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 25 – Wait, How Many Prospects Are On Here (Cont’d)
Prospect people, I know I’m likely ranking a few prospects here terribly (okay find, I’m sure it’s MANY), but with the limited intel out there and lack of Statcast data outside Triple-A, this is what I’ve got. Remember, this is for 2024 only, so guys like Susana and Lesko who are a massive longshot to see the MLB before 2025 are down here.
301. Bryan Mata (BOS, RHP)
Bryan Mata looking nice in his spring debut pic.twitter.com/QKYY4UZIGg
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) February 26, 2023
He’s a sinkerballer who was able to put up a solid 30% strikeout rate in 80+ frames in Triple-A across 2022, though his injuries limited him to just 27 IP last year, while his control went out the window with a 20%+ walk rate that was higher than his strikeout rate. It’ll be easy to wave those aside if he finds a groove in Triple-A early with his sinker and solid breaker, though I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
302. Sean Burke (CWS, RHP)
— Ian Eskridge (@dailywhitesox) September 23, 2022
He was going to be the option last year for the ChiSox until shoulder soreness slowed him down as he pitched in just nine games in Triple-A last year. His heater comes with excellent extension and iVB, but the low 90s velocity and poor VAA hurt him. The change and curve are the two focuses, but I worry they lack the spark to make Burke worthwhile in the majors, at the very least for fantasy relevancy.
303. Dominic Hamel (NYM, RHP)
Dom Hamel had a massive outing last night to send Double-A Binghamton to the EL Championship.
7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Combining with his regular season outings, his September:
21.2 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 7 BB, 32 K. Another improved pitcher in Mets system pic.twitter.com/RRMukhgbYh
— Joe DeMayo (@PSLToFlushing) September 22, 2023
I wonder if his four-seamer has the pitch shape we want to counteract its low-90s velocity. He has a variety of options in his arsenal, including two solid breakers, and if that four-seamer does play up, that makes for a surprisingly valuable arm when he does make his debut – he’s boasted 13%+ SwStr rates and a 30%+ strikeout rate in both A+ and AA. I don’t expect the Mets to turn to Hamel early in 2024 though.
304. Jackson Wolf (PIT, LHP)
Acquired from the Padres over the summer, Wolf is a big southpaw with a fastball struggling to hit 90 mph. The horizontal breaker and changeup make pre-velocity jump Sean Manaea the closest comp, though Wolf’s heater doesn’t jump on batters in the same way as that of the Baby Giraffe. The Pirates may turn to him for a few starts given their depleted rotation and I would avoid Wolf when he gets a start.
305. Angel Bastardo (BOS, RHP)
Pretty insane night for Angel Bastardo with Greenville — 24 swing and misses in only 83 pitches. pic.twitter.com/P7qewEEYpX
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) April 22, 2023
He sits mid-90s without an overpowering heater, but his secondaries are where he thrives with a solid changeup from the right side. There’s still polish to be found as he gets more frames in Double-A this year (just three games after being promoted in 2023), hopefully bringing his walk rates under 10% and replicating the 16/17% SwStr rates of A+ ball – a possible hurdle given the excellence of his secondaries that may not have the same effect against more disciplined hitters. I wouldn’t expect Bastardo to make a massive leap into the majors this year, though if he soars and gets pushed to Triple-A, there’s a chance he makes an appearance late in the second half.
306. Yu-Min Lin (ARI, LHP)
Yu-Min Lin was on point all night long.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 9, 2022
Lin should enter the year in Triple-A featuring a secondary-focused approach with his fastball sitting in the low 90s. The hope here is a decent Toby if he were to start regularly, which may play well in front of the stellar Diamondbacks’ defense. There’s a chance it evolves into Holly territory if the secondaries hold their dominance from Double-A, which propelled a 28% strikeout rate in over 120 frames. Both breakers show promise while the southpaw’s changeup is sure to ruin the days of many right-handers.
307. Julian Aguiar (CIN, RHP)
Had a chance to go back and watch some of Julian Aguiar’s last start in Dayton and his first inning was as impressive as it gets.
— OnBaseMachine (@RedsFan_Brandon) July 13, 2023
This great article on Aguiar gives a good look at him from 2022, which showcases his lower arm angle at low-to-mid 90s that allows his four-seamer to play up better than expected. The breakers look sharp and his changeup has legit fade to miss bats. I’m not sure if he’s profiling out to be an explosive arm that demands attention when he arrives, but if he can find 97 mph consistently (he was able to hit it at times), there could be something legit here with more command polish than traditional prospect arms.
308. Justin Armbruester (BAL, RHP)
5 IP | 2 H | 1 R | 3 BB | 4 K
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 1, 2023
His four-seamer has absurd vertical break, flirting with 19 inches of it, though it comes in at just 92 mph. Decent extension and VAA don’t harm it, though I wonder if the iVB is enough to force domination upstairs when none of the other aspects (velo, extension, VAA) amplify it. The one element not touched upon here is location, which is still a work in progress for Armbruester. His heater isn’t as precise as other prospect arms, while the slider, cutter, and curve have moments but aren’t as reliable as other starters. I’m curious how he’ll develop in Triple-A across 2024, though I’d be cautious to grab him if he gets a shot this year.
309. Freddy Tarnok (OAK, RHP)
To some scouts, Tarnok (along with Salinas) was the prize of the Sean Murphy deal. His four-seamer earns a TON of iVB, but sadly his high arm release hurts the pitch, creating a poor VAA, while his low extension and 95 mph velocity hold back the pitch. Meanwhile, there’s more work to be done with locating his slider and changeup down to create a proper BSB approach. That said, if Tarnok can find the right rhythm and locate appropriately, he could turn into a proper MLB starter…assuming he’s fully recovered from the shoulder strain that ended his 2023 season.
310. Jarlin Susana (WAS, RHP)
Jarlin Susana ends his clean first innings with a K… 103 MPH. pic.twitter.com/6oqF552Khb
— Nationals Source (@NationalsSource) August 24, 2022
He’s the pitching gem of the Nationals’ farm system. Acquired in the Soto deal, Susana hurls upper-90s fastballs with a devastating low-90s slider and is working on polishing a full arsenal. He’s still incredibly young at just 19 years old and likely another full season (at least) away from the majors, though I won’t rule out a rapid ascension given the dearth of options in the Nationals’ system.
311. Dylan Lesko (SDP, RHP)
Rather watch Dylan Lesko pitch in some random minor league game than the Super Bowl tbh pic.twitter.com/rprP8ynQo1
— Giannis Auntiegotapoodle (@TooMuchMortons_) January 29, 2024
I initially didn’t include Lesko in the Padres breakdown since he’s only tossed three games in A+ ball, but who knows, he could fly up the system this year given his fantastic curve and changeup, even if he hasn’t looked quite as polished since returning from TJS. It’s a lovely delivery with mid-90s heat and that leggggit slowball and merged with a Padres crew with massive holes in their rotation, Lesko could get a shot despite many others getting a first crack in the majors. At the very least, I wouldn’t be surprised to Lesko in 2025.
312. Cole Henry (WAS, RHP)
Report from Prospects Live is a ~94 mph heater with potential to grow into a strong spin four-seamer that can be commanded with a massive hook. Given his young age, this could be interesting if Henry develops a proper third offering, possibly turning him into an Aaron Nola comp with his heater and curve action.
313. Cade Cavalli (WAS, RHP)
Cade Cavalli (Nationals #1 prospect / MLB #99 per @MLBPipeline)
89.3 mph changeup
89.5 mph changeup
98.3 mph fastball
3 straight whiffs for the K 🔥 pic.twitter.com/YvgcL8qbM2
— David Adler (@_dadler) March 4, 2021
We saw him briefly in 2022 and he had TJS right before the start of the 2023 season. The velocity was above 95 mph (at times 97/98), though the heater’s shape did not make for an exciting arm. While his four-seamer improves across re-learning his mechanics, there’s a chance his big hook is a reliable #2 + he finds the nasty changeup that he flashed at times, though I wouldn’t hold my breath.
314. Chase Dollander (COL, RHP)
he ended up getting the loss but Tennessee RHP Chase Dollander looked spectacular yesterday vs. a strong South Carolina lineup. 13 K & 0 BB over 5.1 IP
he may be clearly behind Paul Skenes now but I'd still be excited to take him in the 6-12 range. the FB is special when it's on pic.twitter.com/h3tFoRPwBf
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) May 21, 2023
A major pick for the Rockies from Tennessee, Dollander was shut down in 2023 by the Rockies as they took things slow for the college star. He had a mid-90s fastball that overwhelmed batters with a fantastic slider, flashing plus with both his curve and changeup as well. The right-hander could quickly jump up the ranks in 2024, likely starting in Double-A and possibly joining the team by the final weeks if he cruises through the ranks. The Coors risk is too much to consider + we haven’t seen him pitch in professional ball yet.
315. Caleb Kilian (CHC, RHP)
Caleb Kilian retired all six batters he faced today 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DkqltAPljv
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) February 27, 2023
Sadly, I’m not interested in Caleb and I don’t think we’re going to see him get another major shot inside the rotation – there are too many better options to consider. Caleb doesn’t have an overpowering four-seamer, which means he needs to adapt in other ways: sinkers aplenty, low four-seamers for called strikes, or learning a cutter instead. Unlikely, of course. His most reliable breaker is a knuckle-curve, which is a solid pitch, but far from what he needs to make him a legit starter.
316. Adam Mazur (WAS, RHP)
Adam Mazur 6 IP, 2 ER pic.twitter.com/aPGaFNVU15
— Giannis Auntiegotapoodle (@TooMuchMortons_) September 1, 2023
Mazur sat low-to-mid 90s on the heater in Double-A and with his over-the-top delivery, he’s able to get plenty of depth on his slider and curve to land his breakers in the zone and get whiffs on pitches in the dirt. With his skinny frame, Mazur could regain some of his lost velocity from 2022 if he fills out more, helping him maintain his low 5% walk rate as he works to fine-tune his pitches around the edges more often than simply “getting it over the plate.” He should turn a few heads when he gets the call and I’m curious whether his four-seamer plays well in the majors given what seems to be a higher release point than ideal.
317. Blade Tidwell (NYM, RHP)
Blake Tidwell tonight (5/4):
5.1IP 2H 3ER 3BB 10K
Generated 11 swing&misses over 82 pitches
— Prospect Tilt (@Prospect_Tilt) May 5, 2023
He throws hard with a 95+ mph heater and pairs it with a filthy two-plane slider that instantly makes him a considerable arm for fantasy when he gets the call. The problem? High walk rates above 10% and lack of third pitch. He had just 34 frames in Double-A last season and hopefully he makes the jump to Triple-A with more steps forward to becoming a promising young arm.
318. Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN, RHP)
Simeon Woods Richardson, 3 consecutive Ks with 2 Bend the Knees. pic.twitter.com/KQAcQFxSKa
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 22, 2023
He doesn’t have the velocity of 2021, now settling in the low-90s, and what I saw of him in the majors doesn’t speak to the fantasy upside you’re looking for from a prospect. Richardson boasts solid command for a young arm, but when the best-case scenario is a Toby while you’re enduring the Shag Rug, you have to ask yourself why you’d take a shot at this. The Win and K ceilings are too low.
319. Clayton Beeter (NYY, RHP)
Clayton Beeter had one of the best starts of his career tonight in Hartford. Went 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 11 K – 99 pitches, 61 strikes, 17 whiffs. I saw Beeter a few weeks ago and the combo of mid-90s FF & tight mid-80s slider keeps hitters off balance #RepBX pic.twitter.com/q4Imz4EBmR
— Geoff Pontes (@GeoffPontesBA) June 7, 2023
Beeter was added to the 40-man and may get a few chances to start this year for the Yankees. The control is a major concern with 75 walks in 130 frames across Double-A and Triple-A last season, while his slider is the major force in his arsenal. Sadly, his 93/94 mph heater comes with horrible extension that makes him a major risk in the majors. There’s decent iVB on it given how much he gets on top of the ball, but sadly that lowers his VAA to mediocre levels, and it’s a pitch that will get him into trouble. I wouldn’t consider Beeter for fantasy squads as he seems prime for inefficiency and plenty of long balls along with maybe a strikeout per inning. It’s not worth it.
320. Sem Robberse (STL, RHP)
Sem Robberse’s sweeper is so damn good. He’s already picked up 6 whiffs on the pitch on 9 swings.
This sweeper in particular had 18” of sweep at 84.7 mph. pic.twitter.com/k1UwSNFVKc
— Kareem (@KareemSSN) August 12, 2023
He’s a young 21-year-old, though being added to the 40-man by the Cardinals suggests he could get a chance in 2023 and that should intrigue you. He features a great changeup and sweeper that helped him return a 16%+ SwStr rate in Triple-A last season, though his increase in walks as he made the jump does bring some concern. If that gets ironed out, the Cardinals may be inclined to give Sem the chance before Tekoah and Hence, though I really don’t like his four-seamer’s shape at just 92 mph. He’s going to have to rely a ton on command, and with that walk rate, it doesn’t quite seem like he’s ready to be fantasy-relevant. Far too risky.
321. Matt Canterino (MIN, RHP)
Finding his stride.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) April 24, 2022
He’s suuuuuper over-the-top with a weird delivery, and we haven’t seen him since getting TJS at the end of 2022. However, the Twins don’t have all the depth in the land at SP and I could see Canterino coming up in the second half once he has established himself once again on the bump. Can’t say I love the heater a ton, but the changeup is legit and he pairs it with a solid power slider in the mid-80s that thrives with the arm-slot. I hope he’s looking just as good when we see him return this season in the minors, if not better now that the pain is gone.
322. Carlos F. Rodriguez (MIL, RHP)
🏆July Pitcher of the Month: Carlos Rodriguez🏆
In 4 July starts, Rodriguez surrendered only 2 runs while striking out 24 batters. Among Double-A pitchers on the season, Rodriguez ranks 2nd in K% (31%), 5th in Ks (118), and 8th in K-BB% (20%)#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/OLU8hKvqa3
— Brewers Player Development (@BrewersPD) August 9, 2023
Carlos had a great 2023 in Double-A and didn’t soar in his sole outing in Triple-A, but don’t let that introduction to a higher level deter you. His 30% strikeout rate in Double-A was catalyzed by a 15-16% SwStr rate as he sported a legit slider and changeup, though the fastball doesn’t seem like a pitch that can dominate at the big-league level. I’m curious what we get from him as he gets more experience this year against quality hitters, and with Gasser and Misiorowski getting all the attention, Rodriguez could get some frames if the Brewers want to play it safe with those two (moreso Miwiorowski).
323. Spencer Arrighetti (HOU, RHP)
— Follow @AstrosFuture (@FutureStros) June 17, 2023
The Astros often find ways to squeeze value from otherwise overlooked arms and with the way Arrighetti is getting stretched out to five frames while maintaining solid velocity suggests that he could be a starter later this season with his four-pitch mix. Don’t expect this to be your next Urquidy or France impact play when they first arrived, though he may turn into a streamer with a decent Win chance if all things go right.
324. Forrest Whitley (HOU, RHP)
Remember him? With all his injuries and a 50 game drug suspension, Whitley returned from TJS last season and wasn’t looking pretty. Sub 10% SwStr rates with poor command, and it feels like Whitley is more primed for the pen than the deep five-pitch workhorse starter we envisioned when he was drafted. The pedigree is obviously there, which generally says “there is a ceiling in there somewhere, right?”, forcing us to at least pay attention to his 2024, and while he’s clearly doing everything he can to return there (see the video below), it seems like a nigh impossible journey back to the top after such a rough fall reminiscent of falling down Springfield Gorge.
Forrest Whitley on flat ground, no wind up, get in the lows 90s.
He's putting in the work. pic.twitter.com/Bu9BA0IQbe
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) January 30, 2024
325. Matt Sauer (KCR, RHP)
He was the second pick of the Rule-5 draft, suggesting Sauer could appear this season in the majors and forcing his way onto this list. Considering the rough options at the backend of the Kansas City rotation, it’s possible Sauer maneuvers his way to a starting spot at some point this year, though I question how good his heater is around 94/95 mph, and he’s most likely situated for a relief role with his fastball/slider approach. This isn’t the sleeper play we want, sadly.
Immaculate inning alert!
Matt Sauer strikes out the side on 9 pitches.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 17, 2023
326. Noah Schultz (CHW, LHP)
— Ian Eskridge (@dailywhitesox) July 30, 2023
I overlooked Schultz initially given he made his pro debut in Single-A last season with just 27 innings in ten starts. However, the White Sox have suggested Schultz could debut sooner than expected and even though he’ll be only 20 years old until early August, Schultz’s absurd slider with solid command and a mid-90s heater suggests he could perform at the big league level this year, especially if it comes with development we normally expect from top prospects at his age. I have to believe he’ll be focusing on crafting a changeup to help take down RHB and create a true three-pitch mix, and without the “slinger” delivery we often see from southpaws with devastating sliders, it makes me encouraged he can maintain the sub-10% walk rates he held in his 27 frames. Don’t stash him in redraft leagues, but mark him as a “must add” if he gets the call to start this year.
327. Robby Snelling (SDP, LHP)
Robby Snelling has the best curveball and control in the @Padres system
Where does he rank on the updated Top 10 prospects?
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) November 28, 2023
Snelling moved through A, A+, and up to AA ball in his first year in the minors as a 19-year-old, ending the year with four starts across 17.1 IP in Double-A, and I don’t think the Padres will be aggressive promoting him to the majors this year. There’s still a fair amount to figure out with his full arsenal, led by a very legit spiked-curve and a 95/96 mph heater that I worry has a bit too steep to turn into a whiff, and without a strong changeup to help against RHB, nor that bullying fastball, I think Snelling isn’t a prime promotion candidate for the Padres, who currently have a slew of other young arms to experiment with inside the rotation this year.
Tier 26 – The Nomads Of Baseball
These guys aren’t the main swing-men, nor are they to be trusted for any regularity if they happen to grab a start out of the blue. There’s a shot that one or two of them can make it happen, but that’s about it.
328. Ethan Small (SFG, LHP)
The Giants were willing to throw some cash to the Brewers to add Small to their squad in hopes they get some frames this year, possibly like they did with Strip/Manaea/Wood last season. He’s not Ethan LARGE after all. Nick, I need some actual meat here. Fine fine, he’s a four-seamer/changeup arm from the left side and a high release point that creates plenty of iVB but at a blegh 92 mph and terrible VAA, of course. He does get some whiffs based on his decent locations up and when it tunnels with the low changeup, you can get a glimpse of how it would work, kinda like a discount Eric Lauer. I’ll take a peek if he earns more playing time, though for now, he’s not worth a stash anywhere.
329. Ronel Blanco (HOU, RHP)
It’s possible the Astros don’t turn to Blanco to start again this year and instead add him to help out inside the pen. However, they did let Blanco start briefly last year and he was able to perform decently well. He would break the Huascar Rule with his strong slider and highly suspect fastball and it outlines a reliever moreso than a starter, but it’s Houston. They often find a way to make it work if they need it.
330. José Suarez (LAA, LHP)
He’s been the fill-in for the Angels since he’s been in the majors, and he has had moments as a productive streamer. Suarez’s success comes from his 21% SwStr changeup from the left side, paired with a slider that earns strikes but has failed to eclipse the 30% CSW mark since 2021. His four-seamer has decent break and VAA, but his low velocity and extension hold the pitch back, let alone his reluctance to feature the pitch upstairs in the first place. Given the lack of strong options for the Angels, Suarez will get more chances to start in the year ahead, hopefully flirting with a strikeout per inning across five frames at most. It’s not enough to draft, and barely enough for a desperate Sunday in-season.
331. Tommy Henry (ARI, LHP)
I’m sure we’ll see some spot starts from Henry across the season, though his low velocity mixed with middling secondaries speak to a desperate Sunday play, not fantasy relevance. His slider is an oddity, though. Featured 35% of the time against lefties (and rarely, if ever against right-handers), the pitch had elite strike, O-Swing, Zone, and ICR rates. If only the changeup and curve could step up against right-handers.
332. Slade Cecconi (ARI, RHP)
Slade seems like the guy the Diamondbacks would give the first shot when a spot opens up in the rotation. His 94/95 mph heater fails to miss bats as much as you’d want with 50% hiLoc, though his slider could become a major weapon if he adds a touch more polish to turn its mid-50s strike rate into 60-65%. Left-handers will be an issue without a proper curve or change to help, but the fastball/slider combo is enough of a foundation to hope something else clicks to make him serviceable for more than a small string of games.
333. Bryce Jarvis (ARI, RHP)
He had some opportunities with the Diamondbacks in 2023 and did little to impress with a 95 mph four-seamer that failed to miss bats and a slider that held a sub-50 % strike rate. There’s more promise in that breaker if he can flirt with the zone more often, though there’s little hope for him to become the next big thing in the desert.
334. Xzavion Curry (CLE, RHP)
The biggest positive for Curry? He’s a strike thrower. Each of his four-seamer, slider, and curve returned over a 63% strike rate in 2023, giving him a chance to get outs instead of drowning in a sea of inefficiency. Unfortunately, none of his offerings feature whiffability, nor excel at mitigating hard contact. He’ll likely fall into a long-relief role for the Guardians, with an occasional spot start when needed. If Cleveland leans on Curry to begin the year in the rotation, something must have gone wrong.
335. Josh Winckowski (BOS, RHP)
He started 14 games for the Red Sox in 2022 and made a proper move to the pen with his sole start coming as an opener. However, there is a chance the Red Sox look to Winckowski to step up for a few games if everything goes south in Beantown and with his affinity to jam RHB inside with sinkers, it’s not out of the question he can survive for five frames alongside his cutter and slider earning strikes. This is a last resort for the Red Sox, and I wouldn’t expect last year’s 22% strikeout to hold as a starter, so let’s not treat this as a hopeful outcome.
336. Hunter Gaddis (CLE, RHP)
None of his four pitches earned a 9% SwStr rate in 2023. His 13% strikeout rate made his 8.8 hit-per-nine carry the entire burden of his major league career and it’s not a wise chase for fantasy. His best asset is a slider that returned a 26% ICR across 32% usage, but hot dang you need him to give you so much more than that to be rostered in your leagues.
337. Daulton Jefferies (SFG, RHP)
The Giants signed Jefferies in another effort to figure out their rotation and filling it up with arms who have been able to go 5+ frames in the past but have dealt with some sort of issues as of late. It’s simple with Jeffries – he’s coming back from TJS – and who knows what he’ll look like when he gets his shot this spring. The old Daulton wasn’t anything to write home about and you can ignore this blurb for all but the deepest of leagues, but there could be a Jeffries here that’s capable of 5/6 frames by the summer.
338. Lyon Richardson (CIN, RHP)
The Reds may give Lyon some innings if they are lacking depth across the year, but you don’t want to exhaust time on this. His 96/97 mph fastball returned just 57% strikes and a horrid 8.4% SwStr due to his poor extension. We’re talking bottom of the ranks well under six feet (the best are those hinting seven feet), with a pedestrian slider. This isn’t the guy to chase.
339. Kyle Muller (OAK, LHP)
Muller is far behind where we want him to be. He had some opportunities to start last year and didn’t showcase enough improvement in his breakers or heater to demand a spot. He could get some loose chances here and there, but with the bevy of options at the Athletics’ disposal, I’d imagine he sticks to the pen.
340. Osvaldo Bido (OAK, RHP)
Acquired from the Pirates this off-season, Bido is likely to be a stop-gap rather than a major piece this year. Consider him a two or three-inning arm on a team that may be filled with them. I wonder if the Athletics are going to try to avoid a proper pen and instead of a boatload of these long relief arms they rotate through the year.
341. Cole Irvin (BAL, LHP)
If the Orioles are leaning heavily on Irvin this year, the levees have broken. Irvin may appear at times for spot starts as they hope to squeeze five frames from him, and he’ll move cutters, sinkers, four-seamers, and changeups around the zone, hoping to induce outs in play with the rare game of changeups missing enough bats to record a strikeout per inning. He’s a starter for a desperate Sunday, nothing more.
342. Bruce Zimmermann (BAL, LHP)
He may appear for a few games and Bruce shouldn’t be on your radar. The games that he does pitch may not even come with an extended look, with just two games of at least 40 pitches last season, peaking at 61 across three frames. The Orioles likely see Zim and his slider + changeup focus (just 24% fastballs between sinkers and four-seamers last year!) as a crafty long-reliever for those dire days and not a proper replacement for the rotation. It is a really nice slider, though, boasting magnificent results at a 72% strike rate, 27% SwStr rate, 44% CSW, and a 5.58 PLV despite using it 40% of the time. If only he had anything else in that arsenal.
343. Janson Junk (MIL, RHP)
If Junk is starting, it’s because the Brewers are dealing with an onslaught of injuries. There is a touch of promise in his four-seamer as it has great iVB with decent extension and VAA, but the locations aren’t great and its 92/93 mph velocity does few favors. The other offerings – a strike-focused slider and hard 79-83 mph curve – aren’t exceptional and you’re left with a middling arm at best who you don’t want to chase in fantasy. H*ck, even when he does start, how long are the Brewers actually going to let him go?
344. Jackson Rutledge (WAS, RHP)
He throws 95/96, but the four-seamer doesn’t have the pitch qualities we want – poor iVB, poor extension, poor VAA – which explains its low whiff rates. The slider has potential to miss bats, but without anything else in the tank, I’m not a huge believer that Rutledge will have a major impact in 2024.
345. Drew Rom (STL, LHP)
He is not the arm the Cardinals should be leaning on. He changes his arm angle across his three pitches – Sinkers are side-arm, while four-seamer and slider are more over the top – and it weirds me out a TON. There is more SwStr potential with the four-seamer if he can keep it at 93/94 mph, but there is just so much work to be done here for him to be a relevant fantasy starter, let alone a consistent arm for the Cardinals. Look elsewhere.
346. Matthew Liberatore (STL, LHP)
The Cardinals may be looking at Liberatore as a reliever for the year ahead. His fastball declined from the exciting moments of 94/95 mph as a starter, while the slider didn’t take form as hoped. There’s always a chance it clicks into place and if it does, it will be on the back of velocity and a wicked slider. I have my doubts that he’ll get the chances and take full advantage of them.
347. Mitch White (TOR, RHP)
There isn’t much to Mitch. His best asset is his slider, a pitch he’s comfortable throwing over 50% of the time to right-handers and it does its job well across the board – whiffs, strikes, mitigating hard contact. However, that’s it. That’s it? Yup. The slider doesn’t work well against left-handers, his four-seamer is not a reliable pitch to any batter, and the curve isn’t anything to write home about. White’s strength is sliders to right-handers there’s not much more in the tank. This ain’t it and I’m awfully curious what happens to the Blue Jays when there is disruption in their rotation, let alone what happens if two or three go down. Shudders. Seriously, Bowden Francis, Paolo Espino, Wes Parsons, and Trevor Richards are not viable options for the Jays.
348. Glenn Otto (SDP, RHP)
Otto has a fantastic sweeper and has a focus on nailing inside sinkers to RHBs, but if you’ve read enough of these you know what my thoughts are going to be. Wait, a sweeper sinker focus. That means…He can’t get lefties out. I WAS RIGHT THERE, NICK. Sweepers are worse than gyro sliders against off-handed batters, and sinkers from RHPs get crushed by LHBs unless it’s a surprise front hip, which is awfully rare and daring to trust. That said, Otto’s slider still performed well against left-handers, but I don’t buy it for 2024. Sidenote: I’m referring to 2022 instead of 2023 as we saw 130 IP then and just 10 IP last season. Until Otto develops his curve or changeup more, I’d avoid him. That four-seamer ain’t it.
349. Davis Daniel (LAA, RHP)
Daniel is a sweeper arm with a four-seamer that has decent attributes without excelling in any area, preventing him from getting over the hump to be relevant for your fantasy leagues. At 26 years old, he should get a fair number of opportunities for the Angels this year, but without growth on the 93/94 mph fastball (12% SwStr last year seems a bit higher than what I’d expect), nor a strong set of secondaries (52% strike rate sweeper?! 24% CSW curveball?!), Davis is destined to disappoint trusting managers.
350. Touki Toussaint (CWS, RHP)
His best pitch is a curveball that held a sub 60% strike rate and allowed 46% ICR to RHBs. Oh no. The splitter would sometimes appear with the curve to get some whiffs, but that is not the life you want to live. His fastballs are a muddy foundation that is sure to bring the walls crashing down often this year if he gets the chance, making Touki a rare strikeout stream for 6/7 punchouts when the two secondaries are locked in.