This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
This is the column I typically 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.
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 earlier, a fact that has been greatly accelerated with the shorter season, and no minor league games last year. The end 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.
Some of the pitchers have already seen time in the majors, and there are several others, like Alek Manoah in Toronto, Logan Gilbert in Seattle, Matt Manning in Detroit and Shane McClanahan in Tampa who I'm considering "graduates" even though they are still technically prospects. I will note that these four would be on the list below as all four are/were high on my list, and are likely to improve with experience. Let's get started:
Put (Keep) These Guys on Your Watch List …
MacKenzie Gore (SD) – Seeing Gore at the top of this list will probably get me labeled either faithful to a fault