30. James Shields — Chicago White Sox
This spot would likely be occupied by Carlos Rodon — if the 25-year old were actually healthy. Rodon is rumored to be out until July, and the White Sox staff isn’t nearly deep enough to recover in his absence. It’s uncertain who will be the Opening Day starter, but Shields boasts the most impressive résumé of the lot. The former All-Star is attempting to reinvent himself in his 13th year in the Majors, but he hasn’t shown much promise since his days with the Royals.
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29. Clayton Richard — San Diego Padres
San Diego has built its roster in hopes of being successful in the future. Unfortunately, that means they’ll be putting forth a weak product on the field for the time being. The Padres have interesting pieces, but few surefire talents on the staff.
Among the options, Richard is clearly the most proven commodity. He might not have the promise or potential of guys like Dinelson Lamet or Luis Perdomo, but he’s the only one that is currently guaranteed a spot in the rotation.
Richard throws a hard curve ball, and is especially adept at producing ground balls. He’ll have to be at his best if the Padres want to compete in the wild, wild NL West.
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28. Anthony DeSclafani — Cincinnati Reds
After missing all of 2017, DeSclafani looks to bounce back in a big way for a Reds team that direly needs help on the mound. The 27-year old from the University of Florida has shown glimpses of developing into a top player. His fastball runs around the mid-90’s, and he mixes it up with an aggressive slider.
Staying on the field will be the biggest hurdle for DeSclafani to overcome. He’s spent more time on the injury report than he actually has on the mound. Elbow injuries are nothing to scoff at, but the team insists he’s healthy entering the Spring. If that holds true, he’ll undoubtedly be featured at the top of Cincinnati’s rotation.
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