Juan Soto (WAS) – The last time a player not named Barry Bonds (who did it four times in the early 2000’s) posted a .490 OBP or better, it was in 1957 when Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle accomplished that feat. Juan Soto posted a .490 OBP in the shortened 2020 season. Soto is the best player in the game.
Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL) – If you don’t land Juan Soto, you have no reason to complain. Ronald Acuna is a good bet to go 30-30 with an outside shot at 40-40. That’s not a bad consolation prize.
Mookie Betts (LAD) – 30-20 potential with a .290 BA. Toss in 120 runs scored in the explosive Dodgers offense, and you have an elite player.
Mike Trout (LAA) – The best player of this generation has seen his stolen bases fall from 24 to eleven to one over the past three seasons. He has the safest floor in our game, but we sure miss those double-digit stolen bases.
Christian Yelich (MIL) – He might not be 2019 good this year, but I wouldn’t bet against that 2018 level of production. I think it’s fairly safe to say we won’t see a repeat of that .205 BA.
Cody Bellinger (LAD) – Twelve homers, 30 RBI, and six thefts isn’t all that bad for an off year. Toss in the First Base eligibility and hopefully a return to better than the .233 BA, and Bellinger is worth every penny you’ll pay on Draft Day. 1B-19
Bryce Harper (PHI) – A floor of 30 homeruns, 90 RBI, and ten stolen bases is a rather solid floor.
Whit Merrifield (KCR) – Since making his debut with the Royals in 2016, the lowest BA Merrifield has produced is .282. The highest is .304. He might not get the hype that several of his peers generate, but when you look at the mid-teen power and 20-to-30 theft potential in conjunction with the always solid BA, he is more than worthy of the price you will pay on draft day. 2B-15
Kyle Tucker (HOU) – It took a few years and plenty of struggles, but Kyle Tucker delivered on his enormous potential in 2020, with the sky being the limit moving forward. If there is one player that has the Fantasy skills to supplant the elite five outfielders at the top of this list, it is Kyle Tucker.
George Springer (TOR) – Springer is really going to enjoy hitting at the top-of-the-order in Dunedin.
Marcell Ozuna (ATL) – It took until the first week of February to get a deal done, but the Braves have now locked up Ozuna for the next four years. Pencil in 30-100 and enjoy the ride!
Charlie Blackmon (COL) – He is heading into his age-35 season and other than the loss of the double-digit stolen base production, he hasn’t skipped a beat. How many players over the past five full seasons can lay claim to averaging 114 runs scored?
Michael Conforto (NYM) – Is Conforto going to repeat that .322 BA in 2021? Most likely not, but there is 35 homer potential in that bat and with the stellar on-base skills of Brando Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and new addition Francisco Lindor hitting in front of him, anything less than 100 RBI would have to be considered a disappointment.
Eloy Jimenez (CWS) – There is a 40 homer, 110 RBI season in his future and I would not bet against that occurring as soon as 2021.
Starling Marte (MIA) – Marte has not failed to generate 20+ stolen bases and a .270 BA since becoming a full-time player in 2013. Those stats won’t change in 2021.
Aaron Judge (NYY) – Judge possesses some of the most prolific power in the game. It’s unfortunate that we simply haven’t seen him consistently healthy since that amazing 2017 campaign, but one can’t ignore that potential. He could prove to be a difference maker in 2021, with his draft position falling into the back half of the Third Round.
Luis Robert (CWS) – Baseball is a game of constant adjustments. Pitchers made that adjustment and it was reflected in a rather horrid last month of Robert’s rookie campaign. It’s now time for Robert to do the same.
Trent Grisham (SDP) – Remember when some questioned A.J. Preller for trading away top-prospect Luis Urias for Trent Grisham? I have a hunch that those questions have ceased.
Cavan Biggio (TOR) – Tim Raines holds the record for most consecutive stolen bases without being caught to start his career at 27. Tim Locastro is just one behind and still working on his streak and Cavan Biggio is now up to 20 thefts without being caught. Oh, the rest of his game is rather good as well. 2B-37, 3B-10
Nick Castellanos (CIN) – It wasn’t a great first season in Cincinnati, but on a positive note, those 14 homers in only 218 at-bats was on pace to be a career best.
Teoscar Hernandez (TOR) – The power potential that was demonstrated in 2018 and 2019, took a further step up in 2020. That huge power should continue into 2021 and with the addition of George Springer and Marcus Semien at the top-of-the-order, RBI opportunities will be plentiful for Hernandez in the cleanup slot.
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. 1B-25
Brandon Lowe (TBR) – Lowe followed up his breakout 2019 campaign by hitting 14 homers in 193 at-bats in 2020. Is a 35 HR season in his future? 2B-44
Randy Arozarena (TBR) – He got the call at the end of August and proceed to go on a tear, hitting 7 homers in his first 64 at-bats. He upped the ante in the playoffs by hitting 10 homers and driving in 14 runs in 20 playoff games. What an incredible run and one that you will pay for in your 2021 drafts. Will it prove to be a rewarding investment? I sure wouldn’t bet against it!
Wil Myers (SDP) – It might be time to temper the stolen base expectations, but a healthy Myers in that stacked Padres lineup, should be a lock for a 30-100 season.
Austin Meadows (TBR) He started the year dealing with Covid-19 and ended it with an oblique strain. I think it’s fair to say that 2020 will not be a career defining year for Austin Meadows.
Jeff McNeil (NYM) – When you post a .381, .383, and .384 OBP in your first three seasons in the league, you’re going to score 90+ runs in the high-powered Mets offense. Toss in the 20-homer potential, handful of steals, and multi-position eligibility and you have a Top-30 outfielder. 2B-12, 3B-9
Jorge Soler (KCR) – Memories of that amazing 2019 season, in which Soler slugged 48 homers while driving in 117 runs should not be forgotten.
Trey Mancini (BAL) – 2020 commenced with scary news, as Mancini was diagnosed with colon cancer. The good news was that the subsequent surgery and chemotherapy were a success and come Fall he was given a clean bill of health. He is now ramping up his off-season conditioning and should report to Spring Training on schedule. We wish him nothing but the best and a return to the form that saw him produce that outstanding 35HR, 97 RBI 2019 season.
Alex Verdugo (BOS) – 20 homers, 10 stolen bases, and a virtual lock with his solid ability to get on-base to score 100 runs. He deserves a bit more love than he has been receiving. Maybe, a lot more.
Eddie Rosario (CLE) – The consistent power production from Rosario over the past four years in Minnesota will be greatly appreciated in his new home in Cleveland.
Joey Gallo (TEX) – The light-tower 40-homer power is tempered by his struggles to get his BA to the Mendoza line.
Kyle Lewis (SEA) – Lewis maintained the momentum from his late-season 2019 debut on his way to winning the 2020 AL ROY Award. He should be a fixture in the heart of the M’s lineup for many years to come.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR) – I really didn’t believe that Gurriel would hit for the power we’ve witnessed over the past two seasons. I was wrong.
Tommy Pham (SDP) – There is definitely 20 home run/20 stolen base potential, but there’s also too much day-to-day in his game for my liking.
Dylan Moore (SEA) – As a super-sub the power/speed combination from the late-bloomer is very intriguing. 2B-10
Tommy Edman (STL) – The consummate super-sub is currently penciled into the leadoff role for the Cards. He will not hit for much power, but the potential for 15 thefts, 80+ runs scored, and his ability to play all over the diamond makes Edman a solid option wherever he’s slotted in. 2B-8, 3B-31, SS-13
Dylan Carlson (STL) – After a very slow start to the 2020 season, Carlson picked up the pace in September and flashed some of the skills that made him a top prospect. Better days are ahead.
Mike Yastrzemski (SFG) – As a 28-year-old rookie, he surprised. In his sophomore season, he proved that he belonged.
Andrew McCutchen (PHI) – He has one more 20 homer/90 runs scored season left in the tank.
Kole Calhoun (ARZ) – In 2019 he upped his homers to 33. He followed that up with 16 homers in 190 at-bats in 2020. If you can work around the low BA, the power production is an asset.
Nick Solak (TEX) – The rebuilding Rangers are turning to Solak to provide some punch in the five-hole and based on his Minor League history, it’s time to raise the sleeper alert! 2B-17
Byron Buxton (MIN) – In five full seasons, Buxton has managed to amass 300+ at-bats only once. If he could only stay healthy……
Ramon Laureano (OAK) – We’ve seen Laureano hit for power, steal bases and hit for a solid BA. It would be nice if he could do all three in the same year.
Max Kepler (MIN) – 25 homers and 90 runs scored seems within reach for the Twins leadoff bat.
Michael Brantley (HOU) – He doesn’t hit an abundance of homers, the running game is no longer present, and he’s not a threat to drive in 100 runs. That being said, if you’re in search of 15 homers, 75 RBI, and an outstanding BA/OBP with 85 runs scored, Brantley is a rather boring but wise choice.
Victor Robles (WAS) – He bulked up heading into 2020 and it was an unmitigated disaster. Robles turns 24 in mid-May so it’s a bit early to be looking at last year as a new bar, but we need to see a return to the 2019 form. 2021 will go a long way in defining his future.
Jarred Kelenic (SEA) – The future is now for the soon-to-be 22-year-old as I’m betting on an early arrival in 2021 and am drafting him accordingly. The 20-20 potential will quickly elevate Kelenic into a spot where he will be a top-20 outfielder in our game.
Jurickson Profar (SDP) – It’s a bit crowded in San Diego and playing time could be a concern, but the growth demonstrated in 2020, combined with his multi-position eligibility shouldn’t go unnoticed. 2B-17
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL) – The revamped swing and emphasis on getting on base appears to have sunk in with the youngster. He is still very much a work in progress, but definitely trending in the right direction. 1B-10