Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts

Undrafted Starting Pitchers Who Can Have Top 25 Value for Fantasy Baseball

Kyle Bradish - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Betting Picks

Finding value is such a huge part of fantasy baseball success. While you obviously need to hit on your early-round picks, being able to find key contributors late in the draft is a surefire way to rocket up your standings. For me, the best place to find value is with starting pitching.

In their book The Process, Jeff Zimmerman and Tanner Bell reported that, in 12-team leagues, 45% of undrafted pitchers end up in the top 108 starting pitchers. That means that 45% of pitchers who have an average ADP outside of the top 108 at the start of the season will eventually end up inside the top 108 pitchers overall. However, they also found that 20% of undrafted pitchers in 12-team leagues end up in the top-25 in terms of season-long value and 50% of undrafted pitchers will have top-25 weekly value at some point in the season. That means one in five pitchers who are drafted out of the top 108 pitchers will end the season inside the top 108. If you can find one of those pitchers, woo boy. The goal for today is to try and unearth who those pitchers might be.

Even though that top 108 includes relievers, we're going to focus on just starting pitchers who are going outside of that because, statistically speaking, that's far more likely to happen than an undrafted reliever popping top-25 value. For me, there are a few things that I'm looking for when trying to find a starting pitcher who could jump all the way to the top of the heap. They're all things we saw fall into place Spencer Strider last year, and some of them are also things that The Process calls out as being consistent among pitchers who jump from undrafted to the upper echelon.

  1. A chance at 130 innings or more
  2. Strikeout upside
    1. Which, to me, means a big swing-and-miss pitch apart from a fastball
  3. Fastball velocity (to me, this provides a safe floor; it's hard to succeed around a bad fastball, which I covered in this article that I'd love you to read)
  4. A repertoire of three pitches or more. (I know this wasn't true of Strider, but I'm still a believer in a pitcher needing more than two offerings to limit bad days when a particular pitch might not be working).

You'll see below that I'll reference Eno Sarris' Stuff+ metrics as well as his Pitching+ model. The overall model, Pitching+, is not just a weighted average of Stuff+ and Location+ across a pitcher’s arsenal. Rather, it is a third model that uses the physical characteristics, location, and count of each pitch to try to judge the overall quality of the pitcher’s process.

March 1st to March 21st, 66 OCs


Roansy Contreras, Pittsburgh Pirates

113th pitcher drafted

After throwing 95 innings for the Pirates and 34.1 innings in Triple-A, Contreras seems like a good bet to get 140 major league innings this year, which ticks our first box. He also has a big-time swing-and-miss pitch with his slider, which registered a 24.4% SwStr% and 35.5% CSW in his limited innings in 2022. It boasts a 102.2 Stuff+ and 102.8 Pitching+ and held batters to a .163 average and .275 SLG last year, so it's an elite pitch by almost any metric.

He also started using it as the year went on, throwing it more than his fastball by the end of the season.

He also boasts the three-pitch arsenal we want to see because, in addition to his four-seam fastball, he throws a curveball that he uses early in the count to get ahead. It posted a 31.9% CSW and 2.77 dERA in 2022 while allowing just a 4% barrel rate, .212 batting average, and .333 slugging percentage.

So he has a big strikeout pitch in his slider, and a breaking ball he can throw for strikes in his curveball, which is why I feel good about him pushing 9 K/9, so the only piece left to cover is the fastball.

Contreras' fastball averaged almost 96 mph last year, which is nice except when you realize that it gave up a 13% barrel rate, .276 batting average, and .541 slugging percentage. It only posted a 9.1% SwStr% and simply doesn't miss enough at-bats, so that's a bit of a concern in the profile here.

However, this is still a profile that saw him post a 3.79 ERA, 12.6% SwStr%, and 29.7% CSW last year, so the foundation is already there. If he continues to limit the use of the fastball as he did at the end of last year, the pitch could become more effective if he leans on it less, allowing his slider to do more of the heavy lifting. If he does that, you could see a bump in strikeouts to around a 24% strikeout rate with a mid 3's ERA, which could allow him to push the top level of starting pitchers.

Of course, he also plays on one of the worst teams in baseball, so wins could be hard to come by, which is why he's currently going undrafted.


Kyle Bradish, Baltimore Orioles

120th pitcher drafted

Bradish threw over 135 innings between Triple-A and the Majors last year, so his pushing 150 innings makes all the sense in the world this season. He also possesses a solid four-pitch mix while primarily relying on his fastball and slider combination.

That could be a concern for some since Bradish showed up in my article about pitchers with bad fastballs. According to Eno Sarris' metrics, Bradish's fastball had below-average stuff and location, which makes sense since it allowed a .321 batting average and .539 slugging percentage. Yet, there are two interesting developments to note about that fastball, which you can see in the photo below.

For starters, Bradish drastically cut down on his fastball usage late in the season as he introduced a sinker. While he only threw the sinker for one month, it did register a 112.7 Stuff+ and 99.3 Pitching+, which would be the second-best of any of Bradish's pitches. In addition to adding a sinker, Bradish also upped the usage of both his slider and curveball, which is good news for a potential breakout.

Bradish registered a 141 Stuff+ on his slider, which was 11th-best in starters with 20 innings pitched or more. Last season, the slider had an 18.1% SwStr% and 28.6% CSW. It also allowed a .212 batting average (.201 xBA) and .343 slugging percentage (.319 xSLG), so while it did allow a 7.4% barrel rate, hitters weren't able to elevate it when they did make contact.

He also has a 121 Stuff+ on his curveball, which was 25th in starters with 20 innings pitched or more, so Bradish has two above-average non-fastballs that he can use for whiffs. If he now adds an average to slightly above-average sinker to a pitch mix that also includes a solid change-up that registered a .211 batting average and .342 slugging against, you could be looking at a really well-rounded pitcher pitching in a strong pitcher's park. That's great for fantasy.


Eduardo Rodriguez, Detroit Tigers

129th pitcher drafted

Oh, how we have forgotten about Eduardo Rodriguez. E-Rod was consistently drafted inside the top-50 starting pitchers when he was on the Red Sox, then he got COVID in 2020 which led to some heart issues and a poor 2021 season, and then his first year in Detroit wasn't great (although a 4.05 ERA isn't bad) and everybody wrote him off.

However, there are a few reasons why he's on this list. For starters, he's going to hit this innings total. He's thrown over 200 innings in a season before and expecting 150+ from him makes sense. He also has the strikeout upside to match the criteria even though we don't usually think of him as a strikeout pitcher. In 2018 and 2021 he had over 10 K/9 and hadn't dipped below a 25% strikeout rate in four years before last year.

His main swing-and-miss pitch is a change-up, which he actually dialed back the usage of last year. I think that was just a response to poor luck in the results. Last year his change-up allowed a .304 batting average and .565 slugging percentage despite a .227 xBA and .372 xSLG. He also still had a 26.5% whiff rate and there were no discernible changes in velocity, shape or spin, so the poor performance screams of bad luck.

Eduardo Rodriguez also has a solid slider that grades out as a 104.4 Pitching+ pitch thanks to an above-average location. Although he only throws the pitch around 8% of the time during his career, it pairs well with a cutter that induces soft contact and gives Rodriguez four pitches that he can use to attack hitters.

Rodriguez has looked great this spring, sitting 93mph with his fastball and not allowing an earned run across 13 innings while striking out 15. If he can post a high 3's ERA (think 3.80) and notch a 25% strikeout rate again, he's going to slide into the top 50 of starting pitchers again. Then you're just hoping for sneaky wins or a bigger spike in strikeouts to get him into the top 25. Admittedly, he has the lowest ceiling of the arms we're mentioning here but definitely has the safest floor.


Ken Waldichuk, Oakland Athletics

181st pitcher drafted

Listen, I know we don't want to target pitchers on bad teams because they're unlikely to get wins, but the reality is that pitchers on bad teams often fall much farther than they should because of their team context. That means we can find value, which is exactly what Waldichuk is.

The left-hander who came to Oakland in the Frankie Montas trade is all but assured a spot in the Athletics' rotation and threw 129.2 innings last year between Double-A, Triple-A, and the Majors. He seems a good bet to push 150 innings this season, which would hit the criteria that we're looking for.

He also possesses two solid pitches to complement his fastball with a sweeper that has a 125 Stuff+ rating and ranks 37th among starters with 20 innings, and a change-up that registered a 103 Stuff+ and ranked 33rd among starters with 20 innings pitched or more. The sweeper also registered a 17.6% SwStr% in 34.2 major league innings, while the changeup had a 25% mark.

Obviously, those are small sample sizes, but we know the shape of the pitches and minor league performance are strong, so the 34.2-inning Major League sample only adds to that.

The issue for Waldichuk is that he doesn't have a great fastball. It has good velocity at 94.8 mph from the left side and didn't allow a barrel at the major league level, but it also didn't miss many bats and allowed a .284 xBA. I'd love to see Waldichuk lean on his sweeper and changeup more this year, but he pitches in a tremendous pitcher's park and could put up a 3.70 ERA with a 25% strikeout rate in those 150 innings.

If he does that and sneaks some wins, like the way Jordan Lyles snuck 12 wins on the Orioles last year, then Waldichuk could end up with a pretty impressive fantasy season.


Two Bonus Options Who Won't Break Camp

These next two pitchers are rookies who I like that I don't think will break camp with their teams but could "pull a Spencer Strider" by working their way into the rotation by May-June and being electric talents.

DL Hall - Baltimore Orioles

231st pitcher drafted

DL Hall was one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, but an elbow strain caused him to miss a lot of 2021. He started 2022 slow due to injury but was healthy for the vast majority of the season and looked great a Triple-A before briefly being promoted as a reliever for the stretch run last year.

Hall was being stretched out to be a starter this spring, but a back injury delayed his debut, so the Orioles haven't ruled out him making the team as a reliever. However, his future is in the starting rotation and, like Spencer Strider showed last year, a talented pitcher can move from bullpen to rotation and still find fantasy success.

Hall is known for a fastball that can touch triple digits, but he has a legit four-pitch repertoire. He has a plus changeup with good arm-side run, a hard slider, and a more looping curve. He has a comfort level with all of them, and while the curve is the weakest of the pitches, it's still a solid offering that adds another wrinkle to his arsenal.

The two big issues for Hall are that his walk rate was 5.3/9 in the Minors last year and that he's had a bit of an injury history. Still, Eno Sarris' metrics give him a 112 Pitching+ and project him for a 3.33 ppERA. I'm not ready to go that far, but I think an ERA around 3.5 with elite swing-and-miss could be possible and there aren't many arms in that Orioles rotation that are going to hold him back.

Bryce Miller - Seattle Mariners

304th pitcher drafted

Bryce Miller has kind of come out of nowhere this spring, registering a 2.00 ERA with nine strikeouts in nine innings, while posting a 1.11 WHIP and a .211 batting average against. He worked his way to Double-A last year in his full season and was dominant, holding hitters to a .195 batting average against while posting an 11 K/9 0ver 133.1 innings.

Like Hall, he attracts attention with a fastball that touches triple digits and mixes in two distinct and solid breaking pitches with a power slider and a slower curve. Also like Hall, Miller's slider is a better pitch than his curve, but the curve is still an effective pitch for both called and swinging strikes, and Miller has a decent changeup to round out his arsenal.

Given that he threw over 130 innings in the minors last year, the team would certainly push him to 15o this year, and the Mariners are making a strong push for the playoffs. Even if Miller starts the year in Triple-A, how long will Marco Gonzales hold him off? Couldn't the Mariners use Gonzales in long relief and as their 6th starter? If Miller pitches in Triple-A the way he did in the Minors last year, he'll be in Seattle's rotation by the end of May and brings the kind of electric stuff that can make him this year's Spencer Strider.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
News and Alerts


Will Gordon8 mins ago

A Solid Sleeper in Canada
Brock Purdy12 mins ago

"Right On Pace" In Recovery
Corey Conners19 mins ago

Looking To Rebound In Canada
San Francisco 49ers20 mins ago

49ers Sign Darryl Johnson
George Kittle27 mins ago

Impressed With Trey Lance This Offseason
Tyrrell Hatton32 mins ago

An Elite Option At RBC Canadian Open
Brandon Aiyuk36 mins ago

Has Looked Great
Cameron Young39 mins ago

Will Struggle In Canada
Sam Darnold43 mins ago

Takes First-Team Reps At Minicamp
Deebo Samuel49 mins ago

Promises Bounce-Back Season
PGA2 hours ago

Approach Play Holding S.H. Kim Back
Riley Greene2 hours ago

Playing Catch
Mark Hubbard2 hours ago

Continues To Make Cuts
Kerry Carpenter2 hours ago

Not Playing The Field Yet On His Rehab Assignment
Mackenzie Hughes2 hours ago

Worth A Wild-Card Play At RBC Canadian
Eduardo Rodriguez2 hours ago

Can Begin Light Throwing
Jose Altuve2 hours ago

Should Be Back In Action Wednesday
Nestor Cortes3 hours ago

Hitting The Injured List
Lee Hodges3 hours ago

Trending Toward Another High Finish
Carlos Estévez3 hours ago

Carlos Estevez Up To 15 Saves After Tuesday
Liam Hendriks3 hours ago

Earns His First Save Of The Season Tuesday
Brandon Wu3 hours ago

Worth A Play At RBC Canadian
Harry Hall3 hours ago

Can Harry Hall Shake Off Charles Schwab Collapse?
Maverick McNealy3 hours ago

Continues To Struggle This Season
Ed Howard3 hours ago

Makes Season Debut
Ludvig Aberg3 hours ago

Making Pro Debut At RBC Canadian
Emerson Hancock4 hours ago

Puts Together Impressive Start
Adrian Meronk4 hours ago

Can Adrian Meronk Repeat International Success?
Ethan Salas4 hours ago

Hits First Professional Home Run
Shane Lowry4 hours ago

Two Straight Solid Starts For Shane Lowry
Jackson Chourio4 hours ago

Swipes Two Bags
Christian Encarnacion-Strand4 hours ago

Blasts 15th Homer
Logan Gilbert9 hours ago

Shuts Down San Diego For Fourth Victory
Paul Sewald10 hours ago

Picks Up 12th Save Of The Season
Andrés Muñoz10 hours ago

Andres Munoz Secures A Hold On Tuesday
Teoscar Hernández10 hours ago

Teoscar Hernandez Swats A Home Run On Tuesday
Julio Rodríguez10 hours ago

Julio Rodriguez Blasts 11th Long Ball Of The Season
Ronald Acuña Jr.10 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Reaches Once In Win
Carlos Correa12 hours ago

Doubles, Strikes Out Thrice In Return To Lineup
Justin Crawford12 hours ago

Enjoys Productive Stretch At The Plate
Drew Thorpe12 hours ago

Bounces Back Sunday
Allen Robinson II14 hours ago

Taking Part In 11-On-11 Drills
Amari Cooper15 hours ago

Participates In 11-On-11 Drills Tuesday
D'Angelo Russell15 hours ago

Lakers Want To Keep D'Angelo Russell?
Brook Lopez15 hours ago

Rockets Targeting Brook Lopez
Zay Flowers15 hours ago

Suffers Minor Injury In Tuesday OTAs
DeWayne McBride15 hours ago

Signs Rookie Contract
Khris Middleton15 hours ago

Expected To Remain With Bucks
Ben Simmons15 hours ago

Back On The Court
James Harden16 hours ago

Expected To Sign With Rockets Or Sixers
Darren Waller17 hours ago

Expected To Lead Giants In Targets
Darius Slayton17 hours ago

Assured Of A Roster Spot
New York Giants17 hours ago

Joshua Ezeudu Expected To Win Left-Guard Job
Daniel Jones17 hours ago

' Designed Runs May Not Decrease
Michael Thomas18 hours ago

Says He'll Be Ready For Start Of Training Camp
Dalvin Cook18 hours ago

Broncos Not Expected To Go After Dalvin Cook
Josh Jacobs18 hours ago

Not At Mandatory Minicamp
New York Jets21 hours ago

Quinnen Williams Could Be Extended Before Training Camp
Gus Edwards21 hours ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp
Webb Simpson21 hours ago

Tries To Put PGA Nightmare Behind Him
Ezekiel Elliott21 hours ago

Could Sign With Team At Start Of Training Camp
Garrick Higgo21 hours ago

Continues To Struggle Heading Into June
Buffalo Bills22 hours ago

Damar Hamlin A Full Participant In Tuesday's OTAs
PGA22 hours ago

Vincent Norman Can Make Some Birdies In Canada
Sahith Theegala22 hours ago

Wants To Bounce Back After PGA Championship
Justin Rose22 hours ago

Playing Better Golf Than Ever
Sam Burns22 hours ago

Among The Favorites In RBC Canadian Open Field
Jonathan Marchessault1 day ago

Scores Two Goals In Game 2 Victory
Adin Hill2 days ago

Makes 29 Saves In Game 2 Victory
Sergei Bobrovsky2 days ago

Pulled In Game 2 Of Stanley Cup Final
Cole Caufield2 days ago

Signs Eight-Year Deal To Remain In Montreal
Sergei Bobrovsky2 days ago

The Expected Starter Monday
Adin Hill2 days ago

The Likely Starter In Game 2
Milwaukee Bucks2 days ago

Terry Stotts Joins Bucks Staff
Jeff Green2 days ago

Wants To Remain With Nuggets
LeBron James2 days ago

Kyrie Irving Wants LeBron James To Join Mavericks
Detroit Pistons2 days ago

Stephen Silas Joins Pistons Coaching Staff
Tyler Herro2 days ago

Still Experiencing Soreness
Amir Albazi2 days ago

Extends His Winning Streak
Daniel Pineda2 days ago

Unable To Earn A Victory Saturday
Jesse Butler2 days ago

Suffers Knockout Loss
Victor Altamirano2 days ago

Unable To Earn A Victory Saturday
Ketlen Souza2 days ago

Takes Submission Loss
Muhammad Naimov2 days ago

Shines With Second-Round TKO Win
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos2 days ago

Defeats Abubakar Nurmagomedov
Kevin Harvick2 days ago

Rounds Out The Top 10 At Gateway
Michael McDowell2 days ago

Scores Best Finish In Two Months
Carson Hocevar2 days ago

Strong Start Ends Early
Daniel Suarez2 days ago

Runs A Strong Race At Gateway
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Building Momentum
Martin Truex Jr3 days ago

. Finishes Where He Began Sunday
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Eventually Moved Up To Fourth On Sunday
Joey Logano3 days ago

Finds Way To Third Place On Sunday
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Takes Second Place At Gateway
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Wins At Gateway For Third Win Of Season
Kai Kara-France3 days ago

Suffers Controversial Split-Decision Loss
Alex Caceres3 days ago

Pulls Off Action-Packed Co-Main-Event Win
Torrey Craig3 days ago

Knicks May Pursue Torrey Craig In Offseason
Kevin Love3 days ago

Expected To Start Sunday
Grant Williams3 days ago

Teams Expected To Pursue Grant Williams In Offseason
Evan Fournier3 days ago

Spurs Reportedly Interested In Evan Fournier
Caleb Martin3 days ago

Will Play Sunday Night
Anthony Duclair3 days ago

Scores Fourth Playoff Goal
Jack Eichel3 days ago

Opens Stanley Cup Finals With Two Assists
Jonathan Marchessault3 days ago

Extends Point Streak With Another Goal
Jim Miller3 days ago

Adds To All-Time Wins Total With Big Knockout
Tim Elliott3 days ago

Dominates To Take Decision Win
Karine Silva3 days ago

Locks In Submission For First-Round Win
MMA3 days ago

Abubakar Nurmagomedov Takes Loss In Close Decision Call
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

The Favorite To Win Gateway After Strong Practice
Ross Chastain3 days ago

Really Happy With His Chances At Gateway
NASCAR3 days ago

B.J. McLeod Does Not Start Last This Week
Ty Dillon3 days ago

Starts 33rd At Gateway On Sunday
Gray Gaulding3 days ago

Debuts At Gateway On Sunday
Noah Gragson3 days ago

Begins 32nd For Gateway On Sunday
Ryan Preece3 days ago

May Have Long Afternoon Sunday
Erik Jones3 days ago

Another DFS Possibility For Gateway
Justin Haley3 days ago

Can Move Up On Sunday Again
NASCAR3 days ago

Bubba Wallace Needs To Keep It Together Sunday
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Mired In Middle Of Pack Sunday
Gabe Vincent3 days ago

Good To Go For Game 2
Caleb Martin3 days ago

Questionable For Sunday Night
Bam Adebayo3 days ago

Available For Game 2
Tyler Herro3 days ago

Remains Out On Sunday Night
Julius Randle4 days ago

Has Ankle Surgery
Domantas Sabonis4 days ago

Not Ruling Out Surgery To Fix Thumb Issue
Amir Albazi5 days ago

Can Earn Biggest Victory Of His Career
Daniel Pineda5 days ago

Set For Co-Main-Event Matchup
Jared Gordon5 days ago

Jesse Butler Replaces Injured Jared Gordon
Victor Altamirano5 days ago

Set For Dangerous Task On Saturday
Ketlen Souza5 days ago

Set For UFC Debut
Muhammad Naimov5 days ago

Steps Into Octagon For Debut This Saturday
Max Domi6 days ago

Hopes To Remain In Dallas
Eetu Luostarinen6 days ago

Expected To Be Available For Game 1
Patrick Kane6 days ago

Out 4-6 Months After Hip Surgery