There’s so many great starters after the top 200. It’s a stacked. It being starting pitchers sleepers. There were a bunch of guys who I wanted to write fantasy baseball sleepers for, but I just didn’t have enough time before the 2024 fantasy baseball rankings jump off this Monday. I mentioned the other day in my Mitch Keller sleeper that guys who aren’t mentioned as sleepers aren’t sleepers, but it means there’s more of a chance that makes them sleepers. Kutter Crawford feels like he falls in that group of players who aren’t sleepers because they weren’t mentioned as sleepers, so I had to mention him as a sleeper to make him a sleeper. The only thing stopping me from thinking Kutter Crawford is the greatest sleeper to ever be named a sleeper is he’s 27 years old (28 for Opening Day) and has yet to do anything truly stunning, and only reached his career high in innings (129 1/3) last year. Up until last year, the best thing a Red Sox Kutter did was cut his uniform on the White Sox, and that was Chris Sale, who’s not even a Red Sox player anymore. Following? Great work, stalker! But we can’t lay all the blame on Kutter for his lack of doing anything so far in his career. Alex Cora and the Red Sox have done no favors for Kutter, Garrett Whitlock or Tanner Houck by starting them and yanking them to the bullpen and starting them again. How dare a Red Sox manager yank anything. That’s your bitter rival! So, what can we expect from Kutter Crawford for 2024 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

PSYCHE! Rankings start on Monday, but I’ve rolled out all of them already on the Patreon. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out one post at a time over the next month. Anyway II, the Kutter Crawford sleeper:

Last year, Kutter Crawford had a line of 6-8/4.04/1.11/135 in 129 1/3 IP with a 9.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and, at his draft price of 301st overall, he’s a sleeper by just repeating that year. Remember, a sleeper is to me a guy who can beat his draft value with his actual in-season value of around 50 spots on the Player Rater. So, that means last year he beat that 300 overall price tag by 50, huh? Yes, you are picking up what I am putting down. He was 227th overall on the Player Rater. Actually, 226 or 228, I reserve 227 for Marla Gibbs. That spot is taken! 228 or 226 feels like the low end of what to expect. So, raise up squire, adjust your attire. Wait, that’s not the low end of what to expect but The Low End Theory. Ya know, Razz (We’ve Got). Technically, Kutter is above 226 or 228 on the Player Rater too. Watch what I do here. If you were able to fill-in Kutter’s spot when he wasn’t pitching — Kutter, Kutter, peanut butter, was easily replaceable when he was hurt or just not in the rotation. So, you got more fantasy value from him than 226 or 228. Making a big deal of this because: Repeat last year and he’s worth his draft spot plus fifty, easily. Now to dazzle. look at this:

He was in the 85th percentile for xERA. Oh…*climbs to top of Mt. Kilimanjaro*…kay. In the 87th percentile for xBA? Don’t mind, pause for yums, if I do. He was making guys chase, wasn’t allowing free passes, stopped giving up hard contact, and gave up a ton of fly balls. That last one isn’t great, or, and here’s where I say the opposite, think about it: Weak contact with a ball in the air? Meh, who cares? He had the 17th best fastball based on Stuff+ and that was with “only” a 93.6 MPH snoozer. His “fast”ball elicited a .164 BAA. Deception is better than speed, and he’s showing it, or rather not showing it to the hitter. His not-that-fast fastball had a 36.7% K%, which was 4th in baseball, just after Felix Bautista. His BAA was 2nd in the league behind also Felix. Only thing is Bautista was only facing three hitters most times. Maybe the bottom three in the order. Kutter had to kut through all parts of lineups.

Speaking of Kutter, what about the cutter, the pitch that he was somehow named after even though, he, like, many, was named when he was first dropping from the vajayjay. Honestly, his parents should’ve named him Nobelprizewinner Crawford or Winninglotteryforbilliondollars Crawford because of their ability to predict the future. High risk, high reward though. Imagine they named him Kutter and he was an inmate. “I’ll show you a Kutter!” Or if he wanted to be a chef. “Sorry, kid, you’ll always be a Kutter.” Thankfully, his parents’ power of fortune telling is strong, and he had the 19th best cutter based on SLG (.426), 18th best based on Whiff% (24.2%), and 8th best xBAA (.238). On their own, none of his cutter numbers are going to blow you away, but couple that with a fastball, and, well, that’s why both pitches work. In conjunction with each other. Oh, and he has a split-finger that works well too. Ya know, just a .209 BAA, .349 SLG and .246 wOBA. How is this guy being drafted around 300th overall? What on earth.

Once he entered the rotation, Kutter Crawford showed he belonged. He won’t be able to throw 180+ IP, so that’s going to limit his value, but if he was between 226 and 228 in value last year, I imagine with a small step forward, he can be a top 150 player, a top 40-ish starter and have almost 150 spots in difference between his draft spot and fantasy value, making him a very nice sleeper for this year. For 2024 fantasy baseball, I’ll give Kutter Crawford projections 12-10/3.74/1.09/154 in 151 IP with a chance for more.