Fantasy Baseball: 4 Starting Pitchers to Target for Strikeout Gains in 2017

Despite great swinging-strike rates, these four starting pitchers didn't post big strikeout numbers last year. Who is primed for a bounce-back effort in 2017?

February gets a bad rap, but it may be a fair one.

It's one of the coldest months of the year, the sun goes down too early, and once the Super Bowl happens, we just get antsy for Spring Training.

However, February is also a great month to do some fantasy baseball research and get an edge on your opponents. Mock drafts start to occur, and industry experts start to prep and get ready for the big-time drafts, like LABR and Tout Wars.

Strikeouts for pitchers are a big-time commodity -- while hitters struck out 21.1% of the time in 2016 (up 0.7% from 2015), uncovering strikeout studs on the mound can be a bit like mining for gold. It's there, but the proper tools are needed to find them.

Swinging-strike rate is a great measurement of a pitcher's ability to generate whiffs. Even though it doesn't always translate to pure strikeouts, it's a great barometer. But in fantasy, we need those pure strikeouts to climb our way up the standings.

The following four pitchers each ranked in the top 30 of qualified starters with regard to swinging-strike rate in 2016, but failed seeing the same success in strikeout rate. Judging from recent performance, they could make a bit of a jump this season in actual strikeouts and become huge assets to their respective fantasy owners.