Pitching Prospect Tiers for 2022

Pitching Prospect Tiers for 2022

This article is part of our Farm Futures series.

This is Part II of a spin-off of the Rookie Tiers article I write that usually debuts in the baseball magazine. Part I covered the hitting prospect tiers for 2022. With NFBC leagues up and running, I wanted to get these articles out sooner than ever before. With this being for the website and not the magazine, I was able to include essentially every pitcher (94 total) who I think has a decent enough chance of pitching in the majors this season. In the bigger tiers, I found it useful to break up the players by team, so that you can see who each guy might be competing with and compare players in the same organization. I also tried to note any relevant injuries or surgeries these guys dealt with recently that affect how I value them for the 2022 season. Please let me know in the comments if you think I left anyone out — chances are I left them out on purpose or they are no longer prospect eligible, but I'm sure there is at least one or two guys who I accidentally omitted.

Universal Appeal

Shane Baz

Aaron Ashby

Joe Ryan

These are the three pitching prospects who I believe should be rostered in essentially all mixed leagues for 2022. That's not to say that you should target all three at ADP, but they shouldn't go undrafted. Through five completed NFBC drafts, Baz (124), Ashby (242) and Ryan (206) are all going inside the top 250. While

This is Part II of a spin-off of the Rookie Tiers article I write that usually debuts in the baseball magazine. Part I covered the hitting prospect tiers for 2022. With NFBC leagues up and running, I wanted to get these articles out sooner than ever before. With this being for the website and not the magazine, I was able to include essentially every pitcher (94 total) who I think has a decent enough chance of pitching in the majors this season. In the bigger tiers, I found it useful to break up the players by team, so that you can see who each guy might be competing with and compare players in the same organization. I also tried to note any relevant injuries or surgeries these guys dealt with recently that affect how I value them for the 2022 season. Please let me know in the comments if you think I left anyone out — chances are I left them out on purpose or they are no longer prospect eligible, but I'm sure there is at least one or two guys who I accidentally omitted.

Universal Appeal

Shane Baz

Aaron Ashby

Joe Ryan

These are the three pitching prospects who I believe should be rostered in essentially all mixed leagues for 2022. That's not to say that you should target all three at ADP, but they shouldn't go undrafted. Through five completed NFBC drafts, Baz (124), Ashby (242) and Ryan (206) are all going inside the top 250. While Baz and Ryan were used as traditional starters for their full stints in the majors, Ashby got his feet wet in a hybrid role, which is typical of how the Brewers like to develop young pitchers. Most Brewers observers and analysts I've spoken to believe the team will go with a six-man rotation next season with the flexibility to go to a five-man rotation if one of the six gets injured. As long as his fastball command gains hold, I think Ashby's 2022 will be very similar to Freddy Peralta's 2021 from an innings and productivity standpoint.

Priority Follows During Spring Training

ANGELS

Reid Detmers

YANKEES

Luis Gil

REDS

Hunter Greene

Nick Lodolo (returned from shoulder soreness at end of '21 season)

MARLINS

Sixto Sanchez (shoulder surgery)

Edward Cabrera

PIRATES

Roansy Contreras

CLEVELAND

Cody Morris

RANGERS

Cole Winn

These are the most notable pitching prospects who I think could earn rotation spots and shoot up draft boards in spring training. Detmers, Gil, Sanchez, Cabrera and Contreras have made their big-league debuts already. It's been reported that Greene and Lodolo will be competing for rotation spots in camp, and Morris and Winn have little left to prove at Triple-A, so they could be options for their clubs if a spot is available.

FAAB Monsters

Grayson Rodriguez

Cade Cavalli

Max Meyer

George Kirby

I don't expect any of these four to be given a legitimate shot to break spring training with their big-league clubs, and therefore I wouldn't use a roster spot on them in mixed leagues with seven-man benches. However, if and when they do get the call, I expect it to cost a pretty penny in FAAB to add them. They all have name value and big-time stuff, so there will be a lot of hype surrounding their big-league debuts. If they stay healthy —  odds are at least one of them suffers a serious injury before reaching the majors — they're on track to debut in the first half of the season.

Depth Options Of Varying Quality

ATLANTA

Kyle Muller

Tucker Davidson (returned from forearm injury in '21 playoffs)

Spencer Strider

Bryce Elder

YANKEES

Hayden Wesneski

Clarke Schmidt

Deivi Garcia

Luis Medina

Ken Waldichuk

MARINERS

Matt Brash

Brandon Williamson

Emerson Hancock (shoulder injury)

CLEVELAND

Logan T. Allen

Peyton Battenfield

Konnor Pilkington

DIAMONDBACKS

Drey Jameson

Ryne Nelson

DODGERS

Landon Knack

Andre Jackson

Ryan Pepiot

Bobby Miller

RED SOX

Connor Seabold

Kutter Crawford

Jay Groome

Brayan Bello

TWINS

Josh Winder (shoulder injury)

Jordan Balazovic

Cole Sands

Drew Strotman

Jhoan Duran (elbow injury)

RAYS

Tobias Myers

Tommy Romero

Ian Seymour

Brendan McKay

ASTROS

Hunter Brown

Shawn Dubin

ANGELS

Davis Daniel

CARDINALS

Matthew Liberatore

Zack Thompson

GIANTS

Sammy Long

Sean Hjelle

PIRATES

Miguel Yajure (back injury)

Cody Bolton (knee surgery)

Omar Cruz

MARLINS

Braxton Garrett

ROYALS

Angel Zerpa

Drew Parrish

Jon Heasley

Austin Cox

ATHLETICS

Daulton Jefferies (elbow injury)

PADRES

MacKenzie Gore

Adrian Martinez

RANGERS

Glenn Otto

A.J. Alexy

Yerry Rodriguez

Jack Leiter

Cole Ragans

Ronny Henriquez

Zak Kent

Cody Bradford

ORIOLES

Mike Baumann

Kyle Bradish

Kevin Smith

DL Hall (elbow injury)

METS

Jose Butto

BREWERS

Ethan Small

REDS

Graham Ashcraft

CUBS

Caleb Kilian

NATIONALS

Seth Romero

TIGERS

Joey Wentz

ROCKIES

Ryan Rolison

PHILLIES

Francisco Morales

Hans Crouse

James McArthur

Some of these guys are borderline top 100 prospects for dynasty, and some of them are nowhere near the top 400, but all of them have a chance to pitch in big-league rotations this season. The highly-ranked guys could also be FAAB monsters when they get the call, but I'm expecting more lead time on those guys than the four in the tier above.

Long Shots

Daniel Espino

Kyle Harrison

Taj Bradley

Eury Perez

These are the four best pitching prospects who I don't expect to debut in 2022. However, just the fact that they are so good means there's a chance we see them. I don't think Alek Manoah is the comparison here, because he was a college pitcher who got a lot of development in when nobody was watching during the pandemic. However, we have seen cases like the late Jose Fernandez, where extremely special talents get pushed much more aggressively than we expect.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Anderson
James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.
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