Welcome to the Top 5 MLB Dynasty Prospect Pitchers to Target! I will be focused on prospects that I think project well and have an MLB ETA of 2023 or earlier. I have compiled my data and notes from FanGraphs which is where I do the bulk of my MLB research. All of these players will be prospects that have not debuted in 2020 or earlier seasons. All prospect grades are on a 20-80 scale with 80 being the best possible grade. Let’s get into it!
MacKenzie Gore is the highest touted MiLB pitcher right now. Gore is a LHP with a 55-grade Fastball, and a 50-grade Curveball, Slider, and Changeup. In my opinion, the most promising part of Gore’s scouting report is his 70-grade potential for Command. He already has dominant stuff but, if he can command the zone with all four of his pitches, Gore will be a top arm in MLB. At this point, it looks like his Slider is his putaway pitch and his Changeup is a work-in-progress.
For fantasy purposes, I don’t think it’s bullish to expect a 10-12 K/9 once Gore has MLB experience under his belt. He could even reach elite levels of a 12-13 K/9 if he develops up to his potential. Stay patient with Gore and only trade him for elite young talent.
For 2021, it is no secret that the Padres rotation is STACKED. I’m expecting Gore to be untouchable for the Padres unless they get a dream trade for an elite hitter. Keep in mind that we are coming off a shortened 2020 season which could lead to guys being on an innings limit and injuries will happen. Gore has a chance to make an impact in the 2021 season and he would the second prospect I would draft in Dynasty Leagues this season.
MLB Player Comp: Clayton Kershaw
Shane Baz is a former First Round pick by Pittsburgh that is best known for being included in the Chris Archer trade that went terribly for Pittsburgh. Baz is a RHP with a Fastball that projects to be a 70-grade pitch but is still developing the rest of his arsenal. There is a lot of upside with Baz whether he ends up in the rotation or bullpen for Tampa Bay. His Fastball is elite and will play at the MLB level. He just needs to develop 1-2 offspeed offerings to go with that explosive heater that touches triple digits. FanGraphs currently has a Curveball and a Cutter as his secondary pitches.
Shane Baz is going to be a low floor/high ceiling investment. His development in 2021 is going to be crucial for his future fantasy value. If he doesn’t develop plus offspeed stuff, we could be looking at Baz as a middle reliever for Tampa Bay which kills his value in leagues that do not value holds. If he develops offspeed pitches, we could be looking at Baz as an elite MLB starting pitcher. If you invest in Baz, pay close attention to his 2021 development.
MLB Player Comp: Noah Syndergaard
Asa Lacy is a 2020 First Round pick by Kansas City who has yet to pitch an inning of MiLB due to the cancellation of the 2020 season. A 2022 MLB ETA may seem quick but, Lacy does have some seasoning under his belt coming from Texas A&M. Lacy has a Fastball that touches 97 MPH with a plus Changeup and Slider. His Curveball is a work in progress. Lacy needs to develop his command of the zone and I believe Kansas City will give him all of 2021 to develop that part of his game.
Lacy has a ton of upside with 3 plus pitches and should be a high strikeout guy at the MLB level. Somewhere between a 11-12 K/9 feels realistic for Lacy and he should be a key piece of the Royals rotation if he stays healthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Lacy in the bullpen in 2022 if Kansas City is making a run at the AL Central. Lacy has amazing stuff and will be an impact arm.
MLB Player Comp: Aroldis Chapman
Logan Gilbert should be a mainstay in the Mariners rotation in 2021. Gilbert is a RHP that features a 55-grade Fastball, 50-grade Curveball, 45-grade Slider, and a 45-grade Changeup. Gilbert ran his Fastball up to 97 MPH last season in the alternate site camp and has middle of the rotation upside. Potential 60-grade command for Gilbert is what draws me to him the most. He is going to pound the zone with quality stuff which should get him deep into games as he develops.
I’m expecting Gilbert to be an innings eater for Seattle. He has the stuff to get big league outs and he is going to challenge hitters. Expect him to have a K/9 around 8-9 in the early stages of his career which could raise to 10 in his prime. There is opportunity in the Mariners rotation and I anticipate Gilbert getting the MLB callup in May or June this season.
MLB Player Comp: Zack Wheeler
Huter Greene has the highest upside of any pitcher in MiLB. His fastball hits 100+ MPH with ease and he is developing offspeed pitches to complete his arsenal. His Fastball is a 60-grade pitch and he also features a 50-grade Slider, 50-grade Cutter, and a 45-grade Changeup with a potential 60-grade Command. If Greene develops command of his pitches, the sky is the limit. 12-14 K/9 is a number that Greene has the potential to reach if he continues to develop on the upward path he is on.
Greene’s place on the Reds pitching staff will be determined on his health and development of a starter in MiLB. Greene’s floor is an impact MLB bullpen arm and his ceiling is a top of the rotation MLB arm that dominates the league every 5th day. Either way, Greene will be an arm that I will target in Dynasty leagues and I have zero interest in trading him for anything short of a MLB superstar.
MLB Player Comp: Gerrit Cole
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Photo Credit: Erik Drost