Picking Pitching League Leaders Going 200th or Later

On recent episodes of The Sleeper & The Bust, Justin and I picked pitching and hitting league leaders for the upcoming season, highlighting a main pick and then someone to keep an eye on. I wanted to take it a step further and pick some guys who could lead the league in the 5×5 categories going pick-200 or later. We will start with pitchers.


Luke Weaver, ARI | Pick 201

Just under the wire with this pick which of course means that sometimes Weaver goes before 200, but I still wanted to highlight him as someone to target in this area of the draft. I’ve been on the Diamondbacks all offseason as a contender with a strong lineup, good rotation, and capable bullpen arms (with some upside candidates who could make it even better). Wins are going to be flukier than ever so with something like this I’m really looking for a pitcher I like on a quality team.

Also consider: Anthony DeSclafani (245), either Ryan Yarbrough (223) or Yonny Chirinos (276) if they got an opener with regularity


Garrett Richards, SD| Pick 240

I’ve always felt Richards was capable of a huge strikeout rate with his mid-90s heater and nasty slider, but we hadn’t really seen it until the last two seasons when he put up a 27% strikeout rate, albeit in just 85 innings of work (including a whopping 8.7 last year). He’s the #2 starter for the Padres and if he makes every start, he should get a heap of innings relative to all starters and if he’s fanning guys at the same 27% clip or better, he could definitely top the leaderboard.

Also consider: Nathan Eovaldi (266) and Joshua James (231)


Nick Burdi, PIT | Pick 306

Keone Kela hasn’t reported to camp yet which could leave the closer’s wide open and I’d eye Burdi to emerge and run with the role. Burdi missed most of 2019 due to thoracic outlet syndrome, but he’s back and throwing triple digits again. I was already eyeing Burdi as a late-round pick and Jeff’s latest Mining the News only adds to my interest.

Also consider: Daniel Hudson (255)


Ross Stripling, LAD | Pick 220

I still haven’t gotten over the nixed trade that would’ve sent Stripling to the Angels and I’m not even an Angels fan. It was so stupid of them to pull out of that deal when it fit their team so unbelievably well, but I was more interested in seeing my guy Stripling get a starting gig. While I’m definitely bummed that we won’t get to see David Price this year, the silver lining is that it clears the path to that starter’s role with the Dodgers. Splitting time between starter and reliever, Stripling has a 3.22 ERA in 212.7 innings over the last two years (36 starts, 29 relief appearances).

Also consider: Mike Foltynewicz (216), Aaron Civale (215)


Jose Urquidy, HOU | Pick 209

Sharp control is the driving force behind Urquidy’s ascent as he walked just 4.7% in a three-level 2019 (AA/AAA/MLB) which is right in line with his career 4.8% mark in 323.3 minor league innings. He posted an excellent 1.10 WHIP in his 41 major league innings and that was with an 8.3 H/9. Throw in some BABIP luck and he could post a sub-1.00 WHIP and lead the league.

Also consider: Joe Musgrove (206)

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

While maybe not a potential league leader, if you knew N Pearson was going to be starting for the Jays, where would he rank in your top 100?