Sometimes all a young player needs is a little momentum. Even after a rough stretch, one quality start turns 3, which can turn into 5 or 10. Such was the case for our next 2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Matt Brash.
A cursory glance at Brash's stats does not tell the whole story of his rookie campaign. a 4.44 era (84 ERA+) with a 1.559 WHIP and 3.51 FIP doesn't scream out "future fantasy stud." However, a deeper dive into his stats shows that he is a pitcher with the potential to be an absolute killer.
The first half of the season did not treat the 24-year-old well. Up until the All-Star break, Brash had a nightmare first half. He lost his role as a starter, moving into the pen, where he posted an ERA of close to 6.66 with a wOBA of 3.78. However, Brash was able to turn it around in the second half. Brash's ERA dropped to 2.39, with opponents barely hitting .200 against him.
What was the Key to Brash's success? Brash had very different results despite pitching a similar amount of innings in the two halves, throwing 24 in the first and 26 in the second. Brash struck out way more guys (38 up from 24) and walked less (13 down from 20) in the second half). In addition, Brash's move to a reliever helped him find control on his fastball last year. This fastball control allowed him to set up his nasty breaking ball.
How nasty? Raise your hand if you can hit this
Matt Brash’s slider absolutely took off when he converted to a reliever. The pitch had a 52% K rate and an insane 24% hard hit rate. Almost nobody could touch this thing, hitting .088 against it. pic.twitter.com/afmKvu40EY
— Gravel (@Gravel_sense) November 3, 2022
Maybe it's because I can't see any of my readers, but I don't see any hands raised. I doubt you raised your hands because that breaking ball is filthy. Do you know who else isn't raising their hands? Almost every MLB hitter has to try to hit that wiffle ball of a pitch. Brash becomes virtually unhittable when coupled with Brash's fastball, which can reach triple digits.
Brash is also developing a plus change-up as a third offering. With three pitches he could throw any time, Brash will likely be a starter to beBrash023.
2023 Dynasty Baseball Trade Target: Matt Brash
Most of my trade target installments have been young players poised to break out soon. Brash is no different.
At just 24, Brash will have a long-standing spotBrashour roster if he breaks out as I expect him to. Next year will be his first full year in the big leagues, which bodes well for his improvement, as he'll have an entire off-season to combat his weaknesses and play to his strengths.
Brash's most significant value in fantasy comes from his ability to strike people out. While strikeouts have been rising league-wide for a few years, Brash was exceptional at fanning hitBrashlast year. Between July and October, Brash struck out hitters at a 12.3-12.8 K/9 rate. This would have placed him among the league leaders in that category had he pitched enough to qualify.
Another reason Brash could be lethal in some leagueBrashhis dual eligibility. Brash was primarily a reliever last year but may very well be in the Mariners' rotation in 2023. The uncertainty around Brash's role could lead to your leagBrash'sng Brash dual eligibility as a starter and reliever. Sound familiar? This was the situation surrounding ROTY runner-up Spencer Strider last year. Users could slot Strider in as a reliever as he went out for five innings and 11 strikeouts on the night.
Just like how receiving points for a passing TD for Taysom Hill while he is your TE can give you an advantage, Brash's potential to be a dual-eligibility can provide you a reliever who goes 4-6 innings a start with double-digit K's, giving you an advantage on the rest of your league.
Contrast to Matt Brash: pic.twitter.com/ltutzlHdnb
— Eli Ben-Porat (@EliBenPorat) December 20, 2022
Carlos Rodon is regarded as a top arm in the game today. Look at the comparison in movement between the two pitchers. If Brash can keep his walks in check, trash is no reason for him not to be dominant.
Who Will You Have to Trade for Brash?
Recently I've been writing about guys who will take almost nothing to trade for, needing only a " middling arm and a smaller prospect." The amount of upside brought to the table by Brash should command a higher askingBrashe. No capable manager should part with a 24-year-old pitcher who dominated down the stretch so that Brash may cost you a player on your stBrashg roster.
The possibilities with Brash are endless. I don't say that Brash salesman is trying to sell you a player, but rather as someone who will try to pick up Brash in every league. He throws too bold, and his stuff is too good not to be good. Barring injury, Matt Brash will be a top-20 starter by the end of 2024. That is not bad for a guy who posted a 6.66 ERA in the first half of 2021.
For fantasy purposes, strikeouts are king on the mound. However, with Brash flirting with a 13.0 K/9 down the stretch in 2021, he becomes a lethal arm to trade for in fantasy which is still vastly underrated.