There have been some outstanding breakout pitchers so far this MLB season. As I write this, I'm watching Trevor Rogers dominate yet again Wednesday afternoon, after posting 23 strikeouts in his first 15 innings of the season. Carlos Rodon has 24 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed in his first 19 innings, while Dustin May looks like he may have made the leap to superstardom with a 2.94 ERA and 22 strikeouts in his 15.1 innings of work. 

It feels like it's been easier than usual to find pitchers taking a big step forward this season. That may be at least partially the result of an offensive environment more tilted to pitchers than we've seen in a long time -- the 24.6% strikeout rate league-wide is the highest in MLB history, while the current ISO is the lowest since 2015. It's not easy to be an MLB starting pitcher right now, but there's more in their favor than usual, at least so far. 

Of course, it hasn't been great news for all pitchers. Luis Castillo has a 6.05 ERA through his first four starts, while Lucas Giolito is just behind him at 5.79; Max Fried had an 11.45 ERA and Stephen Strasburg was at 6.30 before they went on the IL. Castillo and Giolito should be fine before long -- and they deserve patience -- while Fried and Strasburg could at least conceivably blame their struggles on their injuries. Zach Plesac and Chris Paddack don't really have many good excuses, and the people who drafted them as top-30 starting pitchers have to be pretty worried at this point. 

Paddack's numbers actually aren't that bad -- 3.50 ERA, 3.98 xERA, 3.79 xFIP -- and he's been let down by his defense a bit, with seven unearned runs scoring in his four starts. But, I'd argue he's pitched a lot worse than those numbers would indicate -- four of the unearned runs scored Tuesday against the Brewers after he allowed a single, walk, double, and single in a row. There was bad luck, too, but he was also just too hittable.

And that's been the case for him going back to last season. After posting a 26.9% strikeout rate as a rookie in 2019, Paddack had just a 23.7% mark in 2020, and it's fallen to 21.0% this season. Meanwhile, he's gotten worse on the contact he does allow, with a .352 expected wOBA on contact rising to .431 last season and still up at .381 in the early going in 2021. You don't need me to tell you that's a bad combination, I'm sure.

Paddack is, for all intents and purposes, a two-pitch pitcher, and while his fastball was effective in his rookie season, he lost the feel for it in 2020 and he hasn't rediscovered it yet, despite some talk in the offseason that he had. His changeup is excellent, but because he throws his fastball 67.2% of the time, it doesn't matter all that much; neither does his show-me curveball, which he has thrown just 5% of the time. The bottom line is, he still looks too much like the thoroughly underwhelming guy he was in 2020 than the burgeoning ace he was in 2019, and as long as that's true, it's hard to get excited about him.

But I would be willing to try to buy low if I got the opportunity. If Paddack can rediscover his fastball, I still think there's a path forward for him to be a very good pitcher. The problem is, it's not like he's been bad enough where you could truly expect to get him for a pittance. I would be willing to give up someone like a Jared Walsh or Josh Bell type for Paddack, as you can see in the trade chart below, but I'm not sure anyone would go for it.

For Plesac, though? Well, the person getting rid of him might be thrilled to get something like that for him. Plesac has been dreadful so far, with as many runs allowed through four starts as strikeouts -- 14. He continues to post miniscule walk rates, but that doesn't really matter when you're getting hit as hard as Plesac is, as he's surrendering a .425 expected wOBA on contact. 

This is a small sample size for Plesac, of course, just 80 total batters faced. The problem is, his breakout 2020 campaign was just 206 batters faced total, so it's not that small of a sample, relatively speaking. And, most concerningly, he looks a lot more like the Fantasy afterthought he was in 2019 than who he was last season. This was always the risk in investing a top-25 SP pick in Plesac coming off his 2020. He could still figure it out, of course, but as he's a pitcher who doesn't have great stuff, the margin for error was always slim, and a slow start could undo most of the goodwill he generated last year. 

And that puts those of you who have Plesac on your roster in a tough spot. Because the fact that you were the one who reached for him inherently means you had more faith in him than most in your league. There may be a few people in your league who were excited about him, but the fact that he was a divisive player coming in means the number of people who might be willing to buy in and give you something of value is probably pretty low. So, if you've got Plesac, my preference would probably be to hang on to him -- there's still a decent chance he bounces back, and your chances of getting much for him are pretty low.

Of course, if you were the person who believed in Plesac before the season but you didn't end up with him, now would be the perfect time to try to snag him for a discount. I'm not optimistic about his chances of being a high-end pitcher, but I never was. If you were, your opinion about him shouldn't have changed too much, so this could end up being a big win for you.

Personally, I would prefer to avoid both of them, because I just don't like either all that much. But, as with any player, there's always a right price. Here's mine: 

H2H Points Trade Values

PlayerValueChange From Last Week
Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM48
Shane Bieber, SP, CLE48+1
Gerrit Cole, SP, NYY47
Mike Trout, CF, LAA47+1
Juan Soto, LF, WAS46
Mookie Betts, RF, LAD46
Ronald Acuna, CF, ATL43
Jose Ramirez, 3B, CLE42
Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL41
Max Scherzer, SP, WAS38+3
Trevor Bauer, SP, LAD38
Bryce Harper, RF, PHI38+2
Trea Turner, SS, WAS38
Yu Darvish, SP, SD38+1
Christian Yelich, LF, MIL37-2
Trevor Story, SS, COL37
Manny Machado, 3B, SD37+2
Aaron Nola, SP, PHI36
Lucas Giolito, SP, CHW35
Cody Bellinger, CF, LAD35-1
Tyler Glasnow, SP, TB35
Corbin Burnes, SP, MIL34+9
Francisco Lindor, SS, NYM34
Luis Castillo, SP, CIN34
Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD32
Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS32+2
Anthony Rendon, 3B, LAA32
Corey Seager, SS, LAD31
Jack Flaherty, SP, STL31
Alex Bregman, 3B, HOU31
Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL31
Fernando Tatis, SS, SD30
Walker Buehler, SP, LAD28-2
Rafael Devers, 3B, BOS28
Lance Lynn, SP, CHW27
Marcell Ozuna, LF, ATL27
Kenta Maeda, SP, MIN27
Vladimir Guerrero, 1B, TOR27+10
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, NYY26-4
Nolan Arenado, 3B, STL25
Ozzie Albies, 2B, ATL25
Blake Snell, SP, SD27+2
Bo Bichette, SS, TOR25
Aaron Judge, RF, NYY24
Whit Merrifield, RF, KC24+1
Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW23
Tim Anderson, SS, CHW22+1
Jose Berrios, SP, MIN22
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, TOR22
Joe Musgrove, SP, SD21+8
Kyle Tucker, LF, HOU21-2
J.T. Realmuto, C, PHI21
Zack Greinke, SP, HOU21
Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHC21
Zack Wheeler, SP, PHI21
Ketel Marte, 2B, ARI20
George Springer, CF, TOR20-2
Charlie Morton, SP, ATL19+1
Pete Alonso, 1B, NYM18
Sandy Alcantara, SP, MIA18
Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS13-7
Nick Castellanos, RF, CIN17
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, CIN17
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, STL17+1
Yordan Alvarez, DH, HOU17
Ian Anderson, SP, ATL17
Austin Meadows, LF, TB17
Nelson Cruz, DH, MIN16
Luis Robert, CF, CHW16
Josh Hader, RP, MIL16
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC16
Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU15
Michael Conforto, RF, NYM15-1
Charlie Blackmon, RF, COL15-1
Max Fried, SP, ATL13-5
J.D. Martinez, DH, BOS15
Starling Marte, CF, MIA15-1
Gleyber Torres, SS, NYY15-2
Giancarlo Stanton, DH, NYY14
Zac Gallen, SP, ARI14
Dylan Bundy, SP, LAA14
Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK14
Randy Arozarena, LF, TB14
Liam Hendriks, RP, CHW14
Max Muncy, 1B, LAD14
Matt Olson, 1B, OAK14-1
Trent Grisham, CF, SD14+1
Sonny Gray, SP, CIN14
Carlos Correa, SS, HOU14
Dansby Swanson, SS, ATL14
Cavan Biggio, 2B, TOR13-3
Dinelson Lamet, SP, SD13
Lance McCullers, SP, HOU13
Pablo Lopez, SP, MIA12
Aroldis Chapman, RP, NYY12
Jeff McNeil, LF, NYM12
Julio Urias, SP, LAD12+2
Lourdes Gurriel, LF, TOR11
Edwin Diaz, RP, NYM11
Luke Voit, 1B, NYY11
Javier Baez, SS, CHC11-2
Kevin Gausman, SP, SF11
Salvador Perez, C, KC10+1
Willson Contreras, C, CHC10+1
Zach Plesac, SP, CLE7-8
Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL10-1
Frankie Montas, SP, OAK10
Eddie Rosario, LF, CLE10
Brandon Lowe, 2B, TB10-3
Mike Yastrzemski, RF, SF10
Tyler Mahle, SP, CIN10+1
Corey Kluber, SP, NYY2-8
Teoscar Hernandez, RF, TOR9
Yoan Moncada, 3B, CHW9
Shohei Ohtani, DH, LAA9
Matt Chapman, 3B, OAK9
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC9
Wil Myers, RF, SD9
Raisel Iglesias, RP, LAA9
Mike Moustakas, 2B, CIN9
Mike Soroka, SP, ATL9
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, PHI8
Dustin May, SP, LAD8
Michael Brantley, DH, HOU8
Aaron Civale, SP, CLE8
Joey Gallo, RF, TEX8
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN8+6
Eric Hosmer, 1B, SD8
Yasmani Grandal, C, CHW8+1
Carlos Santana, 1B, KC8+1
Patrick Corbin, SP, WAS7-2
Carlos Carrasco, SP, NYM7
German Marquez, SP, COL7
Gio Urshela, 3B, NYY7
Will Smith, C, LAD7
Tommy Pham, LF, SD7
Josh Donaldson, 3B, MIN7
Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI7
Alex Verdugo, RF, BOS7
Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD7
Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA7-1
Chris Paddack, SP, SD7-9
Josh Bell, 1B, WAS7-3
Jameson Taillon, SP, NYY6
Dallas Keuchel, SP, CHW6
Max Kepler, RF, MIN6
Yusei Kikuchi, SP, SEA6
Jose Urquidy, SP, HOU6
Carlos Rodon, SP, CHW6+2
Jorge Soler, DH, KC6-1
Carlos Rodon, SP, CHW6+2
Marcus Stroman, SP, NYM6-1
Travis d'Arnaud, C, ATL5
Freddy Peralta, RP, MIL5+3
Matt Barnes, RP, BOS5-1
Michael Pineda, SP, MIN5
Mark Melancon, RP, SD5
Diego Castillo, RP, TB5
Craig Kimbrel, RP, CHC5+3
Ryan Pressly, RP, HOU5-1
Trey Mancini, RF, BAL5
Franmil Reyes, DH, CLE5
Anthony Santander, RF, BAL5
Christian Vazquez, C, BOS5+3
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT5
Gary Sanchez, C, NYY4-1
John Means, SP, BAL4
Adalberto Mondesi, SS, KC4-3
Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE2-2
Dominic Smith, 1B, NYM4-3
Marcus Semien, SS, TOR4+1
Clint Frazier, RF, NYY2-3
Hector Neris, RP, PHI4+1
Emmanuel Clase, RP, CLE4+1
Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA4
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, BOS4
Ian Happ, CF, CHC4
Zach Eflin, SP, PHI3
Trevor Rogers, SP, MIA7+6
Ramon Laureano, CF, OAK3
Jake McGee, RP, SF3
Griffin Canning, SP, LAA3
Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD3
Andrew Heaney, SP, LAA3
Tommy Edman, 3B, STL3
Jorge Polanco, SS, MIN3
Kyle Schwarber, LF, WAS3
Mark Canha, RF, OAK3+1
Byron Buxton, CF, MIN3
Dylan Carlson, RF, STL3-1
Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW3
Jordan Montgomery, SP, NYY3
Kyle Lewis, CF, SEA3
Andrew McCutchen, LF, PHI3
Adam Wainwright, SP, STL3+2
Jared Walsh, 1B, LAA2+2
Will Smith, RP, ATL2
Brady Singer, SP, KC2
A.J. Pollock, LF, LAD2
Framber Valdez, SP, HOU2-3
Brad Hand, RP, WAS2-1
Justin Turner, 3B, LAD2
Yimi Garcia, RP, MIA2+1
Ryan Mountcastle, LF, BAL2
Austin Riley, 3B, ATL2
Ryan McMahon, 2B, COL2
Jed Lowrie, 2B, OAK2
Yermin Mercedes, DH, CHW2
J.D. Davis, 3B, NYM2
Kole Calhoun, RF, ARI2
Aaron Hicks, CF, NYY2-1
Jake Cronenworth, 2B, SD2+1
Nick Solak, LF, TEX2+1

Roto Trade Values 

PlayerValueChange From Last Week
Ronald Acuna, CF, ATL42
Mookie Betts, RF, LAD42
Mike Trout, CF, LAA41+1
Juan Soto, LF, WAS41
Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM40
Shane Bieber, SP, CLE39+1
Trea Turner, SS, WAS39
Jose Ramirez, 3B, CLE38
Gerrit Cole, SP, NYY37
Trevor Story, SS, COL36
Christian Yelich, LF, MIL35-2
Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL34
Bryce Harper, RF, PHI34+2
Manny Machado, 3B, SD32+2
Francisco Lindor, SS, NYM32
Max Scherzer, SP, WAS31+2
Yu Darvish, SP, SD31+1
Trevor Bauer, SP, LAD31+1
Lucas Giolito, SP, CHW29
Tyler Glasnow, SP, TB29
Corbin Burnes, SP, MIL29+5
Cody Bellinger, CF, LAD29-1
Aaron Nola, SP, PHI28
Fernando Tatis, SS, SD28
Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS28+2
Luis Castillo, SP, CIN28
Corey Seager, SS, LAD28
Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD27
Anthony Rendon, 3B, LAA26
Tim Anderson, SS, CHW25+1
Alex Bregman, 3B, HOU25
Jack Flaherty, SP, STL25
Walker Buehler, SP, LAD25
Bo Bichette, SS, TOR25
Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL25
Whit Merrifield, RF, KC25+1
Vladimir Guerrero, 1B, TOR25+7
Kyle Tucker, LF, HOU24-2
Ozzie Albies, 2B, ATL24
Marcell Ozuna, LF, ATL24
Rafael Devers, 3B, BOS24
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, NYY24-4
Luis Robert, CF, CHW23
Adalberto Mondesi, SS, KC22-3
Kenta Maeda, SP, MIN21
Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW21
Starling Marte, CF, MIA21-1
Nolan Arenado, 3B, STL21
Blake Snell, SP, SD20
Aaron Judge, RF, NYY20
Lance Lynn, SP, CHW20
J.T. Realmuto, C, PHI20
Pete Alonso, 1B, NYM20
Ketel Marte, 2B, ARI19
George Springer, CF, TOR19-2
Zac Gallen, SP, ARI19
Byron Buxton, CF, MIN18
Nelson Cruz, DH, MIN18
J.D. Martinez, DH, BOS18
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, TOR17
Nick Castellanos, RF, CIN17
Austin Meadows, LF, TB17
Joe Musgrove, SP, SD17+8
Yordan Alvarez, DH, HOU17
Randy Arozarena, LF, TB17
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, CIN16
Josh Hader, RP, MIL16
Liam Hendriks, RP, CHW16
Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHC16
Trent Grisham, CF, SD16+1
Zack Greinke, SP, HOU16
Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU16
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, STL16+1
Jose Berrios, SP, MIN16
Zack Wheeler, SP, PHI16
Matt Olson, 1B, OAK16-1
Gleyber Torres, SS, NYY15-2
Javier Baez, SS, CHC15-2
Michael Conforto, RF, NYM15-1
Charlie Blackmon, RF, COL15-1
Lourdes Gurriel, LF, TOR15
Giancarlo Stanton, DH, NYY15
Sandy Alcantara, SP, MIA14
Aroldis Chapman, RP, NYY14
Teoscar Hernandez, RF, TOR14
Yoan Moncada, 3B, CHW14
Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS14-3
Charlie Morton, SP, ATL14+1
Eddie Rosario, LF, CLE14
Edwin Diaz, RP, NYM14
Carlos Correa, SS, HOU13
Ian Anderson, SP, ATL13
Dansby Swanson, SS, ATL13
Max Muncy, 1B, LAD13
Jeff McNeil, LF, NYM13
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC13
Ramon Laureano, CF, OAK13
Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL12-1
Cavan Biggio, 2B, TOR12-3
Brandon Lowe, 2B, TB12-3
Matt Chapman, 3B, OAK12
Mike Moustakas, 2B, CIN12
Max Fried, SP, ATL12-3
Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK12
Pablo Lopez, SP, MIA12
Joey Gallo, RF, TEX12
Willson Contreras, C, CHC12+1
Salvador Perez, C, KC12+1
Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC11
Dylan Bundy, SP, LAA11
Lance McCullers, SP, HOU11
Julio Urias, SP, LAD11+2
Raisel Iglesias, RP, LAA11
Sonny Gray, SP, CIN11
Luke Voit, 1B, NYY11
Wil Myers, RF, SD10
Dinelson Lamet, SP, SD10
Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI10
Alex Verdugo, RF, BOS10
Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD10
Brad Hand, RP, WAS10-1
Eric Hosmer, 1B, SD9
Mike Yastrzemski, RF, SF9
Zach Plesac, SP, CLE9-5
Shohei Ohtani, DH, LAA9
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT9
Gio Urshela, 3B, NYY9
Tommy Pham, LF, SD9
Dustin May, SP, LAD9
Trevor Rogers, SP, MIA9+2
Michael Brantley, DH, HOU9
Craig Kimbrel, RP, CHC9+3
Marcus Semien, SS, TOR8+1
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, PHI8
Victor Robles, CF, WAS8-1
Ryan Pressly, RP, HOU8-1
Franmil Reyes, DH, CLE8
Tyler Mahle, SP, CIN8+1
Will Smith, C, LAD8
Ian Happ, CF, CHC8
Aaron Civale, SP, CLE8
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN8+6
Yasmani Grandal, C, CHW7+1
Kevin Gausman, SP, SF7
Frankie Montas, SP, OAK7
Jorge Soler, DH, KC7-1
Dominic Smith, 1B, NYM7-3
Josh Donaldson, 3B, MIN7
Trey Mancini, RF, BAL7
Carlos Carrasco, SP, NYM7
Alex Reyes, RP, STL7
German Marquez, SP, COL7
Freddy Peralta, RP, MIL7+3
Carlos Rodon, SP, CHW6+2
Travis d'Arnaud, C, ATL6
Mark Melancon, RP, SD6
Gary Sanchez, C, NYY6-1
Tommy Edman, 3B, STL6
Christian Vazquez, C, BOS6+3
Dylan Moore, LF, SEA6-2
Josh Bell, 1B, WAS6-3
Dylan Carlson, RF, STL6-1
Patrick Corbin, SP, WAS6-2
Ryan Mountcastle, LF, BAL6
Jose Urquidy, SP, HOU6
Diego Castillo, RP, TB6
Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW6
Max Kepler, RF, MIN6
Kyle Lewis, CF, SEA6
Anthony Santander, RF, BAL6
Matt Barnes, RP, BOS5-1
Didi Gregorius, SS, PHI5-2
Will Smith, RP, ATL5
Chris Paddack, SP, SD5-9
Justin Turner, 3B, LAD5
Jazz Chisholm, 2B, MIA5+3
Jameson Taillon, SP, NYY5
Jared Walsh, 1B, LAA5+2
Emmanuel Clase, RP, CLE4+1
John Means, SP, BAL4
Michael Pineda, SP, MIN4
Clint Frazier, RF, NYY4-1
Marcus Stroman, SP, NYM4-1
Marco Gonzales, SP, SEA4-1
Mike Soroka, SP, ATL4
Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE4
Yusei Kikuchi, SP, SEA4
Nick Senzel, CF, CIN4
A.J. Pollock, LF, LAD4
Alex Colome, RP, MIN4
Kyle Schwarber, LF, WAS4
Jake McGee, RP, SF4
Ryan McMahon, 2B, COL4
Jake Cronenworth, 2B, SD4+1
Mark Canha, RF, OAK4+1
Nick Solak, LF, TEX4+1
Dallas Keuchel, SP, CHW4
Tony Gonsolin, SP, LAD4
Jarred Kelenic, CF, SEA4
Andrew Heaney, SP, LAA4
Buster Posey, C, SF3+2
Carlos Santana, 1B, KC3+1
Austin Riley, 3B, ATL3
Jorge Polanco, SS, MIN3
Andrew McCutchen, LF, PHI3
Miguel Sano, 1B, MIN3-4
Hector Neris, RP, PHI3+1
Framber Valdez, SP, HOU3-3
Corey Kluber, SP, NYY3
Yimi Garcia, RP, MIA3+1
J.D. Davis, 3B, NYM3
Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL3
Wander Franco, SS, TB3
Andrew Benintendi, LF, KC3
Ty France, 2B, SEA2+1
Carson Kelly, C, ARI2+1
Jed Lowrie, 2B, OAK2
Wilson Ramos, C, DET2+1
Gavin Lux, 2B, LAD2
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, BOS2
Brady Singer, SP, KC2
Mitch Haniger, RF, SEA2
Jordan Montgomery, SP, NYY2
Zach Eflin, SP, PHI2
Elieser Hernandez, SP, MIA2
Eduardo Escobar, 3B, ARI2
Jesse Winker, LF, CIN2
Jonathan Villar, 2B, NYM2
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CHW2-4
Aaron Hicks, CF, NYY2-1
Jurickson Profar, LF, SD2-1
James Karinchak, RP, CLE2
C.J. Cron, 1B, COL2-3
Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA2
Andres Gimenez, SS, CLE2
Leody Taveras, CF, TEX2
Amir Garrett, RP, CIN2
Alex Kirilloff, RF, MIN2
Paul DeJong, SS, STL2
Raimel Tapia, LF, COL2
Brian Anderson, 3B, MIA2
Akil Baddoo, OF, DET2
Jean Segura, 2B, PHI2-1
Yermin Mercedes, DH, CHW2
Griffin Canning, SP, LAA2
Ha-seong Kim, SS, SD2
Kole Calhoun, RF, ARI2
Jo Adell, RF, LAA2
Victor Reyes, CF, DET2
Adam Wainwright, SP, STL2+2
Yadier Molina, C, STL2+1