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2021 Houston Astros Top 15 Prospects

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.

  1. Forrest Whitley (RHP)
  2. Freudis Nova (SS)
  3. Pedro Leon (SS)
  4. Korey Lee (C)
  5. Alex Santos (RHP)
  6. Luis Garcia (RHP)
  7. Hunter Brown (RHP)
  8. Bryan Abreu (RHP)
  9. Tyler Ivey (RHP)
  10. Jairo Solis (RHP)

The five remaining can be seen here.

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2021 San Francisco Giants Top 15 Prospects

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.

  1. Marco Luciano (SS)
  2. Joey Bart (C)
  3. Hunter Bishop (OF)
  4. Heliot Ramos (OF)
  5. Alexander Canario (OF)
  6. Patrick Bailey (C)
  7. Luis Matos (OF)
  8. Seth Corry (LHP)
  9. Jairo Pomares (OF)
  10. Will Wilson (SS)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 San Diego Padres Top 15 Prospects

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.

  1. MacKenize Gore (LHP)
  2. Luis Patino (RHP)
  3. CJ Abrams (SS)
  4. Luis Campusano (C)
  5. Robert Hassell (OF)
  6. Hudson Head (OF)
  7. Tucupita Marcano (2B)
  8. Ryan Weathers (LHP)
  9. Cole Wilcox (RHP)
  10. Ismael Mena (OF)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Top 15 Prospects

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?

  1. Josiah Gray (RHP)
  2. Diego Cartaya (C)
  3. Luis Rodriguez (OF)
  4. Kiebert Ruiz (C)
  5. Kody Hoese (3B)
  6. Michael Busch (2B)
  7. Michael Grove (RHP)
  8. Andre Jackson (RHP)
  9. Andy Pages (OF)
  10. Bobby Miller (3B)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Colorado Rockies Top 15 Prospects

I don’t like the Colorado Rockies Major League team.  Sure, they have two bonafide offensive stars in Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado, but average to below-average complementary players.  It’s a shame as a slew of prospects have recently been given their shot, but because of lack of consistent playing time, none of them have had a chance to establish themselves. The pitching…well, it’s not very good.  But that’s always been the case.

I also don’t like their minor league system.  It’s surprisingly light on potential impact players.  Instead, there are a lot of complementary players that once promoted will compete with the Hampson’s, Tapia’s, and McMahon’s of the World.

That said, I do really like Zac Veen.  He’s everything you want in a prospect.  Athletic with good bat speed and a chance to hit.  Can the Rockies develop him?  Five years ago, I would have said yes.  Now, I’m not sure. 

I’m just underwhelmed with what the Rockies are doing.

  1. Zac Veen (OF)
  2. Ryan Rolison (RHP)
  3. Colton Welker (3B/1B)
  4. Ryan Vilade (3B/SS)
  5. Michael Toglia (1B)
  6. Grant Lavigne (1B)
  7. Aaron Schunk (3B)
  8. Ben Bowden (LHP)
  9. Helcris Olivarez (LHP)
  10. Brenton Doyle (OF)

You can find the remaining five here.

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Fantasy Ranking of First Base

  1. Freddie Freeman (ATL) – It was only 214 at-bats, but a .462 OBP and .640 SLG is bordering on insane. The NL MVP voters, got it right!
  2. Cody Bellinger (LAD) –  Twelve homers, 30 RBI, and six thefts isn’t all that bad for an off year. Toss in the outfield eligibility and hopefully a return to better than the .233 BA, and Bellinger is worth every penny you’ll pay on Draft Day. OF-40
  3. Jose Abreu (CWS) – Abreu compiled a 19 homer, 60 RBI monster season on his way to capturing the AL MVP Award. He has reached the 100 RBI level five teams in his six seasons in the League. Consistency counts!
  4. DJ LeMahieu (FA) –  In all likelihood you won’t be using LeMahieu as your cornerman, but if you should take that route, he’ll get the job done in spectacular fashion. 2B-37, 3B-11 
  5. Pete Alonso (NYM) – He struggled a bit out-of-the-gate last year but that ten homer September was a great reminder of Alonso’s massive power potential.
  6. Matt Olson (OAK) – 36 home runs in 2019, followed up by 14 homers in the shortened 2020 season are a pretty good indicator that he can hit the ball out of any park at any time. There will be a 40 homer campaign in his future and we’re not betting against it in 2021.
  7. Luke Voit (NYY) – Voit broke out in a big way, leading all of baseball with 22 homers in 2020. Can he repeat that strong effort in 2021?
  8. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) – Rumors are that he has taken his off-season conditioning program very seriously. A slimmed down Vladdy Jr. has the potential to be an offensive force in the Jays and your Fantasy lineup.
  9. Paul Goldschmidt (STL) – The power was off a bit in 2020, but the on-base skills were never stronger. Long gone are the days of double-digit stolen bases, but with a bounceback in the power numbers, “Goldy” is still a strong option at first.
  10. Anthony Rizzo (CHC) –The walk rate was solid and he continued to hit for power. Five more hits in 2020 and he would have met his career BA of .271. Let’s give Rizzo a mulligan for that .222 BA and attribute it to a small sample size.
  11. Dominic Smith (NYM) – Smith enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020 that saw him hit ten homers and drive in 42 runs with an outstanding .993 OPS. For those that exercised patience, the rewards were huge. OF-22
  12. Max Muncy (LAD) – Muncy slugged 35 HR in both 2018 and 2019 and was on pace to replicate that feat in 2020. You more than likely won’t be using Muncy at first base….but the fact that you can does make a difference. 2B-12, 3B-16
  13. Josh Bell (WAS) – Josh Bell woke up to the news on Christmas eve that he had been traded to the Nationals. The only two players happier than Bell, were Trea Turner and Juan Soto.
  14. Eric Hosmer (SD) – When you have Trent Grisham, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado batting in front of you, the RBI opportunities will be there. 
  15. Rhys Hoskins (PHI) – Hoskins chose the internal brace repair option instead of TJS to repair his ailing non-throwing elbow. He seems to be well on his road to recovery, but pay close attention to his progress heading into Spring Training.
  16. Mike Moustakas (CIN) – “Moose” was nicked up for a good portion of 2020, first dealing with a left quad contusion and then a left foot contusion. We’re prepared to give him a mulligan for last year. 2B-32
  17. Trey Mancini (BAL) – After undergoing surgery for colon cancer in the Spring, Mancini recently finished chemotherapy and his three-month checkup scans all came back clean. Great news. He’s feeling great and ready to pick up where he left off in that great 35 HR, 97 RBI 2019 season.
  18. Christian Walker (ARZ) – 25-90 potential hitting from the three-hole shouldn’t be ignored.
  19. Alec Bohm (PHI) – 2020 was the beginning of what should prove to be a long run of success for Bohm. The power will come. Enjoy the 1B eligibility as it’s most likely a one-and-done scenario. 3B-38
  20. Joey Votto (CIN) – Votto struggled with 12 homers in 2018, 15 in 2019, and followed that up with 11 homers last year in only 186 at-bats. Our expectations have been elevated.
  21. Ryan Mountcastle (BAL) – The revamped swing and emphasis on getting on base appears to have sunk in with the youngster. He’s still very much a work in progress, but definitely trending in the right direction. OF-25
  22. Andrew Vaughn (CWS) – The South Siders currently have a void at DH. They also have the talents of young Andrew Vaughn chomping at the bit to break into that strong starting lineup. It’s a good bet that we see Vaughn getting everyday at-bats very early in the 2021 season.
  23. Jared Walsh (LAA) – The late-bloomer had a September worthy of our attention. Nine homers and 26 RBI in 22 games down the stretch, makes Walsh an intriguing option heading into 2021.
  24. Jeimer Candelario (DET) – We saw a huge jump in the BA in 2020, fueled by a 32-for-90 hot streak in August. Is this uptick sustainable? Probably not, but the positive growth in 2020 is worthy of our attention. 3B-10
  25. Miguel Sano (MIN) – Finding your power elsewhere with not such a huge hit to your BA (90 strikeouts in 186 at-bats) is worth exploring.
  26. Brandon Belt (SFG) – The nine homers and 30 RBI for Belt in 2020 were solid. The 1.016 OPS was nothing short of outstanding. It will be nice to see what Belt can accomplish in 2022 when he’s freed from the horrors of Oracle Park.
  27. Jesus Aguilar (MIA) –  After a disappointing 2019 campaign, 2020 saw a bounceback with the reward being a one-year $4.3 million contract in 2021 for Jesus Aguilar. Lewin Diaz is still clearly in the rear-view mirror, but another year honing his craft appears to be in the cards.  
  28. Garrett Cooper (MIA) – 20-80 potential with a solid BA works as a corner-infielder.
  29. Bobby Dalbec (BOS) – The good news, first. In 80 at-bats last year he launched eight homers. The bad news. He also found a way to strike out 39 times.
  30. Evan White (SEA) – The 2020 Gold Glove winner managed to surprise and hit eight homers in 182 at-bats. He also found a way to strike out 84 times. The combination of that great glove and some patience from the Mariners brass will lead to better days ahead.
  31. Nate Lowe (TEX)
  32. Carlos Santana (KCR)
  33. Ryan McMahon (COL) 2B-33, 3B-14
  34. Hunter Dozier (KCR) – OF-20  
  35. Ji-Man Choi (TBR)
  36. Yuli Guerriel (HOU) 
  37. Colin Moran (PIT)
  38. Jake Cronenworth (SDP) – 2B-38, SS-11
  39. Rowdy Tellez (TOR)
  40. Albert Pujols (LAA)
  41. Wilmer Flores (SFG) – 2B-14
  42. Josh Fuentes (COL)
  43. Renato Nunez (FA)
  44. Michael Chavis (BOS) – 2B-8, OF-12
  45. Asdrubal Cabrera (FA) – 3B-17
  46. Tommy La Stella (FA) – 2B-33
  47. Marwin Gonzalez (FA) – 2B-21, 3B-23, OF-8
  48. Lewin Diaz (MIA)
  49. Ronald Guzman (TEX)
  50. Ryan O’Hearn (KCR)
  51. C.J. Cron (FA)
  52. Mike Brosseau (TBR) – 2B-9, 3B-11
  53. Triston Casas (BOS)
  54. Bobby Bradley (CLE)
  55. Mike Ford (NYY)
  56. Ryan McBroom (KCR)
  57. Jedd Gyorko (MIL) – 3B-11
  58. Jake Lamb (FA) – 3B-14
  59. Matt Beaty (LAD)
  60. Pavin Smith (ARZ)
  61. Todd Frazier (FA) – 3B-15
  62. Phil Gosselin (FA) – OF-14
  63. Danny Santana (FA)
  64. Travis Shaw (FA) 3B-37
  65. Daniel Murphy (FA)
  66. Mitch Moreland (FA)
  67. Pat Valaika (BAL) 2B-13, SS-24
  68. Pablo Sandoval (FA)
  69. Ryan Zimmerman (FA)
  70. Chris Davis (BAL)
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2021 Arizona Diamondbacks Top 15 Prospects

I continue to be impressed with the Diamondbacks minor league system.  Alek Thomas, Corbin Carroll, and Kristian Robinson rank one through three in the organization.  While I have Thomas number one, each player can lay claim to the top spot.  Robinson has the highest upside but is also the furthest away.  I also like Geraldo Perdomo a lot a dynamic leadoff threat.  There’s a question as to how much power he will develop but there is a ton to get excited about.

Assuming Corbin Martin comes back healthy, I still believe he could be a number two starter in the big leagues.  He is recovering from TJ Surgery but the stuff is plus and before his injury, could control the strike zone.  While others might be high on Jon Duplantier and JB Bukauskas, I see them both as bullpen arms that could help the Diamondbacks as early as 2021.

  1. Alek Thomas (OF)
  2. Corbn Carroll (OF)
  3. Kristian Robinson (OF)
  4. Corbin Martin (RHP)
  5. Geraldo Perdomo (SS)
  6. Blake Walston (LHP)
  7. Bryce Jarvis (RHP)
  8. Blaze Alexander (SS)
  9. Luis Frias (RHP)
  10. Seth Beer (1B)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Toronto Blue Jays Top 15 Prospects

Over the past several years, the Blue Jays have built a solid Major League core and even snuck into the playoffs in 2020.  Their development organization is not discussed with the likes of the Rays and Padres, but their success has been undeniable and is right up there with those two.  The best news is their minor league system continues to be strong.

Austin Martin, Nate Pearson, and Alex Manoah should arrive in the Majors by 2022 and each has impact potential.  With his speed and bat-to-ball skills, Martin has star potential along the same lines as Bo Bichette.  There is also depth in the system with Jordan Groshans, Orelvis Martinez, and Miguel Hiraldo.  Each has impact potential.

When you add up the financial capacity of the Blue Jays and their young players (current and future), their window should be opening soon and could stay open for a while.

  1. Austin Martin (SS/3B/OF)
  2. Nate Pearson (RHP)
  3. Jordan Groshans (3B)
  4. Alex Manoah (RHP)
  5. Orelvis Martinez (SS)
  6. Simeon Woods-Richardson (RHP)
  7. Alejandro Kirk (C)
  8. Eric Pardinho (RHP)
  9. Gabriel Moreno (C)
  10. Miguel Hiraldo (IF)

The five remaining can be seen here.

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2021 Tampa Bay Rays Top 15 Prospects

Dear Mr. Neander,

Congratulations on making it to the World Series and taking the Los Angeles Dodgers to six games in what was a very exciting series.  What I find fascinating is how you have constructed your team.  Most of your best players are still in the minor leagues.  Yes, Randy Arozarena got the call and looks like a stud.  Well done!  But, what about Wander Franco, Vidal Brujan, and Josh Lowe?  Wouldn’t a lineup that had those three been more potent than one that had Arozarena, Brandon Lowe, and a bunch of other guys. Sure, Rays’ analytical math says to keep players in the minors a year or two longer than most, but making it to the World Series is hard, and as good as your pipeline is, it could be years before you do it again.  And yes, speaking of analytics…you really took Blake Snell out after giving up two hits just because the data said he struggles the third time through the lineup?  Really??  Isn’t Snell your best pitcher?  Doesn’t he have a Cy Young award? Remember, predictive analytics needs new data to be effective.  Perhaps watching the game would help.

Too much…too soon?

Regards,

The guys at Prospect361.com

  1. Wander Franco (SS)
  2. Randy Arozarena (OF)
  3. Vidal Brujan (SS/2B)
  4. Brendan McKay (LHP)
  5. Xavier Edwards (SS/2B)
  6. Josh Lowe (OF)
  7. Shane Baz (RHP)
  8. Joe Ryan (RHP)
  9. Nick Bitsko (RHP)
  10. Ronaldo Hernandez (C)

The five remaining can be found here.

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2021 New York Yankees Top 15 Prospects

It’s a year later and the Yankees minor league system continues to be one of the younger systems in the game.  Jasson Dominguez is still a teenager and is the top talent in the system.  Granted, we are buying into the hype as we are still waiting on his stat line to appear. With his feel to hit and speed, we also like Oswald Peraza a lot and have ranked him accordingly.

Leading the pitchers is Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia.  We like Schmidt a lot and believe he has a chance to start for the Yankees in 2021.  While Garcia had six great starts for the Yankees in 2020, we still believe that he moves into the bullpen given his size and lack of a plus fastball.

  1. Jasson Dominguez (OF)
  2. Clarke Schmidt (RHP)
  3. Deivi Garcia (RHP)
  4. Oswald Peraza (SS)
  5. Roansy Contreras (RHP)
  6. Austin Wells (C)
  7. Canaan Smith (OF)
  8. Ezequiel Duran (2B)
  9. Luis Gil (RHP)
  10. Alexander Vizcaino (RHP)

The remaining five can be found here.