During the moments I could focus enough to exercise the fantasy part of my brain, I’ve been brainstorming for what I should explore during the virus break. 

A fast forward to next March’s Top 100 list landed pretty high on my to-do list, but the task of going back to the future quickly became a complicated proposition. 

Will the Tigers have any incentive to promote Skubal, Manning and Mize? 

In a full season, players can push for the next level through dominance, putting a variety of pressures on the organization: fan frustration, developmental stall, player frustration, etc. 

It’s easy to project Julio Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic, and Wander Franco to push their way up given a full season, but the math is all variables now. And mostly negative ones for young studs on non-contenders. 

Nonetheless, I grabbed some plutonium and had a lot of fun in the process. Feeling pretty good about the whole thing on publication day. Will have more to say about the future in future, specifically this Sunday. In the meantime, to paraphrase the great Red Green: if you don’t find this list handsome, I hope at least you’ll find it handy.

Rank Player Position Team ETA
1 Wander Franco SS TB 2021
2 CJ Abrams SS SD 2023
3 Julio Rodriguez OF SEA 2021
4 Marco Luciano SS SF 2022
5 Vidal Brujan 2B TB 2021
6 Jarred Kelenic OF SEA 2021
7 Jasson Dominguez OF NYY 2024
8 Andrew Vaughn 1B CHW 2021
9 Oneil Cruz SS PIT 2021
10 Kristian Robinson OF ARI 2022
11 Tarik Skubal LHP DET 2020
12 Corbin Carroll OF ARI 2022
13 Adley Rutschman C BAL 2022
14 Tetsuto Yamada 2B ?? 2021
15 Royce Lewis SS MIN 2021
16 Casey Mize RHP DET 2020
17 Spencer Torkelson 1B ?? 2021
18 Matt Manning RHP DET 2020
19 Alex Kirilloff 1B MIN 2020
20 Austin Martin SS ?? 2022
21 Brennen Davis OF CHC 2022
22 Alec Bohm 3B PHI 2020
23 Luis Patiño RHP SD 2020
24 Brailyn Marquez LHP CHC 2021
25 Luis Matos OF SF 2022
26 Noelvi Marte SS SEA 2022
27 Jazz Chisholm SS MIA 2020
28 Jeter Downs SS BOS 2021
29 Joey Bart C SF 2021
30 Trevor Larnach OF MIN 2021
31 Drew Waters OF ATL 2020
32 Bobby Witt Jr. SS KC 2023
33 Seiya Suzuki OF ?? 2021
34 Jose Garcia SS CIN 2021
35 George Valera OF CLE 2022
36 Heriberto Hernandez C TEX 2022
37 Monte Harrison OF MIA 2020
38 Erick Peña OF KC 2024
39 George Kirby RHP SEA 2021
40 Riley Greene OF DET 2024
41 Luisangel Acuña SS TEX 2023
42 Carlos Colmenarez SS ?? 2025
43 Edward Cabrera RHP MIA 2020
44 Josiah Gray RHP LAD 2020
45 Hedbert Perez OF MIL 2024
46 Garrett Mitchell OF ?? 2023
47 Xavier Edwards SS TB 2022
48 Aaron Bracho 2B CLE 2022
49 Gilberto Jimenez OF BOS 2022
50 Alek Thomas OF ARI 2021
51 Nick Lodolo LHP CIN 2021
52 Nick Gonzales 2B ?? 2022
53 Jordan Groshans 3B TOR 2022
54 Robert Puason SS OAK 2024
55 Asa Lacy LHP ?? 2022
56 Simeon Woods-Richardson RHP TOR 2021
57 Greg Jones SS TB 2023
58 Triston Casas 3B BOS 2022
59 Emerson Hancock RHP ?? 2022
60 Hunter Greene RHP CIN 2023
61 Nolan Gorman 3B STL 2022
62 JJ Bleday OF MIA 2022
63 Josh Jung 3B TEX 2021
64 Lewin Diaz 1B MIA 2021
65 Kody Hoese 2B LAD 2021
66 Bryce Ball 1B ATL 2022
67 Heliot Ramos OF SF 2022
68 Michael Busch 3B LAD 2021
69 Ronny Mauricio SS NYM 2023
70 Francisco Alvarez C NYM 2024
71 Geraldo Perdomo SS ARI 2022
72 Maximo Acosta SS TEX 2024
73 Ha-Seong Kim SS ?? 2021
74 Joe Ryan RHP TB 2020
75 Misael Urbina OF MIN 2023
76 Logan Gilbert RHP SEA 2021
77 Zac Veen OF ?? 2024
78 Orelvis Martinez 3B TOR 2023
79 Alexfri Planez OF CLE 2023
80 Keithron Moss SS TEX 2023
81 Brent Honeywell RHP TB 2020
82 Joey Cantillo LHP SD 2021
83 Tyler Freeman 2B CLE 2021
84 Jordyn Adams OF LAA 2022
85 Daniel Lynch LHP KC 2020
86 Nolan Jones 3B CLE 2021
87 Brandon Marsh OF LAA 2020
88 Oscar Colas P/H ?? 2022
89 Hudson Head OF SD 2023
90 Ian Anderson RHP ATL 2020
91 Taylor Trammell OF SD 2021
92 Reid Detmers LHP ?? 2023
93 Ji-Hwan Bae SS PIT 2022
94 Ethan Small LHP MIL 2021
95 Daulton Varsho C ARI 2020
96 Casey Martin SS ?? 2023
97 Luis Rodriguez OF LAD 2024
98 Luis Campusano C SD 2021
99 Pedro Leon OF HOU 2022
100 Grayson Rodriguez RHP BAL 2022

 

PS: Most names should work as hyperlinks if you want to click and read what’s been said to this point.

Thanks for reading!

You can follow me @theprospectitch on Twitter if you’re curious.

 
  1. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Love this! Great stuff, Itch! Be safe out there!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks! You too! (I’m washing my hands as I type this)

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        My keyboard is underwater while typi–crap

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          Shoot, didn’t work?

          I was hoping you’d found a life hack for us there.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            *wearing snorkel* Working on it

  2. Worm Burner says:
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    Hey The Itch,
    With no real baseball…….or even fantasy baseball, I figured I’d ask another card question!
    Do you mainly try to stick with 1st BC autos of only the very top of the chart guys? Or would you also buy lottery tickets for cheap, like say jose devers?

    I know the prices are nice, but it’s hard to tell if guys way down the line are a waste of time (and money), or a good time to buy-in early.
    If I do buy cheaper guys, I’ve been sticking to <=20 years old. Decent plan?

    Thanks man, good luck with the family and stay healthy!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hey Worm Burner,

      The only issue with the cheaper guys is the turnaround hustle.

      If you’re sending to consignment sellers, that’s less of an issue, but if you buy a 1st chrome at like $14 skipped and it goes 2X in a year, you’d be wise to sell.

      Sounds fine.

      Thing is, that’s a fair bit hustle for ten bucks.

      So a guy like Devers, while I think he’ll go up, he’s kind of riskier than he seems at first blush because you might never sell if he never makes a huge leap.

      I guess that’s true of everyone, but he’s a non-power prospect in a small fan base, so he’s got a lot going against him.

      I think it’s functional to pay more on the front end and get fewer cards (largely 1st chrome autos) of premium dudes. I remember talking myself out of some Acuña investments early because he was pricey right away. But now that $70 for his 1st chrome is a laugh.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        If you are going cheap, an organizational structure could be huge.

        I could not find my Aquinos last year when they were 15X my initial investment of about $10.

        We had moved, but still, having a lot of cards can cost you some profit if you’re not managing inventory well, and I was not for a stretch before and after the move. Have just sooooooo many cards. It piles up and spreads out. I have at least 50 unopened card envelopes in my office. I’m not selling those yet, and I don’t have a solid organizational structure in place, so the safest spot for them is in their padded envelopes.

        Need to get on that . . .

      • Worm Burner says:
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        Thanks Itch, I always appreciate the advice.

        It’s just like real and fantasy baseball, the spring always brings so much hope and hype……..devers put on 20 lbs of rock solid muscle!…….probably only because you wrote about him needing to workout with rafael in your team blurb!

        Thanks again and take care

        • The Itch

          The Itch says:
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          You too, stay safe out there.

          And thanks for reminding me of the Rafael blurb. Will be fun if it turns out that’s what happened.

          And yeah, about Devers plus muscle, at $10-14 shipped the past couple weeks, he’s a solid buy.

    • Bterry says:
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      I play in the BC 1st autos myself. I like the wait, so I say go for it. Almost the same as pack ripping excitement when the card starts to go up.
      I still like going after mantles the most tho.

  3. Bterry says:
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    Ive got Dominguez and Robinson in my keeper league that allows 6 keepers and 4 MiLB keepers. If I needed pitching snd outfield help, who would be a good MLB target?
    Ive got an opportunity to get brantley and Woodward for dominguez.
    Pull the trigger or hold?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’d wait until we know about 2020.

      But if we’ve got enough season that Woodruff and Brantley help put you over the top, I’d do it. Lots of good keepers and prospects in a sea that size.

      • Bterry says:
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        Great point. I wasnt even considering that.

  4. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Thanks, Itch! Would love to hear about this Tetsuto guy…

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Duda!

      Will have more about Yamada on Sunday!

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        Sounds goood!

  5. Chucky says:
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    Who has the better chance to impact 2020 and beyond? Gore or Pearson?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’ll take Pearson in 2020 and Gore beyond.

  6. Harley Earl says:
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    You ranked Casey Marting and not Heston Kjerstad? Might want to rethink that. Martin struggling bad and Kjerstad exploding before the halt in play this season.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Harley,

      Heston fell just outside the 100– 105 right now.

      Tried to squeeze him in.

      Martin didn’t start well, but neither did Trea Turner in his draft year.

      Speed ( and D ) give him some extra leash.

      • Harley Earl says:
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        Yeah, I get your reluctance to move Martin out.

        But Van Horn had already benched him a couple games and dropped him low in the order. This is something a lot of us who follow the Razorbacks coming. He’s a much weaker hitter than his numbers showed last year. Now the flaws are catching up to his game and all he has left is speed and a glove. Van Horn was considering even moving him off shortstop too. This is one college team I know well. I’d draft Kjerstad before Martin every time no matter what.

        You have a good opinion and I agree with most of what you write. Just saying I think you have misjudged this situation. But, you’re smart, you know your stuff so maybe you are right.

        I’ll stick to my guns though! Kjerstad baby! Haha!

  7. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Your prospect reports butter my bread man (in a totally cool platonic way). In your prognostication for next year, i see a lack of Daniel Espino whom has no shortage of “stuff.” You think he’ll still be too underseasoned to make this list for next year? Would love to hear more from you on him, thanks bro.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Coolwhip!

      I now feel warm like butter on toast.

      The shutdown seems to hurt low-level arms like Espino as much as anyone.

      He’ll have to ramp up, then he’ll have his workload monitored. I love Espino and expect him to fly up the list at some point, but the total innings pitched number is a signpost for projecting young pitchers, and he’s going to have a very small 2020 number to build up from in 2021.

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        word. okay, that makes sense… damn this virus!!!! after seeing where he was drafted, I grabbed shares of him everywhere I could. Just like you said, Indians do pitching right.

  8. Dr Toboggan says:
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    Balazovic off the list because you expect him up sooner?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I did graduate him, but that was a coin flip. Will come down to the fringe Twinkies like Dobnak, Smeltzer and Thorpe.

      If they’re decent, Balazovic likely stays down, but there’s a lot of injury-history paths here: Rich Hill, Michael Pineda, Homer Bailey.

  9. Taco says:
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    I noticed you have some Japanese, Korean players. Do you have an idea on if they will be posted after the 2020 season.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I think Kim is a really solid bet to come over.

      The Japanese guys are a service-time play. They’re approaching international free agency, and posting them is the business side’s smartest financial bet for prime-age players partly due to the recurring percentage of salary payments.

  10. Mark says:
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    It’s scary to see so many TB middle infielders. I assume Tampa feels they can convert many of the to the outfield and also have them play different position on the diamond. Might be a sound strategy…but I have yet to see them produce a top star. Franco and Brujan might be the best and could be a good test.

    With Franco any split issues or concerns about his game?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Zero concerns about Wander.

      But I hear you. Kiermaier is living on borrowed time. Margot too. Vidal is coming for centerfield, in my opinion.

  11. Ben says:
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    Nate Pearson is not in your top 100?

    • LenFuego says:
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      I think Pearson is among those Itch expects to graduate in 2020 … this list is a prediction for next March. I assume he expects guys like the Tigers pitchers and others listed as arriving in 2020 will only get a cup of coffee in 2020.

      • The Itch

        The Itch says:
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        Thanks, LenFuego!

        Nailed it!

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        Yeah he most likely will no longer qualify as a prospect. should get solid innings this season

  12. JB says:
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    Itch –
    Interested to see Colas is not on this list?? Is he not in your top 100?

  13. JB says:
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    Sorry Itch. Number 88. I see him now.
    Down on him?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      No worries, JB!

      I do seem a little too low on him here . . . and I’m actually really excited about him, so I might need to adjust up . . . just such a loaded list with some timeline backlog.

  14. thehombre says:
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    Skubal above Manning and Mize? Are you the first to predict this? You are brave and that is why I like you.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, thehombre!

      I’m not sure if I was the first, but I won’t be the last.

      • Jolt In Flow says:
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        For what it’s worth, I second Itch’s call. I’ve read enough about him that it’s the right call.

        Skubal is the real deal. I’d take him over the other two.

        Walmarting him in my upcoming amateur draft.

        PS. Just the type of post I was looking for, Itch. Always look forward to your reports.

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:
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          Yo Jolt. glad you made an appearance here. 1 dropped from my RCL if you still want to swoop in and nab the spot, draft is tmw.

          • Jolt In Flow says:
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            In!

            Looking forward to a fun league.

            Thanks for the heads up Coolwhip.

  15. Drew says:
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    Thanks much for the list!

    Wondering what 6 MiLB players I should keep in my 16-team OPS keeper: D. Carlson, J. Rodriguez, C. Carroll, G. Rodriguez, Hoerner, L. Garcia (WSH), A. Bracho, M. Luciano, Valera, and Kiriloff.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      You’re more than welcome, Drew!

      And thanks for thanking me!!

      Julio, Carlson, Luciano, Carroll, Kirilloff for sure imo.

      Then it comes down to Bracho, Valera or Nico.

      I like Bracho best, especially in OPS, but he likely has the least trade value among these three. I’d roll that dice and bet on Bracho but don’t think you can go wrong among the 3.

      • Drew says:
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        Oh I also for Alek Thomas! I’ve got him too…
        Bracho seems to be the least-heralded of the 3, but I like him a fair amount too. I’ve been a fan of Valera for a while now, and snagged Nico last year before the off-season. Nico’s ceiling seems to be lower–more of a high floor guy?

        Much appreciated.

        • Drew says:
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          forgot*

  16. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Great list, Itch. Wander shall lead us.
    No McKenzie Gore or did I just miss him..

    Stay safe, man!

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, MP!!

      I decided to graduate him.

      I know it’ll be close, but I’d give him at least 50 innings if I ran San Diego, and I’m not even a Preller playing for his job.

  17. Sweet Panther says:
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    Nice list, handy.

    Any thoughts on Whitley and what he might do in 2020 or not?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Thanks, Sweet Panther!

      I think Dusty helps Whitley.

      Houston was treating him the way they treat everyone, and most of their arms are short guys, so it makes great sense to live up in the zone with 4-seamers and bury curves down and out.

      It might take awhile, but if Dusty can convey his do-your-thing approach to the point people working with Whitley, we should see a return to the 5-pitch freak of nature we thought he was before his ill-fated late-night drive and subsequent shitshow.

  18. Anodyne says:
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    I see that you’ve got Robert Puason ranked above Monte Harrison for this year, but you have Harrison over Puason for 2021. Want to offer any thoughts about that? The reason I’m asking is because I’ve only got room to stash one of the two.

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      I’d move Harrison ahead of Puason if re-ranking today.

  19. Kevin Mattern says:
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    You must like Kirby… I feel he will be a top 5 pitching prospect by 2021 and it seems that you kind of agree

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Like Kirby I do!

      Thinking about painting something pink today in honor

  20. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Hey Itch! With the news Spencer Howard May have the 5th starter gig in philly, would you be running to snag him in waivers in keeper leagues, even if it means dropping someone like Archer or a Jorge Mateo gamble?

    • The Itch

      The Itch says:
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      Hey Duda!

      Yeah I’d drop either for Howard.

      Archer first in 5×5 w lots of keepers.

      Mateo first in a shallower and/or non-standard league.

Comments are closed.