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!
#40 – Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB
In order o maintain his premium prospect ranking, Brujan will need to prove he’s platoon-proof offensively. With his continual woes versus left-handed pitching coupled with him being a Ray, it’s becoming increasingly easier to bet against Brujan, separating himself from the organizational pack.
In 2019, at the age of 19, Rodriguez won the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding MLB Prospect award after posting a 10-4 record, with a 2.64 ERA combined with 129 K’s over 94 innings. When he next takes the mound in an official game, he’ll no longer be the 19-year-old phenom tearing up Class A; he’ll be a maturing 21-year-old pitcher knocking on the door of the majors.
#38 – Corbin Carroll, OF, ARI
We know Carroll can hit; we know Carroll can run. However, the outfielder will need to develop average or better power to continue to climb the ranking boards to arrive in the conversation of a ‘potential fantasy star.’
#37 – Michael Kopech, P, CHW
Kopech missed the 2019 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery and was set to get back on track in 2020; until he opted out for Covid. Aside from Covid, Kopech had several off-field issues – filling for divorce and reports of mental health issues. The Sox will hope Kopech can get back to his late ’18 performance where he had the stuff to be a frontline starter.
#36 – Christian Pache, OF, ATL
The questions about Paches’ power, groundball rate, and base stealing have been questioned over the last couple of years. However, his 2021 tour with the Braves went well in many aspects, and if he can continue to improve, he may be able to silence some of his critics. However, even if it doesn’t happen and he’s a league-average offensive center fielder, his defense is so good that he’s still an above-average center fielder, so safe to say the future is extremely bright for Pache.
#35 – Drew Waters, OF, ATL
Waters’ short answer is I expect him to be traded for a piece to help the Braves make a push in 2021. Let’s face it; there is no such thing as an untouchable prospect. Yes, Waters has struggled with his K-Rate however he’s also shown the ability to learn and make adjustments. If Waters isn’t traded, expect him to open at Braves AAA facility this season and play every day waiting for the inevitable injury call-up.
#34 – Forrest Whitley, P, HOU
Whitley has been Houston’s top prospect for a while now, and it’s somewhat surprising he hasn’t made his big league debut yet. The big right-hander was the Astros’ top pick in the ’16 draft, but his professional path was bumpy. After ascending quickly early in his career, a 50-game suspension for violating the league’s drug program completely derailed his ’18 campaign. A shoulder problem in 2019 caused command problems and led to an insane 44 walks in 59.2 innings. Entering 2021, Whitley is out of excuses, which will be a crucial season for him.
#33 – Noelvi Marte, SS, SEA
Marte was one of the best international prospects in 2018, so Mariners fans should be excited to see him develop over the next couple of years. In the 20 games, 2020 instructional league Marte tied second for most hits on the team, despite being tied third for most at-bats.
#32 – Alek Thomas, OF, ARI
As a teenager, he has some speed, he draws walks, and he doesn’t strike out too often. However, he doesn’t have a good hard-hit rate and may only hit for average power, though his father, Allan, is the White Sox conditioning coach, so if any dad could help their kid develop some power, it would be Allan.
#31 – Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
Gorman was the Cardinals 1st round pick in 2018, and in two full minor league seasons, he’s effectively validated St. Louis’ decision to select him. In 188 games as a pro, Gorman hit 32 homers, 43 doubles, and 106 RBI while slashed .263/.345/.483. Defensively he doesn’t have the best range, but he possesses a plus arm, and the Cardinals are confident he can be their long-term third baseman. He should start this season in AA, but his bat could conceivably force a call-up in early 2021.
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @drunkenangelz.