Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
After an unimpressive final spring outing against Team Australia Friday, which followed an even worse Cactus League start his last time out, Bradley is a long shot to make the team. Still, the 21-year-old 2011 first-rounder has incredible swing-and-miss stuff and is in an organization that could use a front-of-the-rotation arm sooner than later. Once he's a bit more polished with a month or two at Triple-A, he'll get his shot.
Yordano Ventura, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Ventura, 22, was announced as a member of the rotation earlier this week, which means he'll be throwing his 100 mph heater by hitters right away. His slight frame (6'0", 180) and at times spotty control (3.1 BB/9 in minors) could be obstacles, but you'll be seeing wicked highlights of his even more wicked stuff soon enough.
Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
This 25-year-old's rookie season went about as well as possible (3.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), and he's had a nice camp too. Ultimately, whether he really breaks out in his first full year will depend on whether a guy who owns a career 5.0 BB/9 in the minors can come close to repeating his 2.7 BB/9 from 2013.
Andrew Cashner, RHP, San Diego Padres
Whether you like Cashner because the 27-year-old finally stayed healthy last year, because he gets to call pitcher-friendly Petco Park home or because, well, he was just really, really good in 2013 (3.09 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), the point is clear: You like Cashner.
Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics
The 2011 first-rounder was phenomenal in a late-season 10-start stretch: 2.85 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.2 K/9. While Gray won't be that great all year long in his first full campaign, he does have strikeout potential and pitches half the time in Oakland.
Danny Salazar, RHP, Cleveland Indians
Salazar, 24, is one of the few starting pitchers whose fastball can rival Yordano Ventura's for sheer explosiveness, and it showed, with 65 whiffs in his first 52 frames. That'll get Salazar noticed quite a bit, but to really achieve full breakout status, this injury-prone arm needs to prove he can repeat last year's career-high 145 innings.
Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets
Following the top-prospect-promoted-at-midseason arc, Wheeler was on the Matt Harvey career path, and the kid gloves should be off in 2014 after nearly 170 innings between the minors and majors last year. The 23-year-old won't take off to Harvey's heights, but if Wheeler can avoid the same Tommy John surgery fate while cleaning up his control, this could be a top-30 fantasy starting pitcher.
Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
As a 22-year-old who was drafted 19th overall only a year before, Wacha was almost literally unhittable for quite a stretch, starting with his final regular-season outing and extending into October. As long as there's no hangover from hurling 180-plus innings (including playoffs) in his first full pro season, Wacha is going to have an entire year to impress fantasy owners all over again.
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees
A 25-year-old who has dominated Japanese baseball for the past handful of seasons, who comes complete with a strong repertoire and is ready-made to pitch 200 innings for a playoff contending club? That's Tanaka in 2014, for whom the range of outcomes is somewhere between good (SP4) and very, very good (SP2) in fantasy.
Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (pictured)
Of all the pitchers on this list who could realistically finish the season as a top-10 fantasy starter, this 23-year-old has the best chance. The 2011 No. 1 overall pick, not only is Cole lined up to pitch 200 innings in his first full year, he'll also pitch all of those innings in front of a team that has become one of the best in utilizing defensive shifts, and most of those innings will be in a pitcher-friendly park.
Cole's 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 7.7 K/9 through his first 117.1 big league innings might each represent the low ends of what he can do in year two.