Every year many successful fantasy baseball teams find a gem in the later rounds of the draft. More often than not there are a couple of pitchers that can be had super late in the draft that will produce excellent numbers. Last years example was Chris Sale, the year before was Michael Pineda and the year before that was C.J Wilson. I have had the privilege of two of them on my teams while missing Sale by two picks.
So who can we target next year? It is tough to predict at this point as the Winter Meetings are currently underway and lots of movement can be had... but let us try anyways.
Here are the top ten to target next season.
In his first full season in the show, Minor pitched relatively well with a 4.12 ERA and a solid 1.15 WHIP.
Couple that with 145 K in 179 innings and Minor could be primed for a big year on a revamped Braves squad.
Minor is also still only 24 years old.
Hanson's career has gone in reverse. His ERA has increased every year in the bigs, starting at 2.89 and ballooning up to 4.48 this past season.
He has lost some velocity on his fastball, but now, pitching for the Angels, he should be in line for a much better season and many more wins.
Prior to last season, his lowest WHIP in his career was 1.18.
After an excellent full season in 2012 (he also went 7-1 in 2011 for the Diamondbacks) where he maintained a 3.49 ERA, Hudson missed most of the 2012 season with a right elbow injury.
He will be a forgotten man come the 2013 draft day, so make sure to queue him up and expect a return to form.
If any of you follow my writings on B/R, you know how much time I have spent discussing Romero.
Romero posted great numbers across the board in 2011 and just completely tanked in 2012 (much ado about nothing), though many believe his 'injuries' caused the decline.
Now Romero is slotted in as the 3rd or 4th starter for the Blue Jays so he will receive easier pitching matchups and have less pressure.
With his confidence and bulldog desire to compete, Romero should be a steal near the end of draft day.
After a down year in 2012 (4.93 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) the 27-year-old Masterson should be primed for a rebound year. He pitched very well in 2011 (3.21 ERA) and he disappointed everyone who drafted him last season.
Now, with less expectations, he should be very low on your draft boards so take a shot and draft him to breakout.
I have always believed that Phil Hughes has a great arsenal and the capability to be a great No. 2 starter.
After an oft-injured year, the 26-year old, who seems to be somewhat entrenched in the rotation, could come out blazing this season as he is perfectly healthy.
Expect a breakout season from Hughes, who has enough experience to merit a late round draft pick.
Not too sure how long he will last in most formats but he was one of the elite pitchers at the start of 2012.
Beachy posted an ERA of 2.00 and a WHIP of 0.96 in 13 starts before going down with a season ending injury.
Hopefully most GMs in your league will forget about him and you can get a great lead horse in the later rounds, but don't let him hang around too long...
People have been awaiting the arrival of Teheran for a couple of seasons now. Do I think he will stay long term with the Braves? It is tough to say, especially with the depth they have on the mound.
Teheran is currently penciled in as their sixth starter. That being said, if he breaks with the club, he could be an easy super late round pick that could breakout.
You don't want to be the one who misses the boat on this breakout as his stuff is filthy.
Although Quintana fell off a bit at the end of the season, the 23-year-old southpaw pitched well and will only improve.
With a full season upcoming and a solid White Sox team in front of him, Quintana should net you 12+ wins although his strikeout totals leave something to be desired.
12+ wins at the end of your draft is solid and improvements will continue to happen with the young lefty.
Although he might start the season on the disabled list due to a lacerated tendon in his right thumb, Cashner is my pick for the big breakout in 2012.
Cashner follows the C.J Wilson-type of reliever turned starter and he had some success in an abbreviated 2011.
Cashner throws hard and has a big frame (6'6).
Especially with his supposed start on the DL, Cashner should be drafted at the end of your draft and you can thank me later.
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