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Fake Teams Consensus Pitching Prospects 26 Through 50

The prospect staff at Fake Teams release the second half of their top 50 pitching prospects for 2013.


With each week being dedicated to our consensus rankings at a particular position, the prospect staff at Fake Teams will also be providing position-specific coverage during these weeks. This will include a pair of prospect profiles, as well as a comparison post between two similar prospects at the position. And of course, we will be releasing our top 20 prospects at the position. This differs slightly from what we did last year, as these rankings are for the long term, rather than providing a separate list for the upcoming season only.

Bret Sayre, Craig Goldstein, and I have discussed the ranking of each player on these lists, and have come to a determination on each them of where they belong on the list. There are a number of groupings where, if you believe a prospect should move up or down a slot, we would probably not disagree. Prospect rankings remain a picture of what we see based on the information available at that moment in time, and are likely to change as the offseason progresses. Also note that these rankings are for fantasy purposes, so while we take a players' role into account, we only account for their defense in terms really of their ability to stay at the position long term.

The top 25 were released on Tuesday. With that, the rest of our top 50 pitching prospects:

26. A.J. Cole (OAK) (MLKT)

The top prospect acquired in the Gio Gonzalez trade, Cole struggled last year in High-A before being demoted back to Low-A Burlington. He righted himself there, and the A's can be patient with Cole. He has the ceiling of a #2 starter, providing across the board production as a starting pitcher.

Estimated ETA: Late 2015

27. Yordano Ventura (KC) (MLKT, Profile from June)

Ventura reached AA this season with his triple digit fastball, and there are concerns about his ability to keep his walk rate under control. That said, he still has a ton of potential as a starter, and will likely return to AA to start the 2013 season.

Estimated ETA: 2014

28. Wily Peralta (MIL) (MLKT, Profile from April)

We saw Peralta in small bursts this year in Milwaukee, and he will be given an opportunity to win a rotation spot out of Spring Training. He has shown the potential to be a strikeout per inning starter in the past, and his success will hinge more on keeping control of his walk rate (4.8 per 9 at AAA in 2012)

Estimated ETA: 2013

29. Robert Stephenson (CIN) (MLKT)

Stephenson was the top draft pick of the Reds back in 2011, and reached full season Low-A by the end of 2012. There's top of the rotation upside in Stephenson, but it's based primarily on the projection of his tools at this point as opposed to his performance. He'll still be just 20 years old for the entirety of the 2013 season, which he will likely start back at Low-A. The reports on Stephenson point to a pitcher more advanced than your normal high school draftee.

Estimated ETA: 2016

30. Allen Webster (BOS) (MLKT)

Acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, Webster is known for having decent strikeout potential to go with an excellent ability to induce grounders. He finished the season with a walk rate over 4, which is a bit concerning given that he hasn't been below 3.5 since rookie ball. He seems likely to start the season at AAA, and spend most of the season there unless a need arises in Boston.

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

31. Joe Ross (SD) (MLKT)

Ross was given a full season assignment to start the 2012 campaign, but injuries caused him to miss parts of the season and ineffectiveness led him to return to short season ball for the end of the season. He may have the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Padres' organization, which is really saying something, but remains extremely raw. He will likely take another shot at Low-A to start the 2013 season.

Estimated ETA: 2016

32. James Paxton (SEA) (MLKT, Profile from April)

The Mariners have a steal from the 4th round of the 2010 draft, as Paxton has already shown flashes of mid-rotation potential. He struggled somewhat with walks in 2012 (54 in 106 IP), but the rest of his performance was very good. After a full season at AA, Paxton seems destined to start at AAA this season, and could debut in Seattle by season's end.

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

33. Jake Odorizzi (TAM) (MLKT)

Odorizzi was included in the James Shields trade to Tampa, and there seems to be some variance on what his ceiling can be. Realistically, he is ready to contribute to a Major League staff, but the questions are more related to what he can be for fantasy owners. His strikeout rate dropped in his stint at AAA, albeit to a still respectable 7.4 per 9 innings. He doesn't seem likely to make the Rays' rotation out of Spring Training, but could see time during the season as needed.

Estimated ETA: 2013

34. Kyle Gibson (MIN) (MLKT, Profile from October)

Gibson missed most of the 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery, but the performance and reports out of the Arizona Fall League were very positive. He could be the best starting pitcher that the Twins have right now, and it seems pretty likely that he will make the Opening Day roster. The question really comes down to how the Twins will work to build up his endurance after missing the previous season.

Estimated ETA: 2013

35. Tony Cingrani (CIN) (MLKT, Profile from August)

Cingrani surprised a lot of people with the success he has had in his transition to the rotation. He led the minor leagues in strikeouts and reached AA in 2012 before a brief stint in the Majors to end his year. I'm a believer that he can stay in the rotation at this point, and could be ready by the end of the season.

Estimated ETA: Late 2013

36. Lance McCullers (HOU) (MLKT)

The Astros' got a steal with McCullers in the supplemental first round, as he was viewed as a top ten talent coming into the draft, but with substantial signability concerns. The Astros were able to get it done, and they will continue to develop him as a starting pitcher until he shows he cannot do that. Look for him to start with a short-season assignment in 2013.

Estimated ETA: 2017

37. Manny Banuelos (NYY) (MLKT)

It's really hard to make a good report on Banuelos after he missed most of the season due to injuries, especially given that he is expected to miss the 2013 season as well due to Tommy John surgery. He could still be with the Yankees by 2014, but his future has become very murky.

Estimated ETA: 2014

38. Justin Nicolino (MIA) (MLKT)

Included in the trade with the Blue Jays, Nicolino's path to the Majors could be even quicker with the Marlins. He is a lower ceiling, higher floor type of prospect, in that he is likely to be at least Major League average given his profile and repertoire. He'll likely start the season at High-A, and is considered to have a mid-rotation ceiling.

Estimated ETA: 2014

39. Tyrell Jenkins (STL) (MLKT, Profile from May)

Jenkins made his full season debut in 2012, striking out 80 and walking 36 in 82 innings pitched at Low-A. Craig wrote about Jenkins back in May, and the key with him is that there is still #1 upside in him, although it's hard to judge just how much of a chance that he gets to that potential.

Estimated ETA: 2015

40. Luis Heredia (PIT) (MLKT)

We have been hearing about Luis Heredia since he signed back in 2010, and made his state side debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2011 as a 16 year old. He has shown flashes of #1 upside, but is still just 18 years old, and pitched decently in the college-heavy New York Penn League last year. We could see what he really could be by this time next season, as he seems like a good candidate for a full season assignment in 2013.

Estimated ETA: 2017

41. John Lamb (KC) (MLKT)

Lamb got lost a bit in the crowd after he missed the majority of the season due to Tommy John surgery. If he can return to the form he has shown before the injury, he could be a #2 starter in the Majors.

Estimated ETA: 2014

42. Robbie Erlin (SD) (MLKT)

Erlin missed a substantial portion of last season due to an elbow injury, but seems like he has a good shot to win a starting rotation spot for the Padres. Even with the changes being made in San Diego, his profile (fly-ball, solid strikeouts) should play well there, and provide fantasy owners with a solid value pitcher late in drafts.

Estimated ETA: 2013

43. Kyle Crick (SF) (MLKT)

Crick's performance in the low minors this year reminds us that he has some things to work on still (67 walks in 111 innings), but his ceiling from draft day has not really changed. He still looks like he has the tools to turn into a #2/#3 starter for the Giants, and will likely start the season with High-A San Jose.

Estimated ETA: 2015

44. Michael Wacha (STL) (MLKT)

The numbers (Small Sample Size alert) were ridiculous for Wacha (40 K, 4 BB in 21 IP across 3 levels), and Wacha was definitely one of the more heated discussions amongst our rankers. The big question, as Craig noted, was what happens with Wacha when he has to pitch more than three innings at a time. If he can keep up a similar performance and do that, he could jump into the top 20 next year.

Estimated ETA: 2014

45. Martin Perez (TEX) (MLKT)

It seems like we have been talking about Perez and what he could be for so long that his prospect status should be long gone. However, he will turn 22 just after Opening Day this year, and could be in line for a shot at a starting rotation spot for the Rangers. His ceiling probably isn't as high as it was in the past, but he should still be a solid #3 starter who provides solid numbers for fantasy owners.

Estimated ETA: 2013

46. Zach Lee (LAD) (MLKT)

Coming out of the draft, Lee was viewed as having true #1 upside potential. He is another pitching prospect where the ceiling may not have changed, but the likelihood of that may have dropped somewhat. He was solid in his stint at AA as a 20 year old in 2012, and seems likely to return there to start the 2013 season.

Estimated ETA: 2014

47. Victor Sanchez (SEA) (MLKT, Profile from July)

Sanchez emerged onto the prospect scene really this year, as he made his stateside debut with Everett in the Northwest League as a 17 year old. Sanchez is considered to be very advanced for his age, and could reach the Majors at a very young age. He doesn't have a top-of-the-rotation ceiling, but should still slot in nicely as a mid-rotation starting pitcher.

Estimated ETA: 2017

48. Brandon Maurer (SEA) (MLKT)

A bit overlooked after the top three pitching prospects in Seattle, Maurer has developed to the point where he could have four different pitches which grade out at average or better, and has already reached AA. He could start the season in AAA as a 22 year old, and it will be interesting to see if his strikeout rate climbs from the 7.65 per 9 he posted in 2012.

Estimated ETA: 2014

49. J.O. Berrios (MIN) (MLKT)

Berrios was one of the Twins' supplemental first round picks this year, and combined to strike out 49 and walk 4 in 30 innings between the Gulf Coast League and the Appy League. There's a ton of potential here, as he has already shown a plus fastball, a solid changeup, and is working on a slider as well. He's a long way away still, and the Twins aren't exactly known for pushing prospects quickly.

Estimated ETA: 2017

50. Clayton Blackburn (SF) (MLKT)

Another key point of contention amongst our rankers, Blackburn doesn't necessarily have the ceiling of most of the prospects on these lists. But he is extremely likely to pitch in the Majors, has shown the ability to get a decent amount of strikeouts, and a ton of ground balls. He projects to provide solid fantasy value as an innings eater with above average control and solid numbers across the board.

Estimated ETA: 2015

Below are some of the last names we discussed as well. We wouldn't necessarily slot them in as 51 through 55, but just interesting names we talked about:

Alberto Tirado (TOR) - Tirado pitched for the Blue Jays' GCL and Appy League affiliates as a 17 year old in 2012, striking out 39 and walking 17 in 48 innings. Another year should tell us a lot more about the potential and likelihood of that potential from Tirado.

Matt Wisler (SD) - Wisler emerged after an excellent season in Low-A Fort Wayne, and is considered very advanced for a 20 year old pitching prospect.

Dan Straily (OAK) - Straily skyrocketed through the Athletics' system last year, finishing the season with the big club. He'll look to compete for a rotation spot with the A's this year, but could spend more time in AAA due to an extremely crowded rotation.

Cody Buckel (TEX) - The knock on Buckel seems to be that his ceiling is not particularly high, but there is value to a player with a high floor as well. Buckel reached AA as a 20 year old in 2012, and has a back-of-the-rotation profile long term.

Sam Selman (KCR) - Selman went out (in a small sample) and absolutely dominated the Pioneer League with 89 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched. There are questions about whether Selman can continue this performance, or if he would be better suited long-term for the bullpen.