Minor League Report: First Half Pitching All-Stars

Last week we put out the first half prospect hitters and this week it is time for the first half pitchers.

The big news of the day though was the Manny Machado deal that sent multiple prospects to the Orioles, most notably Yusniel Diaz. More to come on Diaz later when I attempt to cover all prospects that changed teams at the trade deadline. For now, take a look at first half all-star pitchers.

Chris Paddack
64 1/3 IP, 2.24 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 92 K, 6 BB

Paddack might be the minor league pitcher of the year to this point. Had he not missed time to Tommy John Surgery we might be talking about Paddack as at least a hopeful September call up. Instead I expect Paddack to be that guy next year.

The strikeout upside is pretty intriguing. The changeup is a great out pitch and might be the best changeup in the minors. Expect Paddack to be a top-50 prospect this time next year.

Jesus Luzardo
78 1/3 IP, 2.30 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 99 K, 20 BB

Luzardo has really been proving me wrong as I wasn’t a huge believer in his three pitch mix. The fastball has been a great pitch for him being able to top out in the upper 90s. His Curveball and changeup are both above average pitches at worst at this point and could say both are plus.

I still think the upside for Luzardo is limited for a guy that shot as high up lists as he has midseason. I don’t think he has the number one or two MLB starter appeal, but as a year in year out fantasy starter, he has changed my mind. I’ll be interested to see if he can keep up the strikeouts.

Ian Anderson
82 IP, 2.85 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 102 K, 35 BB

Anderson has already hit the 100 strikeout mark this year in high-A, so he has shown the ability to miss his fair share of bats. His numbers so far this year are pretty close to what they were through a full season last year.

The fastball sits in the mid 90s and can hit the upper 90s. The issue for Anderson, that is an issue for many pitchers, might be his control. The walks have gotten slightly better since last season, but still could be an issue. Anderson could be a top-25 arm this time next year.

Kolby Allard
104 1/3 IP, 2.85 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 81 K, 31 BB

Another Braves arm; this one I have been getting excited about for a while. However, my excitement might have been a little over the top. The upside doesn’t appear to be there. He hasn’t been able to miss bats like I had hoped. His changeup might be his best pitch, and his curveball is at least a plus pitch now. His three pitch mix might not miss bats, but they can get him weak contact. Allard should be in the majors next year, with a chance of being called up this year.

His middle of the top-100 ranks around the industry are fair as he is more safe than upside right now, but safety has its value. However, in leagues with under 100 prospects owned I don’t know how excited I am to own him. I’ll take a shot at a guy a little lower in the ranks with upside.

Dakota Hudson
104 1/3 IP, 2.42 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 79 K, 36 BB

With all of the Cardinals injuries, it is a little surprise that we haven’t seen Hudson in the majors. At 23 he isn’t necessarily dominating AAA, but he is getting batters out. Hudson will probably get some hype next year as a prospect arm, but it might be a little hard to get too excited for him for fantasy purposes.

Dane Dunning
86 IP, 2.71 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 100 K, 26 BB

Dunning is on the DL right now but had a good enough first half. Unlike the next few guys on this list, Dunning has some prospect hype after being a first round pick in 2016 and was part of the Adam Eaton trade.

His fastball is his best pitch, but his slider and changeup aren’t far behind. His fastball sits in the lower 90s but can get up to the mid to upper 90s. Dunning is a must own in 200 or fewer prospect leagues, and is likely a top-100 prospect, but like Hudson and Allard I don’t think you have to own him in leagues with 100 or fewer prospects.

Cristian Javier
79 2/3 IP, 1.81 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 108 K, 32 BB

Javier keeps on dominating the low minors and might need to step up to AA soon. I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets moved for a reliever sometime here in the next few weeks.

His stuff doesn’t support the numbers so he is probably more of an add and flip based on numbers type player rather than someone you want to really invest in.

Jose Suarez
78 1/3 IP, 4.02 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 104 K, 26 BB

Another arm that is putting up better numbers than his stuff suggests. He has started to run into some trouble since coming to AAA, but overall the numbers are still solid mainly the strikeouts.

Zac Lowther
75 1/3 IP, 2.51 ERA,1.06 WHIP, 100 K, 25 BB

Stop me if you heard this before – numbers that don’t support the stuff. His 100 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings don’t seem like the right numbers for someone who tops out at 93. He is a little old for high-A and his advanced age could be why.


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Andy Germani

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I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.