pitchers are trending for dynasty leagues.

[The Dynasty Baseball Performance Report is a regular series, highlighting each position and providing insight into the risers and fallers of both the major leagues and prospects.]

The fantasy value of a pitcher can change in the blink of an eye. One moment they are considered an ace, and the next they are out for the season. Staying up to date can be challenging even for the most dedicated fantasy managers. That is the goal of these dynasty performance reports the Pitcher List dynasty team is producing. I have the privilege of breaking down which pitchers are seeing their dynasty value fluctuate. Keep reading for the Major League edition of the dynasty pitcher performance report.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out the rest of the performance reports as well as plenty of other content from the dynasty team.


Pitchers with Rising Dynasty Value


Cristopher Sánchez – PHI


Remember how a few years ago, everybody thought that trading with the Rays was a death sentence? Curtis Mead was one of the fastest-rising prospects in baseball, and he was acquired for a no-name pitching prospect by the name of Cristopher Sánchez. Well, well, well, how things have changed dramatically in that deal. While Mead has struggled to stick at the Major League level, Cristopher Sánchez just signed a four-year contract extension with the Phillies. Sanchez is in the midst of a breakout season for Philadelphia and has seen his dynasty value change dramatically in the past few months.

Sanchez made his Major League debut with the Phillies back in 2021, pitching in seven games with six coming out of the bullpen. He appeared in 15 games the following season but failed to inspire much confidence surrounding his future value. His control was spotty at best, and he did not look like more than a future bulk reliever. Injuries in the Phillies’ rotation last season gave Sanchez an opportunity to jump into the starting rotation, and he has not looked back ever since. Looking like a different pitcher, Sanchez made 18 starts posting a 3.44 ERA along the way. The most notable difference was in his walk rate. After walking 10.2% of batters in his first two seasons, Sanchez lowered his walk rate down to 4% last year.

This season, Sanchez has gotten even better. Coming up through the Minor Leagues, Sanchez was known as a hard-throwing lefty who lacked the ability to consistently throw strikes. He solved the strike issue last season but lost some of the velocity on his pitches. This season he has increased his velocity while maintaining the improvements to his control. His four-seamer has added two mph, his changeup has added four mph, and his slider has added two mph. His Stuff+ has jumped from 83 up to 92. Wait… we are praising a pitcher with an 83 Stuff+?

Sanchez’s profile goes against many of the things fantasy managers look for in their breakout starters. He does not throw 98, and he does not strike a ton of batters out. Instead, Sanchez relies heavily on his sinker and trusts the defense behind him. He spots his sinker excellently and is one of the best at forcing weak contact. In a day and age where home runs are everything, Sanchez has only allowed two all season. Also, Sanchez is more than capable of getting a strikeout when needed. He has struck out at least eight batters in four starts this season and his changeup generates a whiff almost 40% of the time. PLV is a huge fan of Sanchez. His season PLV sits at 5.37, which ranks in the 94th percentile in all of baseball.

Despite a clunker against the Cubs on July 4, the past month has sent Sanchez’s dynasty value soaring. The Phillies’ willingness to commit to a player inspires dynasty managers to also have confidence in Sanchez’s long-term value. Not only that, but his on-field performance has been excellent. Sanchez owns a 2.96 ERA this season, which would be even lower if not for his most recent start. Sanchez also fired a complete game shutout against the Marlins on June 28, which is rare in modern baseball. Despite mediocre strikeout rates, Sanchez has turned himself into a pitcher that fantasy managers can rely on. His dynasty value is trending up this season.


Taj Bradley – TBR


For those who have followed my work, this is not the first time Taj Bradley has been a featured player in one of my articles. After praising his skill and potential during his time in the Minor Leagues, things got off to a bit of a rocky start in Bradley’s Major League career. In 23 appearances last season, Bradley posted a 5.59 ERA. To make matters worse, Bradley suffered a pec strain during Spring Training this year. This prevented Bradley from making his 2024 debut until May 10.

Since returning from the IL, Bradley has looked like the prospect everybody expected to see last season. He has been dominant on the mound with a 3.23 ERA through his first 11 starts. In fact, his performance on the mound has been even better than the numbers indicate. Bradley had one abysmal start against Baltimore in which he surrendered nine earned runs in just 3.1 innings. If you removed that start from his numbers, he would rank amongst the best in baseball. His strikeout rate has bounced back to the numbers we saw in the Minor Leagues with all signs pointing up.

The biggest concern for dynasty managers last season was the sharp decline in Bradley’s strikeout. Last season, the highest whiff rate on any of his primary pitches was 29.5%. This came on his cutter which he relied on 24.8% of the time. Last year, Bradley threw his split-finger 13.6% of the time despite a whiff rate north of 40%. Despite posting excellent results, the splitter was clearly not a pitch Bradley was comfortable throwing in any situation.

Through 11 starts this season, three of Bradley’s four pitches have a whiff rate north of 30%. The increased reliance on his splitter has been especially effective. Bradley has increased the use of his splitter by over 14% this year. Opposing batters are batting just .153 with a slug of just .222. Even more encouraging is how the pitch grades out. According to PLV, the splitter grades out as a 5.10 with a PLA of just 3.08. His four-seamer has been even better. According to PLV, Bradley’s fastball has been one of the best in baseball with a grade of 5.44.

Bradley is doing everything dynasty managers look for from pitchers in their second season. He has already proven capable of adjusting his pitch mix to generate more strikeouts and is having great success on the mound. He has been even better over the past month. In each of his past three starts, Bradley has allowed one earned run or less. He has three starts of 10+ strikeouts already this season and is looking like a future ace for Tampa Bay. Bradley is rewarding those dynasty managers who were patient with him after a slow start to his Major League career. His dynasty value is trending straight up.


Honorable Mentions:


Landon Knack – LAD


Landon Knack rejoined the Dodgers’ rotation on May 19 and has made four starts since then. In those four starts, Knack has allowed one run or less in three of four and owns a 2.89 ERA. The more encouraging sign has been his strikeout rate over his last two starts. Knack has struck out over 35% of opposing batters with a walk rate below 3% in those two starts. In terms of stuff, Knack’s fastball grades out excellently on PLV. The PLV on his four-seamer sits at 5.45 while his slider also grades out as an above-average offering. Knack looks healthy and locked into a rotation spot on an excellent Dodgers team. Despite being a bit older, Knack is still a rookie and is seeing his dynasty value rise quickly.


Logan Gilbert – SEA


The fantasy world has struggled to place an exact value on Logan Gilbert for years now. He has been a consistent presence on the mound, but mediocre strikeout rates have always left many questioning his long-term value. Now in his fourth season, Gilbert has continued to get better. Through 18 starts this season, Gilbert owns a 2.92 ERA and has been especially effective since the start of June. He owns a 2.20 ERA across his last six starts and has even received the AGA label from Nick Pollack himself. With elite control, Gilbert limits baserunners and avoids hard contact. An increased reliance on his slider and adding a cutter have taken Gilbert’s arsenal to the next level. He is in the top tier of pitchers and has seen his dynasty and redraft value trend up over the past month.



Pitchers with Falling Dynasty Value:


Kevin Gausman – TOR


Kevin Gausman has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball for the last several seasons. Since reviving his career in San Francisco during the 2020 season, Gausman has pitched 611 innings with a 3.15 ERA. Gausman’s ERA from 2020-2023 ranks as the 16th best amongst qualified pitchers. He also ranks ninth in wins, fourth in strikeouts, seventh in innings pitched, and second in FIP. Despite entering his age 33 season, Gausman was showing no signs of decline heading into 2024. Sure, his dynasty value has declined a bit with age, but he was still one of the most reliable starting pitchers in fantasy….. or so we thought.

If there is one word to describe Gausman’s 2024 season, it has been inconsistent. Overall, Gausman has made 18 starts and owns a 4.64 ERA. While his ERA is far from desirable, it has not all been bad. For starters, Gausman has allowed one earned run or less in 8 of his 18 starts this season. In addition, Gausman has also struck out 10 batters three separate times. The flip side to that coin is that Gausman has allowed at least four earned runs in six of his 18 starts. He has failed to generate more than three strikeouts on four separate occasions. His recent stretch of starts has been especially poor. Across his last five starts, Gausman is 1-4 with a 6.26 ERA. Gausman’s consistency is what made him such a reliable fantasy asset. This is no longer the case, and his dynasty value is suffering.

So, what has changed? A large part of Gausman’s fantasy value derived from his ability to keep the ball in the park. In each of the past three seasons, Gausman’s HR/9 sat below 1.00. He did not surrender more than 20 home runs in a single season. This year, that number has ballooned up to 1.30. Gausman has already allowed 14 home runs, just one less than he allowed in the 2022 season. His four-seam fastball has been the primary issue, having already allowed 10 homers on the year. Gausman’s velocity on his fastball has dropped significantly this season averaging below 94 mph for the first time since 2019.

While the four-seam fastball velocity is obviously a concern, the situation for Gausman is not all doom and gloom. In fact, PLV is still a very big fan of Gausman. Even with the decreased velocity, Gausman’s PLV has actually increased from 5.14 last year to 5.42 this season. His four-seamer ranks in the 96th percentile in all of baseball for PLV. In addition, his splitter has also seen a bump in PLV up from 5.08 last season to 5.38 this year.

The biggest difference this year can be seen in Gausman’s hit luck. Last year, Gausman allowed eight hits less than his PLV suggests he should have. This season, his luck has completely flipped. Currently, Gausman has allowed 24 hits more than PLV suggests, which ranks in the 11th percentile.

While PLV is the most significant indicator of Gausman’s poor luck, it is not alone. All of Gausman’s peripherals indicate that he has been better than his ERA suggests. Gausman’s FIP sits down at 3.86 and his xFIP sits even lower at 3.68. Even his SIERA is down at 3.73. While the days of low-3s ERA Gausman are likely behind us, now represents a strong opportunity to buy low in dynasty. His poor performances combined with his age have his value in dynasty circles on the decline. However, better days are ahead this season for Gausman, who could be a key addition to your championship run.


Triston McKenzie – CLE


What a fall from grace it has been for Triston McKenzie. After experiencing some turbulence early on in his Major League career, everything seemed to click during the 2022 season. The former top prospect eclipsed 190 innings pitched en route to a 2.96 ERA. At just 24 years old, the Guardians and dynasty managers believed they had a front-line starter for years to come.

Unfortunately, things have not worked out that way. McKenzie’s 2023 season got off to a delayed start as he did not make his debut until June. He struck out 10 batters across five scoreless innings in his first start providing optimism of things to come. After that, however, things derailed. McKenzie made one more start before landing back on the IL and was sidelined until September. He returned to make two starts in September but looked like a shell of his former self.

Since that point, news has come out that McKenzie is pitching with a torn ligament in his right elbow. An injury that often requires surgery, McKenzie opted to avoid surgery and rehab instead. While reports are that McKenzie feels no pain, things are obviously not right. After averaging 92.4 mph on his four-seam fastball in 2022 and 2023, McKenzie’s fastball velocity has dipped down to 91.1 mph. In addition, McKenzie has lost nearly 2 mph on both his slider and curveball since 2022.

While the velocity change has not impacted his breaking pitches, it has been devastating for his fastball. This season, McKenzie’s fastball ranks as one of the worst pitches in all of baseball. Opponents are batting .303 with a .652 slugging percentage off of the pitch. In just 16 starts, McKenzie has allowed 16 home runs off of this pitch. Yikes…

After posting an 8.67 ERA across his last six starts, the Guardians had seen enough to send McKenzie back down to Triple-A. The simple conclusion here is that McKenzie is simply not healthy. He looks like a shell of his former self, and the pitch data backs that up. The best case for dynasty managers is likely that McKenzie opts to get surgery. While this would likely sideline him until 2026, he would be healthy at that point. Being optioned to Triple-A at 26 years old has McKenzie’s dynasty value at almost next to nothing.


Honorable Mentions:


Luis Gil – NYY


In last month’s edition, Gil was mentioned as a pitcher seeing his dynasty value rise. That article also identified that Gil was likely due for regression in the coming months and could be a solid sell-high option. Well, things have taken a turn for the worse for Gil. Gil has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his last four starts. His strikeout rate has come crashing down and the walk issues have returned. There are a lot of smart people out there and Mike Petriello discovered that Gil’s fastball shape has looked drastically different over the past three outings. Fatigue or just simply regression could be setting in, but it is clear that fantasy managers should not rely on Gil as a set-and-forget option. His dynasty value and long-term outlook have taken a hit over the past month.


Adam Mazur – SDP


Entering the 2024 season, Adam Mazur was one of my favorite pitching prospects. Everything seemed great to start the season. Mazur dominated in four starts at Double-A, made a brief stop at Triple-A, and then was quickly promoted to the Major Leagues. Since his promotion, things have taken a turn for the worse. Mazur has made six starts at the Major League level and owns a 7.52 ERA. After showing off elite control throughout the Minor Leagues, Mazur has walked more batters than he has struck out. His four-seam fastball has been hit especially hard with a .356 batting average against and three home runs surrendered. After rising quickly this season, Mazur’s dynasty value has fallen significantly over the past month.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login