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Fantasy Baseball Draft Targets: Kutter Crawford, Jon Gray, Paul Skenes (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Draft Targets: Kutter Crawford, Jon Gray, Paul Skenes (2024)

My starting pitcher rankings are mostly based upon my fScores, with a heavier lean on fStuff and fERA than on fControl, even though fControl is necessary for pitchers to be starters.

A minimum of a 95 should be desired for a starting pitcher in fControl, though there are some exceptions in certain circumstances (i.e., Dylan Cease and prime Robbie Ray). The fScores have been historically accurate when it comes to pitching, and I continue to refine them further by installing arsenal bonuses based on a number of high stuff pitches, stuff plus and location plus embedded into the equations.

We will go through each of my starting pitcher tiers and select the biggest values in each tier where you can get the most production per tier for the value of each player. The goal is to select players who will give the same production as the rest of the pitchers in the tier at a much lower value.

If you are curious about the fScore ratings, you can check out my fScore rankings and information here.

Draft Arbitrage: Starting Pitchers to Draft

NOTE: All ADPs are based on NFBC after Feb. 1.

cc (BOS)

fPDurability fStuff fControl fERA TOTAL FUTURE
92 105 105 112 103 109

Tim’s Rank: 55

ADP: 76

Reasoning: Kutter Crawford rocked a top 30 Stuff+ ranking of all qualified starters on the season with four plus pitches (FA, FC [of course], CU and SL) in a six-pitch arsenal. Crawford boosted his stuff and his control simultaneously in 2023. While I don’t expect him to become a superstar, I do expect a consistent starter who could end up being a Jordan Montgomery for a few years to provide solid and consistent pitching at the back end of your staff.

Jon Gray (TEX)

fPDurability fStuff fControl fERA TOTAL FUTURE
99 103 101 115 105 103

Tim’s Rank: 66

ADP: 95

Reasoning: Jon Gray is a little boring, which is why he drops so far in the rankings, but I think he’s one of the better and more consistent boring pitchers and doesn’t deserve to drop as far as he has. He has a standard four-pitch mix (FA, SL, CU and CH) and only two plus pitches (SL and CU). The slider is his best pitch, but the K rate in 2023 hit a career low of 21.6%.

His second half was a little weird because he got the K rate back up to 24.6%, but he got smashed with a .369 BABIP against. So even though he ran a 16.4% K-BB rate, he had a 5.25 ERA against a 4.14 SIERA, so we have a nice little buy window before the preseason on Gray for those who do their homework.

Paul Skenes (PIT)

fPDurability fStuff fControl fERA TOTAL FUTURE
45 111 104 112 93 108

Tim’s Rank: 66

ADP: 95

Reasoning: Now, I could be completely wrong on this, but I have a good feeling we see Paul Skenes way sooner than is expected. If he broke camp, I would be hardly surprised, considering the only real rookie of the year competition might be from Yamamoto. Plus, considering the new rules, the Pirates might not have many chances to go after that extra first-round pick and bonus pool with a rookie.

Skenes already has built himself up to a huge workload in college and can easily handle a jump to 150 innings in 2024 pending injury. He dominated in small sample sizes in the Minors and has already blown apart baseball gloves at Pittsburgh’s spring training. If the Pirates really mean what they say, and that they want to compete in 2024, they will have Skenes break camp with the team or at least be up at the Super Two deadline. This late in a draft (60-100 range), you won’t find players with his talent. If you have enough innings logged, Skenes is worth the risk.

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