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Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice: Griffin Canning, Tanner Houck, Grayson Rodriguez (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Draft Advice: Griffin Canning, Tanner Houck, Grayson Rodriguez (2024)

Pitchers who can generate more strikeouts are generally more valuable than those who pitch to contact in both category and points leagues. To find pitchers who may be due for an increase (or decrease) in their strikeouts, a pitcher’s swinging strike percentage (or whiff percentage) is a great place to start. Swinging strikes can be indicative of several attractive qualities of a pitcher, including the quality of their pitches and the deception in their delivery. Such metrics can be hard to quantify, but swinging strike rate can help paint a better picture as to which pitchers are able to consistently fool batters. With that in mind, let’s look at some pitchers who could have an increase in strikeouts in the upcoming season.

Which Pitchers Could See an Uptick (or Downtick) in Their Strikeouts?

Pitchers Who Could See an Uptick In Strikeouts

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA)

Canning started the 2023 season with an injury that led him to only pitch 127 innings. However, the 27-year-old will have a rotation spot in 2024 once again and will be given every opportunity to build on his encouraging 2023 campaign. Canning ended 2023 with 139 strikeouts, which was good for a 9.9 K/9. One could argue that this is his ceiling, but I’m optimistic that Canning has more in store. His 12.8% swinging strike rate ranked 22nd among starters with at least 100 innings pitched. His off-speed pitch is legit and if he can find a way to mix in his fastball a little better, Canning could compile close to 200 strikeouts in 2024.

Tanner Houck (SP – BOS)

After serving as a reliever for several years, the Red Sox gave Houck a chance to start in 2023. His 5.01 ERA over 106 innings may not look that encouraging, but there are some encouraging signs under the hood that point to better days ahead. Over his 106 innings, he had 99 strikeouts, which led to an 8.4 K/9. However, his 12.9% swinging strike rate ranked in the top-25 among starters with at least 100 innings pitched. Houck will most likely go through some rough patches as he continues to get stretched out and it doesn’t help that he pitches in hitter-friendly Fenway, but if he pitches 150 innings in 2024, don’t be surprised if he gets to around 180 strikeouts.

Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)

Rodriguez gave O’s fans plenty of reasons to get excited about his future in Baltimore. The rookie held his own in his first season in the majors, compiling a 4.35 ERA to go along with 129 strikeouts over 122 innings pitched. It’s expected that Rodriguez will have every chance to get to 180-plus innings in 2024, and his 12.1% swinging strike ratio signals he could be among the league’s best strikeout pitchers. His off-speed pitch is elite and he pairs it nicely with a great breaking ball. The fastball got hit hard last season, but it sits in the high 90s and could be a problem for hitters if Rodriguez can command it better.

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