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4 Second-Year Pitchers to Target & Avoid (2024 Fantasy Baseball)

4 Second-Year Pitchers to Target & Avoid (2024 Fantasy Baseball)

Countless rookie pitchers seemed to appear on the mound during the 2023 baseball season. Some of these fresh faces were irrelevant, but many newcomers supplied a much-needed fantasy impact and earned their place on 2024 draft boards. Here are four second-year pitchers to target and avoid:

Second-Year Pitchers to Target and Avoid

Hunter Brown (SP – HOU)

Brown was elite to launch the season, posting a 3.35 ERA and 1.19 WHIP until mid-June. But the wheels quickly fell off and he was unable to maintain his Rookie of the Year pace, culminating in a shameful 5.09 ERA and 1.36 WHIP to end the season. After throwing a career-high 155.2 innings, Brown claimed “some things in [his] mechanics changed… due to fatigue,” perhaps partially excusing the poor stats. Although Hunter Brown’s performance plummeted, his strikeouts actually increased, posting 10.8 K/9 from July to September, compared to 9.9 K/9 from April to June. It may be hard to justify drafting a player whose ERA can’t be counted on one hand, but the righty showed early promise that cannot be ignored. If Brown can avoid fatigue and his strikeout rate remains, he could be an ace at a cheap consensus ADP of 165.

Bryan Woo (SP – SEA)

The Seattle Mariners know how to develop pitching talent, a pipeline exemplified by righty Bryan Woo. The 24-year-old pitcher was solid during 2023: 4.21 ERA (3.45 xERA) / 1.21 WHIP / 9.5 K/9 / 87.2 IP. These are not jaw-dropping numbers, but as Woo adjusts to the majors, he may inch towards his stats in Rookie Ball and Double-A, where he earned a 3.21 ERA and 12.7 K/9. One encouraging sign is Woo’s control, demonstrated by a 3.2 BB/9 for Seattle this year. Do not expect Bryan Woo to be the star of your rotation, but he currently stands at a consensus ADP around 220, which is hard to pass up.

Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)

The top Orioles prospect made his long-awaited debut in April 2023, but an awful 7.35 ERA and 1.74 WHIP resulted in his return to Triple-A on May 27. Fantasy managers who held Rodriguez were rewarded after he returned to the majors in July and figured things out. In the second half, the youngster struck out 73 batters over 76.2 innings with a 2.58 ERA and .227 BAA. His 2023 was a tale of two seasons, and it seems unlikely that Rodriguez will ever return to his horrendous 2023 spring form. Regardless, his consensus ADP that hovers around 65 seems far too high for a still-unproven pitcher. Rodriguez has shown astonishing promise, but will he be better than other pitchers near/below his ADP, such as Logan Gilbert or Joe Musgrove? It is certainly possible, but it seems like a safer bet to target proven starters at this price.

Bobby Miller (SP – LAD)

Unlike Grayson Rodriguez, Bobby Miller had no obvious struggle adjusting to major league talent. His final stats yielded a 3.76 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, aided by an excellent 0.9 HR/9 and 2.3 BB/9. However, Miller’s 8.6 K/9, 29.8 CSW% (32nd, min. 100 IP) and 12.9 SwStr% (43rd, min. 100 IP) lowers his value in many formats. These numbers are respectable, but not quite on par with his consensus ADP as the 26th overall pitcher. In addition, Miller is closer to the back end of the deep Los Angeles rotation, leaving him with little margin for error and possibly a light workload. Bobby Miller will not be a bad player, but he is overvalued and managers should seek a batter or a different pitcher at this average draft position around 85.

More Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice: Players to Target


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