As I sat down to begin strategizing for my fantasy drafts, it became apparent that starting pitching is deep this year. I mean really deep. Sure, there’s something to be said for having the safe, consistent production of Roy Halladay on your pitching staff. But would I rather have Halladay in the first round and B.J. Upton in the seventh or Carl Crawford and Roy Oswalt taken in the same slots?
I feel like there are far fewer stud hitters this year as compared to years past. Conversely, it seems that solid starting pitchers can be gotten in the 10th round, and many much later than that.
Here are 10 pitchers that can be drafted with Pick 100 or later that will provide incredible value to fantasy teams:
Wandy Rodriguez, Houston
By all accounts, Rodriguez had a solid season last year. The only issue with his stat line is wins. His numbers are good enough and his skills are good enough to earn better win totals. If he does, he more than justifies an 11th-round selection. Even if he only gets 12 wins this year, his 180 strikeouts are great production for someone with his ERA and WHIP.
Shaun Marcum, Milwaukee
Marcum put up productive numbers in his first season back from Tommy John surgery pitching in the American League East. He now pitches for the Brewers and instead of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, he gets to face the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s going in the 12th round.
Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco
Sanchez is always an interesting guy because of the strikeout numbers. He racked up 205 last year, to go with his 3.07 earned run average. Some are saying that he’s being overrated, but a young pitcher, in a pitcher’s park, in a weak hitting division, who strikes out 200 guys? I’ll jump on him in 12th round if I have to.
Lewis broke onto the scene last season with the Rangers, and no one knew what to expect. But he was both durable and productive, and should be able to repeat numbers close to last year. That means another 195 strikeouts for the lucky owner who nabs him in the 15th round.
Hiroki Kuroda, Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s nothing sexy about Kuroda. But he’s dependable. His 3.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP can act as valuable protection for higher risk pitchers with big strikeout numbers. He’ll put up 160 strikeouts to add to the pot.
Brett Myers, Houston
Myers seemed to like being an Astro last season, posting a 3.14 ERA to go with 180 strikeouts. He should be able to put up numbers again, but the possibility of a mid-season trade is intriguing. If he’s traded to a contender, his win potential may go up, but he seems to struggle under bright lights. But his numbers look great in the 17th round.
Brandon Morrow, Toronto
Morrow has finally found a home in a starting rotation. He escaped Seattle and started to hone his skills last year in Toronto. His arm should be fresh, and he started to come on strong in the second half last year. Given a full season, another 180 strikeouts and reasonable ratios can be expected.
Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati
Volquez missed most of last season, but returned from Tommy John surgery and put up solid numbers. He was able to get his fastball back up to par and he’s always been a big strikeout guy. He’s healthy and should be going way earlier than the Pick 180.
Gio Gonzalez, Oakland
I don’t understand why people aren’t buying this kid. He put up 15 wins, 171 strikeouts and posted solid ratios for a pitcher so young. For some reason, people are betting against him. I have no problem grabbing him late in drafts.
Javier Vazquez, Florida
Vazquez got roughed up in New York. And it wasn’t the first time. Some pitchers just prefer to pitch in relative anonymity. He was good in the National League before, and I think he’ll do it again.