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
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Starting Pitcher Breakouts Who’ll Continue to Improve - Fantasy Baseball Draft Targets

freddy peralta fantasy baseball rankings starting pitchers draft sleepers

Each year in the MLB, there’s always a handful of players who finally breakout and show their true potential. Oftentimes, some of these breakouts are legit, and for others, it’s just a fluke solid season.

That was again the case during the 2021 regular season. We saw a ton of strong showings from some unexpected contributors. We’ll see this season if those were legit breakthroughs or just one-year wonders.

Nevertheless, here are three breakout pitchers from 2021 who I feel will build off that strong campaign and will only continue to improve this upcoming season. 

Featured Promo: Get your 2023 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our preseason Draft Kit, #1 accuracy rankings, #1 ATC projections, Team Sync platform, Live Draft Assistant, 15 in-season lineup tools, customized rankings and much more! Sign Up Now!


Freddy Peralta - Milwaukee Brewers

I personally have always been a big Freddy Peralta fan. It was only a matter of time before he would put it all together.

In his fourth season in the big leagues, the righty solidified himself as one of the top young starters in the game. Peralta was named to his first-career All-Star game and finished with a 2.81 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 27 starts.

Peralta has always been a high swing-and-miss pitcher over his career, recording 195 strikeouts over 144 innings and an average of 12.2 K/9 innings. He finished 39th in baseball (92nd/95th percentile, respectively) in both whiff rate (34.1%) and strikeout rate (33.6%). 

Peralta relies on a nice five-pitch mix consisting of a fastball, changeup, slider, curveball, and sinker. One of the biggest differences we saw this past season from the right-hander is his increased usage of his breaking balls.

(Via: Baseball Savant)

Peralta leaned on his fastball just 51% of the time, compared to 73% in 2020 and 78% in 2019. He increased his slider usage to 26.4% this past season and registered a 43.1% whiff rate and 2.5% put away percentage with the pitch.

While Peralta saw a slight increase in the home run department (0.9 HR/9), he had a significant improvement with a 6% barrel percentage. That mark improved from the 35th percentile two seasons ago, all the way up to the 78th percentile this season.

With his new and improved arsenal and a solidified spot in the Brewers' rotation, the 25-year old should only continue to get better during the 2022 season and beyond.


Logan Webb - San Francisco Giants

Just as we all expected at the beginning of last season, Logan Webb figures to open the 2022 season as the San Francisco Giants' ace.

Heading into this past season, Webb had pitched to a 5.36 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over a combined 21 appearances at the big league level. His struggles even continued to begin the year as his results were up and down and he was bounced between the bullpen and rotation.

Then, suddenly in the second half, it all clicked for Webb. The young right-hander finished the year pitching six or more innings in 12 of his 14 outings. He allowed two or fewer runs in 10 of those outings, and the Giants went 13-1 as a team over that span.

He continued to shine on the biggest stage of them all, allowing just one run and striking out 17 during 14.2 postseason innings against the high-powered Dodgers lineup. Webb finished the year with 26 starts and posted a 3.03 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 2.72 FIP.

So, what led to the sudden turnaround? Webb changed his plan of attack on the mound this season. The right-hander relies on a five-pitch repertoire consisting of a sinker, slider, changeup, fastball, and cutter.

Over his first two big league seasons, the fastball was Webb’s go-to pitch, throwing it 44% and 34% of the time in 2019 and 2020. This past season, he changed things up a bit, turning himself into more of a three-pitch pitcher.

Webb leaned on either his sinker, slider, or changeup 89% of the time this past season, and just 10% of the time he turned to the fastball. It certainly worked, as Webb generated stellar ground ball rates with both his sinker (68.8%) and changeup (67.3%).

Additionally, he saw a decrease in his walk rate and an increase in his strikeout, whiff, and chase rates. Webb’s 26.5% overall strikeout rate and 46.7% strikeout rate with his slider were both career-highs. 

I think this is just the beginning of the Logan Webb breakout. He dominated later in the season and carried it into the postseason. Still, at just 25 years old, the former fourth-round pick has the ability to solidify himself as the Giants' ace this season.


Dylan Cease - Chicago White Sox

The ceiling has always been sky-high for hard-throwing right-hander Dylan Cease. During spring training, White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal even went as far as saying Cease could possibly be a Cy Young winner down the road.

He finally backed up his teammates' talk and showed his true colors with a breakout 2021 season. Cease posted a 3.91 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, and struck out 226 batters over 165 innings. He led the league with a career-high 32 starts and an average of 12.3 K/9.

His 31.9% strike-out rate (45th in baseball) and 34.6% whiff rate (32nd in baseball) finished in the 93rd and 92nd percentiles, respectively. That K-rate was a significant 14.6% increase from the prior season.

As pointed out by Vinnie Duber of NBCSports Chicago, Cease certainly benefited from working with pitching coach Ethan Katz, who also helped transform fellow White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito into the ace he is today.

Cease’s biggest issue thus far at the big league level has been the walks. He was able to cut them down a bit last season, finishing with a 9.6% walk rate. While he could still use some work in that area, it was certainly a step in the right direction. 

Cease just began to scratch the surface this season, and with the help of Katz, he should only continue trending up next season and beyond. Look for Cease to be a big piece in the middle of the White Sox rotation during the 2022 season.


Who’s Next? Potential 2022 Breakouts

Some pitchers to keep an eye on as potential breakouts for the 2022 season include youngsters Triston McKenzie of the Guardians, Jesus Luzardo of the Marlins, Patrick Sandoval of the Angels, and Logan Gilbert of the Mariners. 

If he just stayed healthy, Sandoval could’ve easily been on this list for the 2022 season. Prior to being shut down due to a stress fracture in his back, the young southpaw had pitched to a 3.62 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and had a 27.9% whiff rate over 87 innings.

Luzardo hasn’t had much success so far at the big league level, but he is still just 24 years old and has a solid four-pitch mix. Gilbert struggled at times during his first stint in the majors but has shown some flashes of his upside and true potential.

McKenzie is probably the most intriguing of all four guys here. He is also still just 24 and has looked really impressive in his brief stints with Cleveland prior to injuries. If he can stay healthy, the Brooklyn native could play a huge role for the Guardians this season.

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 Advice


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Tyler Toffoli15 mins ago

Nets Two Goals Against Vancouver
Clayton Keller24 mins ago

Keeps Point Streak Going Friday
Jason Robertson36 mins ago

Sets New Stars Scoring Record
Adam Fox46 mins ago

Continues Hot Spell With A Goal
Casey Mittelstadt55 mins ago

Hands Out Two Assists
Steven Kwan2 hours ago

Plates Five In Win Over Seattle
Tee Higgins9 hours ago

Not Concerned About Contract Situation
Jeff Skinner10 hours ago

Scores Game-Winning Goal In Overtime
Devon Levi10 hours ago

Earns Victory In NHL Debut
A.J. Puk12 hours ago

Picks Up Save For Marlins Friday
Rhys Hoskins12 hours ago

Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery
Nick Solak12 hours ago

Mariners Acquire Nick Solak From Reds
Justin Verlander12 hours ago

Does Some Light Throwing
Luis Urías12 hours ago

Luis Urias Reportedly Heading To Injured List
Joey Wiemer13 hours ago

Reportedly Will Be Called Up
Anthony Rendon13 hours ago

Being Investigated By MLB
Willson Contreras13 hours ago

Receives Good News On Friday
Seattle Seahawks14 hours ago

Ryan Neal Becomes Free Agent
Pharaoh Brown14 hours ago

Joins Colts
Darrynton Evans15 hours ago

To Meet With Colts
Laquon Treadwell15 hours ago

Working Out For Cowboys
Zach Collins15 hours ago

Out Against Golden State
De'Andre Hunter15 hours ago

Out With A Knee Injury On Friday
Oscar Gonzalez15 hours ago

Starting On Friday
Obi Toppin15 hours ago

Will Start Against The Cavs
Jarrett Allen15 hours ago

Downgraded To Out On Friday
Nelson Cruz16 hours ago

Batting Cleanup On Friday
Mike Moustakas16 hours ago

Remains Out Again
Michael Brantley16 hours ago

Takes Batting Practice
Andrew Vaughn16 hours ago

Sitting On Friday
Gavin Sheets18 hours ago

Oscar Colas Starting On Friday
Paul Sewald18 hours ago

Picks Up Win On Opening Day
Garrett Whitlock18 hours ago

Making Rehab Start Friday
Josh Rojas18 hours ago

Hitting Leadoff Against Dodgers
Corey Julks18 hours ago

Making MLB Debut Against White Sox
Bryan Reynolds18 hours ago

Opt-Out Clause The Sticking Point For Bryan Reynolds Extension
Portland Trail Blazers18 hours ago

LaMarcus Aldridge Officially Retires From The NBA
Corbin Carroll18 hours ago

Hitting Fifth Against Right-Hander
Jamal Murray18 hours ago

Considered Questionable Against Phoenix
Nikola Jokic19 hours ago

Could Miss His Second Consecutive Game
Kenyon Martin19 hours ago

Jr. Uncertain To Play Against Detroit
Tobias Harris19 hours ago

Could Miss Friday's Game Against Toronto
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander19 hours ago

Upgraded To Questionable On Friday
Al Horford19 hours ago

Uncertain To Suit Up On Friday
Jaylen Brown19 hours ago

Tagged As Questionable With Lower-Back Pain
Jayson Tatum19 hours ago

Listed As Questionable Against Utah
Kelly Olynyk19 hours ago

Is Available Against Boston On Friday
De'Andre Hunter19 hours ago

Downgraded To Out On Friday
Trayveon Williams21 hours ago

Bengals Have High Hopes For Trayveon Williams
Joe Burrow21 hours ago

Bengals Begin Extension Discussions With Joe Burrow
Mac Jones21 hours ago

Bill Belichick Still Non-Committal On Mac Jones
Sammy Blais23 hours ago

Extends Point Streak To Six Games
Cam Talbot23 hours ago

Makes A Winning Return
Matthew Beniers23 hours ago

Logs Two Points Against Anaheim
Stuart Skinner23 hours ago

Grabs A 43-Save Shutout
Tristan Jarry24 hours ago

Records His Second Shutout
Matthew Tkachuk24 hours ago

Rolls To Four Points Versus Montreal
T.J. Oshie24 hours ago

Exits With An Upper-Body Injury
Mikey Anderson24 hours ago

Injured On First Shift Thursday
CJ McCollum1 day ago

Drops 23 Points In Easy Win Over Denver
Jamal Murray1 day ago

Salvages Solid Performance In Loss
Brandon Ingram1 day ago

Secures A Triple-Double Against Denver
Jaylen Brown1 day ago

Collects Another 30-Point Game
Jayson Tatum1 day ago

Drops 40 Points In Blowout Win
Naz Reid1 day ago

Set To Miss Significant Amount Of Time
Linus Ullmark1 day ago

Allows One Goal In Overtime Victory
David Pastrnak1 day ago

Scores Game-Winning Goal
Baltimore Ravens2 days ago

Ravens Have Been Active In Receiver Market
Baker Mayfield2 days ago

Kyle Trask To Compete In Training Camp
Courtland Sutton2 days ago

Broncos Could Still Trade Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton
DeAndre Hopkins2 days ago

To Stay With Cardinals?
Odell Beckham Jr.2 days ago

Jets The Most Likely Landing Spot For Odell Beckham Jr.
Carolina Panthers2 days ago

Panthers Not Settled On One QB For No. 1 Pick
Lamar Jackson2 days ago

Not Seeking Fully Guaranteed Deal
Nathan Peterman2 days ago

Re-Signs With Bears
Ryan Lindgren2 days ago

A Game-Time Decision Against New Jersey
Seth Jones2 days ago

Expects To Play Thursday
David Savard2 days ago

A Game-Time Call Thursday
Kirby Dach2 days ago

Set To Miss At Least One Week
Dre Miller2 days ago

Kendre Miller Ahead Of Schedule
Buffalo Bills2 days ago

Bills Re-Sign Jordan Phillips
Las Vegas Raiders2 days ago

Alex Bars Returns To Raiders On One-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys2 days ago

Johnathan Hankins Re-Signs With Cowboys
NFL2 days ago

Wanya Morris Getting Close To 100%
Brendon Todd3 days ago

Has Success At TPC San Antonio
Ben Martin3 days ago

Has Value At TPC San Antonio
Nick Taylor3 days ago

A Boom-Or-Bust Option At Valero
Taylor Pendrith3 days ago

A Sleeper Option At TPC San Antonio
Chris Kirk3 days ago

A Good Option At The Valero Texas Open
Matt Kuchar3 days ago

Loves Playing TPC San Antonio
Will Gordon3 days ago

Offers A Wild-Card Option At Valero
Cam Davis3 days ago

Can Keep His Current Form At TPC San Antonio
Mark Hubbard4 days ago

A Low-Risk Value Option At Valero
Tyler Duncan4 days ago

Start Tyler Duncan At TPC San Antonio
Emiliano Grillo4 days ago

Not Recommended At Valero
Patrick Rodgers4 days ago

Don't Give Patrick Rodgers A Shot At Valero
Adam Schenk4 days ago

Wants To Keep Momentum Rolling At Valero
Ryan Moore4 days ago

Cannot Get Past The Cut Lately
Stephan Jaeger4 days ago

Could Warm Things Up At Valero
Si Woo Kim4 days ago

A Possible Contender At Valero
Taylor Montgomery4 days ago

Attempting To Find Weekend Consistency
Corey Conners4 days ago

Trying To Recreate A Little Magic
Thomas Detry4 days ago

Continues To Impress In Rookie Season
Aaron Rai4 days ago

Brings Positive Momentum To Valero Texas Open
Akshay Bhatia4 days ago

Looks To Stay Hot In Texas
Todd Gilliland5 days ago

Impressive At COTA
Ty Gibbs5 days ago

Finds His Footing At COTA
Chris Buescher5 days ago

Continues To Shine On Road Courses
NASCAR5 days ago

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Finishes Seventh
Austin Cindric5 days ago

Has A Solid Day
Marlon Vera5 days ago

Has Four-Fight Winning Streak Snapped
Cory Sandhagen5 days ago

Dominates Striking Department
Yana Santos5 days ago

Dominated In Decision Loss
Holly Holm5 days ago

Dominates In Co-Main Event
Austin Lingo5 days ago

Suffers Submission Loss
Nate Landwehr5 days ago

Shines With Second-Round Submission Win
Andrea Lee5 days ago

Suffers Defeat In Close Matchup Saturday
Maycee Barber5 days ago

Takes Close Matchup On Saturday
Chidi Njokuani5 days ago

Takes Close Loss In Split-Decision Showing
Albert Duraev5 days ago

Holds Off Opponent In Tight Split Decision
William Byron5 days ago

Rounds Out Top Five At COTA
Ross Chastain5 days ago

Caught Up To Fourth At COTA On Sunday
Alex Bowman5 days ago

Brings Home Third Place Finish At COTA
Kyle Busch5 days ago

Scrambles Up To Second At Austin
Tyler Reddick5 days ago

Dominates And Wins At COTA