With the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline just weeks away, a fair amount of attention will go towards the starters that are likely to change places. There are, however, a few pitching prospects that could benefit from the potential chaos. Here’s a look at five pitching prospects to watch in fantasy this month.
We start off the list with Cubs right-handed pitching prospect Ben Brown, who made our June prospects to watch list. The Long Island native has had his ups and downs in Iowa (AAA), as indicated by a 5.24 ERA and 34 walks over 13 starts (55 IP) with the baby Cubs. Brown has, though, struck out 113 batters over 75 innings this season, thanks to a hard fastball and a pair of breaking balls.
Rumors have swirled around Marcus Stroman’s future as a Cub. If Chicago does deal Stroman, Brown could slide into the Cubs rotation.
St. Louis snared right-hander Gordon Graceffo in the fifth round of the 2021 MLB Draft, and he’s nearly ready for the Majors. Graceffo possesses a number of weapons up his sleeve, including a slider that profiles to be his out pitch and a delivery that isn’t easy to pick up. Through ten games (9 GS), the 23-year-old owns a 3.67 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 41.2 IP.
The Cardinals are likely to be sellers this summer, and two soon-to-be free agents in Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery are among rumored trade chips. If St. Louis does deal the duo, Graceffo could get his first look later this year.
The Tigers rotation is in a much better position nowadays, given that Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal are healthy. One name that might not necessarily be in play this season, but could crack the rotation at some point next year is Ty Madden. The former University of Texas standout has been a bit more hittable in 2023, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting a 3.68 ERA and 77 strikeouts over 66 innings.
Scouts like his stuff, but time will tell whether it will translate into a MLB rotation. If it does, he’s got the potential to be a nice arm for the Tigers
The Reds netted three players – Jake Fraley, Brandon Williamson, and Justin Dunn in the Jesse Winker/Eugenio Suarez deal last March, as well as a player to be named later. That individual turned out to be Connor Phillips, the 64th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Phillips has been known to hit the upper-90s with his fastball and has been a strikeout machine in the Minors. Through his first 75.1 IP in 2023, Phillips struck out 123 batters.
Cincinnati needs some help in the rotation, so one shouldn’t completely rule out a Phillips promotion this year. He’s got the stuff to get big leaguers out, but he’s likely an option for 2024.
Drafted in the eighth round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Yankees, right-hander Will Warren has steadily risen up the ranks. The Yankees overhauled his arsenal after being selected by New York (AL), as the team helped him switch up his slider and add a sinker to his arsenal. Since then, he’s emerged as a hurler that can get swings-and-misses, as well as plenty of ground balls.
It remains to be seen whether Warren will crack the Yankees roster this season, but it’s not out of the question.