Please see our player page for Spencer Torkelson to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Framber Valdez pitched after his fractured finger happened, so will be assuming it’s not too terrible. Haha, I’m lyin’ to myself! Now now NOW! Calm down, Grey, it’s gonna all work out. *turns abruptly to mirror* Is it? So, this isn’t great news, but it’s early enough, and it was his ring finger on his pitching hand, but our writer, Coolwhip, looked at his grips for me (because I was too panicked), and it seems Framber only uses that finger 10% of the time with his change, which isn’t a good pitch for him. He’s primarily a sinker/curve guy. I reranked him, placing him in an area where I’d still draft him, but obviously this isn’t the ideal stuff you want to see. Unless you’re a demented ess oh bee. You a demented ess oh bee? Hmm…? Are you? Tell me! Sorry, I’m amped up. Speaking of which, kinda, he will need to ramp up to game-shape after returning in May, so I’m conservatively projecting him to return end of May, early-June. Okay, clerical work now *adjusts priest’s collar* Here’s my adjusted top 80 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball with new projections; top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball with Framber removed; top 500 for 2021 fantasy baseball with Framber moved down about 125 spots, and my pitchers’ pairings tool adjusted. Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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For a two-time World Series Champion with over 40 years of experience in MLB front offices, Dave Dombrowski gets a bad rap. The consensus on the baseball operations veteran seems to be that his only formula for success is to either ink big contracts or swap top prospects for elite talent that comes accompanied with hefty salaries. However, Dombrowski’s maneuvers have largely come as a result of the hands he has been dealt and the relative competitiveness of his various organizations at the time of his hire. He turned the 1997 Florida Marlins, a 1993 expansion team, into a World Series Champion. He built one of the greatest starting rotations in modern history in Detroit. He came to Boston in 2015 with a mandate to take the Red Sox to the top and did just that in 2018. Is he perfect? Far from it. Can he win a championship? Clearly. You should desire the same.

I say this to explain why I frequently refer to my strategy in dynasty leagues as Dombrowski-esque. It is not simply because of Dave’s suave, shiny gray hair to which I look forward to sporting myself in my mid-50s. In these formats, managers are drafting using such polarizing strategies that the key is to seek out excess value by pitting your opposition’s own intelligence (or so it may seem) against them. Seek opportunity where it presents itself, and if that means honing in on proven talent to win now, then do so. There will always be newer, shinier (but not as shiny as Dave’s hair) prospects to target in these leagues down the line. That’s why today I will be reviewing my selections in the 12 team, H2H points dynasty startup mock that fellow Razzballer Dylan Vaughan Skorish and I partook in this past week. Although I will reveal all of my selections, my focus in this piece will be to review my strategy and discuss the prospects I targeted in this mock draft.

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I don’t have some big introductory explanation here. I trust you grasp the premise and intend to skip this paragraph, but if I still have your eyes for the moment, I’ll say I imagine a start-up build for a 15-team, 2-catcher dynasty league when parsing through the lists and try to explain when a player’s value varies based on settings. If you’re in a contention window, your rankings should look a bit different than they’d look on the front end of a rebuild. I’ll flag some players along the way for whom the disparity in value can get especially large from build to build. 

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Baseball is in good hands. Look no further than Grey’s top 10 for 2021 fantasy baseball, where you can witness the likes of Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto and Mookie Betts ranked ahead of the greatest player of our time, Randy Arozarena. Just kidding, I really do mean Mike Trout. Venture further into the top 20 and you’ll find Christian Yelich (No. 11), Bo Bichette (No. 12), Nolan Arenado (No. 16) and Luis Robert (No. 20). Side note: what a steal Yelich is going to be in 2021, amiright? But the point I’m trying to get to (and I really am trying), is that right now in baseball we have a beautiful mixture of established veterans performing at high levels (dare I say their prime?) at the forefront of the game and a deep group of emerging young players quickly breaking through into the top 20 talents in all of baseball. The sport, as a whole, is in tremendous hands and the picture only improves when one looks to the plethora of talent trickling down the prospect pipeline. Wander Franco, Jarred Kelenic, Adley Rutschman, Julio Rodriguez and Royce Lewis are all pounding on the door, just to mention a few names, and I haven’t even broached the subjecting of pitching talent in baseball today. Long story short: it’s a good time to be a baseball fan, but still a bad time to be short, or tell long stories.

Of the five prospects named above, all could potentially debut in the Majors in 2021. I’m excited about them all. But as I began writing this piece, I realized that despite their varying long-term outlooks, there’s one positional prospect I’m more excited about owning in re-draft leagues this year than any of them — and their name might surprise you.

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The top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball burn hot and flame out super fast, then find themselves a little flicker to help them read while wearing their stocking cap, then that extinguishes with a cold wind blowing through that smells of garbage. This will hopefully make some sense after you read the next 4,000 words. I should put Easter eggs in these rankings posts to see who is actually reading the whole thing. There will be a quiz at the end, and a sample question is, “Who uses a Lady Bic razor?” Don’t you dare do a “Find.” Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Over the past 10 months, have you happened to hear Casey Stern mutter the iconic phrase, “prospects are cool, parades are cooler,” and thought, shit, prospects are waaaaaay cooler than parades now! Don’t get me wrong, I loved a good, old-fashioned homecoming float as a kid as much as anybody. But the Coronavirus pandemic has done quite a number on the attractiveness of modern parades. In today’s world, I think “prospects are cool, but watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade alone while shoveling a full tin of baked corn into your mouth that you made for yourself is cooler,” is a bit more fitting, wouldn’t you say? Well, here at Razzball with The Itch and myself, prospects are always cool. They’re cool even when they’re not, say, in July when everyone else is getting psyched for the start of the 2020 MLB season and 2020 fantasy football drafts, and I’m busy writing a Way-Too-Early College Top 25 for the 2021 MLB Draft segment, inadvertently detailing how one-dimensional my life is. Or, if you read that particular post, how frequently I crap myself on airplanes.

In my Way-Too-Early College Top 25, I took an early shot at laying out the top 25 prospects for the 2021 MLB Draft in a year that had very little spring action and a summer filled with cancelled developmental leagues. Now, as college players returned to campus over the past several months, effectively receiving some varying level of fall training, practice and game action, we have a lot more data and scouting to lean on. But, before I begin rehashing my top college prospects list and start to build it into my annual (it’s year two, can I say that?) complete college top 100, let’s discuss some early risers that I may have either previously overlooked or under-ranked. Since I’m such a Carmen Sandiego fanatic, I’ll also go rogue and add some other notes of things I’m hearing, or seeing, that I don’t really agree with, or that I simply think are worth mentioning. That, my dear friends, begins at the very top of the 2021 Draft (guess who?), then follows with the likes of Ethan Wilson and Jaden Hill.

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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.  

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Cowabunga, dude! I really dropped the Butterfinger on Joey Bart. I’ve done okay predicting the call-ups in this space, but I just didn’t think San Francisco would start Bart’s service clock during a lost season in exchange for five weeks of games. Turns out, it’s not a lost season just yet. Despite occupying last place in the NL West, they’re just a few games out of a playoff spot at 12-and-16 before Saturday’s game. Johnny Cueto looks pretty good, AC Slater is rocking those amazing pants, and young(ish) Yaz is still getting on base half the time. They might be Giants after all!

So who’s next?

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