Every year we work through each team’s Top 15 prospects and then go through the lengthy process of coming up with the best of the best – The Top 100 Prospects in the game.
The Rangers minor league system continues to be primarily a high-risk, high-reward collection of players. Sure, there is Sam Huff and Josh Jung who both are likely major leaguers (Huff appeared in 10 games last season). But exciting players are headlined by Leody Taveras, Maximo Acosta, and LuisAngel Acuna. All three are incredibly athletic with huge upside.
Taveras made his Major League debut last season and looked good. He has double-plus speed and should develop good power as he matures. Acosta has all the tools to be a star, but he’s still a teenager as is Acuna. They both should be owned in all Dynasty Leagues.
The pitching depth is solid with Cole Winn and Hans Crouse both having Major League talent. However, both have a long way to go and don’t have the profile that would suggest front-of-the-rotation upside.
In summary, it’s a solid system with some players that could become stars. But high-risk, high-reward player acquisition policies take patience and flexibility to know when to add veterans to round out the team.
- Leody Taveras (OF)
- Josh Jung (3B)
- Maximo Acosta (SS)
- LuisAngel Acuna (SS)
- Sam Huff (C)
- Justin Foscue (2B)
- Cole Winn (RHP)
- Hans Crouse (RHP)
- Anderson Tejeda (SS)
- Osleivis Basabe (SS)
1. Austin Martin (Tor, IF/OF) – I’m not sure where he plays, but the tools are fantasy-friendly and it looks like he can hit. While Torkelson has the better hit tool and power, the speed for me is the separator.
2. Spencer Torkelson (Det, 1B) – The safest pick in this year’s supplemental draft, and if you want to pick him first, I get it. There’s a chance for him to hit .300 as a middle-of-the-order power bat.
3. Zac Veen (Col, OF) – He has a nice complement of tools and an advanced approach at the plate to warrant a high pick. The Rockies have struggled of late to develop players but Veen’s hit tool is so advanced, I think we are talking about a different level of player than the Hampson’s, MacMahon’s that have recently come through the system.
4. Robert Hassell (SD, OF) – He has plenty of tools and was drafted into an organization that knows how to develop players.
5. Asa Lacy (KC, LHP) – The top pitcher in the draft might go higher in supplemental drafts if a team is looking for pitching help immediately. Lacy is talented with a ceiling of a solid number three, perhaps a little more.
6. Nick Gonzales (Pit, 2B) – He’s an advanced hitter with solid speed and questionable power. He did hit for power in limited college action in 2020, but that was done in the friendly-hitting confines of New Mexico State.
7. Max Meyer (Mia, RHP) – Smallish pitcher with two double-plus pitches in his fastball/slider. He could be homer prone with a backup plan being an elite bullpen arm. However, assuming his third pitch comes around, there’s a chance for a solid mid-rotation starter.
8. Emerson Hancock (Sea, RHP) – He has good size with a plus fastball-change-up which could give him early success in the big leagues. The outstanding question is his slider. If it develops, he could pitch at the top of the rotation. However, that’s far from guaranteed.
9. Ha-Seong Kim (SD, 2B) – He’ll likely get plenty of playing time in 2021, but I’m just gun shy of Asian players. If you decide to take him early and he flops, well, you’ve been warned.
10. Garrett Mitchell (Mil, OF) – Speedster with a good approach at the plate. He needs to add loft to his swing to develop more power. The upside is likely a Lorenzo Cain type of performer.
11. Pete Crow-Armstrong (NYM, OF) – I hear nothing but positive things about Armstrong. While he’s listed at 11, if I’m rebuilding, I might take him before the pitchers and Kim listed above.
12. Reid Detmers (LAA, LHP) – While Crochet beat him to the big leagues, Detmers has the best chance to be the first to arrive as a starter. Solid stuff from the left-side should give him a long Major League career.
13. Tyler Soderstrom (Oak, C) – His bat is well ahead of his catching that could lead to him moving to a corner outfield position. The good news is that he looks like he can hit with promising power.
14. Heston Kjerstad (Bal, OF) – I love what the Orioles are doing but didn’t care for this pick. Kjerstad has plus power but it will come with a ton of strikeouts. That said, the Orioles are proving they know what they are doing, so perhaps they see a path forward to fixing his hit tool.
15. Cade Cavalli (Was, RHP) – Athletic two-way player with a promising arsenal. The control isn’t always there but with his athleticism, I’m betting on the over that his control develops.
16. Cole Wilcox (TB, RHP) – Despite being selected in the third round, he has great athleticism with promising stuff.
17. Pedro Leon (Hou, OF) – He’s 22-years-old and hasn’t played for a while but all the tools are there to be a stud. If he can knock off the rust, he could be an option for the Astros in 2023, maybe in 2022.
18. Garrett Crochet (CHW, LHP) – Was impressive in his big league debut but needs to hone his arsenal, including developing a change-up if he is to stay a starter.
19. Wilman Diaz (LAD, SS) – The Dodgers continue to sign elite international talent and arguably signed the kid with the highest upside in Diaz. His hit tool is very advanced with great bat speed and enough foot speed to project to steal double-digit bases.
20. Mick Abel (Phi, RHP) – He has the size and raw stuff to pitch at the top of the rotation. He’s a long way off though and the Phillies will need to be patient.
21. Carlos Colmenarez (TB, SS) – Another Rays’ big international talent with a great swing and plenty of bat speed to project future power.
22. Cristian Hernandez (CHC, SS) – The comps are off the charts with Hernandez as he’s being compared to everyone from Carlos Correa to A-Rod. There’s tons of tool and an impressive approach at the plate.
23. Ed Howard (CHC, SS) – Solid high school shortstop prospect who could develop into a full-time regular. He has good bat speed that points to future power and a semblance of an approach at the plate.
24. Austin Hendrick (Cin, OF) – His calling card is double-plus power but with an approach that will likely put pressure on his hit tool. Also, he’s already 19-years-old and has yet to play a professional game.
25. Jordan Walker (Stl, 3B) – He has tons of tools but there is concern that he’ll hit enough. If he can, he could be an all-star performer.
An organization rarely has two Top 10 prospects in the game. However, the Mariners do and Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez fit that bill. Both have significant upside but with his speed, Kelenic has the higher fantasy upside. Taylor Trammell is also a significant prospect with double-plus speed and supreme make-up. He’s been traded twice in two-years, but I’m still a believer…a big believer. On the pitching side, Logan Gilbert has one of the best arms in all of the minor leagues. He’s 6-foot-6 and doesn’t always know where the ball is going, but with his athleticism, I think he figures things out.
Expect all four of these top prospects to hit Seattle within the next two-years and form the nucleus of a solid Major League team that should start to compete by 2023.
- Jarred Kelenic (OF)
- Julio Rodriguez (OF)
- Logan Gilbert (RHP)
- Emerson Hancock (RHP)
- Taylor Trammell (OF)
- Noelvi Marte (SS)
- George Kirby (RHP)
- Cal Raleigh (C)
- Zach DeLoach (OF)
- Brandon Williamson (LHP)
The A’s seem to find a way to compete at the Major League level without the benefit of a Tampa Ray level farm system. Sure, the system has produced Matt Chapman and Jesus Luzardo but for the most part, they have produced complementary players over the past few years.
This year’s list doesn’t appear to have any true stars either. I like AJ Puk, but the injuries are mounting, and he’ll be 26 in April. Tyler Soderstrom can really hit but nobody will confuse him with the upside of Wander Franco. And it goes on from there.
Yet, it appears every year the A’s compete, so something is working and as the old saying goes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- AJ Puk (LHP)
- Tyler Soderstrom (C)
- Robert Pauson (SS)
- Nick Allen (SS)
- Daulton Jefferies (RHP)
- Logan Davidson (SS)
- James Kaprielian (RHP)
- Sheldon Neuse (3B/2B)
- Luis Barrera (OF)
- Austin Beck (OF)
With the Angels having committed over $108 million to four players (Trout, Pujols, Rendon, and Upton), they must look to younger players to fill out their roster. Jo Adell is one of them and despite a less than stellar Major League debut, I still believe he has star potential. Jared Walsh looked good and might be able to help.
In the minors, I really like Brandon Marsh. Like Adell, he has star potential and is just about ready to make his Major League debut. The problem will be playing time as unless there is an injury, I don’t see room for him. Jahmai Jones is also nearly ready and while not as tooled up as Marsh he still has the upside of a full-time regular. I still worry about his hit tool but there is some speed and a little pop in the toolbox.
From a pitching standpoint, there are good arms in the system, but I don’t see any pitchers that have front-line starter potential. Reid Detmers, their first-round draft pick last June is polished and could see time in Los Angeles next season.
- Brandon Marsh (OF)
- Reid Detmers (LHP)
- Jordyn Adams (OF)
- Chris Rodriguez (RHP)
- Kyren Paris (SS)
- Jeremiah Jackson (SS/2B)
- Jahmai Jones (2B)
- D’Shawn Knowles (OF)
- Arol Vera (SS)
- Jose Soriano (RHP)
The Houston Astros system is far from what it used to be as there is no Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, or Jose Altuve. However, there is still talent, particularly in pitchers. In fact, it appears the Astros have a type. They are usually Latin, smallish, throw hard and move through the system fast. Think Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, and Jose Urquidy. The system is full of them… One guy who is not of that type is Forrest Whitley. The problem is he’s hurt and even before that, he was not effective in his time in Triple-A. There’s no reason to give up on him yet, but there is time to worry.
I do like Freudis Nova and believe he could be one of the sleepers in the minor leagues. There are tools for sure. He just needs to play. Finally, the Astros big international sign is 22-year-old Cuban Pedro Leon. The Astros are going to pay him a lot of money in January and believe he could be special. They could be right but that position is not widely held across the league.
- Forrest Whitley (RHP)
- Freudis Nova (SS)
- Pedro Leon (SS)
- Korey Lee (C)
- Alex Santos (RHP)
- Luis Garcia (RHP)
- Hunter Brown (RHP)
- Bryan Abreu (RHP)
- Tyler Ivey (RHP)
- Jairo Solis (RHP)
The Giants have a very good minor league system. It’s not stacked with a lot of famous prospects outside of Marco Luciano and Joey Bart, but the depth is strong.
I made the bold decision to put Marco Luciano at the top of the system. He’s a potential five-tool talent and has played well in his limited exposure to professional baseball. Tools like he possesses just don’t come around that often and when they do, you have to jump on it. Joey Bart is next and got a chance to show his stuff in the Major Leagues in 2020. It didn’t go well but there is good power albeit with some swing and miss issues. Hunter Bishop, Heliot Ramos, and Alexander Canario all have ceilings of full-time regulars and are coming on fast.
The system is not at the level of where the Padres were a couple of years ago, but it’s also not that far off.
- Marco Luciano (SS)
- Joey Bart (C)
- Hunter Bishop (OF)
- Heliot Ramos (OF)
- Alexander Canario (OF)
- Patrick Bailey (C)
- Luis Matos (OF)
- Seth Corry (LHP)
- Jairo Pomares (OF)
- Will Wilson (SS)
The Padres’ window officially opened in 2020 with their first appearance in the playoffs since 2006. It was an impressive run that ended in a three-game sweep by the Dodgers but with their young Major League talent and current minor league pipeline, the window should be open for several years.
MacKenzie Gore is one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues and leads our list. It was disappointing that he didn’t get the call in 2020. Both Luis Patino (now traded to the Rays) and Ryan Weathers got the call and Gore was arguably ahead of them on the “next ready” list. Besides those three, the pitching is very deep with the key that all of them throw hard.
Offensively, CJ Abrams and Luis Campusano lead the list. Abrams is still a couple of years away but has the makings of an elite leadoff man. Campusano is a Top 3 catching prospect in the game but got caught carrying 79 grams of weed and will have to sort through that before he can continue his career.
- MacKenize Gore (LHP)
- Luis Patino (RHP)
- CJ Abrams (SS)
- Luis Campusano (C)
- Robert Hassell (OF)
- Hudson Head (OF)
- Tucupita Marcano (2B)
- Ryan Weathers (LHP)
- Cole Wilcox (RHP)
- Ismael Mena (OF)
The World Champion Dodgers finally got their ring. Their window has been open for several years and given how veteran-oriented the club is, you would think they are at the end of their run. However, they are so ripe with talent, the open window has many years to go.
The minor league system is strong. Josiah Grey’s ceiling is a number two, maybe more and could see some time in Los Angeles in 2021. Keibert Ruiz might not be in the Dodgers’ plans now that Will Smith is developing into one of the best catchers in the league, but other teams covet him and could return a nice haul if they decide to move him. Further away there is Diego Cartaya and Luis Rodriguez. Both are elite talents with a chance to become full-time regulars. Then there’s Clayton Beeter, Andre Jackson, Michael Grove, and others that all could contribute to the Dodgers in the next few years.
The only question I have is…how many championships will they win?
- Josiah Gray (RHP)
- Diego Cartaya (C)
- Luis Rodriguez (OF)
- Kiebert Ruiz (C)
- Kody Hoese (3B)
- Michael Busch (2B)
- Michael Grove (RHP)
- Andre Jackson (RHP)
- Andy Pages (OF)
- Bobby Miller (3B)