One of my tweeps, @ChrisLewis25 asked about my favorite late round starting pitchers. I couldn't find a way to cram that into 140 characters, so here we go with a full-blown blog post.
I only looked at pitchers with an average draft position beyond 260 according to ESPN. That ruled out the following pitchers, who I like as sleepers this year (ADP in parentheses):
Joe Blanton (212)
Mat Latos (214)
Brad Penny (218)
Brian Matusz (221)
Johnny Cueto (221)
Hiroki Kuroda (223)
Erik Bedard (227)
Joel Pineiro (229)
Aaron Harang (231)
I broke down the pitchers I like into a few tiers, with every player ranked in order of preference (age in parentheses):
The young bucks
The best late round target is a younger pitcher with upside who is about to break out. You can always pick up a boring veteran replacement off the scrapheap if it doesn't work out.
• Jeff Niemann (27) Good lord. Just do it.
• Homer Bailey (24) Post-hype sleeper finally put together an awesome month in September. Still has big upside (9+ strikeouts per 9 innings in the minors). Ballpark doesn't help.
• Ryan Rowland-Smith (27) Solid young pitcher, good park, good defense, not tons of K's but upside. Watch the road starts.
• Mark Rzepzcynski (25) Strikeout pitcher, should be good for 150 strikeouts, needs to cut down walks. Tough division.
• Shaun Marcum (29) Introducing the Ace of the Blue Jays. He's had plenty of time to recover from Tommy John. Good stats, solid pitcher, tough division.
• Jason Hammel (28) Love everything except the home park - watch out for those home starts. Shown three straight years of improvement however.
• Justin Masterson (24) Actually racks up strikeouts, just needs to cut down on walks and pitch deeper into games.
• Trevor Cahill (22) Very young, good park, upside. Only pitched 200 minor league innings, and racked up 10K/9.
• Derek Holland (24) Lefty with great minor league stats, still needs polish. Bad ballpark. Not guaranteed a starting job as of now.
The Old Boring Vets
If the young bucks are all gone, you can resort to one of these old boring veterans who probably won't destroy your team ERA, but also has absolutely no upside.
• Carl Pavano (34) Maybe. Doesn't walk people. Not bad. Perhaps.
• Kevin Correia (30) Not going to give you a K per inning, but nice pitcher's park, could give you ERA around 4 and WHIP around 1.35.
• Gil Meche (32) Injury last year depressed numbers, but a solid pitcher to fill out your roster. Still an injury risk, not likely to log 200 innings.
• Jason Marquis (32) Boring innings eater should give you around a 4 ERA and 1.40 WHIP
• Aaron Cook (31) No K's but an innings eater around 4 ERA.
Deeper League Upsiders
These guys have upside but you're rolling the dice. Maybe in a very deep or AL/NL-only league.
• Gio Gonzalez (25) Great upside (10K/9IP minors and majors) but too many walks.
• Ian Snell (29) Hasn't been good since 07, but good defense, good park, strikeout potential (177 in 2007).
• Luke Hochevar (27) Highly touted, shows flashes but nothing much to show for it. I need evidence of a turnaround before I add him.
• Chris Volstad (24) Not many K's, even in the minors (6.3K/9). A sinkerballer with control issues, I don't see the huge fantasy upside.
• Brian Duensing (27) Meh, but eh. Maybe.