This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Here we go. This is the column I look forward to the most every season. As regular readers are probably aware, I play almost exclusively in keeper and dynasty leagues. And, not surprisingly, there is a huge benefit in identifying and acquiring excellent pitching talent just before they arrive in the major leagues. If a young pitcher is going to turn into the next Blake Snell, value shopping dictates you want him on your roster before your league opponents realize he's a star on the rise.
The problem is, this list is actually getting more difficult to maintain. There are still plenty of young arms with high ceilings, but it seems like more and more of the blue-chippers are being called to the majors before they have had time to tip off that high upside in the minors. Colleges are doing a better job of preparing these youngsters – many believe the better programs are equivalent to Low-A, or perhaps even High-A ball – and teams are desperate to find pitchers capable of helping today. The result has been an unprecedented rush to the major leagues, and we are left trying to sift through all those kids in an attempt to add the real impact arms, while avoiding the pretenders. It's not easy. I'll remind you that the pitchers below are primarily guys who will likely arrive (if they haven't already) in the next year or two at the most. Let's get started …
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