On a recent spring afternoon, I hopped a DeLorean to go back to the future and discuss the top 100 prospects for 2021.

Then we explored next year’s dynasty landscape at catcher and first base.

Today, we’ll stay on that future theme, continuing our position-by-position focus by zooming in on second base.

Rank Player Age Team
1 Ozzie Albies 23 ATL
2 Ketel Marte 26 ARI
3 Keston Hiura 23 MLW
4 Jose Altuve 29 HOU
5 Gavin Lux 22 LAD
6 Jonathan Villar 28 MIA
7 Tommy Edman 24 STL
8 Vidal Brujan 22 TB
9 Max Muncy 29 LAD
10 Jeff McNeil 27 NYM
11 Whit Merrifield 31 KC
12 DJ LeMahieu 31 NYY
13 Mike Moustakas 31 CIN
14 Eduardo Escobar 31 ARI
15 Luis Arraez 22 MIN
16 Brandon Lowe 25 TB
17 Scott Kingery 25 PHI
18 Nick Gonzales 21 ??
19 Kevin Newman 26 PIT
20 Nick Madrigal 23 CHW
21 Mauricio Dubon 25 SF
22 Cavan Biggio 24 TOR
23 Ryan McMahon 25 COL
24 Garrett Hampson 25 COL
25 Xavier Edwards 20 TB
26 Michael Chavis 24 BOS
27 Brendan Rodgers 23 COL
28 Kolten Wong 29 STL
29 Starlin Castro 30 WSH
30 Jurickson Profar 27 SD
31 Jorge Mateo 24 OAK
32 Ty France 25 SD
33 Cesar Hernandez 29 CLE
34 Niko Goodrum 28 DET
35 Rougned Odor 26 TEX
36 Isan Diaz 23 MIA
37 Aaron Bracho 18 CLE
38 Jonathan Schoop 28 DET
39 Franklin Barreto 24 OAK
40 Michael Busch 22 LAD
41 Keithron Moss 18 TEX
42 Ji-Hwan Bae 20 PIT
43 Tommy LaStella 31 LAA
44 Adam Frazier 28 PIT
45 Zach McKinstry 24 LAD
46 Andy Young 25 ARI
47 Robinson Cano 37 NYM
48 Brayan Rocchio 19 CLE
49 David Fletcher 25 LAA
50 Ezequiel Duran 20 NYY
51 Tyler Callihan 19 CIN
52 Owen Miller 23 SD
53 Hanser Alberto 27 BAL
54 David Bote 27 CHC
55 Sheldon Neuse 25 OAK
56 Josh Smith 22 NYY
57 Maikol Escotto 17 NYY
58 Nicky Lopez 25 KC
59 Curtis Mead 19 TB
60 Otto Lopez 21 TOR
61 Miguel Hiraldo 19 TOR
62 Chase Strumpf 22 CHC
63 Glenallen Hill Jr. 19 TOR
64 Robel Garcia 27 CHC
65 Justin Foscue 21 ??
66 Luke Waddell 21 ??

 

Metal Marte is underrated. I almost ranked him first. His 2019 could be dropped into an actualized Wander Franco’s prime. Ozzie Albies gets the nod because he’s almost half a decade younger and was better than Ketel Marte the previous two years, but I wonder if he’ll ever have a season as elite as Marte’s just was. 

Jorge Mateo’s big chance might be just around the corner, and while he’s not a great player in real life, we’re hoping he’s just good enough to carve out a role. Marcus Semien is a free agent, so if Mateo can pick up eligibility in a part-time role this year and carry that into a starting gig in 2021, his inclusion be legally required on every sleeper list published that draft season. 

I left Jon Berti off and kept Jonathan Villar on. Neither or both could qualify. I’m leaning neither, but Villar is valuable enough that he changes the position’s landscape if eligible. 

Pick to click: Luis Arraez has batting title written all over him. Tattoos, man. 

I’ve said this before but might as well restate: Arraez was a 22-year-old softbody who nonetheless gave pitchers nightmares, walking more than he struck out while hitting .334. If he improves his physicality even a little bit, he’ll be a perennial All-Star.

Thanks for checking out the most comprehensive 2021 dynasty rankings money can buy! 

Third base is on deck and knocking donuts off the bat as I type this!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter if you’re looking for laughs and baseball!

 
  1. 183414 says:
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    I’m guessing Dubon outperforms at least 1/2 of your list.

    • LenFuego says:
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      Not sure of the point you are trying to make … Dubon is ranked 21st out of 66, so he is already picked to outperform 2/3 of the list.

      • dynastybaseballfan says:
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        The itch reacted to 183414’s comment and added Dubon to the list. He previously wasn’t in this list when it was published earlier today. He then added Dubon 21st.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Yeah sorry y’all and thank you kindly.

          183414 just good looking out.

          • 183414 says:
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            You can call me Andrew. Won the on line championship last year. Not to brag. haha

            • 183414 says:
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              My friends call me Toolbox

              • andrew edenbaum says:
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                I didn’t reply. someone hacking me.

          • 183414 says:
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            I read your columns, and when U saw it, I immediately went to see what you thought of someone who I like this year. When I couldn’t find him anywhere, I looked again, and so I replied. Didn’t mean to be snarky, but was surprised belong I like your columns.
            Multi positions will add to his value, but I’ll try and keep drafting him in the 28th-29th -30th rounds.

            • The Itch

              The Itch says:
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              Whoa!! Nice win, Andrew!!

              Like, the RotoWire, 6-figure OC??

      • 183414 says:
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        My bad. Didn’t see him. Wasn’t wearing my glasses. Like the fact he’ll get o.f. eligibility w/in the 1st month, though.

  2. dynastybaseballfan says:
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    Razzball reacted to 183414’s comment and added Dubon to the list. He previously wasn’t in this list when it was published earlier today. He then added Dubon 21st.

    • 183414 says:
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      Thank you Dynasty Baseballfan. Didn’t think I went blind. May still top that. Dude out on some muscle and love that Kepler wants to play him every day in multiple positions.

  3. thehombre says:
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    Who is peak Arraez?

    Thanks for these posts!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, thehombre!

      We just don’t see many .350 hitters, and that’s not even projecting much growth. 20 HR and 7 SB with that .350 would be fun and doesn’t even feel aggressive to me.

      • NCPhilly says:
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        Points league hero right there, and if he reaches peak Arraez he is essentially 2019 LeMahieu.

      • 183414 says:
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        20 h.r.’s ? Ball would have to be much juicier than last year. That’s like saying Madrigal will hit 15 h.r.’s, if he ever gets called up.
        Gentleman’s bet between Arraez and Dubon, on h.r.’s and s.b.’s, okay ?

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Very different hitters, Madrigal and Arraez.

          Madrigal swings are everything. Arraez already has a top one percent pitch selection skill. He’ll add strength.

          Not a great bet because those are Dubon’s best categories and ignores Arraez’s best, but if we’re talking full career, I’ll take Arraez, sure.

          Can’t really shake hands these days . . . not even digitally . . . maybe a fist bump?

          • 183414 says:
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            you got it

  4. NCPhilly says:
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    Biggio is underrated. Prove I’m wrong.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Need a big assist from time and actual games on this one. I’m not crazy about Biggio, but I’m not gonna pound the table against a power speed bloodlines player with plate patience and opportunity.

      He’s not higher because he may not make enough contact and bc I like some others in that range.

      • NCPhilly says:
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        It looks like a deep, talented position as some of these up-and-comers establish themselves in the next couple years! I like the aggressive ranking for Bracho.

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Thanks! I do like this group quite a bit! Love me some Bracho!

  5. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Itch,
    Here’s some of my thoughts in Itch format ;-)

    For dynasty its curious to me that you have Merrifield and Escobar that high. Both are 31, Merrifield’s speed is in clear decline and Escobar’s metrics last year were how you say, not good, suggesting he’s due for sizable regression on top of being 31, lol.

    I’m thinking by this time next year we see Hiura at the top of this list. I get all the right feels from watching him and what i’ve heard about his work ethic.

    Amazing what mastering contact on the slider (and lesser degree curve) did for Ketel. All he had to do was ditch Jobu. Now he can elevate and celebrate.

    Speaking of Jobu, he’s low on rum. Speaking of Low on E, of the Brandon variety, you are lower on him than I expected, must be that K-rate and split i’m guessing.

    Hat tip. I’ll get off the line and listen.

    • 183414 says:
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      Top 3 are definitely the top 3. Have all 3 of them sprinkled over my 15 teams. I don’t consider Kingery a 2nd baseman , but if I did, I’d rank him higher, unless he’s older than I thought he was. Girardi knows talent. Got jerked around the last couple of years.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Coolwhip!

      *hat tip

      I dropped those oldsters a decent bit compared to their 2019 performance but can definitely see a case for dropping them further.

      Had a similar reaction to my own lowly ranking of Brandon, but the position is thick in that area. Will maybe drop Escobar below him.

      • Dougie says:
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        Coolwhip makes a good point. Even in dynasty, though, if I’m in contend now mode, those older guys may have high value, depending on payouts, higher value than some of the up and comers. Knowing long term value is important, obviously, but so is the short and mid range value. For this year I’m looking at Grey’s top 500 so maybe the short term is covered but if I definitely think it’s important to consider how many more years of higher quality production you’re going to get out of an older player. Especially at a spot like 1b and 2b.

        Itch, I didn’t mention it before, but I think you’re doing great work.

  6. 183414 says:
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    If I was to consider Kingery a 2nd baseman, I’d rank him higher unless he’s not as young as I think he is. Plus, finally get’s a good mgr.

    • You Get Murdered First For Once says:
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      and i’d have edman far lower, looking at kingery vs edman right now seems just weird, even if we assume edman gets more steals (which is probably fair)

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Edman doesn’t swing and miss, doesn’t get caught stealing, and ended last season beautifully.

        Ed SwStr% = 8.3 % . Contact % = 82.6

        King SwStr% = 15.1% . contact % = 70

        These aren’t the only reasons I prefer TomEd, but they’re easy to display here, and they speak to the larger conversation. Edman has plus plate skills. Kingery does not.

        • You Get Murdered First For Once says:
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          that is a lot better (so far, but probably exactly nobody game planned for edman from lack of pedigree, probably tons did on kingery), in a dynasty i got a weird kingery vs hampson choice where i have otani at the util, and could use some steals. also slugging/OBP added roto 16 team dynasty. have full roster of hitters right now, but of course otani hitter only will get lots of off time and need a bat that plays. if i could just keep everybody forever this is probably closer, but here i can only keep 1 of each starting hitting position per year (minus the 4th OF and extra IF) and already have this:
          C w.smith
          1B rhysus
          2B mostsuckass (3B)
          3B suarez
          SS story
          IF lux (could slot to one of the 10 prospect slots)
          LF mcneil (2B/3B/RF)
          CF laureano (RF)
          RF harper
          OF ketel one (2B/SS/CF)
          util otani (hitter only)
          prospect slots: o.cruz, larnach, kelenic, brujan, n.jones
          SP (want 7 or 8): marquez, ryu, clevinger, ed rod, matz (but could drop to improve on him)
          RP (max 5): giles, buttrey, iglesias, ginkel
          prospects: d.garcia, puk

          • You Get Murdered First For Once says:
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            can only also keep max 5 SP and max 5 RP per year, and at max 10 pros elig guys per year. right now lux could be slotted into prospect slot to draft another prospect when my roster gets full for active guys. since i probably can’t keep kingery or hampson and i need both steals and somebody who plays most of the time i probably gotta go kingery. however if kingery has an awful season (possible) and hampson suddenly gets playing time (torenado trade etc, or mcmahon thrown in the trash, albeit HE is the lone prospect that’s gotten time in the last 2ish years really (relatively)) that might look bad. bottom of 3rd round of slow draft (we went from 20 to 16 teams so i got suarez/w.smith already), only prospects that went (a lot are already owned of course) were vaughn/rut/abrams (abrams just now).

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I like him and thought 17 was pretty good for him but can certainly see a scenario where he outperforms that.

  7. Dougie says:
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    Where would you put Tetsudo Yamada on this list?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Dang, good question!

      Will update. Eyeballing it, I’d say #6.

  8. Charlie says:
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    No Jose Peraza nor Shed Long ??

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Could’ve sworn I had Shed on there. Might’ve been a covid-19 fever dream. Just whiffed on Peraza. Will update and likely switch something up in the process. Some goofy missteps here, and while I’m sure the virus ripping through my daughter and me had a lot to do with that, I think the project might be a bit large for the time windows I’m giving each position.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        You had the Corona? You ok, bro????

  9. Shawn says:
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    Hey Itch,

    Love the articles. I’m newer to really tracking prospects. What’s a good site that tracks stats in season so I can watch guys closer?

    Thanks!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hey Shawn,

      And thanks for the kind words!

      Fangraphs and MiLB.com are both go-to resources for me in-season.

      MiLB offers exemplary daily recaps in paragraph form, too.

  10. Harley Earl says:
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    Hey Itch,

    Just curious. A guy I have watched for years is Isan Diaz. Dude had remarkable power and speed and could be a huge fantasy player. But, damn, his stick kind a sucks. I mean, he bats like .210 and has about a .288 on-base pct. Seems like he needs a year to figure out each level before coming full circle.

    So that brings us to 2020 or 2021, depending on when they do play again. Does Isan figure it out now that he’s had an albeit short stint in MLB? Does he need another year to adjust? Or does he just suck and never figure it out?

    Diaz looks like he could be Rickie Weeks in his prime. But he also looks like he could be Ricky Ricardo. … Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Comments are closed.