20. Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
Wheeler has been one of the top starting pitchers in the sport since he arrived in Philadelphia three years ago. He has a 2.82 ERA in 437.1 innings pitched with a 4.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a Phillie, and his fWAR of 13.3 ranks second among all major league pitchers since 2020. Wheeler forms a strong one-two punch atop Philadelphia's rotation alongside Aaron Nola and was sensational in the NLCS against the Padres as he begins his fourth year of a five-year contract that has been worth it.
19. Jazz Chisholm, Jr., Miami Marlins
Off-the-field antics aside, Chisholm was the Marlins' most exciting position player last year, as he was on pace for a 30-30 season before a lower back strain ended his season in June. Now, he'll be the team's starting center fielder in his age-25 season and return his game-changing speed and power combination that few players in baseball can match. Also, the native Bahamian is on the cover of MLB The Show 23.
18. Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves
Strider was the runner-up to Braves teammate Michael Harris for NL Rookie of the Year honors last season, and it was for good measure. He was excellent since Brian Snitker put him in the rotation, as his 98 mph average fastball overpowered the league. He went 11-5 in 31 games (20 starts) with a 2.67 ERA, andd struck out 202 batters in just 131.2 innings in his rookie season, and was a key contributor to Atlanta's run to their fifth straight NL East title last summer.
17. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
Harper's placement on this list was the toughest because he isn't expected back in the Phillies lineup until just before the All-Star break, though Phillies fans tell me it'll be earlier than that. If his elbow wasn't an issue this season, he would have been ranked significantly higher than this because he is a beast and a generational talent. His arrival in Philadelphia four years ago changed the the franchise, and he delivered the signature moment of his career to date in October with his pennant-winning home run that propelled the team to a stunning World Series appearance.
16. Max Fried, Atlanta Braves
Fried showed everybody last year why he is a true ace and Braves fans can't be any more thankful that he is in a Braves uniform. The best thing about him was his consistency. He pitched 5 innings or more in all 30 starts he made last season, and allowed 5 runs or more just once, and that was on Opening Day. He finished 2nd in the NL Cy Young balloting last year with a 2.48 ERA in 185.1 innings pitched last year. Fried is in line to get another Opening Day start in 2023.