Who doesn’t love reading something that starts with a disclaimer? Nobody, that’s who. Unless you do, in which case I’m sorry, but here goes: this list is built around players I don’t think will debut before 2021, in part because those were the parameters malamoney gave me in the comments section a few posts ago, in part because the AB and IP math won’t be settled for a while yet.  

1. Tampa Bay SS Wander Franco remains the crowned king of the minor league circuit, if such a circuit exists in any recognizable form when next it assembles. He’s a thick dude already, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s Trout thick or, well, mortal. Today I’d be betting that he’s that unicorn kind of thick that maintains its athleticism with age. 

2. Seattle OF Julio Rodriguez employs an all-fields approach that should help him adapt early in his career when pitchers are trying everything but strikes. 

3. Seattle OF Jarred Kelenic joins Rodriguez and Kyle Lewis to form Voltron in 2021. 

4. San Diego SS CJ Abrams is my personal favorite among dynasty league buys, especially in a rebuild. His 80 grade speed with plus hit and power is the stuff that dreams are made of. 

5. Like Rodriguez, Detroit 3B Spencer Torkelson uses the opposite field and can access power to that side, which buys him an extra beat to see the ball. 

6. San Francisco’s offense got a boost this off-season when they moved the fences in, then got another when they employed a humidor to keep the balls dry and add a little bounce. This roundabout intro is brought to you by SS Marco Luciano, who’s arguably too low at the six spot here. 

7. New York (AL) OF Jasson Dominguez has caught a little shade of late for looking like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, as opposed to the Terminator Arnold look he had when he signed. But like I said above, Wander is huge through the chest, Trout is huge through the chest, so maybe huge can work. I do think there’s something to the value of a lithe physicality when it comes to staying healthy across a baseball season. I suppose I do think bulk is probably generally bad for baseball. Lotta qualifiers there, I know. Unique talents tend to break molds, so I’m reticent to paint Dominguez with a “probably generally” brush. 

8. Chicago (AL) 1B Andrew Vaughn probably shouldn’t be on this list because he should probably get promoted, but the White Sox are smashing everything in sight right now, which could keep Vaughn down. 

9. I’m wary about putting a Pirate in my top ten, but I would really like to know how Pittsburgh SS Oneil Cruz looks at the training site. Yarrr. He’s a giant but he could be a mold breaker. If it all comes together for everyone on this list, Cruz might have the biggest rotisserie impact after Wander because 80 power with 60 speed is loud. Chances are he shaves a bit off each in the quest to actualize. Or he grows into his frame and brings an NBA wing style athleticism to the diamond. 

10. Tampa Bay 2B Vidal Brujan is a little like Vaughn in the sense that I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get promoted late this year, but we’d have to see a slew of injuries to make that happen. He’s also nothing like Vaughn in that his carrying tool for fantasy is plus plus speed along with a plus plus hit tool. He’ll be listed as a second baseman for a while yet, but I think he’s in the running to win a share of the center field job in 2021 and will probably play a little all over the diamond the first few years of his career. 

Thanks for reading! I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

  1. Lion O says:

    30 man roster, keep 21 forever

    Drop Kieboom for Jose Garcia?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      I’d be on board but would try to flip Kieboom first if possible. Maybe a draft pick?

  2. C says:

    Aaron Bracho is my dark horse. I love that kid’s swing.

    Nice list. Especially seeing I own 3 of them.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks, C!

      I’m a big fan of Bracho’s swing, too!

  3. Another Dan says:

    Hey Itch,

    Good stuff. I have all these guys as targets in my 30 team dynasty (I own JD). Had been asking about CJ and Vidal recently. Guy was asking for a couple of borderline top 100 guys plus another deeper piece for one of those guys. That the sort of deal you would be happy to do?

    Possible to give us the next 5 on your list?

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks, Another Dan!

      And yes, I’d do that deal to get Abrams in a second. Would love to get Vidal too, but Abrams is the prize.

      I’ve got the next eight for you : )

      Chicago OF Brennan Davis
      Arizona OF Kristian Robinson
      Arizona OF Corbin Carroll
      Seattle SS Noelvi Marte
      Pittsburgh 2B Nick Gonzales
      Toronto 3B Austin Martin
      Texas C Heriberto Hernandez
      San Francisco OF Luis Matos

      • Another Dan says:

        You, sir, are the gift that just keeps giving. Thank you.

        I will start negotiating a bit harder, let’s just hope he does not read this page.

        Best wishes,

        Another Dan

  4. Chucky says:

    MacKenzie Gore sighting?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Wasn’t sure how to handle Gore for this. Still seems like he should get some innings this year, so I left him off.

  5. dude says:

    In a keeper league and some interesting players still around and wondering how to prioritize them. With salary structure we have in place, it’s pretty impossible to grab a player who won’t contribute this year or next.

    Torkelson – Will he be starting after super 2 passes in 2021?

    Marsh – Could play this year? What kind of HR/SB ceiling does he have?

    Trammell – Seems like we’ve been waiting for him to break in forever. When will he get his shot? Profile similar to Marsh?

    Then there are player’s who are up or have been up that are interesting.

    Kieboom – Stash and hope he figures it out? For some reason having flashbacks to JP Crawford when he first came up.

    Paredres – HIt over power? Not sure if he will be fantas relevant?

    Hilliard – Power/speed combo, just needs everyday AB’s

    Andujar – Can he get back to what he was in 2018?

    Would appreciate any thoughts on these guys and how to prioritize?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      What up, Dude?

      I’d prioritize Tork in part because he’ll have trade value at even the suggestion of a promotion.

      I like Paredes for 2020-21.

      Never been into Kieboom. Tread lightly.

      Same goes for Marsh. Perceived value exceeds fantasy outlook for both, imo.

      Same for Trammell.

      I think Hilliard is worth holding a while to see what happens there, but totally understandable to cut bait on a blocked Rocky.

      Andujar doesn’t seem to be part of the Yankees plans.

  6. Primetime says:

    Great stuff as usual.

    Do you think 2021 is the year for Julio Rodriguez? I’m in 10 team keeper OBP with no draft next year. We are keeping same teams as this year.

    If should I grab him before we close this season?

    • Will says:


    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks, Primetime!

      Yeah I’m with Will on this one.

  7. Fenway Fan says:

    This is fantastic! I like your bold predictions with the next 8 as well.

    Just out of curiosity, where would you place Royce Lewis? Do you think he may get called up at the end of this year?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:

      Thanks, Fenway Fan!

      Lewis probably belongs with that group of eight, but I want to see his swing when we come out of this thing.

      He had totally lost focus on making contact, got all wrapped up in maximizing his base and needs to rediscover a much, much simpler swing where he lets his natural hand-eye ability and speed play up.

  8. lg baseball says:

    Itch – great work as always! I’m in a 10 team 10 keeper OBP with 7 bat cats and 5 pitching cats. I’m really looking ahead. Here is my projected 2021 team:

    1- Alonso – K
    2- Albies – K
    3 – Rendon – K
    SS – Wander – K
    OF – Soto – K
    OF – Acuna – K
    OF – Meadows – K
    Util – Adell – K

    SP – Giolito – K?

    Other keeper options I have:
    Luciano, Brujan, Jasson D, Kyle Lewis, Croneworth

    I need to balance the guys that are top prospects while trying to give my team a chance to win.

    The CJ Abrams owner likes Meadows a lot and I could make a Meadows for Abrams swap and get his first and second round pick too for next years draft. That first pick could land someone like Torkelson.

    1) would you make that deal ?

    2) which 10 would you keep. I’ve identified 8 and maybe Giolito but curious if you’d keep a different mix.


    • lg baseball says:

      3) Alternatively I could potentially deal Meadows for JRod and a first round pick. I know you have him ahead of Abrams but I feel Abrams fits my team build better. Let me know if you agree or if you prefer the JRod deal.


  9. Buffalo Blues says:

    Very curious in this least who you think makes an impact in 2021, 2022, or 2023?

  10. Buffalo Blues says:

    Do you really think Rodriguez, Abrams, Luciano, Torkelson, Dominguez will debut in 2021?

  11. jnienow says:

    Hey Itch, always look forward to your prospect lists and write-ups! With Tatis being the ss of the future for San Diego where do you think CJ Abrams would play in the field if he is kept by San Diego?

  12. I have to consider dropping 2 of these three…..Luis Matos (SF) – Max Meyer(Mia) – or Tetsudo Yamada if he plays in the NL next year.

    Don’t know anything about L. Matos …Does he have superstar potential? Does Meyer?
    All 3 of these guys stay at $2 in a very deep NL 260 league till I activate them as a MLBplayer.

    • As of now if I had to keep two of the three who should it be?

  13. Lower The Jolly Roger says:

    Itch I love this! … dynasty league w 10 keep and 10 farm… deadline tomorrow… would you trade any 2 of Bleday Trammel Puk for Kieboom? Rest of my farm is : Royce Tucker Vaughn Brujan Valera Downs Heliot Ramos & Larnach …. need to consolidate… whatcha think? Thank you as always!

  14. malamoney

    malamoney says:

    You the man! Thank you.

    Where do you seen Spencer Torkelson and Kristian Robinson? In the top 20?

    No pitchers crack the top ten?

  15. toolshed says:

    You are definitely more bullish on cruz than most of the other places where I see prospects ranked. I own him. My biggest concern besides his position is the fact he plays for Pit. You would think that organization would play their prospects now of tbey werent so cheap. You wonder when he will actually be up. Their lineup is awful and they still haven’t brought up Hayes. They also had polanco who seemed like a cant miss prospect. They ruined him. Cole/taillion never hit their ceiling in that org. Keller also has underperformed. Thx

  16. toolshed says:

    are you a believer in cronenworth?

  17. scoboticus says:

    Guy in our keeper league drafted Franco this year. He really wanted him!

  18. Moon Shots says:

    Hey buddy.

    It brings me great joy to see that I own five of the 10 players listed in my 30 team dynasty (Abrams, Luciano, Vaughn, Brujan, Jasson)…Mmmm.

    A few random questions As I try to make a few last moves towards my rebuild before the trade deadline (Aguilar and Crawford being my last viable chips).

    What do you think of Sam Haggerty? Flip to a contender or hold in dynasty?

    How do you like Olivares as a buy? Or Tony Gonsolin?

    On the prospect side I could prob pickup Isaiah Greene or Kevin Padlo Or maybe even Jordan Walker, but I’m out of Milb slots (and sort of trying to avoid super young guys). Any of those guys worth bending over backward to require in your book?

    Thanks Itch!

    • Moon Shots says:

      One more question:

      Think Philip Evans is a worthy trade target in dynasty? He was making noise before his noise maker got broken… might be a piece I could add without needing an MILB slot…

      • Moon Shots says:

        Ok I lied, one more post: just traded shane baz, Jared jones, Joey lucchesi and Evan marshall for Austin martin, dillon Dingler, triston mckenzie and Logan webb. How do you rate it?

  19. Ryan says:

    In my 14 team h2h dynasty league I was offered degrom and a 1st round pick in next years rookie/fa draft for julio rodriguez sixto sanchez and my 1st round pick. The team i am dealing with looks like to finish in the bottom 3 of the standings. So this pick appears be a top 3 pick in the draft. Actually our rookie/fa draft would be for players that were drafted this year. So guys like spencer torkelson and others from that draft class. Also I have an outside shot of winning it all this year, but the odds are against me lol.

    Is this a trade i should consider or stick with what i have?

    Team is below

    c omar narvaez

    1b luke voit

    2b max muncy

    3b rafael devers

    ss chris taylor

    lf juan soto

    cf ronald acuna

    rf austin meadows

    util mike yastrzemski

    bn yuli gurriel

    il bo bichette

    il ozzie albies

    na robert puason

    na jeter downs

    na erick pena

    na andrew vaughn

    na julio rodriguez

    sp patrick corbin

    sp max scherzer

    sp antonio senzatela

    rp brandon kintzler

    rp ryan pressly

    rp joakim soria

    p luis patino

    p caleb ferguson

    p blake taylor

    bn sixto sanchez

    bn jon gray

    bn elieser hernandez

    bn julio urias

    bn brandon woodruff

    bn brandon bielak

    bn nathan eovaldi

    bn deivi garcia

    il alex wood

    il scott oberg

    il carlos rodon

    na george kirby

    na edward cabrera

  20. lg baseball says:

    Itch – thanks again for your great work. one more quick one.

    Would you trade my Giolito for his Kyle Tucker? No positions needed just long term keeper value.


  21. thorbs says:

    Itch, good stuff as always!

    Any of the out-of-nowhere/lukewarm arms that have had a cup of coffee stand out to you?

    I.e. Dunning, Newsome, Kay, Antone, etc.?

    I liked what I saw from Newsome, as he kind of reminds of chonk Luke Weaver. Dunning has been v good but against really shitty offences.

  22. pjohnson says:

    I have #1 waiver priority in dynasty league. Is Brendan McKay worth it. We can keep 20 or so each year

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