You see a girl across the bar.

She’s gorgeous.

An angel.

Maybe.

It’s dark.

Tough to see real well.

But one thing you can say for sure is there’s a human sitting across the bar in this post-rona scenario. 

You’re eager to move a little closer, maybe buy a couple drinks. And who knows? Might be the start of something long term. 

You can feel the competition looming. Lotta hungry eyes in the house. Can’t sit around much longer. Have to move in before you’re certain.  

What I’ve just described is the free agent pitching pool in most dynasty leagues. It’s also the general pitching landscape between spots 150 and 200–this week’s focus point. The situation can seem dire most nights, but people get picked up all the time, and some turn out to be great finds. 

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 Kwang-Hyun Kim 31 STL
114 Luis Frias 21 ARI
115 Cole Wilcox 20 ??
116 Zach Plesac 25 CLE
117 Anthony DeSclafani 30 CIN
118 Joey Lucchesi 26 SD
119 Joe Ryan 23 TB
120 Mitch Keller 24 PIT
121 Jordan Balazovic 21 MIN
122 Daniel Espino 19 CLE
123 Tahnaj Thomas 20 PIT
124 Garrett Crochet 21 ??
125 John Means 27 BAL
126 Dylan Cease 24 CHW
127 Dylan Bundy 27 LAA
128 Chris Archer 31 PIT
129 Marco Gonzales 28 SEA
130 Jordan Montgomery 27 NYY
131 Freddy Peralta 23 MIL
132 Jordan Yamamoto 24 MIA
133 Taijuan Walker 27 SEA
134 Cade Cavali 21 ??
135 Ethan Hankins 19 CLE
136 Ross Stripling 30 LAD
137 Matt Shoemaker 33 TOR
138 Jhoan Duran 22 MIN
139 Jackson Kowar 23 KC
140 Nathan Eovaldi 30 BOS
141 Luis Garcia 23 HOU
142 Corbin Burnes 25 MIL
143 Deivi Garcia 20 NYY
144 Jonathan Stiever 23 CHW
145 Ethan Small 23 MIL
146 Elieser Hernandez 25 MIA
147 Jonathan Loaisiga 25 NYY
148 Dallas Keuchel 32 CHW
149 Adam Kloffenstein 19 TOR
150 Kris Bubic 22 KC
151 Scott Moss 25 CLE
152 Jonathan Bowlan 23 KC
153 Cory Abbott 24 CHC
154 Reynaldo Lopez 26 CHW
155 Julio Teheran 29 LAA
156 Jordan Lyles 29 TEX
157 Pablo Lopez 24 MIA
158 Shun Yamaguchi 32 TOR
159 Jeff Samardzija 35 SF
160 Homer Bailey 34 MIN
161 Cole Hamels 36 ATL
162 Steven Matz 28 NYM
163 Daulton Jefferies 24 OAK
164 Kyle Gibson 32 TEX
165 Dakota Hudson 25 STL
166 Corbin Martin 24 ARI
167 Matthew Liberatore 20 STL
168 Brad Keller 24 KC
169 Shane Baz 20 TB
170 Shane McClanahan 23 TB
171 Miguel Yajure 22 NYY
172 Yusei Kikuchi 28 SEA
173 Trevor Williams 28 PIT
174 Luis Medina 21 NYY
175 Zach Davies 27 SD
176 Austin Voth 27 WAS
177 Johnny Cueto 34 SF
178 Brandon Williamson 22 SEA
179 Zack Thompson 22 STL
180 Quinn Priester 19 PIT
181 Daniel Ponce de Leon 28 STL
182 Robert Dominguez 18 NYM
183 Rick Porcello 31 NYM
184 Matthew Thompson 19 CHW
185 Merrill Kelly 31 ARI
186 Danny Duffy 31 KC
187 Brady Singer 23 KC
188 Brayan Bello 20 BOS
189 Cal Quantrill 25 SD
190 Chirs Bassitt 31 OAK
191 Spencer Turnbull 27 DET
192 Tony Gonsolin 26 LAD
193 Justus Sheffield 24 SEA
194 Vince Velasquez 27 PHI
195 Trevor Richards 27 TB
196 Chad Kuhl 27 PIT
197 Tyler Beede 26 SF
198 Anderson Espinoza 22 SD
199 Wade Miley 33 CIN
200 Tyler Anderson 30 SF

 

Thanks for reading! 

(I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter and reddit.)

 
  1. Jolt In Flow says:
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    There are a couple of guys in your 150-200 range that look ripe for the taking. Older guys that could continue to be solid.

    With all that said, the one guy that stands out to me is 169. Kikuchi. I think we haven’t had a chance to see what he’s fully capable of. Plus 1 extra year on the American side will help him be more acclimatized. I think he could end up being the biggest gainer from this group of 50.

    BTW, good intro. Reminded me of something Frank Miller would write.

    Thanks again, Itch.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Jolt in Flow!!

      I’m Kooch-curious, too. He so utterly failed the eye test last year that I kinda want to see it in the real games first, but as the intro (thx btw!) suggests, we don’t really have time to see it first. Already getting late by the time we see it working in the real games.

      Gonsolin looks really low to me today. Punishing him for his setting too much, perhaps.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        The international pitchers used to hit the ground running then struggle as the league adjusted, but pitchers say the balls they use are very different now, so perhaps that sequence is less predictable.

        • Jolt In Flow says:
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          Good tip! Much appreciated for the insight.

  2. Powdered Toast Man says:
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    Thanks Itch.
    Aggressive w the Woodruff ranking? I like him and didn’t protect him in my mixed keeper league. Kept Cole and Clevinger. IP/ health and his home stadium were my reasons for not protecting him and taking a bat over him. Did like love the Tarik Skuball ranking. Excited to see what he has.

    Pear and stay safe!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks Powdered Toast Man!

      Hope you and yours stay safe, too!

      Skubal v MLB bats is probably the baseball thing I’m most excited to see.

      I do feel pretty aggro on Woodruff, tho I’d definitely keep who you did instead.

      4.77 K/BB in age 26 season is pretty loud. 29% K and 6% BB.

      Solid front office. Good team. Derek Johnson on speed-dial. Tough ballpark, so he’ll have to be good, but the K-floor is climbing as the walks fall, and we gotta feel good about that even if he doesn’t dominate quite as thoroughly in 2020. If he goes just a hair the other direction: bumps his K-rate above 30, drops the walks under 5, churns out 180 innings, this ranking looks low.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Powdered Toast Man, you sound delicious

  3. C.B. says:
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    Am I missing DL Hall?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Nah I spaced on him. Not sure where I’ll slide him in off the top of my head. I’ll dig in after the daughter’s bed time. I’m down on him comparatively bc his command is spotty at best, and it can be tough for high profile high school arms to bring return on dynasty investments, especially in the AL East, but he’s definitely been a K monster and is in a system we should all be watching.

  4. Joe Stitched says:
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    While 200 players being ranked is a crapshoot at best and every player could be argued for a different spot on the list, the one which stands out as being considerable lower than where I would have placed them is Brady Singer at 187. With a an almost 4 to 1 SO/BB ratio, a WHIP under 1.2 and a draft position which would indicate a high ceiling, he would seem more likely placed before his teammate Lynch and certainly before Bubic who throws everything in slow motion. Bubic looks great against single A because he throws all off-speed stuff that these youngster haven’t figured out yet.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Singer jumps out at me today as well.

      I’ve always been low on him compared to hype but need to bridge the gap a bit I think.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Actually feel down on Bubic too compared to the sound and fury, so this is gonna move. Good calls!

  5. Ferris says:
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    H2H

    Scherzer and Darvish
    Or
    Flaherty and Clevinger

    Who do you like for this year? Which keeper for next?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’m taking Flaherty Clev for both

  6. Harley Earl says:
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    Itch!!!

    Great stuff here. I think you make a very strong point that there’s always some waiver wire gold to be found. Guys between 150-200 can be had for next to nothing but can be huge assets toward a title run.

    Two years ago, I grabbed Ryu off the waiver wire after he pulled his groin and his owner cut him. Last year I grabbed Lance Lynn off the wire around the middle of May after a couple of good starts. Both those guys are now staples on my team to go along with Flaherty, Urias and Castillo.

    I’m not saying it’s easy to find those guys. I’am saying those guys are out there and somebody between 150-200 is going to turn in a top 50 season. I see a couple on this list between 150-200 that I like, too. They’ll get a test run from me if I can make it work.

    As always, good stuff!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Harley!!

      Ryu and Lynn are perfect examples!

      And like you said, it’s not easy, but it is kind of a fantasy constant—the movement from bottom barrel to top 50 among pitchers.

      Even if you don’t find a monster like Ryu or Woodruff, you might find a few weeks worth of great stats from a Lyles an Odorizzi.

      I tend to fade pitching like mad in dynasty because I think time and hustle are such great ways to build a staff.

      My priciest pitcher in my last startup auction (winter of 2017-18) was $9 (Walker Buehler). $300 budget.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Yeah, I definitely tend to fade pitching in keeper and dynasty leagues and just build a staff over time there. There’s just so much volatility from one year to the next compared to what hitters typically do.

        I love the Woodruff pick. Last year I grabbed him late round in a keeper league and he worked out wonderfully. Odorizzi was another good one, although I wasn’t in on him.

        Just curious, of the 150-200 starters, what two or three stand out to you as guys that might make that leap back into the top 50?

        As always, good work and thanks!

        • Harley Earl says:
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          P.S., I love how you’re so high on Kwang Hyun Kim.

          Most people don’t know about him and he’d typically be one of those 150-200 SP guys. But you’re already on board just like me. You’ve been paying attention, clearly, because dude has some seriously nasty stuff. Cardinals got a steal. I’ve grabbed him in every league I’m in except one.

          • The Itch

            The Itch says:
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            Just finished building today’s article around this question of which I’m buying . . . thanks much for the excellent idea!!!

            Only now I’m thinking I forgot to mention Kim . . . haha . . . ah well can’t talk about everyone but yeah I totally agree–his stuff was better than advertised, and that’s saying something.

            I think a lot about off-speed command and wonder if it’s perhaps the thing we’re worst at valuing as a pitching/fantasy/prospect community. We still love that big velo even though we know spin and command the frequency of off-speed are more important than just about anything these days. Certainly as important as raw velo.

            • The Itch

              The Itch says:
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              Off-speed command and off-speed frequency are so directly linked . . . I think future scouting should have find a way to handle this.

              Hell maybe the proprietary information clubs have is already doing this.

              Maybe they’re getting command grades for each pitch. Video scouting and trackman would seem to encourage this. Very different to evaluate off-speed command in person from behind home plate or just off to the open-close side. So many things to watch in a split second.

  7. dill says:
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    Hey Itch,
    Over the last couple of months, you work has been amazing. I have been relying on your prospect rankings a lot. We will see if it pays out as I snag Hedbert, Heriberto and Matos.

    Anyhow, do you plan on doing rankings for relievers ? Loved your top 20 reliefs pitchers article.

    Also, what do you think of Austin Adams ? The projections are really good and the Seattle bullpen is a mess.

    Thanks !

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Can’t thank you enough for the kind words, dill!

      And I’m extremely happy you remember my relief prospect article!!!! That’s where I’m headed next in the series!!!

      Great call on Adams! (sorry for all the exclamation points . . . ) Torn ACL and blood clot had him in extremely scary territory this draft season, and his timetable pointed to June at best.

      Flash forward a few months and–assuming he can find health and form–he’s in pole position to win that job sooner than later and has shown the strikeout ability to be an incredibly value for fantasy.

      Anyway thanks again! (see you around Heriberto island. Population boom seems imminent, even if it’s now delayed a rona-year for all three of these low-minors monsters.)

  8. moleman says:
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    so michael fulmer doesn’t crack the top 200? he was pretty consistent pre-surgery, albeit unspectacular. but on track to be ready if the season starts in jul and still relatively young

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      You’re right. I need to make some kind of decision on him and get him on here.

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