2023 Fantasy Baseball: This Year’s Kyle Wright

by Connor Thomure
2023 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Kyle Wright

Welcome to 2023 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Kyle Wright.

With the draft season underway, managers are looking for that post-hype breakout pitcher that can lead their team to success. Last season that pitcher was Kyle Wright. Fantasy managers were writing off Wright after a horrific start to his career, but that proved to be a mistake after his remarkable 2022 season.

In this piece, four pitchers are identified that fit a similar mold as Wright before his breakout season. They have pitched at least 70 innings in Major League Baseball with ERAs greater than 4.9.

While some Fantasy analysts are still on board with these players, most have written them off to the realm of Fantasy irrelevance. However, I am still on board with them as I believe their best is coming this season.

2023 Fantasy Baseball: This Year's Kyle Wright

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Kyle Bradish, Baltimore Orioles

A rookie that flew under the radar in 2022 was Kyle Bradish of the Baltimore Orioles. Bradish recorded a 4-7 record with a 4.90 ERA across 117.2 innings in 2022. Based on these stats, it's easy to see why Fantasy managers aren't giving Bradish the time of day, but this is only part of the story.

Bradish had two stints with the big-league club. The first was 10 games from late April to mid-June. In this span, he recorded a 7.38 ERA in 46.1 innings.

His second stint lasted 13 games from late July to the end of the season. Here he recorded a 3.28 ERA in 71.1 innings.

The big difference between these two periods is Bradish's use of his slider. In the first 10 games, he threw it on average 26% of the time. In the last 13 games, he used it 32.5% of the time. Bradish will surprise many people this season if he continues using the slider.

Josiah Gray, Washington Nationals

Of the players listed here, Josiah Gray has spent the most time in Major League Baseball. He's started 41 games while recording a 5.17 ERA in 219.1 innings. Gray allowed the most home runs in baseball in 2022 and the fifth most walks.

This would drive most Fantasy managers away from a pitcher, but I'm sticking with Gray. According to Andrew Golden of The Washington Post, Gray, and the Nationals believe he has made the right moves to get better results this season.

Among the moves were hip flexibility, a straighter delivery toward the plate, and a new cutter. After reading about these adjustments, then watching Gray use them in Spring Training, I'm looking forward to seeing him succeed in 2023.

Luis Patino, Tampa Bay Rays

Coming in with the highest prospect pedigree on this list is Luis Patino. FanGraphs ranked him the 11th-best prospect in 2021, but he has yet to live up to the hype. In his 36 MLB appearances, he's recorded a 5.10 ERA across 114.2 innings. While these stats are abysmal, Patino is still just 23 years old with plenty of potential.

This Spring Training could be the most important yet for the young pitcher. He's coming off an injury late last season with a chance to earn a spot in the rotation heading into 2023.

The biggest issue for Patino, however, is his health. He has the stuff to be elite but needs to stay healthy. He suffered an oblique injury early in 2022, then a shoulder injury late in 2022.

Tucker Davidson, Los Angeles Angels

Tucker Davidson is the pitcher on this list getting the least attention. However, he has just as good a chance of being this year's Kyle Wright as the other three.

The most exciting part about Davidson this spring training is the addition of a sweeper. According to Sarah Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Times, Davidson is using the same grip on this pitch as Shohei Ohtani.

It's more than just the grip that makes Ohtani great, but the fact that Davidson is learning new things from the superstar is a great sign.

Davidson is undrafted in most leagues but is a player to watch throughout spring training and the early part of the 2023 season.


Spring Training is here! Be prepared for your Baseball drafts by checking out all 2023 Fantasy Baseball content on Fantasy Six Pack.

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