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!
#20 – Joey Bart, C, SF
2020 was anything but a stellar year for the young 23-year-old prospect. Bart, in 33 games and 111 plate appearances, hit .233/.288/.320, .609 OPS, 0 home runs, 7 RBI, 3 walks, and had 41 strikeouts. That being said, let me point out Bart had zero AAA experience and less than 100 AA at-bats. In 2021, expect Bart to open the year in AAA.
#19 – Matt Manning, P, DET
Manning absolutely dominated AA in 2019, pitching to the tune of a 2.56 ERA with a 9.9 K/9 rate over 133.2 IP. Foreman tightness in his throwing arm shut-down Mannings “season” in August. Expect Manning to start 2021 in AAA; however, if he continues to dominate and overpower batters, it won’t be long before he finds his way into the Tigers’ starting rotation.
#18 – Riley Greene, OF, DET
One of the best, feel-good storylines I read this past year was that of Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson being dubbed the “Bash Bros Next?” For a 20-year-old who has yet to play above Low-A ball, those are some massive shoes to fill, but if there are two prospects in the same farm system that could fill the role, these two may be the guys. Expectations are for Greene to jump to AA in 2021 but don’t be surprised to see him make a few cameo appearances in the show.
#17 – Royce Lewis, SS, MIN
Here is a guy who was the undisputed #1 prospect in the MLB at one point in time. Oh, how times have changed. Lewis had struggled to make adjustments to tough pitching when he jumped to both High-A and AA but eventually came around. His progression has been slow at times, but considering he’s still only 21 years old, he is still on pace to reach the bigs in the next couple of years. Look for Lewis to open 2021 in AA and to progress to AAA before long.
#16 – Sixto Sanchez, P, MIA
2020 saw Sixto pitch 39 innings and throw 33:11 K:BB over 39 innings with a 3.46 ERA. Sixto also pitched in two postseason games for the Marlins, where he had literal ups and downs. In his first postseason start against the Cubs, he had 6 K’s, 4 BB, 4 hits, and 0 ER over 5 IP. Sixtos’ second postseason start was a different tune altogether, where he had 2 K’s, 4 BB, 3 hits, and 4 ER over 3 IP. All-in-all, for a 22-year-old who dazzled scouts with his flame-throwing abilities, 2020 showed Sixtos’ potential. In 2021, look for Sixto to be invited to spring training for a chance to make the opening day roster.
Robinson is the Diamondbacks’ #1 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Across two levels, Single-A and Low-A, in 2019, he hit for .282 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs in 69 games. Standing at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Robinson has is an impressive athlete who “shows the makings of having average or better tools across the board,” per MLB Pipeline. Look for Robinson to stand in at AA in 2021, where if he continues to hit may not be his only stop in 2021.
#14 – Casey Mize, P, DET
Was 2020 a best-case scenario for Mize? Absolutely not. Mize pitched 28.1 IP with a 6.99 ERA and had a 26:13 K:BB ratio. A far cry from pitching a no-hitter in the minors! All that being said, expect Mize to bounce back in 2021. Listening to his interview after the Twins game, where he gave up 6 ER in 4 IP, Mize was a rock. He talked about working the process and focusing on opportunities. The level of maturity he displayed shows his understanding of the game.
#13 – Bobby Witt Jr, SS, KC
After one season in Rookie Ball, I’m a believer! Witt Jr has plus power, speed, and glove abilities. At 20-years-old Witt may not be ready for the pros. Still, given the Royals’ general inability to grow talent in the farm system, I wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a cameo towards the end of the 2021 season, especially if the Royals are out of contention.
#12 – CJ Abrams, SS, SD
Before Abram’s 19th birthday, he hit .401 with 23 extra-base hits and 14 steals in 32 games as the Arizona Rookie League MVP and made his Low-A debut. Abrams is arguable the second or third best prospect in the Padres farm system, and with his 80-grade speed and flashes of power, he may climb the minors fast. Expect Abrams to transition to either second-base or center-field, as Tatis has locked down SS for the Padres but wherever this kid plays, expect a show on the field and at bat!
#11 – Nate Pearson, P, TOR
In 2020, Pearson pitched 18 IP over 5 games with a 16:13 K:BB ratio and a 6.00 ERA. Unfortunately, a flexor strain limited Pearson for a good portion of the 2020 season, but he did make one final appearance in the postseason, pitching 2 innings with 5 K’s. Before 2020, Pearson had only pitched 123.1 innings across all minor league levels and did so with a 100mph fastball. Look for Pearson to potentially make the #2 starter in the 2021 Blue Jays rotation to start the season.
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @drunkenangelz.