2021 Top 100 Prospects

1. Wander Franco (TB, SS) – Once again he tops our list.  He has great all-around tools with a chance to hit with solid pop and speed.  Don’t expect a 30-30 guy though.  Think more 20 HR, 15 SB with a chance to hit .300 with a high OBP.

2. Jared Kelenic (Sea, OF) – A real baseball rat with tools that should make him a solid Major League baseball player for years.  The upside is a 20-20 performer.

3. Dylan Carlson (Stl, OF)His first bite at the Major League apple didn’t go well but I’m expecting more in 2021.  There should be good speed and power with a chance for a solid, if not spectacular hit-tool.

4. Alex Kirilloff (Min, OF) The opportunity is there, and assuming Kirilloff hits, which I think he will, he could compete for ROY in the AL.

5. MacKenzie Gore (SD, LHP) – It’s easy to put someone else as the number one pitcher, but Gore is so athletic that I believe his stuff will play at the top of the San Diego rotation within the next few years.

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. Randy Arozarena (TB, OF) We all saw the explosive tools on the biggest stage there is.  While he’s not going to hit .350 with 100 home runs, I would not rule out .280 with 35 home runs.  Few players hit the ball harder.

8. Marco Luciano (SF, SS) – He could be a special player with plenty of tools and an idea at the plate.  He’s still a few years away but he has a good chance to become the #1 prospect next season.

9. 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.

10. CJ Abrams (SD, SS) – 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.

11. Spencer Torkelson (Det, 1B) – The safest pick from last June’s draft.  There’s a chance for him to hit .300 as a middle-of-the-order power bat.

12. 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.

13. Cristian Pache (Atl, OF) – He should see significant time in the big leagues in 2021 and while his hit tool might not be there, the speed will play.

14. Tarik Skubal (Det, LHP) – Very high floor with a chance to a solid number two pitcher for what should be an improving Tigers organization.

15. 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.

16. Andrew Vaughn (CHW, 1B) – There’s no obvious room for Vaughn in Chicago in 2021, but he’ll provide MUCH need on-base skills that the White Sox need to compete for a title.  There still is an open question as to how much power he will have, but he should hit with great defense.

17. Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pit, 3B) – Yeah, he plays for the Pirates, and to put it mildly, they are struggling in all aspects of the game.  Hayes has a chance to be a beacon of hope for fans as there is real power with a solid hit tool. 

18. Bobby Witt Jr. (KC, SS) – He seems to be the forgotten elite prospect.  I think he’ll hit with good pop and plenty of speed.  Plus, the baseball instincts and confidence are off the chart.  I’m all in.

19. Casey Mize (Det, RHP) – His Major League debut was a bit *meh*.  Part of the problem is that his splitter wasn’t working.  It’s a great pitch and once he sorts that out, the rest of the arsenal should play up.  I still think he has #1 starter potential.

20. Triston McKenzie (Cle, RHP) – The fastball still hasn’t taken that step forward; and until he puts on weight, it likely will not.  However, the secondary pitches are great, and he throws strikes.  I think there’s a number two starter, at least, in the makings.

21. Brandon Marsh (LAA, OF) – Athletic with fantasy-friendly skills.  While there is no room for him in the big leagues in Los Angeles, I think he finds a way to contribute in 2021.

22. Sixto Sanchez (Mia, RHP) – Showed a dominating 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 straight.   He’ll come back to earth a little in 2021, but assuming he can maintain his weight, his ceiling is at least a mid-rotation starter if not a solid #2.

23. Daniel Lynch (KC, LHP) – Upper nineties from the left side with excellent secondary pitches points to good things down the road.  The fastball can get a little straight but with his size and extension, he should be just fine once he gets the call.

24. Edward Cabrera (Mia, RHP) – Edward Cabrera is behind Sixto because well, Sixto blew batters away in the Major Leagues.  However, Cabrera’s stuff is arguably better and with his size, he indeed could be the better pitcher long-term.

25. Ian Anderson (Atl, RHP) – While many top pitching prospects made their Major League debut in 2020, Ian Anderson had the most impressive results.  StatCast though points to pretty flat stuff (read: low-spin rate), so I’m looking for regression as the league gets more adjusted.

26. Vidal Brujan (TB, 2B) – His carrying tool has always been his double-plus speed.  However, as he’s matured and added weight, he’s developing some pop.  The upside is indeed significant.  Do not be surprised if based on his fantasy eligibility vs. Wander Franco, he could be drafted ahead of him in drafts.  Of course, he’s in the Rays organization, so trying to determine when that will occur is a difficult puzzle to solve.

27. Jordan Groshans (Tor, 3B) – He doesn’t get the love that Bichette, Vlad, even Martin gets, but he can hit and there will be plenty of power to boot.

28. Matt Manning (Det, RHP) – An elbow strain at the alternate site delayed his Major League debut but he has the size, athleticism, and stuff to pitch at the top-of-the-rotation one day.

29. 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.

30. Leody Taveras (Tex, SS) – Had a fine Major League debut flashing plus speed and tremendous defensive coverage in the outfield.  The hit-tool still needs work, but he should get a chance to sort that out in Texas this season.  There is also plenty of bat speed for future power. 

31. 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, work 93 to 95 with growing secondary pitches.  You might see him in a bullpen role in 2021 as has been the Dodgers preference recently with other elite pitchers.  However, as a starter, he’s at least a year away.

32. Jazz Chisholm (Mia, SS) – Crazy bat speed to go along with double-plus speed.  All he needs to do is hit to be a star.  I know, easier said than done, but tools like this don’t come around often.  You can’t have an entire team made up high risk-reward guys like Chisholm, but having one, say him, is a nice place to be.

33. Joey Bart (SF, C) – A 40% strikeout rate shows that there is work left to do for Joey Bart.  He’s a good defender with solid power but needs to work on his contact skills.

34. Luis Patino (TB, RHP) – Threw some quality innings at the big league level in 2021 and was made the centerpiece in the Blake Snell trade.  His size will make him homer-prone but the stuff is plenty good to be at least a mid-rotation starter, and likely more, at the highest level.

35. Hunter Greene (Cin, RHP) – Tremendous athlete who can throw 100+ MPH.  He missed the entire 2019 season rehabbing from TJ Surgery, so 2021 will be a critical year.  He still has ace potential, but he needs to pitch.

36. Ronny Mauricio (NYM, SS) – Flush with money (maybe), the Mets appear to be loading up with superstars at each position.  I think Mauricio has star potential with excellent hand-to-eye skills and plenty of bat speed who can pick it at short.  Will the Mets give him a chance?  I dunno…but somebody will, and he could be very good.

37. Luis Campusano (SD, C) – He has some legal trouble in Georgia to work though, but assuming that goes well, he’s still the future backstop in San Diego.  Will it come in 2021?  Probably not, but Austin Nola did not look good at the end of the season.

38. Royce Lewis (Min, SS/OF) – I saw him in the AFL in 2019 and he played great.  However, the hitch in his swing might prove costly at the highest level (ala Gregory Polanco).  He’s got plenty of tools though with plus foot speed and bat speed.

39. Michael Kopech (CHW, RHP) – I’ve run out of fingers and toes counting the months since Michael Kopech picked up a baseball.  Assuming he is healthy and returns to form, he has a special arm.  The White Sox will take it easy with him in 2021, so don’t be surprised if he’s limited to 100 to 120 innings, if that.

40. Spencer Howard (Phi, RHP) – The stuff was solid in his Major League debut but as has been his problem, he can’t stay healthy.  The stuff points to a number three or maybe a number two starter, but he’ll need to stay out of the trainer’s room.

41. Alek Thomas (Ari, OF) – He has very friendly fantasy tools with a feel to hit.  The swing can get a little hitchy, but there is a lot to work with.

42. Nick Madrigal (CHW, 2B) – Great contact, good speed, and zero power.  He is what he is.  If fantasy owners build their rosters correctly, he’ll be a big asset, if they don’t, they will likely not have enough power.

43. 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.  His arrival to the Majors might have been delayed by the signing of Kiki Hernandez.

44. Zac Veen (Col, OF) – He has a nice complement of tools and an advanced approach at the plate. The Rockies have struggled of late to develop players but Veen’s hit tool is so advance, I think we are talking about a different level of player than the Hampson’s, MacMahon’s that have recently come through the system.

45. Logan Gilbert (Sea, RHP) – Solid stuff, size, and the ability to sequence his stuff.  He has all the makings of a mid-rotation starter.

46. Corbin Carroll (Ari, OF) – 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.

47. 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.

48. 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.

49. Ryan Mountcastle (Bal, OF/1B) – He still needs to work on his approach at the plate but there’s no denying the power potential.

50. Robert Hassell (SD, OF) – He has plenty of tools and was drafted into an organization that knows how to develop players.

51. Jasson Dominquez (NYY, OF) – It’s still all hype at this point, but so far, I’m a believer.  It would be nice to see him play…wouldn’t it…

52. Brailyn Marquez (CHC, LHP)The delivery likely points to a reliever, but we saw the stuff in his brief debut and it was dominant.  98 MPH from the left side with a high spin rate with an equally impressive slider.

53. Xavier Edwards (TB, OF) – Top shelf speed but there are questions as to whether he’ll have enough power to be a full-time regular.  If not, he could still provide significant value as a part-time player because he could easily steal 6 to 7 bags per 100 ABs.  I’ll let you do the math.

54. Matthew Liberatore (Stl, LHP) – You usually don’t see the Rays trading high upside pitchers, but when you can get Randy Arozarena in return, you do the deal.  Liberatore still has top-of-the-rotation stuff and enough athleticism to throw strikes.

55. Clarke Schmidt (NYY, RHP)I might like Schmidt more than the Yankees, but I see a solid mid-rotation starter with three above-average pitches who is ready to test his wears against Major League hitters.

56. Josh Jung (Tex, 3B)He’ll have the opportunity for plenty of playing time in 2021 and with his potential power and hit-tool, there’s a chance for solid full-time playing time.

57. Forrest Whitley (Hou, RHP) – The shine is off the former best pitching prospect in the game.  The Astros tried to turn him into Gerritt Cole and it didn’t work.  If they let him be him, the control and maybe health should return.

58. Asa Lacy (KC, LHP)The top pitcher in the draft might go higher in supplemental drafts if a team is looking for pitching help.  Lacy is talented with a ceiling of a solid number three, perhaps a little more.

59. Josh Lowe (TB, OF) – Was banged up a bit last year which contributed to him not getting the call to Tampa.  There are plenty of fantasy-friendly tools to dream about and I think he hits enough to get to them.

60. Jordan Balazovic (Min, RHP) – Below the radar pitching prospect that has all the ingredients to be a mid-rotation starter, if not a little more.

61. Brennan Davis (CHC, OF) – Plenty of fantasy-friendly tools who are showing a feel for hitting.  If he can hold his own against Double-A pitching, he could be a fast riser on this list.

62. 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.

63. Brendan McKay (TB, LHP) – I’m worried about the shoulder.  But, if he can get that behind him, the stuff is solid, much better than he showed in his Major League debut.  I see at least a mid-rotation starter.

64. Kristian Robinson (Ari, OF) – The most tooled up of the top three outfielders in the Diamondbacks system.  The question will be how much he hits.

65. Matt Allan (NYM, RHP) – The Mets shrewdly drafted Allan in the third round of the 2019 Draft and with their history of developing pitchers, I like the chance for him developing into perhaps a number two starter.  That said, there’s still a long way to go.

66. Grayson Rodriguez (Bal, RHP) – I’m not a big fan of the delivery but at 6-foot-5 with his kind of stuff does not grow on trees.

67. George Valera (Cle, OF) – With six games played above rookie ball, it’s still all about projection with Valera.  However, the swing works with great bat speed and plenty of foot speed to point to fantasy goodness.

68. 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.

69. Taylor Trammell (Sea, OF) – I got into a recent debate with a Twitter friend about Trammell being ahead of Noelvi Marte.  Sure Marte has huge upside but Trammell is getting close and we have a pretty good idea of what he’ll be.  Marte, not so much.  There is value there.  While the approach still needs work, the speed is real, the defense is real and it looks like he’ll hit for power.  Don’t lose faith in guys just because they aren’t perfect.  Nobody is…well, that Trout guy is pretty good.

70. A.J. Puk (Oak, LHP)It’s premium stuff from the left side but injuries are becoming a problem.  He turns 26 in April and it’s time for him to perform.

71. Braxton Garrett (Mia, LHP) – Made his Major League debut in 2020 and the stuff was noticeably down with his fastball averaging 89.5 MPH.  As he gets further removed from TJ Surgery, the velo should continue to improve.  If so, he has solid mid-rotation potential.

72. 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.

73. 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.

74. Heliot Ramos (SF, OF) – I still worry about his tendency to strikeout, but the bat speed and power potential are real and with a little bit of speed to boot, there’s a chance for a Jay Bruce type of career.

75. 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.

76. Noelvi Marte (Sea, SS) – Showed encouraging signs when he showed power, speed, and a feel to hit in 65 games in the DSL in 2019.  He’s still really young and will have some ups-and-downs but there is star potential here.

77. Brayan Rocchio (Cle, SS) – I still maintain that Rocchio has the best chance to become the full-time shortstop for Indians.  He has the best combination of tools and a feel to hit of everyone in the organization.

78. Shane Baz (TB, RHP) – It’s premium stuff but control currently eludes him.  If he figures that out, he has top of the rotation potential.

79. Ha-Seong Kim (SD, SS/2B) – He’ll likely get plenty of playing time in 2021, but I’m just gun shy of Asian players.  Should he be higher?  I dunno…maybe.  But if you think he’s a Top 10 player because of what he did in Korea, I’m betting the under.

80. Diego Cartaya (LAD, C) – I saw him play in 2019 and the bat is special.  There’s great bat speed and a feel to hit with an understanding of the strike zone. Plus, I think he stays a catcher and a good receiver at that.

81. Nolan Gorman (Stl, 3B) – Sigh.  Big power and big strikeouts.

82. Deivi Garcia (NYY, RHP) – The stuff is good as is his feel for pitching.  However, at 5-foot-9, I worry about his ability to stay a starter.

83. Luis Rodriguez (LAD, OF) – I’ve heard he got into some bad habits at the plate.  But, he’s young with premium bat speed.  He, like so many others, need to play competitively.

84. 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.

85. Pete Crow-Armstrong (NYM, OF) – I hear nothing but positive things about Armstrong.  Excellent defender with plenty of speed and a feel to hit.

86. Keibert Ruiz (LAD, C) – Don’t forget about Ruiz.  The offensive upside is still significant.  Plus, the Dodgers to-date, have not traded him.  I think that says a lot.

87. Jonathan India (Cin, 3B) – He had a bad 2019, mostly because he was hurt.  I still think he becomes a full-time regular at third for the Reds and it could be sooner than you think.

88. 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.

89. Hunter Bishop (SF, OF) – Shows the ability to control the strike zone but the swing gets long and therefore, there are too many strikeouts.  However, the power-speed combination is alluring for fantasy managers.

90. Jordyn Adams (LAA, OF) – Tools galore, and the early returns is that he’s showing an ability to control the strike zone. The next step is to translate the pop he shows in batting practice to hard in-game contact.

91. Alek Manoah (Tor, RHP) – He doesn’t have the highest upside of many pitchers on this list, but he’s advanced with a good feel for the game that should translate into him making his Major League debut in 2021 or 2022.

92. 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.

93. 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.

94. Brice Turang (Mil, SS) – Big time speed that could see the Majors in 2021.  Long-term, there is utility risk.  BTW, I debated Turang vs. Jarred Duran as I see them as similar players.  But, Turang gets the nod as I think there’s a better chance he could develop into a full-time regular.

95. Orelvis Martinez (Tor, SS) – The Blue Jays are developing something special in Canada and Martinez might get overlooked.  He has tremendous strength and bat speed that should point to future power.  Assuming he can hit enough, he could be a 40+ home run guy in the mold of Jorge Soler.

96. Simeon Woods-Richardson (Tor, RHP)He doesn’t get the love of other pitchers in the game, but he has the size and arsenal to one day be a number two starter.

97. 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.

98. Braden Shewmake (Atl, SS) – He makes great contact with an excellent understanding of the strike zone.  There is speed and as he gets stronger, some power potential.  He’s not the most famous prospect but he could be a sneaky good Major League baseball player for a long time.

99. Erik Pena (KC, OF) – He’s athletic with a feel to hit.  It’s a high-risk, high-reward option.

100. Maximo Acosta (Tex, SS) – See Erik Pena.

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