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2021 Baltimore Orioles Top 15 Prospects

After years of a mediocre, if not a downright bad minor league system, the Orioles depth has improved greatly.  It helps when you draft number one overall but based on the changes the Orioles made to incorporate more analytics into the development process, several of their players took a big step forward.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still significant work left to do to improve their organization, but the Major League team looked better and there was talent in Bowie, the location of their Alternate Site last season.  I still see a rebuild of at least another three years, maybe longer, but I do like the start.

  1. Adley Rutschman (C)
  2. Ryan Mountcastle (1B/OF)
  3. DL Hall (LHP)
  4. Grayson Rodriguez (RHP)
  5. Heston Kjerstad (OF)
  6. Dean Kremer (RHP)
  7. Yusniel Diaz (OF)
  8. Gunnar Henderson (SS)
  9. Terrin Vavra (SS)
  10. Jordan Westburg (SS)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Washington Nationals Top 15 Prospects

The Washington Nationals built their 2019 Championship on the back of their minor league system. Their core was built from within. That’s the way you want to do it. However, as with most organizations, their minor league system got depleted in the process. While I’m not sure there are any surefire Top 100 prospects in the system, I like both Cade Cavalli and Cole Henry, their first two picks in the 2020 draft. Both have live arms with Major League talent. Further down, I like Eddy Yean and Andry Lara. While both are young, they have power arsenals that could look good in the Nationals bullpen in a few years.

  1. Cade Cavalli (RHP)
  2. Jackson Rutledge (RHP)
  3. Cole Henry (LHP)
  4. Tim Cate (LHP)
  5. Wil Crowe (RHP)
  6. Armando Cruz (SS)
  7. Yasel Antuna (SS/2B)
  8. Drew Mendoza (1B)
  9. Mason Denaburg (RHP)
  10. Andry Lara (RHP)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Philadelphia Phillies Top 15 Prospects

As was the case last year, it was a grind writing the Phillies Top 15 Prospect List.  The system starts strong with Spencer Howard and Mick Abel, the Phillies’ first-round pick last June.  Both could be excellent Major Leaguers and in fact, Howard looked good in his brief audition in 2020.  However, after that, the system drops off.  You can argue that there are no impact players after the first two. 

That said, there are three guys I find interesting.  The first player is Casey Martin, the Phillies third-round pick last June.  He’s tooled up with enticing fantasy skills but there are serious questions about his contact skills.  Rafael Marchan doesn’t have any power, but he can hit and is a great defender behind the plate.  Finally, Simon Muzziotti has plus speed and can also really hit, but like Marchan, has 30-grade power.

Is it enough to push the Phillies to a championship over the next three years?  I don’t think so and therefore, they should continue to dip into free agency and/or trades to try and bring a title to Philadelphia.

  1. Spencer Howard (RHP)
  2. Mick Abel (RHP)
  3. JoJo Romero (LHP)
  4. Bryson Stott (SS)
  5. Francisco Morales (RHP)
  6. Adonis Medina (RHP)
  7. Luis Garcia (SS)
  8. Simon Muzziotti (OF)
  9. Rafael Marchan (C)
  10. Casey Martin (SS)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 New York Mets Top 15 Prospects

With another excellent draft in 2020 and some key international acquisitions over the past three years, the Mets continue to replenish their system.  From the draft: I thought Matt Allan was the best high school pitcher taken in the 2019 draft.  This year, the Mets took outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong in the first round.  He’s athletic with a feel to hit.  They also snagged JT Ginn in the second round.  He’s recovering from TJ Surgery but before he went down, he showed electric stuff with the ability to throw strikes.

From the International Ranks: Ronny Mauricio has significant offensive upside with plus bat speed and a feel to hit.  Francisco Alvarez is much better than I thought when he was signed in 2018 and has a chance to be one of the better catchers in the game.  I’ve also heard nothing but great things about Freddy Valdez and Alexander Ramirez. 

  1. Ronny Mauricio (SS)
  2. Matt Allan (RHP)
  3. Francisco Alvarez (C)
  4. Mark Vientos (3B)
  5. Brett Baty (3B)
  6. Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF)
  7. Thomas Szapucki (LHP)
  8. Freddy Valdez (OF)
  9. Alexander Ramirez (OF)
  10. JT Ginn (RHP)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Miami Marlins Top 15 Prospects

The Marlins made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. They didn’t win a championship as they did in 2003 but made significant strides on the back of an extremely young team.  In reviewing their minor league system, seven of the Top 10 players spent time on the Marlins roster this year.  While I didn’t go back to see if that was a record, it sure feels like one.  Some of these players made significant contributions to the cause.

First and foremost was the number one player on the list, Sixto Sanchez.  He came out throwing 100 MPH showing the kind of Moxy on the mound you want to see from a number one starter.  While Edward Cabrera did not make it to the show, I consider him a close second to Sanchez.  He has the stuff and athleticism to also pitch at the top of the rotation.  Jazz Chisholm is the top-ranked positional player and while he struggled in his debut, he has the tools to be a star.  The question is, will he hit enough?

  1. Sixto Sanchez (RHP)
  2. Edward Cabrera (RHP)
  3. Jazz Chisholm (SS)
  4. Braxton Garrett (LHP)
  5. JJ Bleday (OF)
  6. Max Meyer (RHP)
  7. Lewin Diaz (1B)
  8. Jesus Sanchez (OF)
  9. Trevor Rogers (LHP)
  10. Monte Harrison (OF)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Atlanta Braves Top 15 Prospects

I’m writing this article after the Braves season ended in a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Dodgers.  While it was a disappointing ending to their season, it was great to see the Braves excelling on the backs of a lot of young kids.  Two prospects, Ian Anderson and Cristian Pache played significant roles for the team in the deciding game. As a prospect writer, you can’t be any happier.  Fortunately, both make our list as they still have rookie eligibility.

While the Braves system is not what it used to be when Acuna and Swanson were leading the list, there is still talent.  In addition to Pache and Anderson, the power-speed combination that Drew Waters brings to the game could be huge for fantasy managers.  The Braves love both Braden Shewmake and William Contreras.  I’ve seen both play and they both have full-time regular upside.  Throw-in some big lefty arms and the Braves window appears to be just opening.

  1. Cristian Pache (OF)
  2. Ian Anderson (RHP)
  3. Drew Waters (OF)
  4. Braden Shewmake (SS)
  5. William Contreras (C)
  6. Kyle Muller (LHP)
  7. Tucker Davidson (LHP)
  8. Jasseel de la Cruz (RHP)
  9. Jared Shuster (LHP)
  10. Shea Langeliers (C)

The remaining five can be found here.

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2021 Minnesota Twins Top 15 Prospects

The only elite prospect to get the call in 2020 for the Twins was Brent Rooker.  He played in seven games.  The Twins are stacked at the Major Leagues with young players but with a team that is good, not great, perhaps it’s time to shake things up.

Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis are ready for their respected promotion and both should see time in Minnesota next season. Plus, Trevor Larnach and Jordan Balazovic are getting close and could also press for a late-season call-up or at worse, a call-up in 2022.  All four are elite prospects with a ceiling of full-time regulars.  Perhaps it’s time for the Twins to cash in some of their young prospects to push the team from a good club to a Championship team.  Now that I’ve given them the idea, it’s up to the Twins front office to figure out the rest.

  1. Alex Kirilloff (OF)
  2. Royce Lewis (SS)
  3. Jordan Balazovic (RHP)
  4. Trevor Larnach (OF)
  5. Aaron Sabata (1B)
  6. Misael Urbina (OF)
  7. Jhoan Duran (RHP)
  8. Gilberto Celestino (OF)
  9. Ryan Jeffers (C)
  10. Brent Rooker (OF)

The remaining five prospects can be found here.

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2021 Kansas City Royals Top 15 Prospects

The Royals have done a great job of quickly rebuilding their farm system. Bobby Witt Jr. is their best prospect and has all the tools to become one of the best shortstops in the game. Erick Pena was also one of the exciting International players to be signed in 2019 and everything I’ve heard about him has been positive. And then there’s pitching. Daniel Lynch and Asa Lacy have a chance to be one of the best southpaw starting tandem in baseball. They have great stuff and are close to Majors. The Royals are still two years away from their window opening, but I like we they are going.

  1. Bobby Witt Jr. (SS)
  2. Daniel Lynch (LHP)
  3. Asa Lacy (LHP)
  4. Khalil Lee (OF)
  5. Erick Pena (SS)
  6. Jackson Kowar (RHP)
  7. Kyle Isbel (OF)
  8. Brady McConnell (SS/OF)
  9. Brewer Hicklen (OF)
  10. Jonathan Bowlan (RHP)

The remaining players can be found here.

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2021 Detroit Tigers Top 15 Prospects

The Tigers are in rebuilding mode and have improved their system greatly since the Dombrowski days. You can argue that their top three pitchers: Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal can rival any organization’s Top three pitching prospects. With the addition of Spencer Torkelson, they now have a potential middle of the order bat that should see the big leagues very shortly. Riley Greene is also an exceptionally talented player and should see the Major Leagues in the next couple of years. Throw in Parker Meadows, Isaac Parades and a bunch of expensive International signees and the Tigers are assembling a lot of offensive talent to complement what could be one of the better pitching staffs in the big leagues by 2022.

  1. Spencer Torkelson (1B)
  2. Tarik Skubal (LHP)
  3. Casey Mize (RHP)
  4. Matt Manning (RHP)
  5. Riley Greene (OF)
  6. Isaac Paredes (3B)
  7. Parker Meadows (OF)
  8. Joey Wentz (LHP)
  9. Daz Cameron (OF)
  10. Adinso Reyes (3B/OF)

The remaining players can be found here.

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2021 Cleveland Indians Top 15 Prospects

The more I researched the Indians’ farm system, the more I liked the depth they have created. Granted, it’s not stacked with famous guys, but instead, there are a lot of interesting young players that could develop into impact players at the highest level.

Leading the list is now a famous prospect – Triston McKenzie.  He had an amazing major league debut and is only going to get better. I’m still a fan of Nolan Jones and still believe he will add big in-game power once he adds loft to his swing.  There are several high-upside middle infielders on the list and trying to handicap who emerges as the successor to Francisco Lindor is hard.  Tyler Freeman might get the first shot but we like Brayan Rocchio or newly acquired Gabriel Arias to eventually take over the job full-time.

  1. Triston McKenzie (RHP)
  2. Nolan Jones (3B)
  3. George Valera (OF)
  4. Brayan Rocchio (SS)
  5. Tyler Freeman (SS)
  6. Bo Naylor (C)
  7. Gabriel Arias (SS)
  8. Ethan Hankins (RHP)
  9. Aaron Bracho (2B)
  10. Danny Espino (RHP)

The remaining five can be seen here.