Updated: May 31
Top 10 Dynasty Pitchers to Draft in 2022
Written by Kyle Thibideau
Max Meyer RHP MIA (22 Years old)
Talk about a future phenom, eh? That's what Max Meyer is and even more. Drafted 3rd overall in the 2020 MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins, signing for a ridiculous 6.7 million dollars, the now 22-year-old is set to make his MLB debut this season. He was an immediate impact pitcher for Minnesota in the big ten, one of the better conferences in college baseball, as he posted a 1.95 ERA, 46 strikeouts, in 27 2/3 innings pitches. Note that those were stats from the 2020 covid season. He undeniably has the best pitch in the draft, the scorching slider in the low 90s that has tons of depth. Meyer's fastball ranges in from 93-97 mph but can hit 98-100 mph at times. His 3rd option pitch, the changeup, needs work, but should pan out with great coaching, as you've seen guys like Edward Cabrera, Jordan Yamamoto, and Zac Gallen succeed in the Marlins farm system with less talent than Meyer. Fantasy wise, Meyer is my top target this year as a rookie, as I've been high on him since draft day, and it hasn't changed. Long term, he will get the chance to be a top 10 pitcher, and short term he should replicate what Logan Gilbert did last season and even more. If that's not enough to get you to buy in, then I'm not sure what is.
2. Nick Lodolo LHP CIN (23 Years Old)
One of the most talented arms I've seen come out of college, Lodolo has 3 above average pitches, so he is already ahead of the game. His fastball can touch 96 mph with spiraling movement, low-80's slider with great depth and bite on the ball, and his changeup is being worked on and has come a long way since then, having almost 3 years into development on it. Lodolo attacks the strike zone, which is great thing to hear so you don't have to worry too much on command. He likes to attack hitter's weaknesses, and as he adds depth and frame to his 6'6 body, there is no reason he can't be an ace alongside Luis Castillo for many years to come. As for the fantasy aspect of things, I wouldn't blink an eye if you took Lodolo over Max Meyer. For Lodolo though, his ceiling is a top 15 pitcher in this league and long term should sustain that label.
3. Matthew Liberatore LHP STL (22 Years Old)
Liberatore was viewed as one of the top prep high school pitchers heading into the 2018 MLB Draft, as he displayed what he can do at the summer showcase circuit. Taken 16th overall by the Rays, it looked like it to me that the Rays were about to have a dominant pitching staff. Well, I guess I spoke too soon because 2 years ago he was dealt to the St Louis Cardinals in a deal that sent Jose Martinez, Randy Arozarena, and a compensation A draft pick to the Rays in exchange for Matthew Liberatore, Edgardo Rodriguez, and a compensation B draft pick. Looking back on it, it was a pretty even trade, but still not knowing what Liberatore can do can change the view on that. Liberatore offers a 4-pitch arsenal, including a mid 90s fastball, a 12-6 high 70s curveball that offers dip in it, a changeup that is viewed as an excellent setup pitch following his heater, and a slider that is effective but not there yet. As I was with Meyer, I was high on Liberatore since draft day and that hasn't changed after the trade. He should be a nice replacement for Adam Wainwright and a duo next to ace, Jack Flaherty. Fantasy Wise, he offers more long-term upside, but if he earns a roster spot on opening day, he should be a top 30 pitcher this season and a chance to be a Chris Sale type of arm in the future. Meaning Matthew should rack up a lot of strikeouts, eat up a lot of innings and a cy young contender for years to come. It's a lot of pressure to put on a 22-year-old who hasn't pitched on an MLB mound yet, but there's obvious reasoning behind it.
4. Grayson Rodriguez RHP BAL (22 Years Old)
Rated as the best pitching prospect coming into 2022, Rodriguez enters this season with a chance to get the call by the Orioles. With a frame of 6 foot 5, drafted 11th overall, Rodriguez should have the chance to succeed in the O's system for years to come. His four-pitch mix is sharp as it comes, with a fastball that tops out at 99 mph and has heavy sink on it. The changeup is his secondary pitch, a drastic spin on it than he had previously. Then, he has his slider that ranges from 80-82 mph and his curve that sits at 70s. Rodriguez was one pitcher who made tremendous strides last season, so it should be to nobody's surprise to see him as a frontline starter. The only reason I don't have him higher is I believe Liberatore, Lodolo, and Meyer have better stuff and better upside than Rodriguez. For Rodriguez though, fantasy wise, he should be getting drafted in all dynasty formats, and be a late flier in redraft and keeper leagues. He has the potential to be a top 60 pitcher this year, not knowing when he will get called up. Dynasty wise, I expect him to be a top 35 pitcher, a reliable option.
5. Asa Lacy LHP KC (22 Years Old)
Asa Lacy, taken 4th overall by the Kansas City Royals in the 2020 draft, out of Texas A&M, is a big frame pitcher who will attack hitters with a flaming fastball that tops out at 97 mph. When he was drafted 4th overall to the Royals, I believed that this was going to be the best pitching class in recent memory, and I will stand by that. As for Lacy, he creates an angle towards the plate because of his frame, using two breaking balls, an upper 80 slider and a fading changeup that is above average at this point in his career. The only red flag is his command at times, and if he can fix that, he will be a frontline starter that the Royals need. Dynasty wise in a fantasy aspect, he is my 31st pitcher off the board, and can be a top 25-35 pitcher long-term.
6. Jack Leiter RHP TEX (21 Years Old)
One of the best college prospects heading into the MLB draft, Leiter lit up some eyes on MLB scouts. In his first conference start against South Carolina, he threw a no-hitter. He led them to the college world series, aside teammate, Kumar Rocker. He signed for 7.9 million, which is a franchise record and the fourth highest bonus in draft history. Leiter's fastball ranges from 90-95 and tops out at 97 mph. It's such an elite pitch because of its vertical break and life on the ball. His 12-6 curveball makes hitters chase it and land it for strikes, hitting the high 70's. His low 80's slider has more upside than the curveball, and the changeup is a solid option. He stands 6 foot 1, which many think is small for a starting pitcher, but he has gotten stronger in college and has a sound delivery to his game. Dynasty wise, I'd draft him in the first five rounds and will be a top 10 pitcher long-term. Only reason I don't have him higher is I'd like to see how he translates to the MLB and how he handles the workload from Vanderbilt into the minors.
7. Shane Baz RHP TB (22 Years Old)
Baz entered the draft as one of the hardest throwing pitchers in 2017, ultimately spurring buzz of possibly being selected top ten overall. The Pirates took him on, selecting him 12th overall, and then later, trading him in the Chris Archer deal. Baz showcased his talent last year in the majors, allowing a 2.03 ERA over 13.1 innings in 3 games with Tampa Bay. His four-seam fastball can hit triple digits at times, as he ditched his two-seamer for a curveball. He has four pitches he can go to, and overall are very elite or solid. He improved his delivery with his time with the Rays minor leagues system and showed more control while doing that. Fantasy wise, he should be a top 30 pitcher this year and a top 25 pitcher long-term. Get this phenom while you can.
8. Cole Winn RHP TEX (22 Years Old)
Another Ranger on this list, and for good reasoning. Winner of the Gatorade baseball player of the year in 2017 and 2018 (Colorado in 2017, California in 2018), Winn proved why he was one of the best pitching prospect heading into the draft. He offers a fastball that tops out at 97 mph, with some action on it, a 12-6 break curveball, a changeup that fades, and a slider that has the potential to be a go-to strikeout pitch. He can read hitters and a very improved confidence to trust his elite stuff, pounding the zone, much like lodolo. Fantasy wise, depending on his call-up date, he can be a top 30 pitcher long-term and possibly a waiver-wire steal in redraft formats for this year.
9. Simeon Woods Richardson RHP MIN (21 Years Old)
Drafted at 17 years old, the youngest players in recent history, he signed with the Mets for 1.85 million dollars. He was then traded to Toronto in the Marcus Stroman deal. A couple years later, Toronto dealt Simeon to Minnesota in the Jose Berrios and Austin Martin deal this past deadline. He has great extension and a very clean delivery on the mound. His fastball has riding life, with great command. He also throws a good changeup, a dipper curveball, and a sharp slider. His size and his four-pitch arsenal, all at a young age, proves very well for his command and control heading into 2022. With the Twins in a rebuild mode, he should crack the starting rotation. Fantasy wise, he should be viewed as a top 50 pitcher this season and long-term probably be a top 45 pitcher, like a Kyle Gibson type pitcher, very reliable.
10. Emerson Hancock RHP SEA (22 Years Old)
Emerson was viewed as a top high school pitching prospect in the state of Georgia, ultimately committing to the Georgia Bulldogs soon after. He was looked at as probably the best pitcher in college in 2019. Covid-19 kept us from seeing more of Emerson the next few years but was chosen 6th overall in the 2020 MLB draft by Seattle. He has great stuff, including a 99-mph fastball, a mid 80s slider, and a fader changeup. He can overpower the strike zone and throw strikes regularly. Gilbert, Kirby, and Emerson are going to be one hell of a rotation for the future. Fantasy Wise, Hancock offers a top 60 pitcher value for this season, not knowing when he will get the call, and a top 30 pitcher long-term.
Pitchers that barely missed the list - George Kirby, Jackson Jobe, and Ryan Rolison.