Major League Baseball
Kodai Senga, Eury Pérez highlight Pitching Ninja's filthiest rookies
Major League Baseball

Kodai Senga, Eury Pérez highlight Pitching Ninja's filthiest rookies

Published Aug. 30, 2023 1:25 p.m. ET

This season has been a banner year for rookie pitchers across Major League Baseball. This crew of hurlers is extremely deep and talented, proving that the future of filthy pitching is BRIGHT.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of my personal favorite rookie pitchers (stats as of Aug. 29). Warning: There are a lot of them!

The Starters

The Baby Giraffe


Eury Pérez, Miami Marlins
Key 2023 stats: 2.68 ERA, 10.9 K/9 

At 20 years of age and already 6-foot-8, Eury is the youngest and tallest pitcher on my list. Incredibly talented with unlimited potential, he can be an ace for years to come. His fastball touches 100 mph with the highest spin rate among starting pitchers. Frankly, I can’t put a ceiling on him, especially since at his height he’d probably bump his head into it. Aptly nicknamed the Baby Giraffe by last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Sandy Alcántara.

Eury has already impressed MLB veteran pitchers!

Mr. Ghost Fork

Kodai Senga, New York Mets
Key 2023 stats: 3.17 ERA (10th in MLB), 10.8 K/9

Senga’s Ghost Fork may be the most unhittable pitch in baseball with over a 60 percent whiff rate. Senga is the Ace of the Mets pitching staff as a rookie following a highly successful career in Japan. A key piece to rebuilding the MetsHe's a pitching rotation. 

G-Rod the Ace

Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles 
Key 2023 stats: 9.4 K/9. Fastball touches 101 mph

Huge arm and has many of the pieces to be a future ace. G-Rod has been on fire since being called back up from the minors in July. 

Bibee = Bieber 2.0?

Tanner Bibee, Cleveland Guardians
Key 2023 stats: 10-3 record, 3.01 ERA 

He simply knows how to pitch. Bibee has an advanced feel for pitching with a solid pitch arsenal. Reminds me a little of a young Shane Bieber. 

The Young Bully

Gavin Williams, Cleveland Guardians
Key 2023 stats: 9.6 K/9 with a 3.52 ERA

Top-end stuff. A little like a young Gerrit Cole. Mid-to-upper 90s fastball with solid breaking stuff. Had several impressive outings this season.


Bobby Miller, Los Angeles Dodgers
Key 2023 stats: 8-3 record, 8.1 K/9

The hardest-throwing starting pitcher in baseball (99.1 mph average fastball) with a solid pitch arsenal. Miller has electric stuff and I expect his strikeout rate to rise with experience.

Hey Abbott!

Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati Reds
Key 2023 stats: 8-3 record with a 3.35 ERA, 10 K/9

Abbott is a competitor with an "invisible" fastball and a nasty sweeper (.106 batting average against).

King of Fastball Spin

Bryce Miller, Seattle Mariners
Key 2023 stats: 8.4 K/9, 1.9 BB/9

Second-highest spin rate fastball behind Eury Pérez among starting pitchers and has a 27 percent whiff rate on his fastball. Excellent at controlling the zone, with an impressively low walk rate for a hard-throwing young pitcher.

Verlander Redux

Hunter Brown, Houston Astros
Key 2023 stats: 10.3 K/9

Somewhat uneven performance this season but has advanced stuff. Grew up idolizing Justin Verlander and mirrors Verlander's mechanics.


Bryan Woo, Seattle Mariners
Key 2023 stats: 9.4 K/9

Another impressive young Mariner starter. Electric fastball. Rick Flair's favorite pitcher. Woo!

Reese has all the Pieces

Reese Olson, Detroit Tigers
Key 2023 stats: 41.7% whiff rate on slider

Olson's slider is among the best pitches of any rookie and has the highest spin rate in MLB among starters averaging over 3,000 RPMs. Advanced stuff for his age.

Viva La France

JP France, Houston Astros
Key 2023 stats: 9-5 with a 3.51 ERA

Not a hard thrower but deceptive. Has a very good changeup and slow curveball (over 46 percent whiff rate).

Logan's Run

Logan Allen, Cleveland Guardians
Key 2023 stats: 3.61 ERA, 8.6 K/9 

Another pitcher created by the vaunted Guardians pitching lab. Doesn't light up the radar gun (his fastball averages 91 mph). Nasty low spin rate changeup with a .202 batting average against and 34 percent whiff rate. 

Changeup Master

Jordan Wicks, Chicago Cubs

Not huge velocity but has one of the best changeups you'll see. Recently got called up and was fantastic in his first start with 9 strikeouts, most of them on his nearly unhittable changeup which had a 75 percent whiff rate for the game. 

Tijuana Two-Seam

Javier Assad, Chicago Cubs
Key stats: 2.96 ERA

Stuff doesn't blow you away, but has a diverse pitch arsenal and a solid feel for pitching.

Amazing debut K

Slade Cecconi, Arizona Diamondbacks
Key stats: 2.57 ERA, 1.7 BB/9

Cecconi has a solid pitcher's frame and good competitive makeup.  Mid-90s fastball with a solid slider. Slade had perhaps the most unique first career strikeout of all time!

Swervin' Irvin

Jake Irvin, Washington Nationals 
Key 2023 stats: 4.3 ERA, 102 innings pitched

I really like his stuff and expect him to take a big step-up in the near future. Mid-90s fastball with a hammer curveball. 

Getting hitters to Chase

Chase Silseth, Los Angeles Angels
Key 2023 stats: 4.10 ERA, 9.9 K/9

Six-pitch arsenal with a filthy splitter (.149 batting average against) and solid fastball averaging 95 mph.

I Pfaadt the law

Brandon Pfaadt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Key 2023 stats: 3.03 ERA in August

Pfaadt had a slow start but has picked it up recently. One of the top pitching prospects in the D-backs organization. 

Smoke on the Water

Kyle Harrison, San Francisco Giants
Key stats: 14.9 K/9

Deceptive delivery, mid-90s fastball with a wicked Slurve. Small sample size, but Harrison looked fantastic with 11 strikeouts in his Oracle Park debut.


Taj Bradley, Tampa Bay Rays
Key 2023 Stats: 11.9 K/9 

Bradley has excellent pitching makeup and great composure on the mound, with a solid fastball velocity (96.2 mph average) and good secondary pitches. Will continue to improve with experience. 

Acin' Mason

Mason Miller, Oakland As.
Key stats: 9.3 K/9, 3.38 ERA

A strikeout machine in the minor leagues, he had one of the filthiest at-bats of the 2023 season.  Likely would have been one of the top rookies had it not been for his injury in May. Has been up to 102 mph!

The Bullpen

Abner Uribe, Milwaukee Brewers: Pure electricity. Uribe has been up to 103.3 mph (the fastest pitch in the pitch-tracking era for the Brewers) and has jaw-dropping movement on his sinker. His sinker is a "Filthiest Pitch of the Year" candidate.

Yennier Cano, Baltimore Orioles: Tremendous Sinker and changeup combo. Changeup has over a 40 percent whiff rate. A key piece to the Baltimore bullpen and a great K stare.

Shintaro Fujinami, Baltimore Orioles: Fuji has been up to 103 mph. Huge arm, however, command can be an issue. If he can dial it in, can be a monster.

Ryan Walker, San Francisco Giants: Devastating Slider with over a 42 percent whiff rate. 

Tyler Holton, Detroit Tigers: One of the most underrated relieves in baseball. Holton has a 2.11 ERA this season and a .88 WHIP.

Tom Cosgrove, San Diego Padres: Beautiful Slow Frisbee Slider. 

Ian Hamilton, NY Yankees: A key contributor in the Yankees' bullpen. Hamilton's Slambio (a slider with a changeup grip) has over a 41 percent whiff rate.

You can see why I'm so excited about this deep class of talented young pitchers. And just wait for next year, when we might see this year's No. 1 draft pick Paul Skenes and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (the Pedro Martinez of Japan) in the show. 

Rob Friedman is an MLB pitching analyst for FOX Sports whose work has been featured on many Major League Baseball broadcasts. Follow him on Twitter @PitchingNinja.

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