Discover more from The Dynasty Dugout
FYPD Pitching Sleepers From The 2023 MLB Draft
Tyler Warren provides six deep league sleepers that you need to know for FYPDs.
Continuing the underrated spotlights, it’s time to zone in on some pitchers. For pitchers the theme is a bit different, most of these prospects are only watch-list worthy as a good portion are relief arms. All of these arms come from the 2023 draft and were all selected in or after the 6th round.
Underrated Pitchers For FYPD
Ethan Chenault, RHP, PHI, 22
Drafted by the Phillies in the 18th round, Chenault will play as a setup/closer arm most likely. In his final year at UNCW Chenault posted a 4.91 ERA with 11.1 SO/9. Walks were really the bulk of Chenault’s problems as hitters were only hitting .205 against him with a SLG of .340. His plus pitch is his SL that was deadly in the bottom parts of the zone to both RHH and LHH garnering a near 50 Whiff%. Against just his SL batters hit .151 with 46K - 12BB while producing a 64 GB%. He showed solid command of it and was able to throw it for strikes when needed. Though he has a great feel for his SL the main thing holding Chenault back is his FB control.
Hitters were able to pick apart his FB and hammer it to all parts of the field. I suspect the Phillies will work on changing his grip to fit a sinker profile to produce some more movement. With such a strong outlier pitch Chenault is someone to keep close tabs on in the 2024 season.
AVG Velos: FB 93 - SL 83
Paul Bonzagni, RHP, TEX, 21
Already making his Single-A debut, Bonzagni was drafted in the 12th round out of Southern Illinois. He featured plus command of his full arsenal and produced a 70 GB% in his final year at Southern Illinois. He posted a 0.5 HR/9 and seemed for the most part to be extremely unlucky when it came to his fielders making plays on ground balls. In his full pro debut between the complex and Single-A Bonzagni held a 2.38 ERA between 11.1 IP with 10 SO - 5BB. Mainly used in late relief roles, Bonzagni’s large and lean 6’3” frame is really intriguing and worth keeping an eye on.
AVG Velos: FB/Cutter: 92 - SL 80
Gabe Starks, RHP, CIN, 21
Coming to the Reds as an undrafted free agent, Starks is one of the more intriguing players on this list. With Stuff+ ratings putting him at the top of his class, Starks fell through the seams after a less-than-impressive final college season on paper. With his FB touching 98 but settling around 94, Starks has a lot of life in his pitches.
Previously starting his college career at Arkansas, Starks was a top 300 HS recruit but didn’t fit well in the Razorbacks rotation. After transferring to Texas-Arlington, Starks started all 15 games and threw 74 IP. The outlook on whether he will be a starter will be determined by if he can develop his CH. Regardless, Starks is an interesting back-end reliever if he can consistently hit the high 90s.
AVG Velos: FB 94 - SL 82 - CH 84
Zane Russell, RHP, ARI, 21
Russell is a highly intriguing arm who made his way to the Diamondbacks via the 10th round. In his pro debut, Russell threw 17 IP and held a 1.02 ERA with 27 SO - 5 BB. Climbing to High-A, where his dominance continued, Russell was mainly used in the middle relief roles. With his fastball touching 97 in college, he almost exclusively used it.
In his 30 IP at Dallas Baptist, hitters had a .159 AVG while SLG .206 against him. This type of unhittable arsenal transferred to pro ball as hitters only hit .143 against Russell as he posted a combined 0.73 WHIP across all three pro teams. As he continues to develop his three-pitch mix, Russell could easily climb into the top 30 Diamondbacks prospects.
AVG Velos: FB 94 - SL 83 - CH 83
Kyle Amendt, RHP, ARI, 23
Amendt is very similar to Russell in the sense that he is from Dallas Baptist but also landed in Arizona. His large 6’5” frame makes him a little bit more intriguing though his control was worse in his pro debut.
In 12 IP between the complex and Single-A, Amendt posted a 0.00 ERA paired with 25 SO - 9 BB. He was virtually unhittable with a .079 AVG against him, but his control suffered. In college, Amendt did not produce a lot of ground balls and oftentimes lost control of his fastball above the zone, these same trends transferred to his limited pitches at the pro level.
AVG Velos: FB 92 - CB 78 - SL 86
Lucas Braun, RHP, ATL, 22
Saving the best for last, Lucas Braun is a true hidden gem. Braun comes to the Braves via the 6th round from Cal State Northridge. The six-foot righty features a deadly four-pitch mix that dominated Single-A.
With a full arsenal Whiff% of 43% throughout the minor leagues, Braun held a 2.67 ERA with 32SO - 5BB. He threw all three of his main pitches for strikes with some of the best control throughout the entire minor leagues, posting strike percentages above 70%. His pitch sequencing allows for easy swings and misses on his offspeed while generating many ground balls. Braun is someone at the top of my list and worth picking up.
AVG Velos: FB 90 - SL 82 - CB 76 - CH 83
To see more work from Tyler check out his site here: