Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
Ray Guilfoyle takes a look at some deep league starting pitchers in the American League.
Last week, I took a look at some deep league starting pitchers for each National League team. Today, I take a look at a few starters a few starters for those of you in deeper mixed or AL-only leagues. I will list one starter for each team that could help fantasy owners in 2013. Every owner wants to grab an ace starter on draft day to anchor their staff, but sometimes a relative unknown starter who breaks out could make the difference between winning a league and finishing out of the money.
Let's take a look at the deep league starters in the American League, starting with the AL East. Each of these starters have an ADP of 250 or higher, per Mock Draft Central.
Chris Tillman, BAL
Dylan Bundy, BAL
Felix Doubront, BOS
Ivan Nova, NYY
Chris Archer, TB
Ubaldo Jimenez, CLE
Jose Quintana, CHW
Rick Porcello, DET
Wade Davis, KC
Vance Worley, MIN
Lucas Harrell, HOU
Bud Norris, HOU
Erasmo Ramirez, SEA
Tommy Hanson, LAA
Daniel Straily, OAK
I don't see Orioles future ace Dylan Bundy breaking camp with the team out of spring training, but do see a call up at some point this season. Possibly as early as June. I see him starting out the season in AA, with a possible move to AAA by June. He hasn't lasted more than 12 starts at any one level thus far, so maybe an early June promotion to AAA, with a call up after the All Star break makes more sense.
Bundy's teammate Chris Tillman pitched well in the second half of the season, winning nine of his 15 starts, and going six or more innings in nine starts as well. His FIP was more than a run higher than his ERA, mainly due to his HR/9 rate. If he can improve upon his second half, he could help fantasy owners this season.
The Rockies are rumored to be talking to the Rays about starter Jeff Niemann. Should he be traded, look for pitching prospect Chris Archer to take over the 5th starter role in Tampa. He owned a 36-13 strikeout to walk rate in 29.1 innings in the big leagues in 2012, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings, and keeping the ball on the ground at a 44% rate.
Royals starter Wade Davis is moving from the bullpen, where he has been dominant, to the starting rotation, where he owns a winning record in 2+ seasons as a starter in Tampa. The move to Kansas City may help him, but his strikeout rate will have to improve from the 6.0 K/9 rate that he put up two years ago.
Erasmo Ramirez made just 8 starts last year, but if he can pitch like this over a full season-30+ starts-he can help many a fantasy owner in 2013. Ramirez struck out more than 7 batters per nine, limited the free pass to under 2 per nine innings, and kept the ball on the ground at a 40% rate. Pitching in the AL West, with the Astros joining the division, could result in another ERA in the 3s this season.
A's starter Dan Straily dominated two levels of the minors last season, striking out more than 11 batters per nine in 25 starts at the AA and AAA levels. Along with the Ks came an ability to keep the ball in the ballpark. That skill eluded him in the big leagues, as he gave up 11 home runs in just 39.2 innings last season, for a 2.52 HR/9 rate. That is not repeatable, and that represents opportunity for fantasy owners in 2013. Add in the fact that he will call Oakland's O.com Stadium home, and you could have a breakout starter on your hands.