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Fantasy Baseball: Pitchers Who Surprised In 2018

October 1, 2018
We continue our season in review by looking at the pitchers in fantasy baseball. We'll start by discussing the pitchers who surprised, which will mainly be based on their average draft position. 

Pitchers Who Surprised:

1. Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Blake Snell -- I'm sure there are a ton of championship rosters that included the left-hander this year. Snell was dominant this season, as he pitched to 1.89 ERA with a 0.97 WHIP to go along with 221 strikeouts and 21 wins. The 25-year-old has a chance to win the American League Cy Young Award due to his incredible season. The lefty had an average draft position of 193 overall according to FantasyPros.com, which was 49th among starting pitchers. It's always enjoyable to find a player no matter the position late in drafts and then see them be an important part of your team that hopefully is in the running for a championship. It goes without saying that Snell will be one of the top pitchers drafted in 2019.

2. St. Louis Starting Pitcher Miles Mikolas -- The right-hander was pitching in Japan in 2017 but became one of the more valuable starting pitchers in MLB in 2018. Mikolas had an average draft position later than 300 in March, which means he wasn't even drafted in most leagues. All the 30-year-old did in his return to the major leagues was pitch to a 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 146 strikeouts and 18 victories. Mikolas was incredibly durable, as well; he started 32 games and pitched 200.2 innings. We are always looking for consistency in fantasy baseball, and Mikolas provided that at a great value.

3. Colorado Rockies Starting Pitcher Kyle Freeland -- There is usually one rule in fantasy baseball most people try to follow, and that is to stay far away from any Rockies starting pitchers. This strategy has worked for years, but that could be changing after the dominant season by Freeland. The 25-year-old pitched to a 2.85 ERA, 1.25 WHIP with 173 strikeouts and 17 wins. Even more impressive is the lefty actually pitched better in Colorado than on the road; he had a home ERA of 2.40 compared to a 3.23 ERA on the road. It will be interesting to see how Freeland is judged heading into next draft season.

4. Atlanta Braves Starting Pitcher Mike Foltynewicz -- As evidenced by the pitchers mentioned, I will be spending the offseason figuring out what the strategy should be with starting pitchers during the draft season. Foltynewicz had an average draft position of 401 according to FantasyPros.com, but he finished as a top-20 starting pitcher. The right-hander finished with 202 strikeouts to go along with a 2.85 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.