On a recent spring afternoon, I programmed a quantum computer to construct an infinite number of realities to discover the top 100 prospects for 2021.

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

Today, we’ll stay on that Devs-powered theme and continue our position-by-position focus by zooming in on third base.

Something I’d like to try this week = two posts about the position. This first draft can spark conversations throughout the week, and the next one will bring an updated list and a behind-the-scenes look at the process. 

I think forecasting the future could be more fun for everyone this way. Our updated versions have been better than the one first sent to print because many minds are better than one for most things in life and especially for a project this fluid, speculative and sizable.

Rank Player Age Team
1 Fernando Tatis Jr. 21 SD
2 Trea Turner 26 WAS
3 Trevor Story 27 COL
4 Francisco Lindor 26 CLE
5 Wander Franco 19 TB
6 Adalberto Mondesi 24 KC
7 Gleyber Torres 23 NYY
8 Xander Bogaerts 27 BOS
9 Javy Baez 27 CHC
10 Bo Bichette 22 TOR
11 CJ Abrams 19 SD
12 Tim Anderson 26 CHW
13 Amed Rosario 24 NYM
14 Carlos Correa 25 HOU
15 Marco Luciano 18 SF
16 Marcus Semien 29 OAK
17 Corey Seager 25 LAD
18 Jorge Polanco 26 MIN
19 Royce Lewis 20 MIN
20 Oneil Cruz 21 PIT
21 Bobby Witt Jr. 19 KC
22 Dansby Swanson 26 ATL
23 Jeter Downs 21 BOS
24 Noelvi Marte 18 SEA
25 Austin Martin 21 ??
26 Carlos Colmenarez 16 ??
27 Cristian Hernandez 16 ??
28 Paul Dejong 26 STL
29 Didi Gregorius 30 PHI
30 Jazz Chisholm 22 ARI
31 Luis Angel Acuña 18 TEX
32 Maximo Acosta 17 TEX
33 Mauricio Dubon 25 SF
34 Willy Adames 24 TB
35 Nico Hoerner 22 CHC
36 Elvis Andrus 31 TEX
37 Jose Garcia 22 CIN
38 Robert Puason 17 OAK
39 Geraldo Perdomo 20 ARI
40 Greg Jones 22 TB
41 Casey Martin 21 ??
42 Jon Berti 30 MIA
43 Ronny Mauricio 19 NYM
44 Orelvis Martinez 18 TOR
45 Myles Straw 25 HOU
46 Ed Howard 18 ??
47 Luis Urias 22 MIL
48 Tyler Freeman 20 CLE
49 Jorge Mateo 24 OAK
50 Ji-Hwan Bae 20 PIT
51 Wilman Diaz 16 ??
52 Nick Ahmed 30 ARI
53 Ha-Seong Kim 24 ??
54 Andrelton Simmons 30 LAA
55 Freddy Zamora 21 ??
56 Niko Goodrum 28 DET
57 Braden Shewmake 22 ATL
58 Bryson Stott 22 PHI
59 Liover Peguero 19 PIT
60 Jeremy Pena 22 HOU
61 Angel Martinez 18 CLE
62 Will Wilson 21 SF
63 Taylor Walls 23 TB
64 Luis Garcia 19 WAS
65 Keoni Cavaco 18 MIN
66 Cole Tucker 23 PIT
67 Eduardo Garcia 17 MIL
68 Orlando Arcia 25 MIL
69 Luis Guillorme 25 NYM
70 Thairo Estrada 24 NYY
71 Willi Castro 22 DET
72 Reggie Preciado 16 SD
73 Jeremiah Jackson 20 LAA
74 Gabriel Arias 20 SD
75 Brice Turang 20 MIL
76 Adam Hall 20 BAL
77 JP Crawford 25 SEA
78 Oslevis Basabe 19 TEX
79 Oswald Peraza 19 NYY
80 Kyren Paris 18 LAA
81 Freddy Galvis 30 CIN
82 Rafael Morel 18 CHC
83 Kendall Simmons 20 PHI
84 Yeison Santana 19 SD
85 Alexander Vargas 18 NYY
86 Andres Gimenez 21 NYM
87 Estiven Machado 17 TOR
88 Alejandro Pie 18 TB
89 Gunnar Henderson 18 BAL
90 Chris Taylor 29 LAD
91 Brainer Bonaci 17 BOS
92 Carson Tucker 18 ??
93 Miguel Rojas 31 MIA
94 Vaughn Grissom 19 ATL
95 Kevin Made 17 CHC
96 Jose Salas 16 MIA
97 Alika Williams 21 ??
98 Yiddi Cappe 16 MIA
99 Ehire Adrianza 30 MIN
100 Nander De Sedas 20 ??
101 Yasel Antuna 20 WAS
102 Jose Fermin 21 CLE
103 Aeverson Artaega 17 SF
104 Jack Mayfield 29 HOU
105 Eddy Diaz 20 COL
106 Jose Devers 20 MIA
107 Jose Tena 19 CLE
108 Anthony Rodriguez 17 SF
109 Adael Amador 17 COL
110 Anthony Volpe 18 NYY
111 Juan Garcia 17 WAS
112 Jose Pastrano 17 CLE
113 Richie Martin Jr. 25 BAL
114 Brandon Crawford 33 SF
115 Jordy Mercer 33 DET
116 Tim Beckham 30 SEA

 

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

 
  1. Jeff Dimambro says:
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    turner above Lindor? I can’t get on board with that. First thing that declines in a player is steals, Mix that with turners injury history and Lindor is a superior choice.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I love Lindor and would be happy w either, but we’ve yet to see Trea’s best season in my opinion.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Could say the same for Lindor, I suppose, but as you say, he has less room to give in the stolen base category.

        I went back and forth quite a bit on these two.

        The usual, Would I trade Lindor for Trea question that launches the conversation is fairly context based.

        Most teams, I think, would better improve their chances with the ~20 edge provided by Turner than the HR RBI edge provided by Lindor, especially considering those might shrink as Turner settles into the 3 spot.

        • The latest that I’ve heard is that Turner is back to leadoff.

          I don’t see how they don’t go with
          Trea
          Soto
          1,2

  2. Chucky says:
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    Happy Easter. Didn’t see Kieboom in the rankings. Have anything to do with his anticipated start at either 3b, 2b? Where would Kieboom slot at SS nonetheless?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks! Happy Easter to you!!

      Yeah it just looks like his long term home is somewhere else.

      I’d probably put him in the Hoerner range.

  3. Powdered Toast Man says:
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    Love these Itch. Scratches my Itch for ball a bit.
    I’ve read Abrams won’t stick at SS. You keeping him there or adding him to OF too.

    Luciano stay at SS?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks Powdered Toast Man!

      Long live Ren and Stimpy!!!

      I am gonna rank CJ at OF as well.

      Unless someone locks down SF’s big league SS gig, I think Luciano stays there until it’s painfully obvious he can’t make it work.

  4. Nick says:
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    Didi Gregorius plays for the Phillies now, just a heads up

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Good lookin’ out, man! Thanks!

      Weird how I miss some of these. Had Andrelton Simmons on Atlanta for a minute here.

  5. KrazyIvan says:
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    Happy Easter or Passover!
    Bichette should be higher. He just turned 22 and if he can raise his launch angle and lay off swinging at breaking balls out of the zone then he is going to be around #6 on the list.

    • His LA is already higher than FTJ.

      It’s also worth noting that everyone else on this list above him is going to cost you a 1st or 2nd round pick. While Bichette can still be had at ~50 adp.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks KrazyIvan!

      Happy both to you, too!

      And fair point about Bichette. I was staring at him for a long, long time.

      I do think he’s gonna hit and hit and hit. Main reason he wasn’t higher was SB fear. I’d like to see he’s slick n quick enough to get 20+ on the regular before I factor that into the price.

  6. Player X says:
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    Happy Easter/Passover,

    What do you expect from FTJ this year? -265/30/30 (per 162 game pace)?

    • Werth noting that he had 3SBs and 3 CS post ASB…

      • Player X says:
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        Def Werth noting…def seemed to play with more reckless abandon pre-ASB

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Think he had a groin issue bothering him tho, if I remember right . . . not at all sure I do as I type . . .

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          I’ll bet FTJ remembers . . .

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Happy Easter/Passover to you, too!

      I think he’s around .290 when the dust settles. I know the BABIP police have put out an APB on him, but he’s a superstar who smashes the ball all over the field and brings elite speed and hustle. He’s going to break the BABIP predictors for years before they adjust his baseline.

      Sound about right tho.

      I might bet .285/40/25.

  7. Jon Gray’s Broken Toe says:
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    Very nice rankings! Back in 2003 SS was Garciaparra, Tejeda and Texas Ranger A-Rod… and then everyone else. Even a 2003 Derek Jeter would have been on the outside looking in at the top 15 SS. What a different world we live in.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks!!!

      I had a similar thought while making the list. Man it’s tough to crack the top 30 at shortstop these days! Let alone the top ten!

  8. leon says:
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    in 16 man dynasty league. 6×6. my 3 best milb players are bobby witt jr, pearson, and brujan. Do you feel these 3 are worth holding onto, or would you trade them for a short term run. its more of a big picture question.

    • Prolly Sassoon to tell…may need more context here and definitely could use more conture…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’d sell Witt but Pearson and Brujan are holds for me.

  9. Happy Easter Itch, Grey, Donk, and the entire staff at Razz, and may you all stay healthy as the world recovers. Thank you for helping me and many others get through this insanity.
    You are on the money with Tatis, he’s really something special. Have a great day!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks Smitty!

      Happy Easter to you, too!

      Or day after Easter, I guess . . .

      Very happy to hear the hustle on our end is helping people push through these downbeat days!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Wake up!

      You too!

      And thanks for the link!

      Went to a Passover dinner hungry myself once . . .

      Once.

  10. toolshed says:
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    I enjoy your work. Thanks for continuing to provide excellent content on this site. I drafted marte this year and I am hoping the momentum up the ranks can continue given his age and time to develop more. Seager’s value has continued to decline. He has had his share of injuries which we never can predict and he does not run, but he still is only 25. Do you expect him to ever become the player he was projected to be and live up to his pedigree?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks for the kind words, toolshed!

      Marte seems like the guy to have right now. On a very shortlist of dudes rocketing toward the top ten.

      Great question on Seager. I thought he was going to be excellent this year. A more demanding, compressed schedule does not seem like a good thing for a guy with his track record. And I don’t expect he’d be any better outside Los Angeles, so the short answer is no, I think.

      That said, the position has changed in the short time since his prospect days, as has fantasy baseball.

      If you’re not getting stolen bases at shortstop, you’re falling behind. There’s just not that many ways to make it up. Need to average at least ten across the three middle infield spots, in my opinion. Unless Seager taps into some power or returns to a .300 average, he’s not a great asset for our game.

  11. Harley Earl says:
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    Itch!!!!

    Come on man! I’m taking Trevor Story over Trea Turner every time!!! But, yeah, when Turner is healthy and right, he’s just as deserving of your ranking. But gimme Story!!!

    Good list. Glad to see Garcia and Pauson at #37 and #38. Hope they climb the ladder the next few years!!

    Good work!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks Harley!!

      Can’t argue that. Love me some Storytime!

      I have a feeling Puason winds up among the best picks in this year’s FYPDs. Rare to get a talent so elite around the ten spot or later.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        I hope you’re right because I took Puason at pick #11. I was fairly surprised he was available there. But, then again, there didn’t seem to be much written on him by most of the prospect websites.

        It seems, for whatever reason, people forgot about Puason and were late to the party. I think Everybody was so enamored with Jasson Dominguez that they completely ignored Puason!

  12. Bsg520 says:
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    You believe Fermin is better then Rocchio? Or is it case of age being closer to the majors?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I ranked Rocchio at 2B. Probably should put him here too.

      I’d have him over Fermin but hugely because he’s rostered in every league and has some trade weight. I have no idea why everyone ignores Fermin, but they do, so he’s free (meeen).

  13. And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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    AL only with OBP over AVG, net steals over steals, QS over wins, total bases and holds added. 10 team h2h. just finished up the slow draft. keep 3 at previous season’s ADP’s. nearly hit my intended targets of 65/35 hitting/pitching. a bit over on SP, a bit under on RP, but they added together almost exactly right. best slow draft i’ve ever seen, we started it with intent to get done maybe 5-7 rounds then online draft like the 21st march rest of the way, got an extra lucky month+ and bam, 220 picks that weren’t keepers with an average of 4.45 hours per pick, that includes the night hours (i’m running 5 other slow drafts (not including dynasties) and this is best time i’ve ever seen. this is just in the message board too, i email the next 2 up when somebody picks)
    C kraken (4th)
    1B y.gurriel (3B, 6)
    2B arraez (3B/OF, 11)
    SS simmons (13)
    3B vlad (K, 3)
    MI s.long (2B/OF 15)
    CI: miggy (OPS rater still loves him and votto relative to everybody else, plus if not him here it’d be one of pujols/moreland/m.franco/toddfather/c.davis anyway, 16)
    OF (4): gallo (K 5)
    – mercado (K, 25)
    – l.robert (2)
    – choo (12)
    util (1) otani DH (9)
    BN lil nicky (2B/SS, backs up s.long who can sub for an OF off, has a job and some speed, 18)
    NA (1): kiriloff (should’ve gone kelenic here but some think it’s more likely kiriloff up this year, but kelenic’s upside as a last rounder still makes me doubt this a bit, but it’s keep 3 anyway, 21. just missed mountcastle here)

    SP (want 8): bieber (1)
    – heaney (8)
    – otani SP (10)
    – gibson (14)
    – duffy (19)
    – junis (20)
    – b.keller (23, QS rater liked all these KC guys over a lot of other crap like say h.bailey)
    RP (max 4): giles (7)
    – d.castillo (17)
    – buttrey (22)
    – barlow (24, could go karinchak here though, could also slot d.castillo into SP slot and add him anyway, but mostly it’s better to run with 8 SP/4 RP than 7/5 for K’s and QS’s)

    so i got 2 openings right now as kirilloff stashed and otani pitcher DL’d, later at least one of these turns into streamer slot (preferably one of them, but somebody might emerge, it’s not like dropping b.keller or junis if they suck could be that bad, plus duffy will just get hurt at some point)

    best 2 adds out of these SP (QS rater numbers shown and AL only ones):
    – d.norris (QS rater: -5.9, AL only rater: 3.8)
    – bassitt hound (but he appears to have no job, puk listed in there: -9.5, 3.7)
    – m.perez (-6.2, 3.4)
    – c.anderson (-10.2, 1.5)
    – thornton (-13.2, 1)
    – cobb (-10.4, .4)
    – m.montgomery (-10.6, .3)
    – graveman (-12, -.2)
    then there also are the LAA guys (sandoval, andriese) BOS guys (b.johnson, weber)
    or a prospect SP like: skubal, j.dunn, honeywell, thorpe, smeltzer, singer, l.allen, houck, kay (but holding prospects with useful roster spots hurts tons till they are up, one owner in this league didn’t keep track of what he was drafting, now has 7 prospects, 7 MI, zero 1B/3B/CI guys, and will barely at best make his minimum 35 innings per week unless trades or drops are made. this is why during draft i noticed MI were far thinner than CI guys (still starters out there for CI, when i got n.lopez it was like only j.iglesias left for MI starters)

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Drafts sounds awesome! Gotta love a fast slow draft!

      Lord help us Am I about to say Alex Cobb?

      I am. I just did I guess.

      Think he can be dropped pretty quick if he’s the same pile he’s been, but I’m morbidly curious about a dead cat bounce.

      Montgomery makes sense to me, too. So do the Blue Jays, but we’re kinda splitting hairs this late.

      I do like Barlow but would swap him out for K Chak if I could.

      Must cede power to Karens

      • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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        so karinchak’s send down is likely just a service time game then, not the fact that clase is now healthy already. i online drafted karinchak in a 16 and a 20 teamer already with holds before the shutdown

        • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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          i noticed 2 others since i typed that, fulmer (clearly more upside than anybody on that list i’d think AND DL stashable for now) and kikuchi (probably at least 2nd best on the upside of that list). moved them to the top of it for now, waivers set but it’s yahoo so of course who the F knows when they’ll go off. it varies widely, can only guess with captain trips-lite in effect it might be till like 11 am or something (which i’ve seen them pull before)

          • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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            turns out i wasted 8 bones in FAAB though, thinking somebody else would put out at least 3 on fulmer, and at around 1-3 on kikuchi (nope on both counts).

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