The end of the draft is really important. Often times, we cut a lot of the players, but it’s also a spot where gems are uncovered. Luis Severino from last season is the ceiling of what you can find. Here are some of my favorite pitcher targets with an ADP of 300 or more in NFBC drafts going back to March 1.
Late-Round Pitchers to Target
Joe Musgrove, Pittsburgh Pirates (ADP: 327.21)
Musgrove had some shoulder soreness early in the spring that put him behind, but he has made a few starts, but hasn’t pitched well. The move to the National League will help. He has a good slider and he pitched well out of the bullpen for the Astros last season. Musgrove was hurt by the home run (1.48 HR/9) last season and moves to a good pitchers park.
Nate Jones, Chicago White Sox (ADP: 338.45)
There’s a chance that Jones becomes the closer. He’s been one of the better reliever when he’s healthy, but that has been a problem in recent seasons. He pitched 19 innings in 2015, 70.2 innings in 2016 and 11.2 last season. Jones can be a successful closer if he stays healthy.
Dominic Leone, St. Louis Cardinals (ADP: 356.13)
The Cardinals aren’t naming a closer to begin the season. To me, that means Leone has a good shot to seize the job. Luke Gregerson is the more experienced pitcher and has closed before, yet they aren’t giving him the job. He missed some time in the spring with an oblique issue and has pitched well since he returned. Leone put up strong numbers in the bullpen for the Blue Jays last season.
Yoshihisa Hirano, Arizona Diamondbacks (ADP: 362.28)
The Diamondbacks haven’t named a closer yet and many assume it will be Archie Bradley. The Diamonbacks might prefer Bradley to pitch multiple innings and come into the seventh inning in a key spot. Brad Boxberger has closer experience, but has health issues. Hirano closed in Japan and has a real good splitter. He’s a darkhorse to close.
Mychal Givens, Baltimore Orioles (ADP: 365.50)
Givens has won eight games in two straight seasons and if Brad Brach falters early, Givens could get some saves before Zach Britton returns. Givens had a 2.75 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and struck out 88 in 78.2 innings. Even if he doesn’t close, he’s better than using a below average starter.
Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins (ADP: 427.98)
I am giving Gibson one more shot. Gibson used his slider more down the stretch last season and it worked. In the final eight games, he 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, a 23.7 percent strikeout rate and a 5.2 percent walk rate.
Amir Garrett, Cincinnati Reds (ADP: 475.52)
Garrett was dealing with a hip injury last season and his velocity was down. He averaged 91.2 miles per hour with his fastball last season and he’s throwing in the mid-90s in the spring. He’s someone to monitor early in the season if he makes the starting rotation.
Marco Gonzales, Seattle Mariners (ADP: 496.58)
Gonzales is slated to begin the season in the rotation. He had Tommy John surgery in 2016 after showing a really good changeup when he came up with the Cardinals. He has a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 spring innings.
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