1. Wander Franco (TB, SS) – He’s struggled upon his promotion to the Major Leagues. However, the approach and swing mechanics point to a high on-base, solid power and speed for years to come.
2. Jared Kelenic (Sea, OF) – Yeah, it wasn’t good; and yeah, maybe he’s not the next Mike Trout like some thought, but he’s going to be very good with a chance to be a 20-20 performer at his peak.
3. Bobby Witt Jr. (KC, SS) – Once Wander and JK graduate, he’ll stand as my top prospect in the game. It’s a complete package with power and speed and a feel to hit. The upside is a first-round draft pick in a fantasy draft.
4. Adley Rutschman (Bal, C) – I know many fantasy players ignore catchers, but Rutschman has a chance to be the best catcher in the game. The smart fantasy player knows the value in that.
5. CJ Abrams (SD, SS) – He’s lost for the rest of the year with a broken leg, but he’s already showing enough to be considered one of the best prospects in the game. The 80-grade speed is his carrying tool and if he repeats his feel for hitting as he moves through the system, he could develop into a dynamic leadoff batter.
6. Julio Rodriguez (Sea, OF) – He’s going to be your classic right fielder with huge power. He struggled a little with upper-level minor league pitching but assuming he works on his pitch recognition skills, the ingredients are there for him to be a star.
7. Austin Martin (Tor, SS) – 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.
8. Spencer Torkelson (Det, 1B) – I’ve now seen him play multiple times and I’ve become a big believer. He’s going to hit with a chance for plus power. He’s not big but has strong wrists that should allow him to get to his power.
9. Marco Luciano (SF, SS) – He’s still a few years away, but the power is coming quickly, and I think he’s going to hit. There are 30 plus home runs in the bat but don’t expect a lot of stolen bases.
10. Edward Cabrera (Mia, RHP) – Let’s see…he throws 100 MPH with an 80-grade change-up and a slider that while not consistent flashes plus as well. He has all the making of one of the best pitchers in the game. In my opinion, he deserves to be the top-ranked pitching prospect in the game.
11. Noelvi Marte (Sea, SS) – The biggest mover from the pre-season list. As one of the youngest players in Low-A, he’s more than holding his own. He’s two years away but there is a 20-20 upside with great on-base skills.
12. Vidal Brujan (TB, 2B) – His carrying tool has always been his double-plus speed. However, as he’s matured and put on weight, he’s developing some pop. The fantasy upside is significant, but he needs to establish himself quickly or could find himself in a super-utility role in a fickle Tampa Bay lineup.
13. Riley Greene (Det, OF) – Has a great swing and should continue to make steady progress through the minor leagues. I know we all love Tork, but don’t forget about Greene.
14. Logan Gilbert (Sea, RHP) – He’s been very good since he got the call to the Majors, striking out over eight per nine and limiting walks. He’s getting squared a little too often, but the overall stuff looks very good with a ceiling of a number two starter.
15. Hunter Greene (Cin, RHP) – Tremendous athlete who can throw 100+ MPH. After missing the entire 2019 season recovering from TJ Surgery, his stuff appears back with a chance to be a #1 starter.
16. Alek Manoah (Tor, RHP) – He’s been good in his eight starts in the big leagues – a 2.90 ERA with over 11 strikeouts per nine. The stuff is very good, not elite, but he’s avoiding hard contact and with his size and bulldog approach on the mound, the upside for me is a solid number three or low-end number two starter.
17. Luis Patino (TB, RHP) – He’s had some modest success in a few appearances in the big leagues, but I still like him as a mid-rotation starter despite his smallish stature.
18. Francisco Alvarez (NYM, C) – I talked to a lot of professional evaluators in doing this job and the comps I’ve gotten for Alvarez are impressive. One told me he was a better prospect than Adley Rutschman. The bat could be special and fantasy managers, yes, sometimes they even come as catchers.
19. Shane Baz (TB, RHP) – Last year I wrote he had premium stuff, but the control was lacking. So far in 2021, the control has come around. The upside is a solid number two starter if not more.
20. Matt Manning (Det, RHP) – If you take out that awful outing against the Indians, he’s been good in his five starts in the big leagues. He’s not striking out anyone and the fastball velocity is not what it was when I saw him in 2019. However, he has the size and the overall arsenal to be a solid number three starter if not more.
21. Jack Leiter (Tex, RHP) – Great stuff and pitchability with the bloodlines to get you excited. I don’t think it will take him long to reach the Major Leagues. But the Rangers are going to struggle to score runs for a while, so wins might be an issue early in his career.
22. D.L Hall (Bal, LHP) – Athletic with solid stuff that should only get better as he matures. He’s flying under the radar in most Dynasty Leagues, but he’s a Top 5 lefty prospect for me.
23. Joey Bart (SF, C) – He’s had a very nice season-to-date and while the 40% strikeout rate he showed in the Majors in his brief debut is still fresh, the upside is a Top 10 offensive catcher with 20+ home runs and a .250 batting average with a .340 OBP.
24. Cade Cavalli (Was, RHP) – He’s a lot better than I thought and has quickly become one of the better pitching prospects in the game. He’s moving quickly and could see the Majors in 2022.
25. Sixto Sanchez (Mia, RHP) – Showed a 100 MPH fastball in his Major League debut with an equally impressive change-up. He still needs work on his slider and despite throwing 100, the fastball is pretty straight. Unfortunately, he’s hurt and won’t see the Major Leagues again until 2022.
26. Grayson Rodriguez (Bal, RHP) – I’m not a big fan of the delivery but you can argue that he’s had the best season in the minor leagues for any pitcher. There’s solid mid-rotation ceiling if not more.
27. Brandon Marsh (LAA, OF) – Athletic with fantasy-friendly skills. Unfortunately, injuries have spoiled his 2021 campaign to date, but there is still a lot to like.
28. Jordan Lawler (Ari, SS) – A tooled-up high school shortstop with some concern about how much he’ll strike out at the highest level. For now, it doesn’t matter as you need to invest in the tools.
29. 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.
30. Robert Hassell (SD, OF) – He’s looking very good so far in his first 50 games in the minor leagues with a slash line of .288/.371/.447. There’s plus speed and solid potential to go along with good bat-to-ball skills.
31. Jasson Dominquez (NYY, OF) – We finally have a stat line and a TV appearance by the man, the myth, the legend. Visually, he looks the part. Although, he’s a big kid and could already be maxed out physically. Candidly, I still don’t know what to think as we still need more data and eyes on the player. So, for now, I’m still buying into the hype.
32. Marcelo Mayer (Bos, SS) – Despite his size, he should be able to stay at short long-term with a chance for plus power potential. He’s only an average runner and will likely lose a step as he fills out. But, there is 25+ home run pop in his profile with a chance to hit.
33. Cristian Pache (Atl, OF) – He can really play defense and so far, that’s all he’s shown in his limited big-league at-bats. I still like the profile long-term, but there’s still work left.
34. Alek Thomas (Ari, OF) – He has very friendly fantasy tools with a feel to hit. He doesn’t have the loudest tools on this list, but I think he’ll be a solid performer with 15-15 upside in the profile.
35. Zac Veen (Col, OF) – He’s off to a fine start to his professional career, slashing .249/.366/.397. However, he’s striking out too much and is a little passive at the plate.
36. Kumar Rocker (NYM, RHP) – The most famous guy in the 2021 draft fell to the Mets at #10. There’s still a lot to like from his physicality to his stuff. But, inconsistencies and an inability to repeat his delivery caused hesitation at the draft table. I’m betting the Mets help him figure it out and therefore I’m taking him high in Dynasty League rookie drafts.
37. Daniel Lynch (KC, LHP) – Started three games in the big leagues and nothing went well. An exit velocity of 95 MPH and a .550 batting average on his four-seamer will leave a mark. I still view him as a number two starter, but I must admit, my confidence is rattled.
38. Jarren Duran (Bos, OF) – I continue to worry that there is fourth outfielder risk, but he has top-flight speed and could be a real asset in fantasy leagues.
39. Gabriel Moreno (Tor, C) – He’s having a solid season in Double-A with eight home runs and an ability to control the strike zone. With his power upside of 20 home runs and his ability to hit, he could be a Top 10 catcher, maybe more, in fantasy baseball.
40. O’Neil Cruz (Pit, SS) – He’s quietly having a nice season in Double-A showing both power and speed. With his size, he’s going to strike out, but there is top-flight power in the profile with a chance for some speed early in his career.
41. Matthew Liberatore (Stl, LHP) – Was very impressive in his Futures Game appearance and looks just about ready for the show. There’s a number three starter if not more upside.
42. Nick Gonzales (Pit, 2B) – His 32% strikeout rate in High-A is candidly surprising. While I never believed the power he showed in college, I thought he would hit. In his defense, he did spend time on the injured list this year and only has 116 plate appearance, so I’m still willing to give him a mulligan.
43. Royce Lewis (Min, SS/OF) – He’s got plenty of tools with plus foot speed and bat speed. However, he lost the entire 2021 season with an ACL tear. Plus, we still don’t know about the hitch he developed in 2019.
44. Henry Davis (Pit, C) – He went 1:1 in the 2021 draft, and yeah, I know, he’s a catcher. But, he can really hit with solid power and even a little bit of speed. It might have been a safe pick for the Pirates, but he also has the ceiling of a Top five fantasy catcher.
45. Jordan Groshans (Tor, 3B) – He’s been ok in 2021 but hasn’t shown the kind of breakout I would have expected. I still believe he’ll hit and there is plenty of bat speed to project future plus in-game power.
46. Ronny Mauricio (NYM, SS) – Came in as the Mets’ #1 prospect but both Rocker and Alvarez have passed him. There’s significant power upside and early in his career, he’ll provide some speed. However, he’s very aggressive at the plate and is striking out too much (25% strikeout rate and a 4% walk rate). There’s still a lot of work left before he’s ready for the Major Leagues.
47. Luis Campusano (SD, C) – Continues to show solid skills in Triple-A with the ability to control the strike zone and high exit velocities. He’s had a few uninspired plate appearances in the big leagues this year but nothing to get him going. The upside continues to be a Top 10 fantasy catcher.
48. Reid Detmers (LAA, LHP) – It appears the Angels scored with Detmers. He’s been excellent in Double-A, striking out 16 per nine while keeping the walks down. He’s got plus stuff and a great feel for pitching. The ceiling for me is a number two starter.
49. Emerson Hancock (Sea, RHP) – He has good size with a plus fastball/change-up combination 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.
50. MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP) – The problems started about a year ago at the “Alt site” when his control disappeared. Now, he’s dealing with blisters and a potential change to his unusual mechanics. He’s still got great stuff and is very athletic, but the future is candidly murky. Is this the right place for him in the rankings? I don’t know, but I do know he needs to right the ship…and soon.
51. Nate Pearson (Tor, RHP) – He has the stuff of a #1 pitcher but he needs to stay healthy; something that has eluded him in his professional career.
52. Brennan Davis (CHC, OF) – Plenty of fantasy-friendly tools who is showing a feel for hitting. That was on full display in the Futures Game where he hit two home runs and earned MVP honors for the game.
53. Corbin Carroll (Ari, OF) – His season ended early when he tore his labrum in his shoulder on a home run. While disappointing, he showing plenty of tools with a feel to hit. At 5-foot-10, he’s not a big guy. We’ve always compared him to Andrew Benintendi, the good one that is.
54. Khalil Watson (Mia, SS) – He fell in the draft to Miami who had the 16th pick. The tools are above-average across the board and if it comes together, he could be the steal of the draft.
55. Quinn Priester (Pit, RHP) – He’s establishing himself as one of the better pitching prospects in the game. He’s got a plus fastball-curveball combination and is still working on his feel for his change-up. There’s a strong number three starter upside.
56. Drew Waters (Atl, OF) – He’s been pushed and has performed well despite his tendency to expand the strike zone. That’s where seeing the player is so important as sometimes the stat line doesn’t tell the full story. There are fantasy-friendly tools for sure, but the last I saw him (in 2019), there was still work left to do.
57. Josh Lowe (TB, OF) – He’s often overlooked as a top prospect. But in 51 games in Triple-A, he’s slashing .290/.362/.518 with nine home runs and 12 stolen bases. He’s a great fantasy prospect and could see the big leagues later this summer.
58. Garrett Mitchell (Mil, OF) – Speedster with a good approach at the plate. He needs to add loft to his swing to develop more power. He handled High-A well but has struggled in his first five games in Double-A.
59. Josiah Gray (LAD, RHP) – He’s still developing as a pitcher, so the best is yet to come. He’s not a flame thrower and instead, sits 93 to 95. The secondary pitches are improving but not yet there. However, the Dodgers should be getting desperate for starting pitchers, but I still think Gray will work better in the bullpen this year. Long-term, I see him as a starter.
60. George Kirby (Sea, RHP) – Everyone kept telling me I was light on George Kirby and I’m starting to think they were right. He’s shoving it in High-A, striking out 11.6 per nine while walking less than two. The stuff does play down because of lack of deception and spin, but there’s no denying what he’s doing season-to-date.
61. Nolan Jones (Cle, 3B) – He has yet to tap into his big power, but it’s there. He’ll likely move to first base, but he could be a 30-home run threat with a solid OBP but with pressure on his batting average.
62. Tyler Soderstrom (Oak, C) – When he was drafted, we thought the bat would quickly develop and it has. In 48 games in Low-A this year, he’s slashing .311/.396/.568 with nine home runs.
63. Jordan Balazovic (Min, RHP) – He continues to fly under the radar despite posting a 3.56 ERA in seven starts in Double-A, striking out nearly 12 per nine and keeping his walks under 2.5 per nine. He did start the season with a back injury but appears to be fully healthy now.
64. Jeter Downs (Bos, SS/2B) – A high floor player with a solid feel to hit with good power and speed. As he adds leverage to the swing, the power should emerge.
65. Simeon Woods-Richardson (Tor, RHP) – He’s hit a bit of a rough patch so far in 2021 but the arsenal continues to look very promising with the ceiling of a number three starter.
66. Keibert Ruiz (LAD, C) – Don’t forget about Ruiz. The offensive upside is still significant and you only have to look at this year’s production. In 41 games at Triple-A, he’s slashing .287/.372/.592 with 12 home runs and as many walks as strikeouts. Wait a minute, why is he only ranked #66? Maybe I’ve started to forget about him #ProspectFatigue.
67. Triston Casas (Bos, 3B) – He’s not showing a lot of power this year, but he reduced his strikeout rate substantially to a league average rate of 20.9%. You buy him for the power and I think that will come.
68. Nolan Gorman (Stl, 3B) – Sigh. Big power and big strikeouts.
69. Josh Jung (Tex, 3B) – Hamate surgery derailed a potential Major League debut in 2021. While that still might happen, he hasn’t torn it up in Double-A yet. I think he’ll hit, but I do question how much power he eventually has.
70. Asa Lacy (KC, LHP) – For being the top pitcher in the 2020 draft, Asa Lacy has gotten off to a rough start to the season. In 12 starts in High-A, he’s striking batters out at a high rate but is also showing 20-grade control as he’s walking 6.7 per nine. That’s not going to work.
71. Orelvis Martinez (Tor, SS) – Huge raw power with a chance to hit 30 plus home runs annually. There’s plenty of swing and miss in his game but he does work walks. While these players are frustrating, provided fantasy owners know the risk, they can have value.
72. Jose Barrero (Cin, SS) – Jose Garcia changed his name in the off-season to honor his mother who passed away from Covid. He was over-matched in his big-league debut last season but there is some power and speed in the profile as well as the ability to hit. I don’t see a star, but his ceiling is a full-time regular.
73. Clarke Schmidt (NYY, RHP) – He has the dreaded flexor strain and is trying to rehab it. He’s still hasn’t made his minor-league debut in 2021, but assuming he does soon, he could still help the Yankees this year.
74. Tyler Freeman (Cle, SS) – He’s far from a sexy fantasy contributor but he makes elite contact and does have above-average speed. Amed Rosario is playing well, so he’s blocked. However, if he gets a chance, he’s not going to hurt your fantasy team and should be able to contribute in batting average and run categories.
75. Pete Crow-Armstrong (NYM, OF) – Was impressive to start the season, but a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder ended his season early.
76. Jackson Jobe (Det, RHP) – Athletic with plus stuff and surprising control and command for a high school draftee. The upside is extremely high but so is the risk.
77. Xavier Edwards (TB, 2B) – It’s been an odd year for Edwards as he’s not running. Since he has 20-grade power, if he doesn’t run, there’s not much to like. However, he continues to control the strike zone quite well and his .347 batting average and .434 OBP reflect that. But, he needs to start running.
78. Colton Cowser (Bal, OF) – Plus runner with good bat speed that points to above-average in-game power. In college, he walked more than he struck out.
79. Mick Abel (Phi, RHP) – He’s having a nice pro debut in Low-A striking out over 13 per nine. He has a premium fastball-slider combination and just needs time to develop. The upside is a number two starter.
80. Luis Matos (SF, OF) – He’s one of the higher upside kids on this list with a nice combination of bat and foot speed. As a 19-year-old in Low-A, he’s slashing .287/.329/.435 with five home runs and 15 stolen bases.
81. Diego Cartaya (LAD, C) – The bat could be special and at 19, he’s not having any problems in Low-A slashing .295/.409/.600 with nine home runs.
82. Matt McLain (Cin, SS) – A little bit of speed. A little bit of power and a kid who I think should hit. He might not be a high-impact player, but the floor should be high.
83. Nick Lodolo (Cin, LHP) – I’ve been all over the map on Lodolo. Today, I think he has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter but the stuff lacks life and I do worry about how well that will translate once he makes his Major League debut.
84. Brady House (Was, 3B) – High school draftee with plus power potential but will likely come with some swing and miss.
85. Oswald Peraza (NYY, SS) – It’s odd for a Yankees prospect to be underrated, but you just don’t hear much about Peraza. I’ve seen him now about a dozen times and he’s a plus runner with good bat speed and an idea at the plate. He’s a full-time regular in my book and likely a good one.
86. JJ Bleday (Mia, OF) – The power hasn’t shown up yet but he’s making solid contact and walking a lot. I don’t see a star, but he’ll get to the Majors.
87. Roansy Contreras (Pit, RHP) – One of the breakout pitchers this year with over 12 strikeouts per nine and two walks per nine. The stuff is solid across the board with enough fastball command to be effective. Given his height, he could be homer prone.
88. Brice Turang (Mil, SS) – Plus runner who should be able to hit enough to be a full-time regular. Just know the tools are not very loud.
89. Anthony Volpe (NYY, OF) – After adding good weight, the tools have gotten louder and the results better. He’s slashing .302/.455/.623 in Low-A and appears to be ready for his next challenge.
90. Sal Frelick (Mil, OF) – At 5-foot-9. he’s not a big guy. However, there’s plus speed and enough ability to hit to become a full-time regular.
91. Pedro Leon (Hou, OF) – He struggled early in the season but has shown flashes of being an impact player. Making things more complicated, the Astros are converting him to shortstop. The upside could be significant, but until he fully knocks off the rust, we will not know.
92. Nick Pratto (KC, 1B) – Has remade his swing and is now on a path to being a full-time regular. I still think he’ll struggle to hit .250, but he should get on base enough to allow his 25+ home run upside to play.
93. Michael Harris (Atl, OF) – An intriguing power-speed guy who has some swing and miss in his game and is very aggressive at the plate. So far, he’s had a nice season slashing .310/.338/.462 in Low-A.
94. Gunnar Henderson (Bal, SS/2B) – I like the tools a lot, but his high strikeout rate caught up to him upon his promotion to High-A. It’s a game of adjustment, let’s see if Henderson can make it.
95. Erik Pena (KC, SS) – We finally have a stat line and so far, so good. In 36 at-bats in Rookie Ball, he’s slashing .278/.381/.420. While he’s a high-risk, high-reward talent, I think he makes it.
96. Matt Allan (NYM, RHP) – Matt Allan had Tommy John Surgery in May and will miss the entire 2021 and season and part of 2022. We still love the upside, but he must drop in our rankings.
97. Sam Bachman (LAA, RHP) – I would have taken Rocker with the #9 pick, but the Angels took Bachman; a likely reliever. But, he throws 100 MPH with a great slider, so at a minimum, he could be a lock-down closer.
98. Maximo Acosta (Tex, OF) – Another of the high-end 2019 international draft class. He’s got plus speed and power potential. While it’s only six games, he’s already showing that speed by stealing four bags.
99. George Valera (Cle, OF) – He’s showing good plate zone awareness, but the production has been light to date. I still see him as an impact full-time regular at the highest level.
100. Wilman Diaz (LAD, SS) – One of the tooled up 2021 International signees. We don’t yet have a stat line on him, well, he went 0 for 2 in his debut last night, but I heard “he was a man amongst boys” during training camp for the Dominican Summer League.