March 2 Spring Training Notes for Dynasty Leagues
Chris Clegg runs down all actionable info from Thursday's Spring Training action.
If you missed yesterday’s dynasty rundown, including notes on Andrew Painter, Hayden Wesneski, and Garrett Mitchell, plus seven others, check it out here:
Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, BAL
Grayson Rodriguez made his much-anticipated spring debut and fired two scoreless and hitless innings. Rodriguez struck out one batter but flashed his strong arsenal displaying a four-seam, slider, changeup, and curve. He finished the day with a 29 percent whiff rate and a 33 percent CSW rate on 21 total pitches.
Rodriguez's fastball averaged 97.9 mph with good life at the top of the zone. He also displayed the ability to locate it well at the bottom of the zone. Rodriguez threw his wipeout slider 29 percent of the time, landing it for two called strikes. It averaged just over 80 mph. His bread and butter is changeup, though, 24 percent of the time generating one whiff on four swings. Rodriguez did bury it exceptionally well at the bottom of the strike zone.
Rodriguez is on Andrew Painter levels but does not generate as much buzz, thanks to an injury that caused him to miss a significant amount of time. I expect Rodriguez to get 130 or more innings with the Orioles this season.
He was quoted after the game saying his stuff is even better than last year. In Triple-A last year, he posted a 2.20 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP across 69.2 innings. Oh, and he also struck out 35.8 percent of hitters. Rodriguez is worth having on your roster in all formats.
Edward Cabrera, RHP, MIA
Edward Cabrera needs to simply have a healthy season in 2023. The talent and arsenal are there, and when he pitches, he is extremely good. You might argue that Cabrera has one of the better changeups in the game. It was sitting 91-93 mph on Thursday with a ton of arm-side fade. Cabrera’s fastball was dominant as well, sitting in the upper 90s.
Cabrera pitched two innings and struck out two hitters. He allowed just one hit and one walk. The Nationals ran out a lineup that looks like what could be their Opening Day lineup. That lineup is not studly by any means, but don’t discount Cabrera because of that.
Cabrera is an intriguing buy-low option in dynasty and has an affordable cost in redraft. If he stays healthy, there is a high-end SP2 in this profile.
Nate Pearson, RHP, TOR
Nate Pearson’s days of being a starting pitcher could be over, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be dominant out of the bullpen. In fact, I think Pearson has the potential to be a high-end closer.
Pearson pitched 1.1 hitless innings on Thursday, striking out one. His fastball averaged 99.2 mph and topped out at 101 mph. His slider was downright nasty, averaging 87.5 mph with high spin and a ton of movement.
Nate Pearson is the right kind of pitcher to buy low in a dynasty league. Former top prospect with pedigree who struggled and dealt with injuries. Even if he is not an elite starter, there are plenty of good reasons to buy low on Pearson in a dynasty league.
Anthony Volpe, SS, NYY
Anthony Volpe hit a bomb off of Mitch Keller on Thursday, coming off the bat at just 99.1 mph, but traveling nearly 400 feet. Volpe added a second hit(95 mph single) and a walk to finish off his day. I highly doubt he makes the team out of camp, especially with the Yankees having Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner Falefa capable of playing shortstop. But, Volpe is not going to make the decision easy for the team.
Regardless, there is a strong chance that Volpe could spend a good portion of the season in the Bronx if his strong performance continues. Last season, Volpe hit 21 home runs and stole 50 bases between Double and Triple-A.
Mitch Keller, RHP, PIT
Every year, we see something about Mitch Keller working in the offseason on a new pitch or having increased velocity. People fall for it, and it never pans out. Keller served up two home runs on Thursday, allowing three earned runs in two innings pitched. He did manage four strikeouts, but that is largely irrelevant if you are still giving up hits, home runs, and earned runs.
The most impressive thing about this is that Keller averaged 91.3 mph on his slider and 97 mph on his fastball. Both numbers are up significantly from last year. I don't have much else to say. You can keep dreaming on Mitch Keller, but I wouldn’t touch him with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole.
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