I love baseball – the stadiums, program booklets, overpriced hotdogs, soft pretzels, fan comradery, and the thrill of watching your favorite win. My love of baseball first brought me into the realm of fantasy sports and, ultimately, into the dynasty world. Eventually, I knew that I would end up in dynasty leagues because of how much enjoyment I get from watch and ranking prospects. I’ve often joked with friends that someday I may end up as a minor league baseball writer traveling the Carolina Leagues for my retirement. Truth be told, it’s more than a real possibility because it combines three things I absolutely adore – baseball, writing, and analytics! But until that does come to fruition, I offer these snippets.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be publishing my top-50 prospects for dynasty ranking heading into the 2021 year. Each article will post 10 players, listed in countdown fashion, ending with my #1 ranked prospect. I will also offer a quick commentary on each player listed. I hope you enjoy it!
#30 – JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
Look for Bleday to begin 2021 in AA; however, since the Marlins added him to the 60-man roster, Bleday remains on the fast track to the majors. He spent this past summer at Miami’s alternate site where Major League personnel continuously raved about his development. Bleday should battle with Andrew Vaughn to be the first 2019 draftee to debut in the big leagues.
#29 – Zac Veen, OF, COL
With the ninth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Colorado Rockies selected what they are calling “a superb athlete in the batter’s box.” This past summer, Veen participated in Colorado’s five-week exercise at their spring training facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona. Much to the Rockies’ exuberance, they feel like everything they had seen on video and heard from our scouts showed up exactly as they hoped!
#28 – Spencer Howard, P, PHI
Howard is expected to be part of the Phillies rotation to start the season, possibly as high as the #2 or #3 starter. However, 2020 was a less than ideal year for Howard between the obvious decline in his velocity, shoulder tightness, and inability to go deep into games. Conditioning and developing his fastball velocity and the average length of outings will be the huge focus for Howard heading into 2021.
#27 – Asa Lacy, P, KC
Before the pandemic shut down the season, Lacy was off to a dominant start as a junior. In 24 innings, he struck out 46, walked eight, had a 0.75 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. In 38 career games for the Aggies, he compiled a 2.32 ERA with 178 strikeouts in 128 innings.
Lacy will be an interesting rank throughout the industry over the next year. Many evaluators will attempt to pair one of the best pitch combinations (fastball/slider) in the draft with some mechanical nuances that lead some to label Lacy as a future reliever with mild to high injury risk.
#26 – Ian Anderson, P, ATL
Anderson was, without question, the most valuable rookie contributor during the 2020 season. He threw a 1.95 ERA with a 41:14 K:BB ratio in six starts and 32.1 innings. From his first day on the mound, he drew praise for his composure, maturity, and aggressive mentality. Anderson even out-pitched Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in his big league debut.
Dominguez is just 17, approximately 5’10” and 190 lbs. (allegedly), and the Yankees’ number one prospect. Oh, and he’s never played baseball in the United States. The fact is no-one really knows a lot about Dominguez outside of his raw tools, yet he’s most commonly found in many top-30 rankings, and he’s not expected to hit the majors until 2024!
#24 – Max Meyer, P, MIA
Ten years ago, Meyer goes #27 overall instead of #4 as he did in the 2020 MLB draft. But times are changing, and teams like the Marlins are taking a data-oriented approach over the old fashion eye-test. However, scouts have praised Meyer on several levels. Such as his picture-perfect ability to generate elite numbers with such minimal body mass behind his pitches. Many evaluators believe he’s got the most aesthetically pleasing delivery ever seen.
#23 – Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN
A couple of years ago, back in 2018, Kirilloff was probably the most impressive player across any minor league level. In 130 games, the left-handed swinger slashed a dominant .348/.392/.578 with 20 home runs, 44 doubles, seven triples, and 101 RBI. Injuries partially derailed his ’19 campaign, and we all know how 2020 went. A hot offensive start early in the season could force Minnesota to bring his bat to the big leagues. Expect him to get hundreds of plate appearances during the 2021 season. Kirilloff has the potential to hit for average and power.
#22 – Nick Gonzales, SS, PIT
In 16 games before the 2020 season was stopped, Gonzales led the nation with 12 home runs, 28 runs, and 36 RBIs, having reached base in 82 consecutive games. Gonzales was also an All-American the year before when he had the country’s best batting average (.432).
#21 – Luis Patino, P, TB
Patino made his major-league debut in 2020, posting a 5.19 ERA and 21:14 K:BB over 17.1 innings during 11 appearances. He was the center-piece in the recent trade that sent Blake Snell to the Padres. The right-hander has an above-average 96.8 mph fastball.
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @drunkenangelz.