2023 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: Starting Pitcher Targets Rounds 10-20
Lou looks at the mid-round Starting Pitchers that will significantly help your fantasy baseball squads in 15-team leagues.
It’s usually pretty easy to pick SP’s in the first 10 rounds of your draft. They’re the big names, with the gaudy numbers, the guys who anchor your staff and most in most of your drafts you’ll have three starters by this time, certainly two. It’s finding targets between rounds 10-20 and rounds 20-30 where you can make or break your draft. I’m going to provide some targets you can look for in rounds 10-20 and in my next article, will give you names for round 20-30.
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SP Targets in Rounds 10-20
SP Chris Bassitt, Toronto Blue Jays and SP Luis García, Houston Astros
These are the guys who you can expect to give you good ratios and rack up big wins thanks to the elite teams they for. Bassitt has had a sub 4.00 ERA every season since the start of 2018 and even after leaving the pitcher friendly environment of Oakland, he was able to put together a solid season with the Mets in an incredibly competitive NL East division. You should be able to draft Bassitt in the 155 overall range. Garcia hasn’t been around nearly as long as Bassitt, but in his two full big league season, he‘s made at least 28 starts, thrown at least 150 innings, has at least a strikeout per inning and gives you an ERA in the mid threes. He won 15 games a year ago and should be able to give you another 15, possibly more while pitching for the best team in the American League. Garcia has an ADP in the 158-163 range.
SP Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves
Morton is most reliable when it comes to strikeouts. Excluding the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, he has posted at least 200 strikeouts in four straight seasons. The best part of this is that in none of those seasons did he need 200 innings to accomplish the feat. He has an elite K/9, traditionally good ratios and he’s pitching for one of the best teams in the National League which will lead to him picking up wins. You should be able to draft him between pick 155-170 overall.
SP Jeffrey Springs and Drew Rasmussen, Tampa Bay Rays
Both of these guys are Rays pitchers who can be drafted in the 170-180 range. Their win totals will not be as high as the guys already discussed, simply because they play for a team who does not let their pitchers go deep into games. You’re happy if you get 10 wins from both. Where they will both be very useful is in the ratios department. Springs was actually more than a K/9 a year ago too, which is why he is typically drafted a tad bit earlier than Rasmussen. Both of these guys posted sub 3.00 ERA’s in 2022 with elite WHIP’s. If you can get either one as your SP4, you’re likely putting together an excellent rotation.
SP Patrick Sandoval, Los Angeles Angels and SP Hunter Brown, Houston Astros
You should be able to draft both of these guys outside of the top 200 overall, although Hunter Brown’s ADP has been on the rise over the past two to three weeks. Neither one is a sure fire bet, however, they both possess big time upside and can be taken as low end SP4’s or high end SP5’s. Sandoval arguably had a breakout season a year ago, making 27 starts, posting a sub 3.00 ERA and more than a K/9. His issue was too many walks which led to an extremely high WHIP. If he can cut down on the walks, he’s going to heavily out gain his ADP. Hunter Brown is one of the top pitching prospects in MLB right now and is expected to begin the season in the Astros rotation with the Lance McCullers Jr. injury news. In his short sample size a year ago, he threw 20.1 innings, posting 22 K’s, a 0.89 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. The concern with Brown is how he we will manage a big league work load all season, and whether or not he will remain in the rotation all season.
SP Sonny Gray, Minnesota Twins and SP Jon Gray/Nathan Eovaldi, Texas Rangers
These three veteran pitchers are all safe and do still possess some upside, upside that will be determined by how many innings they each pitch. When they’re on the mound, you’re going to see great results, however, each one of them dealt with injuries a year ago. Sonny Gray was limited to just 119 innings, Jon Gray threw 127.1 and Eovaldi threw just 109.1 with the Red Sox. All three posted a sub 4.00 ERA, have strikeout upside and have good home ballparks. They all have ADP’s in the 200’s, with Eovaldi arguably being the best bargain of the three with an ADP around 245-250 overall. These are your SP5 types, maybe even SP6 types depending on how pitching heavy you went earlier in your drafts.