It all began on March 19. Of this year, that is. Not March 19, 1918, when Congress passed the first-ever law establishing daylight savings time. Fast-forward 102 years and we’re still acting like everyone’s a farmer. Nor are we talking about March 19, 1953, when the Academy Awards were televised for the first time. The Greatest Show on Earth was named best picture that year. On the same date in 1966, Texas Western won the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship — the inspiration for the film Glory Road.
But on March 19, 2020 — I made my Razzball debut and began analyzing the best college prospects to pursue in fantasy baseball, beginning with the Top 10 College Prospects to Target in Dynasty Leagues. From there, that list expanded to a top 25 and then a top 100, at which point we began looking into which underclassmen might also be relevant to dynasty leaguers.
In this Complete College Top 100, I not only included prospects from the 2021 and 2022 draft classes, but also reworked my previous top 100 list to illustrate some changes in opinion I have mulled through leading up to the 2020 MLB Draft. The most notable moves occurred within the top 11, as I reshuffled much of what I refer to as “The Magnificent Seven” and also gave Heston Kjerstad a bit of a boost after getting some new intel on how MLB teams are evaluating the Razorback slugger.
More on all that later. For now, let’s dive into the list and then I will make some additional comments at the end.
Future fantasy output rankings for non-draft eligible college players began with College Baseball Underclassmen Prospects: Part One and Part Two.
|1||Spencer Torkelson||1B||Arizona State||2020||21||6’1″||205||R||R|
|3||Nick Gonzales||2B||New Mexico State||2020||21||5’10”||190||R||R|
|4||Asa Lacy||LHP||Texas A&M||2020||21||6’4″||180||L||L|
|16||Carmen Mlodzinski||RHP||South Carolina||2020||21||6’2″||216||R||R|
|18||Patrick Bailey||C||NC State||2020||21||6’2″||192||S||R|
|20||CJ Van Eyk||RHP||Florida State||2020||22||6’1″||185||R||R|
|23||Gage Workman||3B||Arizona State||2020||21||6’4″||200||S||R|
|24||Jordan Westburg||SS||Mississippi State||2020||21||6’3″||191||R||R|
|26||Aaron Sabato||1B||North Carolina||2020||21||6’2″||230||S||R|
|27||JT Ginn||RHP||Mississippi State||2020||21||6’2″||200||R||R|
|30||Alika Williams||SS||Arizona State||2020||21||6’2″||180||R||R|
|31||Justin Foscue||2B||Mississippi State||2020||21||6’0″||201||R||R|
|35||Dillon Dingler||C||Ohio State||2020||22||6’3″||210||R||R|
|37||Kyle Nicolas||RHP||Ball State||2020||21||6’3″||205||R||R|
|40||Casey Schmitt||3B/RHP||San Diego State||2020||21||6’2″||200||R||R|
|41||Jared Shuster||LHP||Wake Forest||2020||22||6’3″||210||L||L|
|42||Clayton Beeter||RHP||Texas Tech||2020||22||6’1″||205||R||R|
|44||Adrian Del Castillo||C/OF||Miami||2021||20||6’0″||200||L||R|
|46||Christian Roa||RHP||Texas A&M||2020||21||6’4″||220||R||R|
|47||Seth Lonsway||LHP||Ohio State||2020||22||6’3″||195||L||L|
|48||Burl Carraway||LHP||Dallas Baptist||2020||21||6’0″||173||L||L|
|49||Joe Boyle||RHP||Notre Dame||2020||21||6’7″||220||R||R|
|51||Kevin Abel||RHP||Oregon State||2020||21||6’2″||195||R||R|
|52||Anthony Servideo||SS||Ole Miss||2020||21||5’10”||175||L||R|
|55||Nick Frasso||RHP||Loyola Marymount||2020||22||6’5″||190||R||R|
|57||Zach DeLoach||OF||Texas A&M||2020||22||6’2″||200||L||R|
|58||Parker Chavers||OF||Coastal Carolina||2020||22||5’11”||185||L||R|
|59||Sal Frelick||OF||Boston College||2021||20||5’10”||175||L||R|
|60||Ethan Wilson||OF||South Alabama||2021||20||6’2″||210||L||L|
|61||Colton Cowser||OF||Sam Houston St.||2021||20||6’3″||195||L||R|
|62||Tyler Keenan||3B||Ole Miss||2020||21||6’3″||240||L||R|
|63||Gavin Williams||RHP||East Carolina||2020||21||6’6″||227||L||R|
|65||Trenton Denholm||RHP||UC Irvine||2020||21||5’11”||190||R||R|
|67||Nick Swiney||LHP||NC State||2020||21||6’3″||181||R||L|
|69||R.J. Dabovich||RHP||Arizona State||2020||21||6’3″||215||R||R|
|73||Alec Burleson||OF/LHP||East Carolina||2020||22||6’2″||214||L||L|
|75||Luke Waddell||2B||Georgia Tech||2020||22||5’9″||176||L||R|
|76||Jimmy Glowenke||SS||Dallas Baptist||2020||21||5’10”||175||R||R|
|80||Gunnar Hoglund||RHP||Ole Miss||2021||20||6’4″||220||L||R|
|81||Bryce Bonnin||RHP||Texas Tech||2020||22||6’1″||190||R||R|
|82||Zavier Warren||3B||Central Michigan||2020||21||6’0″||190||S||R|
|83||Luke Little||LHP||San Jacinto JC||2020||20||6’8″||225||L||L|
|85||Zach McCambley||RHP||Coastal Carolina||2020||21||6’1″||205||L||R|
|87||Ian Seymour||LHP||Virginia Tech||2020||21||6’0″||190||L||L|
|89||Elijah Cabell||OF||Florida State||2020||21||6’2″||190||R||R|
|92||Robby Martin||OF||Florida State||2021||20||6’3′||210||L||R|
|95||Christian Chamberlain||LHP||Oregon State||2020||21||5’11”||172||L||L|
|96||Shane Drohan||LHP||Florida State||2020||21||6’3″||200||R||L|
|97||Landon Knack||RHP||East Tennessee State||2020||23||6’2″||220||L||R|
|99||Carson Seymour||RHP||Kansas State||2020||21||6’5″||250||R||R|
There it is. Taking a look at every player in college baseball, these are the top 100 for dynasty leaguers to target as seen by Hobbs. There are a handful of things I would like to explain or draw attention to in this list, beginning with the seven names at the top that I reshuffled from my initial top 10.
The Magnificent Seven
In college athletics, there are seven universities that have displayed a consistent ability to stay in the black year after year. These athletic departments are self-sustaining and don’t utilize any dollars from the university budget or student fees. Enter March 2020. Everyone is in the red. You, me, your hairdresser, the neighborhood dog walker — even The Magnificent Seven. But there is a new Magnificent Seven: the seven players at the top of my prospect list that are in the 2020 MLB Draft class and are in a tier of their own. They are: Torkelson, Detmers, Martin, Hancock, Meyer, Gonzales and Lacy. These are the cant-miss prospects that should be your top priority in dynasty leagues. As far as the college class is concerned, it’s these seven and then a moderate drop-off before we get to the Kjerstads of the world. I would put these guys alongside Jared Kelley, Zac Veen and Mick Abel as it relates to the overall draft class.
When I first ranked these seven, I had them in the order in which I listed them in the paragraph above. I was ultra-high on Detmers because I deemed him the most polished. That hasn’t changed. I was lowest (as a fantasy owner) on Lacy because his delivery is a bit wonky and he may spend more time tinkering in the Minor Leagues, thus more uncertainty. I took floor over ceiling. But as more time goes by, it’s obvious Lacy will be the first pitcher off the board and the only arm capable of going at No. 3 overall. Lacy: best ceiling among the four arms in The Mag 7. Detmers: safest floor.
As for the others, Austin Martin slid up one spot while Gonzales jumped three positions. We know Martin will likely be the No. 2 pick if Torkelson indeed goes No. 1, and my reassessment of Detmers and Lacy allowed me to reflect that in my rankings. I have also heard mention of Gonzales being in the conversation at No. 3 overall and the more people I bounced my opinions off of, the more it became clear that a high-upside college bat at a premium position had to move up.
Other Notables Risers and Fallers
As mentioned in the introduction, I moved Heston Kjerstad from No. 12 on my list (behind Arkansas teammate Casey Martin) to No. 8 in the complete college 100. As with Lacy, Kjerstad has emerged as a near-lock to go top 10 overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. On top of that, many MLB crosscheckers appear to be less concerned about the big loop in Kjerstad’s load, and truthfully, the pure power upside here is so enticing that he has to be the next college player off the board (both in the 2020 MLB Draft and in first-year player fantasy drafts) once members of The Magnificent Seven have all been plucked away.
One player Kjerstad leaped with this update was CJ Van Eyk, who was by far the biggest faller in the rankings. I moved him from No. 8 to No. 20, for the mere fact that I was a little too high on him the first time around. I’m still more bullish on him than the industry consensus, but he’s not in the same ballpark as the names around him. The more I hear about Van Eyk, we’re probably looking at a fringe first rounder that could fall into the second, meaning to value him where I previously had him would be unwise.
13 total college underclassmen cracked this list: Kumar Rocker (No. 9), Jack Leiter (No. 22), Adrian Del Castillo (No. 44), Jud Fabian (No. 53), Matt McClain (No. 54), Sal Frelick (No. 59), Ethan Wilson (No. 60), Colton Cowser (No. 61), Alex Binelas (No. 74), Hunter Barco (No. 78), Gunnar Hoglund (No. 80), Robby Martin (No. 92) and Jaden Hill (No. 98).
Rocker is a ridiculous talent that I have already broken down twice: a detailed profile here and then again when I tabbed him as the No. 1 college underclassman to target for fantasy two weeks back. Outside of The Magnificent Seven and Kjerstad, I believe he is the most valuable college prospect in the game right now.
Among those 13 names, Hoglund, Martin and Hill are the three making their first appearance on Razzball, as they did not crack my top 10 college underclassmen prospects. Still, all are highly intruiging prospects that stack up well against the 2020 draft-eligible crop.
Hoglund is a right-hander with the build to make it as a starter. Equipped with a plus-fastball that topped at 93 MPH in his 2018 high school draft year, he now works the mid-90s with an average (if not borderline-plus) curveball and changeup. As a freshman in 2019, his 5.29 ERA and 7.01 K/9 over 68 innings wasn’t very impressive. However, Hoglund was brilliant in 2020, firing 23 1/3 frames with a 1.16 ERA and 14.2 K/9 while walking just four batters. It’s common to see high-upside arms falter their first season of college baseball before beginning to harness their stuff in year two. Hoglund should be a first round pick next June if the 2020 version of him is legit. He was previously selected 36th overall by the Pirates back in 2018, but passed up the $1.34M offered to him to attend Ole Miss instead. I get it. Even as a lifetime baseball man and Pennsylvania native, I’d need more than that to join the Pittsburgh organization.
Martin is more of a puzzling case as the industry seems to be all over the place in terms of how he projects as a professional. He was a Freshman All-American in 2019 after hitting .315/.398/.449 with four home runs, 17 doubles, 34 runs, 54 RBI and two steals. But he hasn’t shown much in the SB department despite having at least average speed and the power is questionable, as he failed to go deep in 2019 Cape Cod League action en route to .167/.265/.233 slash line over 34 plate appearances. In 2020, Martin got back in the groove and batted .324/.439/.412 with one steal and five extra base hits, although he was once again unable to leave the yard. Martin holds a career 22.4 K% and 13.2 K% at the college level. He’s far from ready to excel as a professional but has a hit tool decent enough to fit into the top 100.
Hill was a 38th round courtesy selection by the Cardinals back in 2018, when he was already touching 95 MPH with his heater. With his 6’4,” 215 pound frame, there’s obvious potential for triple digit velo in Hill’s arm. Looking beyond the fastball, his secondary pitches are a plus-changeup and average curveball. Although he’s ranked near the bottom of the top 100, his ceiling is far higher than where he’s currently positioned. The reason for that? Hill threw just 10 innings as a freshman in 2019 and only 11 2/3 in 2020 before the season was cancelled. Across his first two college campaigns, he pitched to a 0.83 ERA/0.69 WHIP with an 11.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Hill is someone to keep your eye on heading into the 2021 season. His stock could potentially skyrocket.
One Final Note that I would like to stress is that these prospects are all ranked in regard to the respective potential they have built to this point as future MLB players. As you can see, this list is 2020-heavy in terms of draft class. Not only do the members of the 2020 MLB Draft represent more quantifiable commodities (scouting grades, performance data, velocity, spin rates, exit velocity — you name it), but they’re also more polished prospects and come with closer MLB ETAs. I did not give members of the 2021 and 2022 classes a boost in an attempt to anticipate where their stock may rise to with the addition of the 2021 college baseball season.
If you have any questions or disagree with where I have these players ranked, please comment below. I love to dive into the finer details of these players.