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 rankings 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!
#50 – Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM
Mauricio has continued to fill out physically. Notwithstanding any more Covid delays or cancellations, he should start displaying the switch-hitting power that would make him one of the most exciting, drool-worthy prospects at shortstop.
#49 – Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT
Last season, Hayes made his long-awaited debut and was impressive. While it was only 95 plate appearances, Hayes may have been the single light in the Pirates farm system’s dark tunnel.
#48 – Jeter Downs, SS, BOS
As the prize return in Boston’s controversial trade with the Dodgers, don’t be surprised if Downs finds his way onto the Fenway Park infield sooner than later. As a natural shortstop, he will need to transition to second for the big leagues since the Sox have Bogaerts locked up long term. I’m interested in seeing Downs stolen base output and his ability to adapt to second base in the upcoming season.
#47 – Trevor Larnach, OF, MIN
Larnach found himself sliding down most people’s prospects rankings mainly due to fellow Twin, Alex Kiriloff. Larnach has been known to be a below-average base runner with limited-range defensive abilities. However, his power from the plate’s left side, combined with the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field, should still earn him a spot in the majors.
Nick can hit. Even the highest level of MLB pitching couldn’t stop his slap-single ways. His baserunning and fielding haven’t come around as quickly as he’s hitting, but these tools are usually projected with more accuracy, and I expect him to take a step forward this year. As far as his power is concerned, it may develop in the coming years, but let’s call it what it is – great hitter with limited power. I would rather have, dare I say, a Tony Gwynn type hitter than a Mickey Tettleton type hitter.
#45 – Emerson Hancock, P, SEA
Hancock is the Mariners’ highest-picked pitching prospect in nearly a decade. At No. 6 overall, the Mariners selected a dominant college player who exhibits characteristics closely resembling MLB’s top-tier pitchers. When 94-95 is a low-stress baseline for a pitcher, they have the capacity to dominate a game every time they take the mound. However, there’s one glaring concern with that fastball: it gets hit more than it should.
#44 – Brennen Davis, OF, CHC
The Cubs drafted Davis 62nd overall in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Basha High School in Arizona. His tools were raw at the time, with a short swing and lanky body despite the electric speed and a strong arm. Davis finished inside the Top 10 in batting average and isolated power while finishing inside the Top 20 in on-base percentage in the Midwest League in the 2019 season (minimum 200 PAs).
#43 – Tarik Skubal, P, DET
Skubal’s rank inside the top-50 is mainly due to the southpaw proving this past summer he’s not a fastball-only starting pitcher. The increase in usage of Skubal’s slider, curveball, and changeup will catalyze the left-hander’s quest to become a complete pitcher.
Groshans stint in the Midwest League was underscored by a simple mantra: “Do not miss.” In fact, the phrase became so important that it followed the second-ranked Blue Jays prospect into each of his at-bats with Class A Lansing. For 23 games, Groshans rarely did miss. However, after being sidelined by a foot injury, Groshans sat out the remainder of the abbreviated season but will look to pick back up where he left off in the coming year.
#41 – Logan Gilbert, P, SEA
Gilbert’s stuff will never be overly explosive. Still, the right-hander’s clean mechanics, four-pitch arsenal, and above-average command present a clear path for him to become an above-average starting pitcher at the big league level.
Feel free to reach out to me via Twitter @drunkenangelz.