Dynasty League Pitching Prospects: Anderson Espinoza, Amir Garrett and others

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In fantasy baseball dynasty leagues, teams that pick up good players while they're young are generally the teams that dominate over an extended period of time. More and more leagues are adding MiLB rosters; You can create a large advantage by claiming prospects before your league mates even hear about them. The 5 pitching prospects below are "under the radar" type players that aren’t seen in your common top 100 prospect lists.

Mike Clevinger, SP - CLE - Clevinger is a bit older than you'd like for a prospect. He will turn 25 in December but doesn't have a ton of mileage on his arm. Clevinger was drafted in the 4th round out of Seminole State CC in 2011. Once a highly regarded prospect in the Angels system, he is now mowing batters down in the Eastern league for the Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland's AA affiliate). Clevinger underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and missed the majority of the 2013 season. He struggled in 2014 with a 4.41 ERA in 100IP between full-season A and advanced A ball; however, in 2015 he seems to have finally found his groove. In 2015, he's put up the kind of stats that you want in #2/#3 type fantasy starter. He finished the season with a 2.73ERA in 158IP, 1.06WHIP, 145K, and only 40BB. He was also called up to the Columbus Clippers for the International League playoffs where he has been nearly untouchable. In his 2 starts in the INT'L league playoffs he went 15.1IP, 5H, 3BB, 0ER, 17K's. He's clearly starting to make a name for himself and could get a shot in Cleveland's rotation later next year. I believe he can become a very solid #3 type pitcher in the future that could support the back end of your fantasy rotation.

Jacob Faria, SP - TB - For a prospect that was not even in's top 30 Tampa Bay Rays prospects, Faria has surely caught the eye of many. Faria's had about as good as a season as any in all of MiLB. Sporting a 17-4 record with a 1.92 ERA across A+ & AA he's starting to show the makings of a very good starting pitcher. Faria was called up to AA Montgomery mid-season and did not disappoint. Faria boasts a 11.47 K/9 in 75.1IP and had games of 11K & 13K. Faria shared the Florida State pitcher of the year honors with Amir Garrett of the Daytona Tortugas. While Faria is far from a sure thing, he could end up being a guy that will help sure up a fantasy rotation for years to come.

Pedro Avila, SP - WAS- Avila dominated the Dominican Summer League this year with a K/9 of 13.12 over 59.2IP. While his ERA was great at 2.26, his FIP was even better sitting at 1.87. The 18 year old was good enough to receive a late season promotion to the Gulf Coast League. He went 4IP allowing 1H and 1BB while striking out 5 in his only start. Avila’s pitching repertoire is somewhat of an unknown at this point as he’s only made one start stateside. Overall, he finished with 92K in 63.2IP between the DSL & GCL. It’s too early to know what kind of pitcher Avila can become, but you should jump on the band wagon before someone else does. Avila is years away from contributing to a minor league team but if you are in a league with deep MiLB rosters he’s worth a spot. Pitchers that miss bats at this rate do not come along often. I snagged Avila in the 10th round of my 20 team MiLB draft.

Amir Garrett, SP –CIN- Garrett has already started to generate some buzz as he was added to’s top 100 mid-season prospect list. He’s a little bit older than you’d like for a prospect in A+ as he is 23 years old. This was his first year of full-time pitching since he gave up playing basketball last year. Garrett oozes with potential and is only getting better after focusing solely on baseball. Garrett shared Florida State Leagues’ Pitcher of the Year honors with Jacob Faria. He’s in a Reds organization that lacks pitching depth at the big league level. Although he’s a few years away, you could be looking at a potential #2/#3 type fantasy starter if everything comes together. Currently he’s lacking the control you’d like to see from a dominant starter; however, during his first start in the FSL league playoffs Amir showed his potential with 7IP, 1H, 0BB, 0ER and 12K’s. The future is extremely bright here and Garrett is looking like a great long term play.

Anderson Espinoza, SP – BOS - Chances are Espinoza is most likely claimed in leagues with MiLB rosters. If he is not, stop what you are doing now, go pick him up before someone else does. At only 17 years old, Espinoza has been dominant over the past year. He’s been said by many to have ace potential with 3 above-average to plus pitches. His fastball is his best pitch and it routinely sits 96-98mph topping out in the triple digits. Espinoza has made 15 starts this year amassing 65K in 58.1IP while walking 14. His 10 starts in the GCL league are almost mind blowing; 0.68ERA, 0.83WHIP, 40/9 K/BB, while allowing only 24 hits in 40IP. He’s close to doing what Felix Hernandez did at age 17. In no way am I saying he’s the next Felix Henandez, but what he’s doing at 17 years old is pretty unbelievable. The Red Sox have raved about his maturity level and gave him a shot in Greenville (LoA) before the year ended. It would be a mistake to wait any longer before you add him as the hype is about to blow up for this kid, if it already hasn’t.

Having an edge with MiLB players is essential for long-term dynasty league success I hope the guys listed above can help you gain that edge in your fantasy baseball league

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