“Crisco, Bardol, Vagisil: any one of em will give you another two to three inches drop off your curveball.”

This immortal moment comes courtesy of Eddie Harris in the transcendent classic, Major League

In this exchange with young fireballer Rick Vaughn, Harris articulates the typical path for an aging pitcher. 

“Haven’t got an arm like yours. Gotta put anything on it I can find.” 

Wily oldsters pick up tricks like Robert Kraft to help themselves keep up in a young man’s game, and they seem to be keeping (and/or setting) the pace better than ever. Blending the fire of youth with the wisdom of experience is no small task, but we’ll try to do just that here today, synthesizing short and long term value to build rankings prescient enough to help any dynasty leaguer build his own double three-peat.

So throw me a line if you’re seeing an angle I’m not. This project is on-going and stretches all the way back to early March when I met some oldster moving plutonium out of the trunk of his DeLorian.

Rank Player Age Team
1 Gerrit Cole 29 NYY
2 Walker Buehler 25 LAD
3 Jack Flaherty 24 STL
4 Shane Bieber 24 CLE
5 Jacob deGrom 31 NYM
6 Shohei Ohtani 25 LAA
7 Mike Clevinger 29 CLE
8 Lucas Giolito 25 CHW
9 Luis Castillo 27 CIN
10 Blake Snell 27 TB
11 Tyler Glasnow 26 TB
12 Jesus Luzardo 22 OAK
13 Stephen Strasburg 31 WAS
14 Chris Paddack 24 SD
15 Mike Soroka 22 ATL
16 Julio Urias 23 LAD
17 MacKenzie Gore 21 SD
18 Clayton Kershaw 32 LAD
19 Chris Sale 31 BOS
20 Frankie Montas 27 OAK
21 Max Scherzer 35 WAS
22 Justin Verlander 37 HOU
23 Trevor Bauer 29 CIN
24 Nate Pearson 23 TOR
25 Brandon Woodruff 27 MIL
26 Aaron Nola 26 PHI
27 Jose Berrios 25 MIN
28 Patrick Corbin 30 WAS
29 Zac Gallen 24 ARI
30 Yu Darvish 33 CHC
31 Noah Syndergaard 27 NYM
32 Tarik Skubal 23 DET
33 Sonny Gray 30 CIN
34 Eduardo Rodriguez 27 BOS
35 Charlie Morton 36 TB
36 A.J. Puk 25 OAK
37 Zack Greinke 36 HOU
38 Forrest Whitley 22 HOU
39 Dinelson Lamet 27 SD
40 Matt Manning 22 DET
41 Spencer Howard 23 PHI
42 Casey Mize 23 DET
43 Max Fried 26 ATL
44 Luis Patino 20 SD
45 Michael Kopech 24 CHW
46 Brailyn Marquez 21 CHC
47 Asa Lacy 20 ??
48 Kyle Hendricks 30 CHC
49 Madison Bumgarner 30 ARI
50 Luke Weaver 26 ARI
51 Lance McCullers Jr. 26 HOU
52 Jameson Taillon 28 PIT
53 Hyun-Jin Ryu 33 TOR
54 James Paxton 31 NYY
55 Jose Urquidy 25 HOU
56 Brendan McKay 24 TB
57 German Marquez 25 COL
58 Kenta Maeda 32 MIN
59 Joe Musgrove 27 PIT
60 Zack Wheeler 29 PHI
61 Lance Lynn 32 TEX
62 Corey Kluber 34 TEX
63 Carlos Carrasco 33 CLE
64 Jon Gray 28 COL
65 George Kirby 22 SEA
66 Edward Cabrera 22 MIA
67 Emerson Hancock 20 ??
68 Domingo German 27 NYY
69 Sean Manaea 28 OAK
70 Mike Foltynewicz 28 ATL
71 Mike Minor 32 TEX
72 Michael Pineda 31 MIN
73 Simeon Woods-Richardson 19 TOR
74 Carlos Martinez 28 STL
75 Jake Odorizzi 30 MIN
76 Josiah Gray 22 LAD
77 Dustin May 22 LAD
78 Robbie Ray 28 ARI
79 Hunter Greene 20 CIN
80 Nick Lodolo 22 CIN
81 Aaron Civale 24 CLE
82 Yonny Chirinos 26 TB
83 Matthew Boyd 29 DET
84 Clarke Schmidt 24 NYY
85 Sandy Alcantara 24 MIA
86 Sixto Sanchez 21 MIA
87 Masahiro Tanaka 31 NYY
88 Josh James 27 HOU
89 David Price 34 LAD
90 Caleb Smith 27 MIA
91 Blake Walston 18 ARI
92 Andrew Heaney 28 LAA
93 Logan Gilbert 23 SEA
94 Alek Manoah 22 TOR
95 Reid Detmers 20 ??
96 Max Meyer 21 ??
97 Daniel Lynch 23 KC
98 Josh Lindblom 32 MIL
99 Grayson Rodriguez 20 BAL
100 Alex Wood 29 LAD


Thanks for reading!

Stay safe out there!

Happy Mother’s Day!

  1. Donjuan says:

    I think you missed Soroka

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Got him 15th but I totally get how easy it is to glance past a single name on a list like this.

      • Furious George says:

        Shocked to see Mitch Keller missing. I get he had some struggles last season, but plenty young and at least as highly regarded of a prospect as many of the minor league level youngsters that made the cut. Has his stock really dropped below some of these undrafted long shots or his teammate Taillon coming off a 2nd TJ?!

        • OldMilwaukeePounders says:

          I came here to make this same comment. Keller seems like a sure top 100 type to me. I’m cool with people forgetting about him if it means I get him for next to nothing, though.

  2. Jolt In Flow says:

    What a great way to start mother’s day. A read on baseball. Happy mothers day to the moms of all readers. Make sure you wish her a happy mothers day if you’re lucky enough to have her around.

    A 2-parter question for you. Stroman’s not on the list; what general numeric vicinity would you rank him if you had to?

    Further, based on SW-R placing at 73, is it safe to say you feel the Jays are on the better end of the Stroman deal?

    Thanks for putting this together, Itch.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks, Jolt!

      And well said. Send the moms all the love you can today!!

      I do think the Jays did extremely well.

      Stroman is a high-WHIP, low-K guy who might have a National League bounce. I had him higher early in the process and could see myself regretting this depending where he lands in FA.

      He’s currently at 107, but that’s still under construction.

  3. Harley Earl says:

    Itch!!!! Great stuff.

    As a Cardinals fan, love Flaherty at #3!! As a dynasty player, love Julio Urias at #16. I believe in this kid and it’s good to see that belief reaffirmed in rankings like this.

    One question, in 5 sentences or less, tell me why you believe Julio Urias will be a top 16 pitcher next season. I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

    Great job Itch, and happy Mother’s Day to your wife and mom!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks Harley!!!!

      Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours !!

      Urias repeats his delivery incredibly well, which gives him an inside lane on plus plus command of his elite repertoire. The Dodgers are a factory for pitching value. His stuff is even better now than when he was the best pitching prospect in the game.

      Three sentences do it?

      • Harley Earl says:

        Good stuff!

        Didn’t really know about his ability to repeat his delivery so well. Definitely knew about the elite repertoire! I agree I think his stuff now is better than it’s ever been. I honestly expect a breakout this season, although limited by appearances and innings.

        Thanks for the analysis! That works for me. Looking forward to your next piece!

  4. IntendedSteb says:

    Does German Marquez move up on the list if he’s traded from Colorado?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:


      I’m targetting Jon Gray in all my leagues because his departure is nigh, and I want to see what a truly gifted pitcher like him–arguably the best who’s ever come down from the mountain–can do in a more neutral and consistent environment.

  5. Piotr says:

    in a k/9er dynasty, how would you rank Alcantara, Caleb Smith, Heaney? thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Heaney, Smith, Alcantara

  6. Philip says:

    Itch, this series you’re running is fantastic. You’ve got a great voice and a fresh perspective. Thank you.

    I’m in early rebuild stages of a 20 team roto league. I’m new in the league and playing some catch-up. My goal is to have a team ready to contend by 2023.

    My rotation is: Flaherty, Woodruff, Skubal, James, Gilbert, G. Rodriguez, Honeywell, SWR, Graterol.

    You seem down on most of my guys. My plan was to hold and see over the next two years, with a goal of six strong SP by 2023 or so. What would you do with these guys if the team was yours? Most of your top 100 are owned.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Philip!

      Kind of a crazy week with lots of long, frustrating zoom meetings, so awesome timing! Very good to hear!

      I am a bit low on G-Rod relative to the field, but in general I love your pitching. I think Graterol is the near-future closer in Los Angeles, and you’ve got 3 of my top 32, if my top-of-mind memory is accurate. That’s good work in a dynasty. I think I’d hold all your arms, especially the top three. If someone makes great offers for the others, I’m listening.

  7. leon says:

    my Jordyn Adams($0), and Lodolo ($0) for Wiill Smith (catcher $10). dynasty 16 man 6×6.


    my jordyn Adams and Munoz for Brusdar Graterol


    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      I’d do the Will Smith deal for sure.

      I could go be convinced to either way on the Graterol trade, but I’m leaning hold.

  8. Ronald says:

    12 team ottoneu league. Would you trade a $10 Byron Buxton in a deal for a $7 Sean Murphy?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      I’d hold Buxton.

  9. Ryan says:

    Didn’t see deivi garcia on your list. Not a believer in him being a sp?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      I dunno, I think he could do it if he got a chance to adjust and adjust back, but it can be difficult to get that opportunity in New York, and I think Schmidt has passed him, where I think he was already behind Monty and Domingo German.

      The Yankees love dominant relief arms.

      Yajure is coming fast, and I think he’s a starter.

      Just a lot of things pointing to an early career in relief.

  10. Jim says:

    Fulmer? At his age and with his stuff, can easily be top 50 if healthy

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      I wouldn’t rule it out but would need to see something.

      Saw this just now in the recon:

      RotoWire News: Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson said Tuesday that there’s “no chance” Fulmer (elbow) will be cleared to face hitters soon, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. “I mean, you never say never, but I don’t see it,” Anderson said. “He might be ready to see hitters, but I believe when we start our second spring training, whenever that will be, that would be the time to see Michael face hitters.” (5/5/2020)
      Injury: Elbow, 60-Day IL

      Anyway, certainly a good name to track and maybe add if you’ve got the space and the price is Bob.

  11. KrazyIvan says:

    Great job.
    Since you are taking some input I wonder why deGrom is not #2. He has increased his 4 seamer and slider velo for three straight years. He is still at his prime and looks to be in the Scherzer/Verlander mode of doing this Superman thing way longer then you should. He and Cole are 1a and 1b.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Hi, KrazyIvan!

      Sorry I missed this.

      Had that same thought throughout much of the process, but he’s a little older than I thought.

      deGrom is just a few days from being 32, so he’ll be 33 in 2021.

      Sorry again, I know I don’t need to explain how aging works. Just been in soooo many endless meetings of late I’m forgetting how to communicate.

      Kinda figure if you can get 90 percent of deGrom but will have him for almost a decade, that’s tough to weigh.

      Especially with a guy like Flaherty who became a monster late in 2019.

  12. Did Ian Anderson get any consideration? Love this kid and thought he’d be here.
    Great job Itch

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks Smitty!

      Sorry for the late reply.

      I did think about him in the back of the 100, but for me he’s closer to the solid pack of prospect arms than the elite top-end group.

  13. Mantis Tobaggan MD says:

    20 team keep 6-9 with QS/holds/XBH/OPS added roto. short starting rosters, 1400 innings max (that was set to 162, it’ll be commensurately down of course)
    C kraken (K)
    1B E5
    2B wong
    SS treat urner (K)
    3B vlad (K)
    OF (3) alvarez (K), gallo (K), h.dozier (1B/3B)
    util (1) puig
    BN: profar (2B/OF)
    NA (2):puig (here till signed), vaughn (will be a keeper next year)
    SP (probably want 7 of these in season): glasnow (K), luzardo (K), lynn, cueto, gibson
    RP (max 5): giles, pressly, hudson, duffey

    so i got 1 more RP to go, 2 more SP to go. the level of SP out there has weakened such to think i might want to go a prospect SP with this year value. biggest names left are: d.garcia, patino, i.anderson, k.wright (pearson/howard/mize/manning/skubal/gore/whitley/mckay either drafted or kept already). can stash one of these in NA slot, either BN puig till he’s signed, worst case scenario stick puig in NA slot, drop this prospect pitcher. will still likely get at least one of pab lop/gausman and the like with other pick and off WW’ers. which of those’ll you think will have the most this year value. i doubt i end up keeping of those, but i guess if kraken completely sucks i could keep one over him.

    • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:

      see above you’re pretty sure deivi is bullpen this year. this make k.wright the most likely to get useful this year innings of that group?

      • Grey

        Grey says:

        Yeah, I could see that on Wright

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Oops, I’m in the wrong post, aren’t I?

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