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. 

 

Format: Position Player | Team| Age on 4/1/2021 | Highest level played | ETA

1) SS Wander Franco | Tampa Bay Rays | 20 | A+ | 2021

Production stalled on Marvel’s Wandervision: Winter League Edition when the man himself came up injured. Shoulder. Nothing to worry about according to the Rays. In the series, Franco inherits the top-prospect mind stone from Vlad the Impaler and seeks to protect the future of Tampa Bay.

What can I tell you about Wander that you don’t already know?

You might already know, thanks to the good people at Prospects Live, that he hits a lot of ground balls. Naturally, this invites speculation that Wander could run into the same launch-angle issues facing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. these days. 

You might also know his body type is rare. Weird, even. He’s wide. But so was Trout. And that’s kind of the bet here: that Wander keeps his speed due to being a freak athlete. Thick humans lose their speed with time, goes the theory. And it’s true, I’m sure, in part because all humans lose their speed with time. Time is time, man.

Some running backs stay fast, right? At least for a while? And NFL running back is a better physical comp for Mike Trout than most baseball players I can think of. The same might be true of Franco, who’s best attribute is that he very rarely strikes out (or even misses on a swing). This is helpful for baseball. I’m not inclined to care a whole lot about A-league or training site batted ball metrics anyway, so it’s pretty easy for me to dismiss whatever sample size (small) is driving this narrative. It might prove true against big league arms, but let’s consider the downside for a moment. If young Vladdy is the big red flashing light, is that so bad? He’s not yet 22 and has succeeded at age 20 (105 wRC+) and age 21 (112 wRC+) despite being pitched to like a superstar since his first day. That 112 came from an oversized Vlad in a big jiggly body straight out of the quarantine. At age 21 and badly out of shape, Vlad Guerrero Jr. was 12 percent better than a league average hitter. Perhaps you recall the home run derby from 2019. If not, here’s a link.

If the best case against Wander is that his downside is like Vlad’s in terms of groundball issues, that’s not much of a case in my opinion. Everyone playing dynasty baseball would be thrilled to have Vlad, and most would likely trade a great deal to get him, even with the physicality concerns made plain in the shortened 2020. 

I almost ranked Luis Robert over Wander last year, and for a while it looked like I should have. Similarly, a few players in this group have an interesting case for the top spot, but I see little reason to pivot away from Wander before he gets an extended look against top-end pitching. Prospect fatigue is settling in now, and this launch angle thing along with the shoulder question feeds into that familiarity fatigue like Colin Robinson, energy vampire. You were bored when you saw Wander at one, I suspect. I know I was. Had I bumped him behind Abrams, this list might’ve been the talk of the Twitterverse for half a second. I almost did it because I believe CJ’s topside is higher, but the “floor” on Wander is the highest prospect “floor” of my lifetime, I think. The guy just doesn’t swing and miss. The trades I’ve seen involving Wander over the past couple years are downright obscene, baking in something like a .330+ batting average with 25+ home runs and 10+ stolen bases on an annual basis.

Did you even flinch at those numbers?

Imagine predicting a .330 batting average for any prospect who hasn’t played AA. It’s absurd. That’s a fair descriptor of the guy in general, I think. Wander Franco is absurd. The next time he struggles will be the first. 

 

2) SS CJ Abrams | San Diego Padres | 20 | 2022

Abrams is my favorite player in the minor leagues, featuring 80-grade speed, 70-grade hit and 60-grade raw power from a sweet lefty swing he can adjust mid-pitch thanks to incredible hands in the box. His hands at shortstop have come along nicely, but he’s not going to play there in the show for San Diego, who says they’re not going to trade him. His position doesn’t matter much for our purposes, but I think he should move to center next year and learn to maximize his speed to play shallow and shrink the field. This takes a long time to learn. Drills can help, fungos can help, practice makes perfect and all that, but to really master and anticipate how the ball will come off the bat from centerfield, you really need in-game reps. If you watch Jackie Bradley Jr. play the position, he’s moving with the pitch and reacting as fast as Nolan Arenado at the hot corner. I take this detour because I think Abrams can be one of the game’s elite defenders but seems unlikely to get there the longer they leave him on the infield. It only matters for our game because it could take him a while to climb the ladder as an infielder, and then we could have another stall as he tries to change positions in the upper minors. 

 

3) OF Randy Arozarena | Tampa Bay Rays | 26 | MLB | 2019

If you didn’t see the rose bloom this fall, I should tell you it was a beautiful thing, filled with home runs and base hits and general awesomeness as he carried Tampa’s offense to the World Series. I can’t really comment on what’s happened since then. I mean I’ve read more than I needed to about his encounter with the mother of his child, who opted against pressing charges, so he’s clear in the eyes of the law, but I suppose MLB still might take some games away. 

The cold equations for our purposes are that Arozarena is more likely to stay good than stop being good, on the field. And maybe much better than good. It’s no stretch to say he’s got the look–and statcast profile–of a five-category fantasy superstar. Whatever numberwang reason you hear to avoid him in your leagues—the latest is some tiny sample tomfoolery about breaking balls—remember he just had the most impressive debut stretch of any rookie in baseball history and dominated the game’s best pitchers to do so. If he hits .280 with 40 homers and 20 stolen bases in what will technically be his rookie season, we should not be shocked. Nobody else on the board can match that topside. Nobody else on any board in prospect history has shown as much as Arozarena at the highest level. 

 

4) OF Julio Rodriguez | Seattle Mariners | 20 | A+ | 2021

A thunderous power bat with a knack for going the other way, Rodriguez might top somebody’s list this winter. Concerns exist about his ability to handle elite chase pitches on the outer half, and while that’s true of just about every young hitter, J-Rod’s first move in the box is a slight drift toward third base, and his front leg moves that direction as well. He’s adept at slashing or driving the ball to the opposite field, so I suspect this could be just an aesthetic thing because sometimes the greats just look different and force us to retrain our eyes a little. Might wind up a double plus in hit and power with just enough athleticism to chip in on the base paths.

 

5) OF Jarred Kelenic | 21 | Seattle Mariners | AA | 2021 

Kelenic does everything well on a baseball field. Looks like an old Robert Redford out there. Can shoot a frisbee out of the air with one swing of his bat. If we’d had a regular 2020, he almost certainly would’ve pushed his way to the majors. Instead, he spent the season generating as much training site buzz as anyone in the game. Legend has it he once hit home runs on six straight swings. Or maybe that was six straight days. Truth gets foggy at these training sites. Point is he’s ready and should be up for good after now-standard clock-suppressing period.

 

6) 3B Spencer Torkelson | 21 | Detroit Tigers | NCAA | 2022

Tork is unique as a first overall pick in that it’s really just the bat Detroit drafted. They announced him as a third baseman on draft night, and Torkelson might be a good enough athlete to make that work, but it doesn’t matter all that much to his prospect stock if he has to slide back over to first base. The carrying tools are hit and power, and both could be plus plus depending how he reacts to premium spin. The clear #1 pick in dynasty First-Year-Player Drafts and an easy top ten prospect for fantasy.

 

7) SS Marco Luciano | 19 | San Francisco Giants | A- | 2023

We’re not far from Luciano being crowned the top prospect in baseball by several outlets. After the Franco, Rodriguez, Kelenic crew graduates, we’ll be onto the next few, and Luciano is in perceived pole position alongside Spencer Torkelson and CJ Abrams

Here’s what I wrote last year about Luciano:

“There’s a case to be made for Luciano being baseball’s best power prospect. He might not steal bases or stay at shortstop, but that doesn’t matter. This guy is a star. I’d probably be floating him in dynasty leagues because the hype is loud right now and the wait will be long. I sold my only share (along with Brennen Davis) last summer to get Kris Bryant, who did not play well post trade but is still a better piece for that team in its contention window.”

Fast forward a year, and I would not be shopping Luciano today, who I highly doubt you could get in return for Kris Bryant. I mean maybe. Every league is different, but these ships have passed in the night: Bryant batting back problems that have sapped his power; Luciano positing insane exit velocities in Twitter videos on his assent to the peaks of dynasty prospect value. With the new hitting team in tow, Luciano looks like a runaway freight train.

 

8) 1B Andrew Vaughn | 23 | Chicago White Sox | A+ | 2021

You’ve probably read or heard some scout-laze lingo like “can flat out hit.” Such was created for players like Andrew Vaughn, about whom there’s not much more to say. He controls the strike zone incredibly well, a skill that’s aided by his six-foot frame and strong wrists. It’s not uncommon to see him fight off a pitch inside and wind up driving it to right center field for a double or even home run. 

For some explicit opposite field Vaughn content, check out The Prospect I am Most Excited to See Debut in 2021 as penned and collated by Hobbs. 

 

9) OF Jasson Dominguez | New York Yankees | 18 | NA | 2024 

The most ballyhooed international amateur in recent memory, Dominguez is as physically developed as any ballplayer I’ve ever seen. Dude is so ripped his proportions look like a Picasso painting. His body makes more sense via cubism than in instagram videos. He’s also fast enough to play centerfield and steal some bags, with some scouts tagging him with 60-grade speed. 

The swing is fast and still flexible at the moment, but any more muscle could topple that, making Dominguez a precarious case for fantasy. The eye test returns excitement with hints of aging-based trepidation, but the price represents only optimism at the moment. If his first season-long stat lines are loud, he’ll leap into conversations for best overall prospect in baseball. It’s become a little Twitter-hip to scoff in the general direction of this horizontal giant, but I’m way more in than out on Dominguez, who looks like he could hit a ball to the moon

 

10) C Adley Rutschman | Baltimore Orioles | 23 | A | 2022

While I hate doing this, dropping a catcher into my top ten, Rutschman is an exception to most standard feelings about young catchers. He’s plus everything but run. The defense comes easily to him, as do the plate skills. This dude walked 76 times and struck out 38 in 57 games as a college junior. That’s borderline Bondsian. He also hit 17 home runs and slashed .411/.575/.751. He then tallied a 12/16 B/K ratio in 20 games in the New York Penn League at the end of his draft year, getting himself promoted to a third level in 2019 (four if you count college). He’d only played one year in the Cape Cod League, so 2019 was his first extended run with wooden bats, and he adapted well until 12 games in the South Atlantic League flummoxed him at the end of the long year. 

If I had a better option for this spot, I’d take it, but I think Adley’s a cut above the Dylan Carlsons and Corbin Carrolls of the world, at least for now. There’s always a risk that a young catcher will flounder at the plate while he learns to be a big league defender, and that might be the ultimate buy window for Rutshman in dynasty (kind of like the Bart buy window that’s cracked open now), but this is not Joey Bart, who’s always battled a tendency to strike out. Rutschman hit .400+ with a .500+ OBP across two seasons in major college baseball. My guess is he hits well at the highest levels. His ETA says 2022 here, but if Baltimore can stay in a wild card race somehow, they’ll want Adley along for the ride. 

Thanks for reading! 

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.

 
  1. toolshed says:
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    I’ve been waiting for this list. Thanks.

    I can only keep 2 of these 3 players. Who would you keep out of brujan, o Cruz, kirby. I like all of them. I am concerned about brujan and how crowded the tb team is. They platoon guys already and have more talent close. I like cruz but I am unsure of his status after that car accident and how it may affect him. Kirby seems to have gained velocity from what I read which may make his ceiling higher. I generally favor bats over arms but it isn’t a hard rule. Thanks

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Can’t really go wrong here, imo.

      I’d keep the bats but do think Kirby has more trade value than Cruz today. Brujan for sure then kind of a build-based coin flip.

  2. Harley Earl says:
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    You could put a gun to my head and tell me to draft Arozarena over Rodriguez and I’d still draft Rodriguez! You are just too high on a guy that’s had 175 total MLB at-bats since 2019. He’s Tommy Pham 2.0 and nothing more.

    Don’t forget our Luis Robert vs. Randy Arozarena bet! Because you’re going to lose!

    • Harley Earl says:
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      By the way, love this piece and didn’t want you to think I didn’t. I agree with 9 of your top 10 and the analysis you give is always insightful and interesting! Good piece overall!!

      Happy Super Bowl Day!

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Thanks, Harley!

        Hope you enjoy the game!

    • Alcibiades Escobar says:
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      Tommy Pham has a career 127 WRC+. That’s a great outcome.

    • Gg says:
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      Tommy Pham 2.0 isn’t necessarily a bad player. Guy has had one bad injured season. If you take out last year (which you shouldn’t, but for the point of this exercise) he has averaged 22/20 with .285 batting average and .380 obp over last 3 seasons. I’d be concerned with him moving forward due to language saying basically career ending injuries in his stabbing, but that might just be for lawsuit purposes.

      With that said, I get the concerns with Arozarena. I’m also not one to thing statcast is the end all..however, everything about him scream superstar. By my calculations he has 190 PA counting the postseason and approximately a 200 wRC+. He has 18 hrs and 7sbs. Not going to play Mr. Prorater, obviously. I was trying to figure out how to rate him, so I started playing with the 60 game leaderboard. I came to the conclusion that you cannot fake it for 60 games. Basically everyone in MLB history who had a 200 wRC+ over 60 games was a star, with essentially 0 exceptions. It basically is all hall of famers, and some guys who had amazing peaks (Chris Davis, Josh Hamilton, Derek Lee, Matt Carpenter) and borderline hall of fame players who got some votes like Olerud, Delgado, etc. When scrolling through the top 100 there were a few guys from many years ago that I wasn’t very aware of, but pretty much the worst hitter was Greg Vaughn, who once went 272/363/591 with 50 hrs, 11sbs and 112runs and 119 rbis. Now while Arozarena has 60 games, some of the games he was a defensive replacement or pinch runner so he has less plate appearances than the average player on the list, but the general point stands. You cannot really fake what he has done, and I can think of no real reason that plate appearances in the playoffs versus significantly better pitching than the regular season shouldn’t be weighed the same.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Great stuff, Gg!!

        Awesome deep-dive into the history here!

        I’ve been thinking for a while that Arozarena is totally unprecedented in prospect list history. Neat to think about how his 2020 run stacks up against (fits right in with) the best to play the game.

        Just so wild to see the postseason’s best player on a prospect list. Totally agree about the value of playoff at bats. I think people have been burned in the past thinking a John Maine or David Freese has turned a corner, so we tend to just dismiss the playoffs altogether. Also helps that those statlines are basically nowhere to be found in our off-season prep.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        When did I say Tommy Pham was a bad player?

        Oh, I didn’t? Then STFU.

    • Smitty says:
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      For the ’21 season Randy over J-Rod all day. Beyond ’21 is another story.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah

  3. TC says:
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    In a 10 team keeper, keep 15 roto, is Abrams worth a keeper spot? We have no minors, so he’d essentially hold a bench spot until he’s up. Keeping him would essentially mean not keeping one of Will Smith, Max Muncy, or Austin Hays

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’d hold him over Hays.

      • TC says:
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        My bad. I wasn’t clear enough with how I wrote my comment. I could only keep one of those 4 players. The other 3 would be tossed back into the draft. Apologies

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          I’d keep Will Smith is that’s the LA catcher.

  4. Worm Burner says:
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    Hey The Itch,
    Excellent article as always.

    Is Jeremy Pena worth a few more buys after seeing his Dominican league numbers this offseason? It looks like he put on some muscle too.

    I’m always looking for a bargain

    I appreciate it

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Worm Burner!

      I think he’s worth it, yeah.

      Saw a tweet about how he’s been among the most bought/sold cards this winter. Good time to get another couple.

  5. Jimmy says:
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    Orelvis Martinez-Jose Garcia-Geraldo Perdomo which SS would you grab….I traded Groshans for MoreJon in a 20 team 5×5!…wondering your thoughts on this…i am pretty deep at SS and third….love the content…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Jimmy!

      Orelvis for me.

      I’m not high on Morejon, but I’m not big into Groshans either. Seems like a fine move for a contender seeking innings w upside.

  6. Kiwi says:
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    Great article! Love these. Is this a top 10 for dynasty or top 10 for 2021?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Kiwi!

      This is for dynasty.

  7. Danny says:
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    Where does Adell land in these rankings?

    • Player X says:
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      Not a prospect anymore

  8. toolshed says:
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    Also, which reliever do you like better clase or munoz. Both have questions. Munoz won’t be back until later assuming all goes well. Can clase still have the same velocity and get a better k rate. Maybe clase will habe a better k rate with more coaching; still surprised it was not higher in minors. S + H league. Thx

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’ll take Munoz.

  9. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    thanks itch great job

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Al!

  10. Dog Horse says:
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    Excellent article. 10 team H2H keeper league using OBP. We can keep 5 “off-roster” until called up by us. I currently have Franco, Luciano, and Rutschman along with Adell and Witt Jr.. CJ is available, would you drop one of the others for him?

    • Jolt In Flow says:
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      I believe Adell has graduated. Just plug him into your lineup and reap the rewards of CJ on your prospect bench.

      With that said, Adell may be sent down, but too high upside to give up on him yet.

      Jolt

      • Dog Horse says:
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        Thanks. You nailed my dilemma.

        I don’t have to call Adell up if I don’t need him. I also have Turner, Bogaerts, Mondesi and Torres on my roster for SS, MI and Utility spots.

        • Jolt In Flow says:
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          I didn’t mean to take away from an Itch response. I’ve been following Adell closely for the last 3 years. His power/average/speed combination is too good to give up on just yet.

          The prospects you have already is drool worthy. Add in a guy like CJ and you have very good potential to win numerous league titles over the next 5 years. Just get the right vets and you’ll be a powerhouse.

          Good luck,

          Jolt

          • The Itch

            The Itch says:
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            Only helps the conversation to have more voices, I think, and your responses are on point.

        • Dougie says:
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          Are there trades in this league, what are your weak spots on your active roster? In a league like this, you definitely don’t promote a guy until he performs. That being said CJ needs to be owned and so do the guys on your “off roster” roster.
          I would look to pair a “minor leaguer” with a big leaguer and fill in a gap somewhere else then add CJ. Looks like you have a Glut at SS. What could you get for Gleyber and Whit Jr., or even Adell?

          Just a thought… possibly one you’ve explored already

          • The Itch

            The Itch says:
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            I agree with Dougie.

            Your team seems so loaded you owe it to the club to explore a consolidation play. Great build, Dog Horse!

            • Dog Horse says:
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              Great ideas. My one weakness is 2B as both Mondesi and Torres have lost eligibility there in the last couple of years.

              Who would you add in a trade, Luciano or Witt Jr?

              • The Itch

                The Itch says:
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                I wouldn’t move Luciano.

                I wonder if you could get Ozzie?

                He wasn’t elite last year. Might be a buying window given what you’ve got to offer.

                • Dougie says:
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                  I’d also keep Luci. Ozzie would be awesome(!) B Lowe might be a sneaky move. You’d have Brujan coming up but I think he maintains eligibility for a while. You know your league best, though. Look at maybe the top 4 2b and see who needs what you got.

                  Who do you have at 2b now?

  11. Braves Uk says:
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    Thanks. Excellent stuff. That is all!!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks for the kind words, Braves UK!!

  12. Jeff says:
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    Here we go, Itch! Nice work as usual.

    In my FYPD I have the #3 and #6 picks. I’m assuming Gonzalez (or Martin), will be my first pick. Then I’m looking at either Veen, Kjerstad, or Lacy next. I would prefer to grab a hitter here.

    Please help me understand Gonzalez and Kjerstad as hitters. I’m leery about each of them for one reason or another, but that’s who I anticipate drafting.

    What is a strong outcome for Gonzalez? Rendon, Altuve, or Jeter with less speed? Verdugo at 2B? Is he a 100/25/75/10/.300 player? Is that expecting too much? Is his ceiling higher than that? I’m reading a lot of dull forecasts for Gonzalez across the fantasy landscapes.

    And Kjerstad is pilloried with more vigor yet. Do you think he’s being downgraded because he was a money saving pick, or because his swing really is that awkward? The idea of a lefty power bat in Baltimore sounds like a Dynasty dream. Can he be a 30+/100+ guy there? Does his 60 grade power play bigger in that stadium and division?

    All my prospects will graduate in 2021 and 2022 and the rebuild will be over starting 2023. If Veen is available, is it justified to take Kjerstad over him because proximity to MLB? Is it a mistake to think that way?

    Thanks, Itch!

    • Dougie says:
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      These are great questions. As an owner of Gonzales and Veen in an open universe league, I’m eager for more info on these guys as well.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Jeff!

      Here’s a link to my FYPD rankings, in which I discuss these guys at some length.

      https://razzball.com/first-year-player-draft-top-25-for-2021-fantasy-baseball/

      and 26-50 in case that helps

      https://razzball.com/first-year-player-draft-top-50-for-2021-fantasy-baseball/

      I’d aim for Wilman Diaz at 6 if you’re a little uncomfortable with Kjerstad’s swing and don’t mind waiting. That said, you could probably trade down and land him in the teens.

      I do think it’s perfectly reasonable to take Heston over Veen. Not at all a mistake to acknowledge that time is real. Lots of profit to be made in dynasty weighing the next three years more heavily than the rest.

      An underrated aspect of this is clearing roster space. Kjerstad will occupy a big-league spot soon and open up another spec spot. That player you pick up might well catch up to Veen on his timeline. There’s also the value of knowledge. You’ll have a pretty good read on Kjerstad a couple years from now, while Veen will have only been mashing in ridiculous low-minors environments for Colorado. Helps your overall ability to make a contender to know anything about your build sooner than later.

      I like the Altuve player type best in that group for Gonzo, but Jose had an 80-grade hit tool at his MVP-level peak, and I wouldnt’ put that on Gonzales.

      • Jeff says:
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        Thanks, Itch. Who would you comp Kjerstad to? Ozuna? Schwarber? I’ve seen his hit tool rated a 45 multiple times — do you see him as better than that?

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Anytime, happy to help!

          Closer to Ozuna than Schwarber, but I’m not real into comps because the error bars are so large I think they do more harm than good in how we imagine a player will age, but I realize the power of the short hand, so it’s tough.

          I chose Ozuna there because we’re looking at something of a freak athlete here. He’s always hit in the SEC. Slashed .332/.419/.553 as a freshman. I think 45 is weirdly light given what he’s put on paper and on film for three seasons, where he got drafted and by whom.

          • Jeff says:
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            That’s what I’m thinking, too. Would it surprise you if he turned out to be a top 20 outfielder with 35 homer power and the .280 batting average?

            • Member Berries says:
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              Love the work, itch. I read both Ralph and itch and for what it’s worth, Ralph loves the power on Kjerstad. Kind of made me a believer.

              As long as the Rockies do Rockies thing, cant invest in their organization.
              Nick Gonzalez is a little beast. Love the idea of NG and Kjerstad

              • Jeff says:
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                Awesome. Thanks, MB.

  13. Chucky says:
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    Although not a prospect anymore….where do you fit Kyle Lewis into the equations. Grey likes him ‘bigley’ too. Would you keep Lewis in a keep forever, no contracts over the Muncys, Bohms, Rizzos, Dustin Mays and MacGores of the world? Nice article, btw.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Is that Anthony Rizzo?

      Man that one’s tough.

      I think I’ll take Lewis, but that comes down to build a bit.

      How many people are kept? All these guys seem like viable trade pieces. Could try to package a few together and take a swing for an elite player. Might have to pull from your keepers and slide Gore, Rizzo, Lewis and Bohm onto the squad. Or just send Rizzo and Gore for something you really want. That’s an enticing duo.

  14. Dougie says:
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    Itch, you do great work. Thanks so much.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Dougie!!

  15. LenFuego says:
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    Nice work, Itch.

    Your list has 10 bats and 0 arms. Does that reflect that the cream of the prospect crop just happens to lean strongly toward bats right now, or is it more that from a fantasy dynasty standpoint, it is better to build with bats because the TINSTAAP concept is powerful and bats are just way more predictable and valuable in the long term than arms?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, LenFuego!

      Little of both, tho I suspect it’ll be a while before I put a pitcher in my top ten again. As you say here, it’s just hard to make a justifiable case to take one over a high-end bat.

      You can kind of invest and rest your way into a solid offense, prospect wise.

      Pitching will always come down to in-season hustle, imo.

      And some off-season, too. This winter I added Alex Reyes, Tejay Antone, Zach Plesac and Kevin Gausman on moderately priced deals.

      Picked up Taillon in a couple inherited rebuilds shortly after he went under the knife.

      There’s just so many paths to pitching. I prefer the ones based more on hustle than hype.

  16. ryan says:
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    In my h2h dynasty league i was offered ketel marte gallen noelvi marte for my albies and george kirby. Am i nuts for considering this trade? Which side do you like more?

    • Chucky says:
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      I’m inclined to agree with you there. Losing the #1 2B in Albies is quite the price. Kinda comes down to what you expect from Marte. If he reverts back to 2019 numbers, its closer thanthat, and getting Gallen alongside too…..thats where the steal comes in. Noelvi is a year away Im guessing. If you were ever gonna throw out a season as being ‘screwy” Id have to argue 2020 was that season. I’d take the chance Marte rebounds and do that deal. Just sayin….

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Not crazy at all. I think I’m with Chucky. Fair offer, at least. Spin the wheel, I’d say.

  17. Jeff says:
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    There is a nice group of high school pitchers from 2019 that look pretty interesting right now. Walston, Espino, Priester, Allan all have TOR upside. All four of them are available in my league. How would you rank them? Do you have your eye on any of them? How does their top side stack up against the big three college pitchers from the 2020 draft?

  18. Member Berries says:
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    Itch – big fan of your work. You’ve quickly moved up the Razzball ranks.

    In a league where I am pretty loaded and need to trim down, I offered Teoscar Hernandez and Brennan Davis for Andrew Vaughn – thoughts?

  19. goodfold2 says:
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    week 1 of FA bidding done, got 2 low level SP and 2 closers (or likely ones after last year rosie). got a trade offer that probably isn’t that great. depends on where you are on ornelas (TEX).that 30 team super deep (40 prospect slots max, which i have maxed) roto dynasty (h2h in the playoffs, roto season till end of august)

    C (1): none yet (kraken just got a crazy multi year 25+ mil per deal, me with around 8 mil per was near tied with about 4 others for 2nd place, meanwhile a bunch of other catchers not bid at all and can be obtained in week 6 cleanup week after weeks 1-5 (FA broken up randomly and near evenly into 5 bidding weeks)
    CI (2) – e.rios .4 (min contract till end of 24)
    – j.turner 16.2 (end 21, he was best CI guy left in FA last year since OPS, we’re 6×6 OPS/holds)
    MI (2): mcneil .617,676 (CI/OF end 21)
    – tejeda TEX .4 (24, could be put in minors, but somebody crappy would have to be dropped)
    OF (3): e.rosario 14.670 (24, somebody bid this many years, but price isn’t horrible and he’s just around peak career years now)
    – kirilloff .4 (24)
    – v.reyes .5 (21)
    util (1)
    BN: barreto .4 (22), demeritte .4 (22, would have to be dropped if no playing time as can’t be minored)
    prospects (not showing the large list here but these might play this year: fraley, trammell (?), paredes (could be called up now, and i do need another CI guy to start since e.rios doesn’t that often), adell)
    SP (want 6 or so):
    – w.crowe .4 (24, notice he’s PIT’s 5th SP and called him up when adell went down)
    – ja happ 6.2 (21)
    – l.weaver 6.7 (21, didn’t think i’d win both of happ and weaver, some other guys out there later i’d probably want more, but no guarantee i’d win those at their prices (bassitt/morton/clevinger (even with TJ he’ll get bid up for future years) etc, i didn’t overpay though, as my bids on these 2 barely won)
    – yarbrough .4 (21)
    – pab lop .575 (21)
    RP (room for 6 every day):
    – b.martin .4 (22, drafted him as late rounder years ago when he might’ve been a low end SP)
    – rosie 7.1 (21, i probably only got him at that price both since his utterly awful 2019, plus he’s got no team yet and is week 1 guy)
    – g.holland 6.9 (21, few closers out there across all weeks, these aren’t super high prices to pay for them, a.bradley got a 3 year 11 per, most years i don’t have any closers, unless i luck into some guys, last year i won kela who did nothing)
    IR (6): sale 22 (21, forced to decide to match his high bid last year about a week before the TJ for sure news, our super early (it’s like christmas day or eve) match times the issue here, along with sale being an idiot putting off his surgery)
    prospects (not listing all of them, these might play this year: sherfy, c.rod (LAA), c.hernandez (KC))

    trade offer is my 5th 2022 for t.nido (backup catcher NYM) and ornelas (sounds like util TEX guy, MI/CI at least). the backup catcher is just a throw in and i can obtain guys better or at least equal to in waivers later.

    so i got 1 or 2 closers for sure, have

    • goodfold2 says:
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      oh yeah so assuming i do call up paredes i have 30.337,320 out of 115 mil total budget for 7 slots left (this assumes i don’t yet drop demeritte and sale not back up yet). wow, checked LAD depth chart and right now e.rios IS the 3B starter, so that’s nice. but of course that has c.taylor starting over lux, which makes no sense. will get another 3 RP, a low end SP likely, a catcher, a MI (tejeda and barreto both either aren’t up at start of year or likely playing time issues) and another hitter of some type.

  20. Dr Sauce says:
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    Much respect to your work and your writing! Your analysis of Arozarena (and additional support from commenter Gg) has me reconsidering my keepers.
    League Context: ESPN 12 team, H2H, 5X5 Roto, 6 player keeper league (no limitations and keep forever). We start regular infieild (no CI or MI), 5 OF, 1 Utility, 5 SP’s and 4 RP’s
    I’m in great shape with my top 4 keepers (Acuna, Tatis, Betts, Bellinger) thanks to With Razzball, some good deals/speculation and a little luck.
    I have some good options for Keeper 5 and 6 including;
    Bats – Tucker, Biggio, Grisham and Arozorena
    Arms – Flaherty, Ryu, Lamet, Sixto and Burnes
    If I follow conventional wisdom keeper 5 and 6 are Tucker and Flaherty. They both are young, have track record and are generally ranked highest amongst experts.
    However, your analysis has me questioning if Aroz is one of my 6 keepers. Given the strength of my top 4 keepers who would you choose for keeper 5 and 6 from list provided above?
    Thanks Itch!

  21. Regan says:
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    Just joined my first dynasty league. First year so everyone is available. Little out of my depth and not sure where to turn for rankings. I was hoping there would be something here, probably just too early. Draft starts tomorrow, luckily it’s a slow 4hrs per pick. Can you give me a little help as too where i can find the most reliable rankings? Its a 15 team and we have 14 minor league slots so a top 300 is what i’m looking for.

    Also, any tips on strategy when you can only keep 7 total guys each year and only for 3 years on the major league roster. Seems like there won’t be much time to let guys ferment when they have to be promoted after 130 AB and 50 IP. Not sure the best way to set up my team. Any help much appreciated!

  22. Garrett says:
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    Fantastic write up been waiting for this!!! As well as top 50.

    I’m in a auction redraft league where you can keep up to 12 keepers each year with no minors. Was looking at drafting josh jung or jeter downs for a buck or 2 as a bench stash. What ETA would you put on both of these and do you see 2021 contributions from these guys and are you excited about them?

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