Evaluating Rookie Starters and Their Paths to Becoming Aces

Analyzing the new wave of young starters taking the mound in MLB

Generally speaking, position players in Major League Baseball debut much younger than their pitcher counterparts. Starting pitching prospects tend to take a longer time to accumulate experience as they move through the minor leagues and their workloads are more closely monitored thanks to arm health concerns for young, hard-throwers.

Early on this year, however, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of high-end starting pitching prospects break through to the major leagues in just the first two months of the season. It seems like we are in a new golden age of young, exciting flamethrowers in baseball, and I’m here to go through the best and brightest of them.

We’re going to go through some of the more anticipated starting pitching prospects to debut this season and discuss what they currently do well, what they could do well in the near future, and what adjustments they need to make to reach their sky-high potential.

And to lead off our look into the young, bright stars taking the mound in today’s game, let’s talk about the youngest and (arguably) the brightest among them.


Taj Bradley


Regarding the ascension of pitching prospects, Taj Bradley’s was among the most rapid and dramatic we’ve seen in the last decade. He wasn’t even a Top 10 pitching prospect in the Rays’ farm system heading into the 2021 season but by the 2022 All-Star Break, he was the number one Rays prospect and just outside the Top 20 overall prospects in baseball according to MLB.com.

His biggest selling points as a prospect were his lethal four-seamer and his hard gyro slider, both of which received 60 FV grades prior to his debut. He commanded both of these pitches extremely well and showed an advanced ability to manipulate the shape on his slider to give it the properties of a cutter on occasion.

The biggest question for Bradley was what his third pitch would be. He had a half-decent curveball throughout his minor-league career, but it was never really a true putaway pitch. He just tossed it over for easy-called strikes most of the time, assuming he had command of it.

He was able to cruise through the minors largely on the strength of his fastball/slider/cutter mix, but he needed another consistent offering before breaking into the big leagues. He started playing with a split-change that showed real promise during its brief run in Durham between 2022 and the first couple of weeks of 2023, but he hadn’t really nailed it down yet.

“Too bad! We need you now!” said the Rays, as they called Bradley up for his MLB debut to replace the injured Zach Eflin in a game against the Red Sox on April 12th. It was an aggressive promotion considering the presence of Luis Patiño and Yonny Chirinos, who were both stationed in Durham at the time and had extensive big-league exposure between them.

Regardless, Bradley got the call and dazzled in his debut, going five innings strong in the Trop while fanning eight Red Sox and putting up a 35 CSW%.



This debut actually did a good job of capturing the various strengths and weaknesses of Bradley at this point in his career. He commanded his four-seamer and cutter reasonably well and they both performed in response, but he only threw his changeup twice out of 78 pitches and his curveball served as more of a called-strike weapon than a source of chases.

Still, this was an extremely exciting introduction to the big leagues for Bradley. Arguably more exciting, however, was how his pitches graded out after his first taste of MLB action.

Bradley has made four total major league starts thus far, amassing 20.1 innings and throwing over 100 fastballs. Among starting pitchers with at least that many four-seamers thrown, here is where Bradley ranks in some key performance and characteristic movement metrics:


Taj Bradley’s Four-Seam Fastball Ranks Among SP (min. 100 Thrown)


Bradley currently has the third-best fastball by Stuff+ among starting pitchers in Major League Baseball. The two guys ahead of him?

Jacob deGrom and Spencer Strider.

His cutter also boasts a Top 10 Stuff+ among starting pitchers, giving Bradley two elite offerings to serve as the foundation for his array of weapons. The Rays internal stuff metrics likely cast Bradley’s arsenal in a similarly positive light, which might be part of the reason he was given the first crack at filling a rotation spot from Durham.



Despite his elite pitch grades and strong performance in three not-so-easy starts (solid offense in Boston, a tough pitching environment in Cincinnati, and a strong offense in Houston), Bradley was optioned back to Durham following his third start. The reason cited by the Rays was to get Bradley on a five-day pitching schedule instead of a six-day one, and while I think there’s truth to this, my suspicion is they want him to polish his non-cutter offerings and manage his innings more before fully taking over a rotation spot.

Bradley’s cutter is already a big-league pitch, but as I alluded to earlier, his curveball and changeup are still works in progress. They both rate below average by Stuff+ and he hasn’t shown the ability to command them consistently enough to deploy them confidently against major-league hitters. His four-seamer is also a slight point of concern despite its incredible characteristics.

One clue that may be telling us what the Rays are working on with Bradley in Durham is his sudden change in pitch usage following his demotion. Bradley attacked MLB hitters heavily with this cutter over the course of his three starts, but the emphasis has shifted over toward the four-seamer in his few Durham outings. This, in conjunction with some iffy location numbers on the fastball, indicates that the Rays see the potential in Bradley’s four-seamer and want him to really hone in on his command of the pitch before reclaiming a rotation spot in Tampa Bay. His near-complete dependence on the fastball in Durham is most likely the culprit for his extremely poor results since being optioned.

In order to become a staple in the already strong Tampa Bay rotation, Bradley needs to get his secondary pitches to at least around league average and ideally better, refine the command on his fastball in the upper third of the strike zone, and continue using his curveball as a called-strike machine. On this front, there is cause for optimism.

In his second start against the Reds, Bradley threw his changeup 18 times compared to just twice in his debut, going 4/8 on whiffs and commanding the pitch down and away from lefties reasonably well.




All of this tinkering between starts and between levels indicates to me that Bradley is a pitcher who is really searching for an ideal mix to sustain success at the major league level. He’s been weaving his secondaries in and out inconsistently and shifting the priority of his fastball back and forth from cutter to four-seamer, likely in an effort to find steady ground before coming back up. His recent struggles in Triple-A and the Rays handling of him may raise some concerns from a fantasy perspective, but keep in mind that this is a 22-year-old trying to find a way to make himself even better than he already is. The sky is the limit here.

There will be some growing pains as Bradley continues to sort out an ideal pitch mix to attack hitters at the highest level, but he is undoubtedly among the youngest and most exciting arms in the sport right now. My suspicion is that he won’t be in Durham for too much longer, especially considering the injury track records many of the Rays’ arms possess.

Update: Bradley was called back up to start against the Mets on May 18th, and he went five innings with two earned runs and four punchouts on the day after struggling mightily with his fastball command in the first inning. So, there you go. He got his opportunity and already made a good adjustment after battling his four-seamer in the first.


Mason Miller


In a season that promises to be nearly impossible to watch for the Oakland A’s, fans are looking for any shred of hope to latch onto, something to give them a reason to watch the games. Save for Ramón Laureano, every notable veteran with any semblance of value has been shipped off in recent years and the team is currently a formless amalgamation of major-league journeymen and relatively anonymous prospects.

Fret not! It appears A’s fans have found their reason to watch the team play, at least once every five days or so. Top pitching prospect Mason Miller had been making waves in fantasy circles early in the 2023 season thanks to his blazing fastball and stuff numbers that were consistently positioned at the top of the minor league leaderboards.

Miller made his much-anticipated major league debut on April 19th against the Chicago Cubs, going 4.1 innings and giving up two earned runs while striking out five. He averaged 99.4 MPH on his four-seamer in this outing and maxed out at 102.5. He also mixed in a slider about 22% of the time and a cutter 14% of the time, but this was an outing that was pretty much totally dependent on the fastball and its ability to overwhelm hitters. Four of his five punchouts came on his four-seamer in his debut.



The fastball is obviously the standout offering in Miller’s arsenal as far as characteristics go, averaging 98.3 MPH and 17.4 IVB over 195 thrown thus far. That’s the third-hardest fastball among starters, trailing only Hunter Greene and deGrom. He also features a cutter and slider, the two pitches that have actually done most of the work drawing whiffs.

Miller’s slider is his best secondary offering, averaging 86 mph with just under 10 inches of run and registering a 15.4% Swinging Strike rate. His hard cutter also shows flashes of brilliance, averaging 94.3 mph with 8.5 inches of ride and 1.7 inches of run. It has yielded a 13.3% Swinging Strike rate and only Graham Ashcraft throws a harder cutter among starters.

These three pitches make up the bulk of Miller’s arsenal, and all three have at least one eye-opening aspect to them. He seems to be targeting the FF/FC/SL mold with occasional changeups, reminiscent of a guy like Gerrit Cole. His results thus far have also been pretty strong, posting a 3.38 ERA, 3.12 FIP, and a 22:7 K:BB in 21.1 innings. So where is the room for improvement?

Despite its incredible characteristics, Miller’s fastball actually hasn’t been overly dominant in his brief run in Oakland. He’s only managed an 8.7% Swinging Strike rate on the pitch, but he’s gotten some favorable batted-ball results on it. His cutter is actually where most of the damage off of him has come from, as opponents are hitting it to the tune of a .343 wOBA and .457 xSLG off the pitch.

He’s been pretty reliant on his outlier velocity and solid slider to overpower opponents thus far, but he’ll need a third reliable pitch beyond the FF/SL pairing to be successful in the long run. As great as those pitches are, we can’t reasonably expect him to be another Spencer Strider and dominate with two pitches. Heck, even Strider added a changeup this year to flesh out his arsenal a bit more!

Miller features a changeup of his own, but he clearly doesn’t feel totally comfortable with the pitch, throwing it just 5% of the time and failing to command it down in the zone well in any of his four starts this year. It has potential, showing a unique movement profile with almost 13 inches of arm-side run and 5.7 inches of ride, but he’ll need to get more comfortable with it before it significantly factors into his ultimate success.

Take his most recent outing against the Royals as an example. He managed a strong line thanks to a good performance from his fastball, but his seven changeups were all either non-competitive or begging to be launched. Even his slider was sprayed around the zone far too much to be reliable.


The biggest thing to watch with Miller in the future is the development of his arsenal and how he manages to command his secondary offerings in the zone. He can pound the zone with his fastball all day, but he’s going to start getting punished if he can’t reliably get hitters off his four-seamer with competitive secondaries.

Well, the biggest thing to watch with him would be his arsenal if his health wasn’t called into question recently. Miller was diagnosed with a UCL sprain following his May 7th outing, meaning it will likely be a while before we see him again. I could turn this into a conversation about the pitch clock and how it’s affecting starting pitcher health, but that’s a discussion for another time.


Logan Allen


The Guardians have the potential to promote a whole slew of promising pitching prospects to the majors this season, and we’ve already seen two of them. One of them we’ll discuss a bit later, the other is left-hander Logan Allen, a 2020 second-round draft pick who quickly rose through the Cleveland farm system to make his MLB debut on April 23rd against the Marlins.

Allen works with a four-pitch mix consisting of a four-seamer, cutter, sweeper, and changeup. The FF and SW make up most of his offerings, while the CH and FC combine to round out his secondary arsenal.

Early results indicate that his sweeper is his best pitch by a wide margin, flashing a 117 Stuff+ that ranks fourth among left-handed starters and featuring 15.7 inches of glove-side run with a 19.0% Swinging Strike rate. His cutter also rates well with a 110 Stuff+, second among lefties behind only Framber Valdez.



So we know Allen has at least two strong pitches to work with as the foundation for his arsenal. The problems start to arise, however, when you look at the rest of his mix.

Allen’s four-seam fastball is not rated well at all by most models, registering just an 85 Stuff+ with a 9.2% Swinging Strike rate and 5.71 pFIP. He’s thrown it 50% of the time thus far in 2023 and opponents have managed a .548 SLG and .453 xwOBA against it. It comes in at around 92 mph with 17 inches IVB, so there’s really not much to separate it from the average fastball you’ll see.

His changeup also rates poorly in most areas (96 Stuff+, 8.41 pFIP), but this is less of a concern considering it’s more of an ancillary offering for Allen. That pretty much leaves him with just secondaries leading the way in terms of effectiveness, which is not usually what you love to see from a young starter.

Generally speaking, it’s a safer bet to expect good long-term results from starters whose best offering is their fastball as opposed to a starter who needs to work around their fastball most of the time. Having a great fastball like Mason Miller or Taj Bradley gives you a consistent floor to fall back on when your secondary command or execution is off on a particular day.

That’s not to say Allen has no chance of being a successful starter long-term, he’ll just need to carve out a slightly different path to it than most of the guys we’ll talk about here. His cutter is a good offering and is currently being underutilized while the four-seamer takes center stage, so maybe shifting his fastball mix away from the four-seamer and toward the cutter would be beneficial for him.

He’s managed to yield good results thus far, sporting a 3.43 ERA, 3.26 FIP, and 24:7 K:BB in 21 innings. As he is exposed to big league hitting more, however, I would expect his effectiveness to wane and his fastball to start getting hit even harder without some modifications to his arsenal, especially if he continues throwing his four-seamer half the time.

I think the priority going forward for Allen should be to optimize his fastball mix in order to determine what the best complement to his sweeper can be. Building an arsenal around a breaking ball is a bit unintuitive, but it could work in his case considering his sweeper and cutter figure to be his best offerings going forward.


Brandon Pfaadt


Brandon Pfaadt was a huge topic of discussion in fantasy circles early this season, but it’s not because he was lighting up the majors out of spring training. Quite the opposite.

Pfaadt failed to break camp with the big league team, but many around the sport figured he would be among the first to get a crack at the D-Backs rotation as soon as a spot opened up. An injury to Zach Davies and a DFA of Madison Bumgarner seemed to open the door, but he remained in Reno in favor of Drey Jameson and Tommy Henry. Fantasy managers stashing Pfaadt were banging their heads against the wall.

Finally, on May 3rd, Pfaadt was called up to make his major league debut after making managers sit in anticipation for more than a month. A shout of joy could be heard across the world; prospect enthusiasts rejoiced!

And then Pfaadt proceeded to give up six home runs and 11 earned runs in 9.2 innings over his first two big league starts. You could almost hear the collective groan from Pfaadt managers who had been clogging up a bench spot for the entire season.

It was an inauspicious start to a major league career, to be sure. Pfaadt bounced back in his third outing against the Giants, tossing five innings of one earned run ball with five strikeouts, so the concern has died down marginally. Still, something had to be going terribly wrong for Pfaadt to get knocked around so badly in his first two outings, right? You don’t just give up six home runs in under 10 innings without doing something seriously wrong on the mound.

The main culprit for his early career struggles that I can see has been his fastball. Pfaadt’s four-seamer has been lit up like a Christmas tree in his three starts to the tune of a .758 SLG, .476 wOBA, a measly 4.9% Swinging Strike rate, and a ghastly 6.79 pFIP. I watched the entirety of Pfaadt’s first two starts because I am one of the aforementioned managers who had been hoarding him on my bench for a month, and what I saw was a pitcher struggling with his secondary command and being forced to enter the zone with a pedestrian fastball that was not fooling big league hitters.



The sweeper was pretty much the only thing working for Pfaadt in his debut, going 4/10 on whiffs and showing some real promise as a foundational secondary pitch.

The thing that sticks out like a sore thumb here is that his fastball went just 1/23 on whiffs despite a 65% zone rate. That is not good. Looking at the characteristics of the four-seamer, it comes in at 93 mph with 14.6 inches IVB and 6 inches of arm-side run, so there’s nothing here suggesting it is an especially deceptive or overpowering pitch. Stuff+ gives it a 96, so it seems to agree that Pfaadt’s four-seamer is nothing really special.

Pfaadt’s sweeper is showing 15 inches of horizontal run at 83 mph and has registered a 20.5% Swinging Strike rate and 129 Stuff+, making it his most promising pitch by most measures. His curveball also stands out with a 122 Stuff+ and almost 10 inches of depth, but he hasn’t thrown it enough relative to its model grades thus far.

So what we have here is a situation remarkably similar to the one we just discussed with Logan Allen: a young starter with an uninspiring fastball and a fantastic breaking ball.



In Pfaadt’s case, he doesn’t have another fastball he could shift his usage toward, so his solution will likely look a bit different. I think the key, though, will be to avoid backing himself into a corner with his secondaries as he did in his first two outings.

When Pfaadt is able to command the slider and changeup in and around the zone, it suddenly makes his fastball play up in the zone because hitters have to respect his secondaries. Because of this, I think he may want to increase the usage of his slider and back off of the fastball a bit while trying to mix in the changeup in better spots despite its 86 Stuff+ rating.

There is a lot to like about Brandon Pfaadt in the long run and he appears to have some job security in Arizona’s starting rotation for now, but he’ll need to devise a strategy to keep hitters off his fastball in the zone if he’s going to ascend to ace status.


Tanner Bibee


And now we come to the other prized Guardians prospect to make his major league debut this season, 2021 5th-rounder Tanner Bibee.

Bibee came into the majors as one of the more polished pitching prospects in the sport, flashing strong command of four pitches: a four-seamer, slider, curveball, and changeup. Everything was lining up well for him in his scheduled major league debut, as he was set to face the Rockies at home in Cleveland on April 26th.

He delivered, tossing 5.2 strong innings with one earned run and eight strikeouts. The scouting reports on him turned out to be pretty accurate, as he was able to consistently command all four of his offerings in and around the zone. The slider in particular was a called strike machine, registering a 60% zone rate and 51 CSW%.



He actually threw more sliders than fastballs in his debut, and over the course of four starts in Cleveland, he’s thrown 46% four-seamers and 36% sliders. This primary mix looks like it’s going to be a good one for Bibee, as both his fastball and slider are above-average by Stuff+.

The first point of concern for him comes with his curveball and changeup, both of which rate poorly by Stuff+. He commands them reasonably well, but they are definitely the lesser two offerings in his arsenal and have played a marginal role in his early success in the majors thus far. The curveball in particular has just a 7.7% Swinging Strike rate and a below-average 19.2% Chase rate. Similar to Taj Bradley, Bibee has used his curveball as more of a called strike offering thus far instead of a true putaway pitch.

The interesting thing about Bibee is that his fastball, despite grading out well in stuff models, has gotten hit around a bit early in his career. Opponents have registered a .437 xSLG and .358 wOBA against it and are only whiffing 6% of the time. It hasn’t performed poorly enough to be a real problem, but it’s definitely an area to monitor given that the pitch has impressive specs (95 mph average velocity, 17.7 inches IVB).



Compared to some of the other arms I’ve talked about in this piece, Bibee has little to drastically improve upon before he’s a reliable and productive starter at the major league level. Ironing out his offspeed command a little bit to allow his fastball more breathing room against hitters at the highest level would benefit him greatly, but he hasn’t exposed too many glaring weaknesses in his game thus far in his brief career.

He doesn’t have the best stuff among pitchers discussed here, as his best offering by Stuff+ is his slider at 104. Still, he can largely overcome that with his overall polish and above-average command of his pitch mix, so there is a pretty stable floor here to get excited about and a ceiling that could get even higher if he brings up his other secondaries closer to league-average.


Grayson Rodriguez


Grayson Rodriguez was in a very similar position to Brandon Pfaadt coming out of spring training this season. As the consensus number one pitching prospect in the sport, he was clearly talented enough to crack the Orioles’ rotation out of spring, but he didn’t make it to the big league roster after camp ended and fantasy managers were trying to determine how quickly he would be up.

Turns out, not long!

Gray-Rod made his MLB debut on April 5th against the Rangers, going five innings with two earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts against a solid lineup. The hype train had fully left the station and Rodriguez was getting picked up in every league imaginable. Since his debut, however, it has been a series of ups and downs for the talented righty.

Through eight starts in 2023, Grayson has posted a 6.57 ERA, 5.47 FIP, and 10% walk rate. His most recent outing against the Angels was his biggest clunker yet, yielding eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings while walking three. This start also did a good job illustrating what his primary weaknesses are right now in the early stages of his career.



Rodriguez has a live fastball that averages 96.2 mph and 16.2 inches of ride, but the pitch is getting mashed this year. Opposing hitters are slugging .746 and posting a .504 wOBA against the four-seamer this year, suggesting Rodriguez doesn’t currently possess the secondary tools to keep hitters off the pitch reliably yet. In this way, he’s facing the same problem Pfaadt is: an inability to deter hitters from sitting on the fastball because it’s the only pitch he can execute consistently on a start-to-start basis. It has a 104 Stuff+, which is not high enough to frequently overpower hitters.

His secondaries do show promise, however. Much had been made of Rodriguez’s changeup on his way through the Orioles’ minor league system, and the pitch currently holds the highest Swinging Strike rate in his arsenal at 17.4%. It features 4.8 inches of ride and almost 12 inches of arm-side run, and he throws the pitch almost a quarter of the time. This falls pretty squarely in line with his minor league career in suggesting that the changeup is the secondary that he has the most confidence in.

The problem is that his three other secondaries (slider, cutter, curveball) are all playing down right now thanks to his command issues. His curveball has a 119 Stuff+, but has just a 7.1% Swinging Strike rate and 6.21 pFIP. His slider has a 104 Stuff+ but an 11.5% Swinging Strike rate and 4.71 pFIP. The only pitch that is yielding good results thanks to a somewhat reliable command for Rodriguez is the changeup at this point.

The fastball and changeup are both promising offerings, but as I stated earlier, it’s exceedingly difficult to survive as a starting pitcher while only feeling confident and consistently executing two pitches.

Rodriguez is supremely talented and figures to be a top-of-the-rotation fixture in Baltimore, but he has some arsenal issues to sort through first. Most pressing among them is what to do with his secondary mix and what pitches to emphasize and de-emphasize. The fastball and changeup make a solid foundation, but something needs to change with his SL/CU/FC mix for him to start seeing results at the major league level.


Bryce Miller


Of all the starting pitching prospects to make their debuts in 2023 thus far, Bryce Miller has to be the most surprising. Not because he isn’t talented or doesn’t have the tools to succeed in the majors, but because his name rarely came up in the fantasy world as someone who could make a big impact in the Mariners’ rotation this season.

Yet here we are, and through three starts, Miller has been nothing short of transcendent.

He’s sporting a minuscule 0.47 ERA, 1.57 FIP, and 0.42 WHIP with 18 strikeouts through 19 innings. This performance has been completely spectacular and you may be tempted to name Miller the most exciting young arm in the game based purely on his early results this season.

Here’s my word of warning, though: This approach is not likely to continue yielding these incredible results for Miller.

This is not to say he’s not great right now or he may not be great in the future, but Miller’s early 2023 success has been almost 100% thanks to his ridiculous fastball. And when I say ridiculous, I mean truly ridiculous. Miller’s four-seamer is averaging 95.6 mph and an unbelievable 20.3 inches of ride thus far. Let’s go back to the table we made to illustrate how great Taj Bradley’s fastball is and apply it to Bryce Miller:


Bryce Miller’s Four-Seam Fastball Ranks Among SP (min. 30 Thrown)

That’s right folks! No fastball thrown by a starter has more vertical break or a lower opponent’s xwOBA than Miller’s. It’s a little bit softer than Bradley’s but has almost a full inch more ride, making it a seemingly impossible pitch to square up consistently. Given the ridiculous specs on this pitch, you would think Miller is probably pretty confident attacking the zone with it and using it at a high rate, and you’d be absolutely correct. Miller has thrown his fastball 70% of the time thus far, the highest rate among starters by a good margin. The starting pitcher with the next highest fastball usage is Spencer Strider at 65%.

Aside from the fastball, Miller also features a cutter, slider, and a changeup. He throws the cutter 19% of the time, meaning almost 90 percent of the pitches he’s thrown to major league hitters in 2023 have been fastballs of some sort! The slider comes in at a 9% usage and hitters are seeing the changeup 1% of the time, so this is a tremendously fastball-dominant arsenal. Can this level of fastball dependence really work for Miller over a long period of time?

While it’s tempting to say yes, given how incredible his four-seamer is, I think he’s going to need something else up his sleeve to be an effective starting pitcher over a full major league season. His slider has the potential to be that pitch for him, as it currently sits at a 122 Stuff+, but it hasn’t been much of a whiff pitch for him so far. Granted, so much of Miller’s true talent level is clouded by this unreliably small sample, so we’ll have to be careful about the conclusions we are drawing here given how few secondary pitches he’s had to throw.

I can’t really say for sure whether his slider is a viable putaway pitch in its current state because he’s barely thrown any. Ditto for the changeup. It’s pretty much just been fastballs and cutters thus far. But I mean come on, this is an unreal fastball.



I won’t say Miller is incapable of sustaining success while throwing almost 90% fastballs, but it’s likely he’ll need to start mixing in more secondaries to keep it going. We’ll see pretty quickly how good that slider and that changeup are when hitters start adjusting to the fastball and are able to get on top of it more than they currently are.

The unequivocally good news with Miller, though, is that the fastball will always be there. Given what I said about pitchers whose best offering is their fastball, Miller is in good hands now and for the foreseeable future. There’s some reliever risk given his limited arsenal, but he’s got to be one of the most fun arms in the league to watch right now. Just blowing smoke past the best the game has to offer. Super exciting stuff.

There were a couple of arms I considered writing about here that I ultimately held off on either due to time constraints or a big-league sample that was just too small for me to draw any conclusions from. Gavin Stone, Brandon Williamson, Eury Pérez, Dylan Dodd, Jared Shuster, and Luis Medina all deserve to be talked about in some capacity, and perhaps I’ll follow up this article with a sequel a little bit later in the season to update on the current guys and add some new ones!

Regardless, seeing so many rookie starters take a big-league mound for the first time and dominate like they have in a heightened run environment has been super impressive and incredibly fun to watch. Fingers crossed these guys stay healthier than their veteran counterparts have thus far in 2023 and keep lighting up the radar gun moving forward.


Photos courtesy of the Seattle Mariners and Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)

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