10 Pitching Prospects To See Time In 2015
Daniel Norris Leads The Field
Here are 10 prospects that should see significant innings at the big league level in 2015, in addition to grading on talent I also had to factor in projected playing time. As always these rankings are for fantasy purposes. If you missed my first piece on the top hitting prospects that could see time in 2015 you can read it here (Top 10 Hitters)
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Top 10 Pitching Prospects
Daniel Norris– LHP, Blue Jays – Norris is projected to be the fifth starter in Toronto and should break camp with the team. He features a 90-94 MPH fastball that grades above average to plus, a cutter/slider that’s above average to plus, a change-up that grades as average and a curve that’s below/fringe average. Likely a future mid rotation arm or perhaps more, depending on how big of a jump he makes in command/control. He likely sees about 150 innings in 2015 with low four era and 130 K’s
Andrew Heaney– LHP, Angels – In a battle for the 5th spot in the rotation, Heaney likely sees significant innings whether he nails down the fifth spot to start the year or not. He features a three pitch mix with a low 90’s fastball that grades as above average, a potential plus slider and an average change-up, with plus command/control he has a ceiling as a number two starting pitcher and we should see 125-150 innings in 2015 with a high three to low four ERA and 105-130 K’s.
Carlos Rodon– LHP, White Sox – Rodon has a plus fastball a plus, plus slider and an above average change. He’s ticketed for Triple-A to start the year, but the White Sox have postseason aspirations and the back-end of their rotation is questionable. I just can’t see a scenario that he’ll stay in the minors for long if he’s pitching well. Long term Rodon has #2 starter potential and for this year assuming 125 innings we could see an upper three to low four ERA, and a 110 K’s.
Archie Bradley– RHP, Diamondbacks – Bradley has won the fifth starter job in Arizona. Bradley had an elbow injury early in 2014 and he was a different pitch when he came back with an obvious loss in velocity, also the curve lacked its normal bite. I suspect he’ll still be a good pitcher if his velocity doesn’t fully come back, but he had top of the rotation stuff. For 2015 I assume he’ll see about 125 innings with a mid four ERA and 100 K’s.
Aaron Sanchez– RHP, Blue Jays – Sanchez debuted in 2014 as a stopper in the Blue Jays pen and looked dominant. But due to the Marcus Stroman injury, the Blue Jays are moving Sanchez to the rotation. He has a mid 90’s heater, a 12-6 curve ball and a change-up that produces a lot of ground balls. Sanchez has struggled with command/control throughout his career amassing a walk rate over five in over 350 minor league innings pitched. Sanchez showed us last season that he would be a dominant closer. Lets see if he can have the same success as a starting pitcher. I project he gets 140 innings with a mid to upper four ERA and 120 K’s, but watch that whip.
Noah Syndergaard– RHP, Mets – Syndergaard has a mid to upper 90’s heater that projects as a plus, plus pitch, his curve has come along and now grades as above average/plus and he also throws a change that grades as solid average/above average. I think Syndergaard projects more as a two or tjree starter long term rather than an ace, in part because of his inconsistent command and I’ve felt for a while with his repertoire he gets hit more than he should. For 2015 he’s the sixth starting pitcher and I think he could easily amass 100 innings with the Mets and we could see an ERA in the low to mid fours and about a strikeout an inning.
Alex Meyer– RHP, Twins – Meyer has a fastball that touches triple digits, a power slider, and a fringe average change up. He’s 6’9 and often has trouble repeating his delivery which effects his command/control. I think he would make a fantastic closer but the Twins haven’t given up on making Meyer a starter. He had a full season in Triple-A in 2014 and should be up early in 2015 in some capacity. If he amasses a 100 innings, we could see a low four era and about a strikeout an inning.
Jon Gray– RHP, Rockies – Gray features a mid 90’s fastball that scouts grade as a plus pitch, he also has a plus slider and a solid average change-up. Gray struggles with commanding his pitches and is likely more of a mid rotation arm going forward. He also has the misfortune of starting his home games at Coors field. Gray is in the mix for the fifth starter spot and even if he doesn’t get it he’ll likely be up in short order and assuming 100 innings. I suspect we’ll see a high four to low five ERA and 80 K’s. I’d recommend streaming Gray on his road starts, instead of starting him every time out.
Raisel Iglesias– RHP, Reds – Iglesias has won the fifth starter job in Cincinnati. He’s less heralded as some of the names listed above, but don’t let that fool you he’s got a plus fastball and Slider and an average curve and change. His command is very much a work in progress, however long term he’s got mid rotation upside, and could be a useful in deep leagues in 2015. Assuming 125 innings, we could see 110 K’s and a low to high four ERA. His whip will likely be high because of an elevated walk rate.
Kendall Graveman– RHP, Oakland – Graveman has won the fifth starting job in Oakland. He generates a lot of ground balls with his two-seam fastball and change-up. He profiles as a back-end inning eater but without a lot of strikeouts. I think he’ll be a better real life pitcher than a fantasy pitcher. Assuming 125 innings in 2015, he should amass a mid to upper four ERA and 65 strikeouts.