Top 400 Starting Pitchers For Fantasy Baseball 2024: 126-150 SPs

SP Rankings for 2024 Fantasy Baseball: 126 - 150 Starting Pitchers

Welcome to the Top 400 Starting Pitchers For 2024 Fantasy Baseball. This is an update to my Top 200 Starting Pitchers For 2024 from October last year.

After shoving all my strategies and write-ups of all 400 players + something close to 300 videos into one article, I quickly found out it crashed phones and browsers, and I felt like an idiot. I’m so sorry everyone, I really should have just done these individually spliced articles first.

Here’s what we’ve done:

  • All ranks are now spliced into groups of 20, 25, and 50
  • Rankings Philosophy article to read separately
  • Left the main up for those who can handle it

Please read the Rankings Philosophy article before reading the rankings. I cannot express enough how it outlines my thoughts on drafting in 12-teamers and why I have ranked these players as I have.

Thanks for your passion and enthusiasm for this article – it pushes me more every year, and I already have new ideas for next year to make this easier a better presentation for all of you.




Tier 15 – Grab Bag Of Intrigue (Cont’d)

I can see all of these starters returning value in some way in 2024, though most of them are headaches where you can’t tell if it’s working out, or they have too many questions to answer that make it a low chance to come through to justify a draft pick.


126. Frankie Montas (CIN, RHP)

2022 Stats Table
2022 Pitch Repertoire Table


The Reds added Montas in a surprise signing, suggesting they may move into a six-man rotation for the spring – it makes sense given the massive injury history across the staff, the limited workload of Martinez as a starter, and Abbott’s youth – or Montas may not even be fully healthy himself given his long recovery from his shoulder injury and the fact he was sitting 2-3 ticks down in his brief appearance at the end of 2023.

But let’s say Montas looks like his 2021/2022 self in the spring. Who is that guy and what does he bring to the table? Right-handers saw sinkers inside, four-seamers saved for two-strike counts (down-and-away with a near 17% SwStr rate, oddly enough), sliders that don’t bite like the slider you want it to be, and Gotcha! splitters that missed plenty of bats when executed well in two-strike counts. Even during the down year of 2022, Montas still kept right-handers in check with this approach, with that sinker doing so much work earning outs with a 70% groundball rate as it sat inside and off the plate.

Left-handers are the problem and will likely be so again for another season. His sinker is used too often away – y’all know I hate away sinkers to opposite-handed batters – and it returned a 45% ICR, while his splitter’s usage ramped up to 33% (standard affair for opposite-handed batters) but returned a sub 60% strike rate in the process, while dropping from a glorious 26%+ SwStr in 2021 to sub 20% in 2022. He’ll have to retain that splitter and hopefully find the precision of his four-seamer to go up-and-in to keep batters off that sinker.

The Yankees introduced him a cutter in hopes of keeping LHBs at bay, but Montas failed to locate the pitch consistently, while his slider tried to be a back-door offering for called strikes. It never locked in and it’s hard not to have doubts that Montas will struggle in this department once again.

If we see Montas smoking 95/96 mph heaters with ease in the spring, there’s hope he can be a massive value in drafts as many are quick to label him as a boulder tumbling down the peak. Montas is at his best when he pairs these heaters with a consistent splitter and a slider that finds the zone often enough, which can come in waves as well. It’s unlikely Montas finds a rhythm for the full year, though there could be pockets of gold along the way, with 6+ starts and solid ratios. Don’t overlook it just because injuries have tormented him.


127. Sean Manaea (NYM, LHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Manaea is a weird one. He went to Driveline the previous off-season and found himself with a major velocity spike to 93/94 mph (even hit 97!) after years of struggling to keep his head above 90 mph. However, he struggled in the rotation early for the Giants and was banished to the pen until September, when he was brilliant. His four-seamer had a 17% SwStr rate out of nowhere across 24 frames of 2.25 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP with a…oh. 19% strikeout rate. At least that four-seamer held a 14% SwStr rate with a 70% strike rate over the full year against RHBs, though its 44% ICR leaves a lot to be desired. It needs to be more than it currently is and that’s a big ask.

His slider and changeup still need work, as well, with the slider failing to dominate LHBs as you’d want it to and the changeup held a sub 10% SwStr rate against RHBs. It’s a product of Manaea’s wonky overall command like your standard slinging southpaw. Some may be hyped that the Mets are giving him a proper shot in the rotation, though it’ll likely come with a small dip from his peak velocity while it’s asking too much for the secondaries to take a step forward without anything else regressing. He has HIPSTER written all over him and that’s the best-case scenario.


128. Jack Flaherty (DET, RHP)

2023 Stats

Pitcher Repertoire Table


I ask you a question. What is Flaherty’s best pitch? It’s obviously his slider. I think so too, and yet, it’s had just one season of his four where it carried an ICR below 40%, and even that was a pedestrian 37% clip. Its SwStr rate fell to just 13% last season and the rest of the repertoire needs work. Flaherty’s four-seamer has cut-action and little iVB, which means its flat VAA has to do too much heavy lifting, and may work better to jam left-handers while staying low and away to right-handers in hopes to freeze them when looking for the slider. Honestly, it’s hard to find the path for Flaherty that isn’t “throw a better slider, find a better third pitch than your curve, and try to sneak in more four-seamers for strikes and out of the heart of the plate.” That just sounds like general advice and something he’s tried to do for years. Sure does. Uh oh.

I’m not sure what role he plays. The signing implies that the Tigers will give him a chance, putting him over Mize or Olson in the rotation, allowing the Tigers to get the most of their money before pushing arms they still have options on. Get ready to be upset.


129. Michael Soroka (CHW, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


I don’t really know what to say about Soroka. We’ve barely seen him since his 170+ IP 2019 season, dealing with injury after injury, then just 32.1 IP last year that were all kinds of weird. He suddenly earned four-seamer whiffs with 60% hiLoc despite terrible shape on the pitch across the board. He’s still jamming RHBs with sinkers as well, with a decent slider away, and a changeup that should perform better over a larger sample against LHBs.

The big pro here is the situation: Soroka is going to get all the opportunities to eat innings for the White Sox, finally getting the canvas he’s been seeking for the last four years. I loved him back in the day as a young arm in a great situation and absurd command for someone his age, suggesting he’d develop better than your typical rookie. However, now that he turns 27 in August, time is running out and the skills aren’t there yet. He’s an arm to be aware of for 12-teamers as a possible early pick-up if he’s hitting the edges effectively and working more than a two-pitch mix for each side of the plate (changeups vs. LHB, sliders vs. RHB). 15-teamers, I’d consider Soroka as a dart throw near the end as someone who could surprise us with decent ratios and a 20%+ strikeout rate. The White Sox will win some games, right?


130. José Urquidy (HOU, RHP)

Urquidy is the only arm truly on the fringe (I apologize, but I refuse to write about Brandon Bielak) with Garcia and McCullers both resting on the sidelines and Shawn Dubin waiting in the minors (he may see some frames here and there but I wouldn’t anticipate as a proper starting option with his high walk rate). As for Urquidy, his four-seamer used to be a solid offering, earning flyballs galore and avoiding massive punishment, but it returned a horrific 51% ICR vs RHB last year. It’s a product of two problems: Urquidy’s struggles to earn strikes with his slider against RHBs, which allowed batters to sit heater constantly + his massively increased hiLoc% from near 50% to well over 60%. But wait, he has 19 iVB on his four-seamer! That’s BONKERS! It does and is the catalyst for his high flyball rates, but even with the elite iVB, his ghastly VAA and extension mixed with low-90s velocity degrade its potential. I’d actually suggest Uruqidy go the Zac Gallen route of low four-seamers, stealing called strikes low in the zone and setting up the changeup, as the heater is too hittable upstairs even with the vertical movement. It makes me wonder if we can throw away the poor 2023 campaign and specifically look for his slider to find the glove-side edge more often in concert with low heaters to make it all come together again for a solid year. Keep an eye on this.


131. Yariel Rodriguez (TOR, RHP)

Instead of reading my blurb on Yariel, you should read this fantastic debut piece from Shawn Spralding, outlining Yariel’s journey. He’s mostly a mid-to-upper 90s four-seamer arm with a legit sweeper, though there is a curve and change in the mix as well that suggests Yariel could be the sixth option for the Jays this season as he’ll likely work in the long relief role initially. That said, with the haze around Alek Manoah and Ricky Tiedemann coming out of camp, Yariel is a dark horse candidate to steal the SP #5 role if he looks ready to limit walks as a rotation piece instead of returning to the power reliever he became prior to the WBC. Pay attention to Yariel in March.


132. Garrett Crochet (CHW, LHP)

There’s some hype around Crochet getting an audition for a rotation spot in the spring and I’m waiting to see more from Crochet. Back in 2021, before he got TJS, Crochet’s four-seamer had some promise, featuring elite extension and 97 mph paired with a high 16.8 iVB…but its low VAA and poor locations made it return a sub 10% Swstr against RHBs. That pitch was worse in the brief 13 IP sample was saw of him, featuring 14 iVB with the same extension, VAA, and velocity. Considering the pitch was already missing polish, I’m concerned it will hold back Crochet across starts frequently. The allure is in his filthy slider, which should still miss plenty of bats, but without another secondary pitch to support the four-seamer (he has expressed zero command of his changeup thus far), it’s easy to classify Crochet as a Huascar Rule and move on. All of that said, we may see Crochet in the minors to start the year as he stretches out as a starter, and we could have the luxury of getting a look at his fastball and #3 pitch development before making a decision.


133. JP Sears (OAK, LHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


A PLV darling who Kyle Bland calls “the lefty Paul Sewald“, Sears receives a favorable grade on his four-seamer due to a super-flat arm angle, and the pitch explodes at the top of the zone. The thing is, Sears is still working on locating that four-seamer consistently upstairs, with just a 50th percentile high-location (hiLoc%) in 2023. We’ve seen games where the pitch earns double-digit whiffs when he can pound the top of the zone with the offering. His mechanics are far more centered than other southpaw slingers, suggesting more growth for consistency than the typical “just locate it better!” young arms.

He backs it up with a poor changeup that doesn’t get enough drop and finds too much of the zone to be reliable, though if its zone rate drops below 35% (maybe even 30%?), it could turn into a putaway offering or a nullifier against right-handers who are aggressively trying to get out in front of his four-seamer. The true #2 is a big sweeping slider with a movement ranging from cut action to massive back-foot Sale-esque break. There’s high whiff potential here as well, making the heater/slider combo a very legit one given more time on the bump. There are worse dart throws for 2024, especially with Sears comfortably locked into the rotation for an entire season in a low-pressure environment. The Wins are unlikely to pile on, though you should expect at least five, with an outside chance at 10 if he can string enough six-inning starts together (the Athletics are not going to get shut out every game, y’all). Consider him more for 15-teamers instead of 12-teamers given the volatility here.


134. Brady Singer (KCR, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


I’m not a believer in Singer and honestly, I’m flabbergasted by his approach. He’s a sinker/slider guy nearly exclusively, relying on sinker called strikes glove-side (to both RHB and LHB) while he does a fantastic job of keeping his slider down consistently, mostly glove-side. What does he throw arm-side? Nothing. What. Okay fine, a changeup 13% of the time to LHB, but it has a 48% ICR and 45% strike rate. Wait, so a higher ICR than strike rate… THAT CAN HAPPEN?! I didn’t know either.

Singer does a solid job against right-handers given how good his slider command is. If you can consistently spot that thing out of the zone and right on the corner away, you’re going to make your fastball better as batters are so conscious of that slider. Both pitches return well under a 40% ICR there, even without his sinker jamming batters. It’s kinda weird that more right-handers don’t lean out and focus intently on taking away the outside corner, but hey, it works.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I went into this expecting two things: Singer’s two-seamer to have elite arm-side movement and his slider to be elite either in glove-side or vertical movement. IT IS NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Honestly, I actually wonder if Singer should be focusing on a four-seamer instead of a sinker. He carries a great VAA and elite extension, while the lack of horizontal run on the sinker and higher-than-average iVB on the sinker makes me wonder what his four-seamer shape could be (he didn’t throw a single one last year and the few in 2022 may be misclassified).

I don’t expect that to happen, which means it’s gonna be more sinker/slider for another year, with little promise of that changeup becoming anything legitimate. Start him against right-handed lineups, sit against quality lefties. It’s that easy.


135. Ryne Nelson (ARI, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


As little excitement as I had for Nelson during the second half of 2023, I can see how he could easily flip the script in 2024. Despite the sub 10% SwStr numbers, his four-seamer carries excellent vertical break at 94/95 mph, which could outline dominance if he’s able to raise its 37th percentile high locations – get that pitch upstairs (maybe with a tick of more velocity?) and suddenly he’s bullying batters left and right. His slider also speaks to far more success if he brings it out of the 12% usage dungeon, which we did see across three of his September outings with 20%+ usage. The breaker’s elite 24% ICR, solid PLV, and 60% strike rate speak to being the proper #2 Nelson needs moreso than the cutter and changeup. I do worry a little about his command, though more time on the hill making small tweaks with the timing of his front shoulder could smooth things out quickly. With the Diamondbacks likely needing Nelson every five days out of the gate, I’d pay attention to his development. He’s not a lost cause as we see with many other young arms after a season or two.


136. Tyler Wells (BAL, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Technically, I should have Wells in the next tier as the Orioles could continue to keep him in his September bullpen role for the year ahead, especially with three (if not four including Kremer) arms with inside tracks to a starting spot + the high chance of the Orioles adding one more arm across the winter. BUT HE SHOULD START. The fella was fantastic through the first four months of the season with a 3.18 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 25% strikeout rate through his first 104.2 IP until fatigue set in, affecting his mechanics and it led to an option to Triple-A until he returned in a relief role.

The stuff is good but not the catalyst for his success. Wells’ pitch separation is key with a four-seamer he elevates more than most and carries exceptional rise, paired with a filthy changeup armside, a cutter to backdoor left-handers and steal strikes away against right-handers, and a slider + curve to steal strikes down-and-gloveside. Wells is able to move around the zone well, though mistakes with the 92 mph heater in the zone can burn him, as well as the cutter that floats into barrels and changeups that don’t get low enough. Still, we saw what he can do when he’s in rhythm – it was deserved success, for the most part – and I truly hope he demands Baltimore to give him another shot as a starter. He fits there far better than in relief with his wide arsenal.


137. Chris Paddack (MIN, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Think back to 2019. What was Paddack’s best attribute? His fastball. Great answer. Some may say it was his Vulcan changeup (read: split-change), but it all went through the heater. And hey! He returned from TJS and was throwing 95/96 mph out of the pen! THE SHERIFF IS BACK IN TOWN. Spoiler alert: He’s not.

Sadly, PLV had that heater last year at an abysmal 4.44 PLV, a product of the pitch’s mediocre pitch shape. Wait, I thought it was elite! Sadly, it’s not. Paddack features solid extension, but its iVB and VAA do it few favors and let’s be honest, Paddack isn’t going to be firing 95/96 mph bullets after moving from the bullpen to the rotation.

At least he still has a good changeup, though we still don’t like the breaker and I’ve lost the energy to go more into detail. I sincerely hope the Twins give Varland the chance before Paddack to start, as Paddack seems best suited for the pen with his lack of arsenal depth and pedestrian four-seamer. This ain’t it.


138. Graham Ashcraft (CIN, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Oh Ashcraft, the perfect example of a PEASHis slider grades so dang well as the pitch can come in at 91 mph with above-average drop and sweep, making it a premier breaker when he’s able to spot it properly. What about the rest of his repertoire? He throws a 96 mph cutter! Yeah, it’s really a four-seamer with a lot of cut and he doesn’t know how to wield it. If Ashcraft could get the pitch gloveside to left-handers or back-door it low, merged with down-and-gloveside against right-handers, he’d be filthy.

But he can’t. Ashcraft has these moments of bliss where the cutter isn’t elevated (please, stop trying to make that a thing. It’s a gift for batters as it falls into the barrel) and he pairs it with the vicious slider. There’s also a sinker that has little to no horizontal movement, turning into a dead-zone heater that grades as one of the worst pitches in the majors despite the 96/97 mph velocity. Oh about that. Ashcraft’s poor extension takes off about two ticks (give or take) off his pitches, making said sinker the meatiest of meatballs when it isn’t perfectly spotted just off the edge.

In short, if Ashcraft can actually stay low, he’ll be a groundball fiend in the exact park you should be a groundball fiend, with potential for strikeouts with that amazing slider. But that’s a massive IF as command has never been a skill of his – even when he was performing well last season (and let’s not talk about when he wasn’t performing well…that was the roughest May I’ve ever seen). This is too much of an ask, but if you want to take a shot and watch his first game, go right ahead. There’s always a chance.


139. Ryan Weathers (MIA, LHP)

You know, there’s some intrigue here. Back on the Padres in the spring, his iVB (induced vertical break) numbers were stellar, before they declined rapidly through April. Coming to the Marlins, he posted a phenomenal final outing of the year against the Pirates where he was able to pound the zone with 94/95 mph heaters (he hit 96.7!), earned plenty of whiffs on a slower breaker, and displayed a solid changeup. We often ask “How do we find the next [2023 stud] in 2024?” and Weathers is a perfect example of needing to grow just a bit here and there to become something legitimate. It’s a huge ask, but it’s possible if he works across the off-season to add a tick of velo with a focus on limiting his arm-side run and more iVB on the heater. His new slider works, while the changeup’s velocity gap in concert with a similar look to the fastball makes it outperform its PLV. Pay attention in the spring to see if Weather’s fastball took a step forward or not.


140. Wade Miley (MIL, LHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


I have to hand it to Miley. The approach works and I think because he’s not going to strike out 20% of batters, he gets overlooked a bit. There’s a reason he’s held a sub 4.00 ERA in all but one of his last six seasons (14.1 IP of 2020 is the only exception) and his WHIP fell to a fantastic 1.14 mark last season…with a glorious .236 BABIP that should rise, though his 34% overall ICR was 95th percentile in the majors.

He does it with fantastic command. His cutter busts right-handers inside and surprises back-door while against left-handers, he lands it comfortably in the zone; he saves four-seamers to shock right-handers inside and left-handers down-and-away; his slider takes down left-handers; his changeup earns all the outs down-and-gloveside to right-handers…it’s all there for the crafty left-hander, save for the big hook that only shows up a handful of times. There is one major downside, however: his pitch counts. The Brewers limited him to just 81 pitches per game in 2023, forcing him to go just over five innings per start. It’s frustrating for those in QS leagues, while it also limits his Win potential. Consider Miley as a deep 15-team add to help with ratios and hope he sees the sixth inning more often this year. For 12-teamers, he’s just a streaming option and nothing more.


Tier 16 – Volume is Volume

Oh look, you have a job and you can actually give me some value sometimes. Also, if you haven’t already, it’s wise to start ignoring that actual ranks now. I’m going through and grouping mostly and if you disagree with a grouping, let alone a few numer ranks, I get it. It gets much harder to properly rank when the expectations for everyone are so low.


141. José Quintana (NYM, LHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Quintana is a command-focused arm, who made a few changes in 2023 as batters adjusted to his 2022 approach. After using four-seamers upstairs to both LHBs and RHBs, Quintana was forced to put the heater back in the zone against LHBs, while his four-seamer was suddenly destroyed by RHBs as it lost a tick of velocity, jumping from a sub 40% ICR to north of 50%. Rough times.

It forced him to incorporate more changeups against right-handers at the cost of a few extra walks, while the curve against left-handers also took a step back, with a dramatic plummet of its SwStr from 24% to just 11%. Fortunately, the sinker stepped up to take more of the burden of outs, though it cut into his strikeout rate.

It’s possible Quintana finds that hook again and can regain some velocity, but as a 35-year-old, it’s a tall order to get extra hop on your four-seamer. This is likely going to get worse before it gets better, making his 3.57 ERA look like an idealistic goal rather than a reasonable task. Those viewing Quintana as a conservative arm in 12-teamers will likely be disappointed, especially when they’ll be able to snipe him off the wire for a weak opponent or two during the summer months.


142. Zack Littell (TBR, RHP)

At the moment, Littell has a fair shot at the Rays’ rotation, though he’s at most a desperate streaming option for a Win chance and not in consideration for 12-teamers and questionable for deeper formats. Littell leaned into his slider as a starter, featuring it 40% of the time despite not boasting elite marks (10% SwStr rate?!). He pairs it with a decent heater that he elevates well and an occasional splitter that held just a 42nd percentile SwStr rate and…that’s it. There are days he can go BSB with the heater and slider and go six frames of decency, though I have to imagine there’s more to chase here.


143. Cody Bradford (TEX, LHP)

He was given some opportunities when the Rangers badly needed it in 2023 and you can feel their heavy sighs months away when they inevitably give him the pearl in the first inning when there’s no one else to turn to. He features excellent extension and excellent iVB on his heater, but its 90 mph velocity and horrible VAA weigh down its ascension, making the pitch Bradford’s foundation, but requiring help from his secondaries to soar. If his changeup took a step forward to silence right-handers, the four-seamer can do the work almost all on its own against lefties (no, not the slider. Definitely not the slider). That’s an easier path toward success than I expected, but there’s also a solid chance his sub 30% ICR on four-seamers vs. LHB goes north in the year ahead.


144. Dean Kremer (BAL, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Kremer is a slinger from the right side. It makes his four-seamer earn a fair number of whiffs when elevated with two strikes (near 14% SwStr last year!), though getting there and executing it properly is the issue. His sinker isn’t used to jam batters but to live down-and-low while his money maker is a cutter that he hopes to sneak around the zone. When that cutter is nailing the zone, it opens up the changeup late with the aforementioned high heater, and when he’s lucky, the big breaker can be a factor as well.

If this approach seems ehhhhh to you, it’s because it is. There are times when it all clicks and the solid Orioles team backs him up, though it can be frustrating to watch him open his shoulder too soon, resulting in missed locations on nearly every other pitch. The cutter is the closest he has to a “back-pocket” offering when he’s backed into a corner, but it’s not the elite weapon others have to preserve ratios and save the day. He’s a decent two-step option against poor teams when he starts as the Orioles will let him go 90+ pitches, and he offers some whiffability, though the volatility is destined to frustrate many.


145. Dane Dunning (TEX, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


I understand how he works as a TobyDunning’s sinker was shockingly good against right-handers (sub 30% ICR!) despite a stupid low O-Swing%. The slider was an effective pitch, even if it was hung more often than usual for more damage than we should expect in 2024. The grounders overall went down, but the Texas defense did him favors, keeping a decent BABIP that gave him a chance to go 5+ as a starter on any given night, even soaring to seven frames and 12 strikeouts when the stars aligned.

He made a smart change against left-handers, too. Instead of continuing to feature sinkers and sliders that were incessantly pummeled, Dunning leaned more on inside cutters and away changeups. They aren’t elite offerings, but he upped their usage to over 50% thrown and performed significantly better than the former pairing.

What I see is an arm with just one solid whiff pitch – a slider to right-handers – and a trio of offerings to hopefully earn outs along the way. That makes for a Toby at best, with a lower floor than others as that sinker is unlikely to maintain its success for another season if it continues its same locations. Dunning is your quintessential streaming option.


146. Kyle Hendricks (CHC, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Y’all are gonna laugh. Hendricks is Justin Steele with fewer whiffs and strikeouts. That’s ridiculous. Well…a bit. Yes. They are both fastball + major secondary with their heaters getting destroyed by left-handers, but holding court easily against right-handers. Hendricks plays the game of tempting fate with his four-seamer against left-handers, boasting a massive 32% called strike rate on the pitch, but when batters were able to connect, it’s 55% ICR land.

However, the changeup is the great nullifier and its absurdly low 23% ICR with 45% usage keeps his head afloat. I actually wonder if he can throw it more against left-handers given how much struggle batters have with it.

The Cubs defense will still help Hendricks and while the strikeout rate won’t jump to 20%+ in all likelihood, there is a streamer here if he’s facing a lineup devoid of powerful lefties. I wonder if there’s a small shift of fastball approach that can help The Professor as well – his command is excellent…right? Then why not up-and-in fastballs with surprise down-and-away heaters to set up the changeup? That’s a legitimate question and I’m leaning towards believing that Hendricks doesn’t have this skill. After all, it’s the #1 skill in the game and very few showcase it. Don’t bank on it.


147. Ranger Suárez (PHI, LHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Suárez is pretty simple. LHBs get shoved sinker after sinker inside, with cutters and curves as the rare mix-up and it works. No notes, Suárez’s command is above average and things are cool there, even if strikeouts don’t pile up and it relies on weak contact in play.

Each start comes with a struggle against RHBs, though. He can get into grooves where he can spot his changeup, curve, and cutter around the zone, but most importantly, nail his four-seamer up-and-in. However, this past year, it was a bit tougher to land the pitch, including a greater emphasis down and away, which didn’t work in his favor. The pitch’s lack of effectiveness could also have been a product of his curve’s dramatic decline in strike rate, while his changeup still can’t find a strike rate above 55%. At least he has his cutter to steal effective strikes constantly, keeping him afloat.

It makes Suárez a streaming option as you can’t trust the walk rate to improve from 9%, while the hit rate will still be high as long as he has trouble deconstructing right-handers. We’ve seen runs where Suárez can find everything and become a reliable Win producer, though his ceiling comes in pockets and shouldn’t be trusted out of the gate. There just isn’t anything exciting in the arsenal to pull you in early.


148. Taijuan Walker (PHI, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


Walker was a different pitcher in 2023 and despite the changes, he’s still in a place of concern. His splitter has carried him plenty in the past but struggled massively this year, with significant dips in both strike and SwStr rate. His fastballs are still highly suspect, with less O-Swing to RHBs on his sinker and LHBs absolutely crushing the sinkers they saw for a laughable 70% ICR. Pulling back on the four-seamer for more sinkers against RHBs was a wise choice, though a minor move in the long run.

A transition from a mid-80s slider to an upper-80s cutter added a few more strikes, but did little to push the needle as Walker lacks a major whiff pitch to lean on. I wish I could point to a specific offering and say, “That pitch gets me excited,” and instead, I’m left trying to justify a stream in hopes his splitter and sinker do enough work to let him go six frames and steal a Win.

If the splitter is cooking, Walker could be a decent volume guy in 15-teamers, especially after he flexed fifteen Wins in 2023. His general ability to keep home runs to a minimum gives him a chance on any given night, though those in 12-teamers should be striving for more in their fantasy lives.


149. Bryce Elder (ATL, RHP)

2023 Stats Table
Pitch Repertoire Table


I’ll make this quick. Elder was a Vargas Rule for the first half of 2023 as he was able to locate his sinker and slider on opposite sides of the plate effectively. Oh, so he has an extreme arm-side breaking sinker? You’d think so, wouldn’t you? It’s more average than you’d think and his slider has almost reverse-cut action at times. It’s awfully strange, but its drop is fantastic and was a major part of his success early in the season.

However, the Rule is rarely an exception, with Elder becoming a streamer against the weak squads (see: Pirates in the GIF above) and vacationing on the waiver wire in between. It’s possible he gets ousted early in the year if at least one of the Fringe arms massively impresses in the spring (or a signing appears) and fantasy managers expecting to get solid volume may want to reconsider. That 8.2 hit-per-nine from last season is sure to increase, possibly with his walks, turning him into a 1.40+ WHIP arm in a flash, while the strikeouts are likely to flirt with 20%. We’ll always have that 12-win season…


150. Mike Clevinger (FA, RHP)

I can understand why teams haven’t signed Clevinger yet and I’m personally electing to not roster him on any of my teams. Clevinger has a solid changeup and slider, with his four-seamer failing to take down LHB, but was highly successful at limiting damage against RHB, despite boasting just a 7% SwStr on the pitch. There’s a cutter in the mix that acts more like a slider than a proper cutter (and his slider more like a curveball…), explaining why it’s more of a RHB weapon than for jamming LHB. In the end, I don’t see him taking major strides improving on his 20% strikeout rate as the four-seamer is destined to degrade.

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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