My first foray into dynasty baseball gifted me that infinite wild west feeling that really gets my geek out of bed in the morning. 

“Wait, we get to keep everybody!?”

That’s me thinking 50 keepers = party time. 

While the hitting side of this new infinity was coming into the focus, the pitching side was ducking away from the camera. If you’ve seen DEVS (or read a ton of quantum theory like the rest of us), there’s reference potential in here about how observing a particle makes is singular, while they remain multiple in their unobserved state.

Any revelation about how to forever handle fantasy pitching seems to fit this description.

It’s too simplistic to fade all the old guys in general but especially on the mound. Similarly fraught to dismiss all pitching prospects. These blanket strategies can work to some extent, but they can also lead to inflation for youngish middle tier arms like Jose Berrios and Noah Syndergaard. Arms like these seem to have long runs of usefulness ahead of them, so they’re certainly nice to have, but they’re unlikely to put you over the top in a given year, while older arms can do just that.

This winter I saw Wander Franco traded for Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer.

Typical 15-team, 50-keeper league. Both players know their stuff. 

Which side you’d want might depend on your spot in a competitive cycle or just a general feeling about how you’d like to play dynasty baseball. 

You could squint and see a world in which you replicate via streaming the impact of a Syndergaard or Berrios, but it feels impossible to replicate a Scherzer or Kershaw off the free agent wire. You might pick up a Montas or a Max Fried, but the hyper-elite WHIP guys are the rarest of birds, which is why it feels wrong to see Ryan Yarbrough down here in the hundreds. Part of that is pitching being weird and deep. Part of it is me fearing what’s coming to pitch in Tampa and Yarbrough’s fate should they trade him. Part is me maybe needing to move Yarbrough up a little. 

Let’s get to the list. Drop me a line if you’re seeing an angle I’m not. This project remains under construction. 

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 Luis Severino 26 NYY
28 Jose Berrios 25 MIN
29 Patrick Corbin 30 WAS
30 Zac Gallen 24 ARI
31 Yu Darvish 33 CHC
32 Noah Syndergaard 27 NYM
33 Tarik Skubal 23 DET
34 Sonny Gray 30 CIN
35 Eduardo Rodriguez 27 BOS
36 Charlie Morton 36 TB
37 A.J. Puk 25 OAK
38 Zack Greinke 36 HOU
39 Forrest Whitley 22 HOU
40 Dinelson Lamet 27 SD
41 Matt Manning 22 DET
42 Spencer Howard 23 PHI
43 Luis Patino 20 SD
44 Casey Mize 23 DET
45 Max Fried 26 ATL
46 Michael Kopech 24 CHW
47 Brailyn Marquez 21 CHC
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 Asa Lacy 20 ??
57 Brendan McKay 24 TB
58 German Marquez 25 COL
59 Kenta Maeda 32 MIN
60 Joe Musgrove 27 PIT
61 Zack Wheeler 29 PHI
62 Lance Lynn 32 TEX
63 Corey Kluber 34 TEX
64 Carlos Carrasco 33 CLE
65 Jon Gray 28 COL
66 George Kirby 22 SEA
67 Edward Cabrera 22 MIA
68 Emerson Hancock 20 ??
69 Domingo German 27 NYY
70 Sean Manaea 28 OAK
71 Mike Foltynewicz 28 ATL
72 Mike Minor 32 TEX
73 Michael Pineda 31 MIN
74 Simeon Woods-Richardson 19 TOR
75 Carlos Martinez 28 STL
76 Jake Odorizzi 30 MIN
77 Josiah Gray 22 LAD
78 Dustin May 22 LAD
79 Robbie Ray 28 ARI
80 Hunter Greene 20 CIN
81 Nick Lodolo 22 CIN
82 Aaron Civale 24 CLE
83 Yonny Chirinos 26 TB
84 Matthew Boyd 29 DET
85 Clarke Schmidt 24 NYY
86 Sandy Alcantara 24 MIA
87 Sixto Sanchez 21 MIA
88 Masahiro Tanaka 31 NYY
89 Josh James 27 HOU
90 David Price 34 LAD
91 Caleb Smith 27 MIA
92 Blake Walston 18 ARI
93 Andrew Heaney 28 LAA
94 Logan Gilbert 23 SEA
95 Alek Manoah 22 TOR
96 Reid Detmers 20 ??
97 Max Meyer 21 ??
98 Daniel Lynch 23 KC
99 Josh Lindblom 32 MIL
100 Grayson Rodriguez 20 BAL
101 Alex Wood 29 LAD
102 Carlos Rodon 27 CHW
103 Alex Reyes 25 STL
104 Adrian Houser 27 MIL
105 Miles Mikolas 31 STL
106 Griffin Canning 24 LAA
107 Kyle Wright 24 ATL
108 Ryan Yarbrough 28 TB
109 Ian Anderson 22 ATL
110 Marcus Stroman 29 NYM
111 Brent Honeywell 25 TB
112 Seth Corry 21 SF
113 Cole Wilcox 20 ??
114 Cade Cavali 21 ??
115 Kwang-Hyun Kim 31 STL
116 Garrett Crochet 21 ??
117 Luis Frias 21 ARI
118 Zach Plesac 25 CLE
119 Anthony DeSclafani 30 CIN
120 Joey Lucchesi 26 SD
121 Joe Ryan 23 TB
122 Mitch Keller 24 PIT
123 Jordan Balazovic 21 MIN
124 Daniel Espino 19 CLE
125 Freddy Peralta 23 MIL
126 Tahnaj Thomas 20 PIT
127 John Means 27 BAL
128 Dylan Bundy 27 LAA
129 Marco Gonzales 28 SEA
130 Dylan Cease 24 CHW
131 Jordan Montgomery 27 NYY
132 Jordan Yamamoto 24 MIA
133 Taijuan Walker 27 SEA
134 Ethan Hankins 19 CLE
135 Ross Stripling 30 LAD
136 Matt Shoemaker 33 TOR
137 Chris Archer 31 PIT
138 Dallas Keuchel 32 CHW
139 Nathan Eovaldi 30 BOS
140 Corbin Burnes 25 MIL
141 Jackson Kowar 23 KC
142 Luis Garcia 23 HOU
143 Deivi Garcia 20 NYY
144 Jonathan Stiever 23 CHW
145 Adam Kloffenstein 19 TOR
146 Elieser Hernandez 25 MIA
147 Jonathan Loaisiga 25 NYY
148 Kris Bubic 22 KC
149 Jonathan Bowlan 23 KC
150 Scott Moss 25 CLE

 

Thanks for reading! I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter, Reddit and Words with Friends. 

 
  1. Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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    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.

    see near bottom of last post’s comments you thought deivi likely for bullpen this year, does this make k.wright the most likely left of this group for this year useful innings?

    • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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      ed cab also out there, and he’s probably less likely to be drafted/obtained than the ones i listed.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Oh nice I’d take Ed Cab over Wright, too.

        But do think Wright is more likely to get innings this year.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I do think Wright is most likely to get 2020 innings but would prefer Patino from the group.

      He’ll be in the running for top prospect arm in the game over the off-season.

      • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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        yeah i figured his upside is best here from what i’ve read from you/others and your overall list. if we kept more people guys like him and really all of these would’ve been gone many rounds ago. here keep 6-9, but obv trade value in them if they bump up. deivi went just now.

        • Mantis Tobaggan MD says:
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          and liberatore

  2. Ryan says:
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    In my 14 team h2h dynasty league I was offered Salvador Perez and Jon Grey for Luke Voit and Sean Murphy? Not really a huge blockbuster, but am I getting a good return?

    Also I might be able to trade Murphy and Patino for Luis Castillo. Is this a better deal or stick with what I have?

    c sean murphy

    1b max muncy

    2b ozzie albies

    3b rafael devers

    ss bo bichette

    lf juan soto

    cf ronald acuna

    rf austin meadows

    util yuli gurriel

    bn cj cron

    bn luke voit

    bn omar narvaez

    na andrew vaughn

    na robert puason

    na luis matos

    na jeter downs

    na julio rodriguez

    na erick pena

    sp brandon woodruff

    sp julio urias

    sp max scherzer

    rp scott oberg

    rp ryan pressly

    rp brandon kintzler

    p patrick corbin

    p alex wood

    bn kevin gausman

    bn carlos rodon

    bn deivi garcia

    bn sixto sanchez

    bn edward cabrera

    bn nathan eovaldi

    bn matt shoemaker

    na luis patino

    • Harley Earl says:
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      I would definitely trade Murphy and Patino for Castillo. Do it while it’s on the table.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        I agree w Harley here.

        I’d snap that Castillo offer up.

        • Ryan says:
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          Btw George Kirby is available in this league. Who do you recommend I drop to pick him up?

  3. ryan says:
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    Just curious why do you prefer george kirby or edward cabrera over sixto sanchez?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Jolt in Flow grabbed the key piece for his comment just below this one.

      Elite command is necessary to become a hyper-elite WHIP guy, and Kirby might have the best command in the minors. And he doesn’t trade stuff to get it. I mean he’s no soft tosser despite never walking anyone.

      • The Harrow says:
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        yeah from this year (well 2019’s) draft class he sounds closest to having that bieber upside.

  4. Jolt In Flow says:
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    Hey Itch, at this point, the quality pitching started thinning out incredibly fast at this point.

    Good quote to keep in mind for trade purposes, “…but the hyper-elite WHIP guys are the rarest of birds…”. These are things that may seem second-nature to veteran fantasy owners, but not so much to the newer-ish baptized.

    A couple of guys that feel a bit too low, to me, on the totem pole:
    108. Yarbrough – you already mentioned you’re a bit torn. I feel he’s just ahead of that 85-87 group.
    110. Stroman – just ahead of the 65-70 group.
    118. Plesac – infront of 92-97 group.
    137. Archer – I feel he has something left and a short season does him good (physically – but moreso, mentally). I’d also stick him infront of the 92-97 grouping. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he pushes even further to the top.

    All non-technical reasoning, just what my feel is around these guys. So take it with a giant grain of salt.

    Thanks for putting this together, Itch.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Jolt in Flow!

      Those are all guys that kept catching my eye too. Moved em around a bit, but you’re right I should keep digging and tinkering.

      Archer especially has been all over the place.

      I want to believe in the new Pittsburgh group, but I have never thought Archer was a buy at cost. Might be over penalizing him for awfulness due to confirmation bias.

      Plesac seemed to hit a wall last year, but I’m probably over penalizing that too. 4.95 ERA w 7.01 K/9 from August 12 through the end. Just 8 starts—could be overreacting—but I’m a little worried he just doesn’t have good enough stuff to hold off the contenders coming soon in Cleveland. Some of the issue there is I think Aaron Civale and Scott Moss are better, and I think they’d like to give Logan Allen a chance.

      And long term, they’re a factory. Espino, Hankins, Lenny Torres, Luis Oviedo, even string bean Tristan McKenzie and 5’10 Eli Morgan.

      Still, he’s definitely got his chance to lock in a long-term gig, and he’s a good gamble especially in a shortened 2020 where they’re unlikely to ask more than twice through the order.

  5. Harley Earl says:
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    Itch!!!!

    Wow, so you ranked Alex Reyes at #103. Man, I’ve had this guy on my roster for 5 years now and my patience is running out. I’ve almost dumped him twice already. I haven’t thrown in the towel yet but only because I’ve invested so much time and frustration in him that I feel like I need to at least give him a chance to pitch again and show what he’s got.

    And that brings me to your ranking. What do you see in Mr. Reyes that makes you believe he’s a bubble top 100 starter? I can only hope whatever you say, whatever you are seeing, is right. Sometimes I wish I had never bought into him. I need something good to remind me why I did. What says you?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Totally feel you there. Kind of a last hurrah ranking on Reyes.

      If he doesn’t show something by early 2021, he just goes on being something of a tragedy.

      I say that because I think the weed suspension kinda blew up his career. If he’d been in the majors at that time, he wouldn’t have been tested for a drug that’s legal in much of the union.

      I can’t really think of another player who was similarly wrecked by the MiLB marijuana rules. I’m sure there are others, but the timing of Reyes’s was just devastating. His arm won’t stop short-circuiting.

      Anyway I really want to see him pitch. At one point he had the best stuff in the minors. Kind of impossible to know if that’s still in there somewhere, but I’d be happy to pay the price of admission to find out.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Yeah, that’s kind of where I’m at.

        I paid that price of admission years ago, and I’ve been paying for it ever since. This is his final chance with me. It’s put up or shut up time. He either shows the arm he once had or he’s off to Waiver Waiver Land.

        Interesting perspective on the wacky weed angle. I’ve never thought of it that way. But it really does make a lot of sense and is kind of unfair in a ridiculous way.

        I can make one comparison I think, sorta.

        Remember Brien Taylor and his tragic fall from top Yankees prospect to beer truck delivery driver after getting his shoulder hurt in a bar room fight? Later he had a drug arrest among other things. Reyes, too was a #1 prospect and he has done drugs, broken his hand in a fight with a dugout wall and subsequently injured his pectoral muscles weeks later. He seems like Taylor 2.0. And we all know how that turned out.

  6. Jeff says:
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    Charlie Morton at #35 for 2021? I was under the impression he was retiring after the 2020 season, has he changed his mind on this now?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I read something that indicated he wasn’t certain about retirement.

      https://www.tampabay.com/sports/rays/2020/02/11/is-rays-charlie-morton-retiring-after-2020/

      From this Marc Topkin piece from Feb 11 2020:

      “I don’t know,” Morton said Tuesday after a pre-spring workout. “If I throw really well and I feel really good, it’s going to be a tough decision. But if either one of those things happen, where I’m not pitching really well, or I’m not healthy, then, yeah, I’m not going to play.”

      Sounds like if he’s healthy and good, he’ll give it another go.

  7. Jon Gray’s Broken Toe says:
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    I love the George Kirby ranking! Dude has control but I understand his secondaries are average. Drafted in 2019, hopefully the tutelage of an MLB organization will help him improve his stuff. If this guy can improve his secondaries even a little bit, he could be insane. I feel like a lot of pundits are under-estimating the impact of a major league team on a plus plus control guy like Kirby… hence why I like your ranking so much. The following season will tell a lot about Kirby.

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