Happy holidays! For your present this year, I’m pushing out the Top 50 First Year Player Prospects. I chose those words precisely because rankings to me are like childbirth. Painful. Everybody wants to see. And then your in-laws complain about the name you picked out. Wonderful! For reals though, these specs are the most unsurest of an unsure bunch, so tiers are chunked in tens. I won’t put up much of a fuss within tiers, but if you want to talk about a player being in the wrong tier altogether, I think that’s a discussion worth having. I’ve already gone over my Top 10 First Year Player Prospects, and in that intro I talked a little about where my head’s at when I do these. (Insert “up my ass” joke here). Enjoy!

11. Travis Swaggerty, OF | ETA: 2021
12. Jonathan India, 3B | ETA: 2020
13. Xavier Edwards, 2B | ETA: 2022
14. Jordan Groshans, 3B | ETA: 2022
15. Nico Hoerner, 2B | ETA: 2020
16. Jordyn Adams, OF | ETA: 2022
17. Matthew Liberatore, LHP | ETA: 2023
18. Cole Winn, RHP | ETA: 2023
19. Alek Thomas, OF | ETA: 2022
20. Marco Luciano, SS | ETA: 2023

Swaggerty kicks off the next tier with a nice combination of power and speed from center field. India follows with a low risk/reward profile that should move quickly through the minors. Then we have a run of high schoolers with distant ETAs. From that group, Edwards and Adams have 80-grade speed. Wheels don’t age well, but those two could potentially impact the steals category on arrival. Luciano is the first international teenager I’m taking this year.

21. Parker Meadows, OF | ETA: 2021
22. Kyler Murray, OF | ETA: 2021
23. Brady Singer, RHP | ETA: 2021
24. Orelvis Martinez, SS | ETA: 2023
25. Malcolm Nunez, 3B | ETA: 2023
26. Jeremiah Jackson, 3B | ETA: 2022
27. Grant Lavigne, 1B | ETA: 2022
28. Triston Casas, 1B | ETA: 2022
29. Greyson Jenista, OF | ETA: 2021
30. Connor Scott, OF | ETA: 2023

This tier is the most interesting to me. Martinez and Nunez are great international specs to target in the late second/early third rounds. They both have a ton of offensive upside from the left side of the dirt. Then we have a pair of first basemen with plus power in Lavigne and Casas. Kyler Murray is a gigantic crapshoot, but he’s obviously a freak athlete. I probably won’t touch him myself (in drafts that is) but on pure tools he’s still in that top 25.

31. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP | ETA: 2023
32. Brice Turang, SS | ETA: 2022
33. Nick Schnell, OF | ETA: 2022
34. Anthony Seigler, C | ETA: 2023
35. Ryan Weathers, LHP | ETA: 2023
36. Mason Denaburg, RHP | ETA: 2023
37. Jonathan Ornelas, SS | ETA: 2023
38. Logan Gilbert, RHP | ETA: 2021
39. Noah Naylor, C | ETA: 2023
40. Jameson Hannah, OF | ETA: 2021

There are a bunch of pitchers in this tier – which is funny because if I was actually drafting, this is where I’d take my first arm. I like Rodriguez’s fastball/slider combo for the strikeout potential. Turang and Schnell are both going to be projects, but the payoff could be above-average pop and speed up the middle.

41. Ryder Green, OF | ETA: 2022
42. Blaze Alexander, SS | ETA: 2022
43. Tristan Pompey, OF | ETA: 2021
44. Steele Walker, OF | ETA: 2021
45. Nick Decker, OF | ETA: 2022
46. Kody Clemens, 2B | ETA: 2021
47. Daniel Lynch, LHP | ETA: 2021
48. Jackson Kowar, RHP | ETA: 2021
49Kyle Isbel, OF | ETA: 2021
50Noelvi Marte, SS | ETA: 2023
51. Owen Sharts, RHP | ETA: 2023 **

The most interesting name in this tier is Clemens. Yes, he’s related. Sometimes prospects play above their raw tools thanks to plus makeup or grit. Clemens appears to be one of those. We’ll have to wait until some other year for Sharts to get drafted (thanks to Matt for pointing out he opted for college). I’m forming a prayer nonagon that he makes it to the pros just so I can hear this – “Owen Sharts on the mound.”

  1. Ante Galic says:
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    Mike!!

    Fab top 50 specs report!

    a. The top 10 of this top 50 is where I’m at, I think. So, yeah! For the all the fans of India, they can relax now.

    b. Little-known factoid about Chad for December 23

    The saddest thing I have to say about Chad is that it is a country rich in gold, oil and diamonds yet 90% of the population lives in abject poverty. Their daddy is the French government and their daddy has more or less abandoned his Chadian children – not as simple as that but I digress. It’s not only poverty. Chad is plagued with two additional macroeconomic factors which is slowly killing its people.

    1. The average monthly salary is around 20 USD.

    2. What you can get with 20 USD is really nothing, meaning the buying power of 1 USD is minimal. The cheapest hotel room rate in the capital N’Djamena is about 40 USD but that room is a living hell with no AC in a country where it’s 100F in the winter. The cheapest hotel room rate in the bush is about 10 USD and that’s just a room with a bed and a sponge bob plastic pillow case with no breakfast included and of course no running water and no electricity. There is an outdoor toilet, no need for further description (southern Kentucky in the 17th century was better).

    It costs 1 USD to hire a motorbike in any one direction. This journey is quite perilous with no helmet for passenger or driver. To make a direct comparison between Chad and Uganda, you can buy 10 avocado in Uganda for only 2 avocado in Chad, if you can find avocado. Bananas, too, are at least 10 times cheaper in Uganda than in Chad.

    It’s a really sad country, but if the president of Chad really loves Chad than he should exploit all the natural resources and give the money back to the people. The trouble with that simple idea is that if poor people in Chad had 1000000 USD they’d blow it quickly because they’ve been down for so long they have no concept of saving for the future or living for tomorrow. And that’s the saddest factoid of all. It’s also part and parcel of why most of them want to go elsewhere.

    c. Merry X-mas to you and all those you hold near and dear. May all your dreams come true.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      a. yeah, these lists drop off pretty quickly
      b. man, I’m glad I don’t live in Chad
      c. thanks! you too!

  2. Chris says:
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    My FYPD has some additional guys that were unselected in our inaugural draft last year. Could you tell me where these players should land? Deivi Garcia, Nate Lowe, Cavan Biggio and Julio Pablo Martinez. Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d forget Garcia and wait on JPM. Biggio and Lowe you may want to consider in late first/early second if you don’t have a specific 2018 signee you like. Both had solid 2018 seasons and are decent specs. I prefer Biggio of the two.

      • Chris says:
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        @Mike: Why do you forgot Garcia? Is it him or the fact he’s a pitcher?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          eh, just pitchers…I only rank so many before I’m like yeah that’s enough…let’s do more hitters.

  3. Matt says:
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    Vasil and Sharts went to college. Not a big deal, but why include them?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t know about Vasil. Fixed!

  4. Rebar says:
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    In our leagues first year draft, Bubba Thompson is still available. Where would he slot in this list? Some of his risk has been baked out due to a successful debut.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      He’d be pretty high…I’d take him among the first 4-5 picks.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Oh em gee, there’s someone named Owen Sharts? “A messy blow-out as Owen Sharts in rain-shortened game…”

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha! I honestly did a spit take when I saw it.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        As long as it was an oral spit take!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Gross!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            I know! It’s Sharts’ fault!

        • Sea Hags says:
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          @Grey: lol

  6. Dave says:
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    Hey…Stewart and Wilcox also didn’t sign. Do you have a “next two” you can add to your list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      shit! thanks. Isbel and Marte added.

  7. Dave Thomas says:
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    How does Richie Palacios not make this list?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Combo of no power and an overall projection of 40. He had a decent debut, but I don’t think it’s an exciting profile.

      • Dave Thomas says:
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        Nuts!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          As a Tribe fan I hope I’m wrong!

  8. sh says:
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    Mike, love my winter prospect reading.
    Thanks for it.
    I am looking to upgrade my SP, another team offered me Kluber for Robles,DL Hall , Colton Welker and 3rd and 6th round pick in the 1st year player draft.
    It is a 20 team head to head league.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem! I’d hold Robles et al. and go after a cheaper arm.

  9. Thorbs says:
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    Nice stuff! Thoughts on Groshans? Toronto media mildly ripped the pick at the time

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! I’m surprised…he’s a solid player with the chance to hit for average and power. This year he’ll play full season so it should help everybody relax. I’d expect him to do well with his approach.

  10. Jared says:
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    Snagged Gorman and Madrigal with picks 2 and 5 in a 30 team dynasty. Gave up picks 11, 18 and 23 to move to 5 when Madrigal dropped.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yo! That’s a great haul! They’re my 1-2. If you don’t mind, who went #1 overall?

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