I love most things about playing fantasy baseball leagues, but I especially love the push/pull of short versus long-term outcomes. I play a lot of dynasty, keeper and redraft leagues of various shapes and sizes, so the range of values I might place on a prospect in a given league is wide.

Not here, though, where I’ll be going full cut-throat, win-the-money redraft style.

  • Note: Nobody will be cutting actual throats. I love that phrase, but yikes, what a thing to say in casual conversation, huh?

This list won’t turn out to be 100 percent accurate, but it will reflect many hours of trade talks, gameplay, research, roller coasters and centrifuges of thought, educated guesswork, and dash of the psychology motivating humans working within a nihilistic capitalist structure. 

  • Note: I wasn’t sure how to handle innings caps. Every pitcher got dinged a little for the purposes of this list because some/most organizations will be very conservative pushing pitchers from 30-something (or zero) innings up above 100 (or more).

 

Rank Player Team
1 OF Randy Arozarena TB
2 RHP Ian Anderson ATL
3 OF Jarred Kelenic SEA
4 OF Julio Rodriguez SEA
5 RHP Sixto Sanchez MIA
6 OF Dylan Carlson STL
7 1B Ryan Mountcastle BAL
8 SS Wander Franco TB
9 1B Andrew Vaughn CHW
10 OF Jo Adell LAA
11 SP Nate Pearson TOR
12 SP Triston McKenzie CLE
13 SP Tarik Skubal DET
14 SP MacKenzie Gore SD
15 1B OF Alex Kirilloff MIN
16 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes PIT
17 C Joey Bart SF
18 RHP Casey Mize DET
19 C Alejandro Kirk TOR
20 2B Nick Madrigal CHW
21 2B Jeter Downs BOS
22 RHP Tejay Antone CIN
23 SS Jazz Chisholm MIA
24 LHP Garrett Crochet CHW
25 RHP Luis Patiño SD
26 RHP Michael Kopech CHW
27 RHP Luis Garcia HOU
28 RHP Dean Kremer BAL
29 2B Vidal Brujan TB
30 RHP Clarke Schmidt NYY
31 RHP Dane Dunning CHW
32 LHP Brailyn Marquez CHC
33 RHP Spencer Howard PHI
34 C Adley Rutschman BAL
35 1B Lewin Diaz MIA
36 OF Pavin Smith ARI
37 RHP Logan Gilbert SEA
38 RHP Brent Honeywell TB
39 RHP Forrest Whitley HOU
40 RHP George Kirby SEA
41 OF Cristian Pache ATL
42 LHP Trevor Rogers MIA
43 OF Drew Waters ATL
44 RHP Max Meyer MIA
45 LHP Reid Detmers LAA
46 SS Jose Garcia CIN
47 RHP Deivi Garcia NYY
48 RHP Tanner Houck BOS
49 OF Jared Oliva PIT
50 OF Trevor Larnach MIN

 

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

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NATRONEMEANSBUSINESS
NATRONEMEANSBUSINESS
1 year ago

How many of these guys would you take in the top 100 of a re-draft? I’m guessing the line is around Vaughn or Gore.

Also, a big thank you for your extended coverage on Randy. I grabbed him early and enjoyed the ride.

JayJ
JayJ
1 year ago

Sixto or Luis robert for 2021 dynasty.
Just asking because of the contact/plate discipline troubles roberts had in 2020.

TarmanGotHim
TarmanGotHim
1 year ago

No Edward Cabrera?
No JJ Bleday?

Marlins Fan :) and Sixto is gonna be better than Ian Anderson.

Yes, homer, bias :)

Thanks! Great write up.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
1 year ago

Sorry but this Arozarena stuff is going to come to a screeching halt next year and a lot of people are going to look very silly.

I’m not saying RA isn’t a decent ball players. He is just that, a decent player. He is NOT a superstar in the making. I’ve watched Randy in person many times for the Memphis Redbirds. Nice player, nice bat, nice wheels. But he’s a 15 HR and 20 SB guy.

Going bonkers over him like he’s the next Luis Robert or Fernando Tatiis has gotten comical. I will be laughing at those who buy in next season. Nice player. Not a superstar talent.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Have you seen RA play in person? I have. Many, many times. He is not going to be what you all make of him.

Remember what I told you about Heston Kjerstad? This is another example. I may not know every facet of baseball inside and out. But I do know things in my region that are easily familiar to me. Arozarena will not be what you all are making him out to be.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Yes, he does look stronger. He did not have the makings of a true power hitter. That’s what I saw with my own two eyes, many times.

Why he would be #1 on this list over several others boggles my mind. You’ve got him over Wander Franco and Jared Kelenic, Rustchman, Julio Rodriquez, etc. No way would I want him over those guys, especially in a keeper or dynasty league. You seem to act like pitchers are never going to figure out a weakness. They will. He’s far from invincible. Nice player for sure. But he’s not a superstar and not worthy of a #1 ranking. Rank him top 10, and I’m cool with it.

That said, I’d be fine if you were right and I was wrong. I’d much rather see the guy succeed and be wrong than watch him struggle and be right. My only wish is that the dumbass Mozeliak would quit trading all our talent (Voit, Grichuk, Arozarena, Marco Gonzalez) for trash.

He’s the worst GM in baseball. The sheer fact that Arozarena has led Tampa to the World Series makes that trade a bust already. Libatore will never do that.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Harley Earl
1 year ago

Oh, and one more thing before I forget. I’d take Luis Robert over Arozarena every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Robert has gone though his adjustment season.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Actually, what I’m saying is I’d take Rutschman in a keeper or dynasty league.

You should consider that many players like myself do not play redraft leagues any more. There’s very little challenge to them. Dynasty is actually by far the most challenging but Keeper can bey very challenging as well.

Without question I like all of those players better than Arozarena long term. In a redraft league, definitely like all but Rutschman over Arozarena simply because his playing time may not even come until 2022.

Just my opinion, which is worth zilch but I’ve been right before. I think the hype on a guy for such a small sample size is absolutely silly. I’d take Lou Bob all day long over him.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Sure, put me down for Lou Bob vs. Randy A. in 2021 straight up.

Let’s wager a steak dinner. Something like Longhorn, Outback or Texas Roadhouse. I’m definitely game!

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

One more thing though, while you get the triple slash counted. I get all the counting stats. That bullshit about avg, on base and slugging is great. But not including the other categories is fucking cheating and you know it. We both know Randy can hit but let’s see him fucking produce for 162 games.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

It’s simple, you have the normal fantasy categories (Runs, SB, RBI and HR,. along with the triple slash line). Whoever wins the most categories or totals the most from each had the better season. Not that hard.

I am saying Randy will likely have a better batting average, which means I’m conceding one category right off the top. Anything flukey and he wins two, so it’s bullshit that you want to go with just those three categories. The overall more production and corresponding categories give a far more clear picture of who the better player is than your first suggestion, which was obviously weighted to favor you. Cheating, weighted, sneaky, shady, call it whatever the fuck you want. You know what I mean.

If you have a link the J-Rod bomb, I’d love to see it. You know what I think about him. He’s the next Springer!

Smitty
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

J-Rod in the house! Thanks Itch! How about Randy’s jolt last night in the WS? Oh my, what a tight electric swing this kid has. wonder what the exit velo was.

Smitty
Reply to  Harley Earl
1 year ago

Dont stress so hard Earl at least you still have Dexter Fowler. Getting an opportunity and having the Mgr and Org believe in you are huge. Cash showed confidence and being unorthodox threw the kid in the 3 hole and let him play. Something he didnt get in StL worked and he ran with it. Glad you were able to see him in the minors, but you and Mozeliak missed on him.

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  Smitty
1 year ago

Mozeliak missed on him. I did not. And I couldn’t give a shit what you think. I know a hell of a lot more about him than you.

CJ
CJ
1 year ago

Hey Itch – great work as usual. Were you planning to go another 50 + or put out a full list soon? I ask only because after finally taking my full dyno league this year in year 10 I still have a glaring hole – you guessed it – C… have currently Carson K, Pedro S and Mejia (who I was hoping would have come around by now) – so that said looking for future as well as tomorrow. Vaschro, Kirk, F Alvarez or Stephenson? Maybe another sneaky less known that is “close”?
Any way let me know if you don’t mind and thanks as always. Cheers!

Dong Show
Dong Show
1 year ago

Traded Patiño for Jassonn Dominguez today. You think that is fair? I’ve never been big on pitching prospects but I LOVE Patiño’s arm. But the upside and hype to Dominguez is unreal right now. 10 team league, 7 offensive categories, 6 pitching.

Felt like it was a unique buying opportunity as I expect his value to likely inflate. I’m Playing for now so while Patiño is nice, he’s prob not a big contributor to my squad next year (guy I traded with wants younger arms and is flush with OF prospects). Kind of a wash with hype and and more season after another year for both I felt like.

Thanks for any feedback Itch!

Dong Show
Dong Show
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

League mates have been saying I did really well with trade, so makes me feel good you like this as well for me.

This guy owns these prospects:

CJ Abraham’s
Marco Luciano
Wander
Lux
JRod
Sixto
Clarke Schmidt

In addition to pretty much every stud under 25 who is in the MLB haha. He’s making a super team for the future where I have loaded up for the “now” with top guys at pretty much each position who are all 26-29. I’m the top team talent wise in our league and he’s the later.

He had some flexibility to let one of these guys go and him and I are always trading big names to each other. So he feels safe knowing (and vice versa) that if we are dealing with these big name guys, we always have a shot at them.

I did have to give up my first round Rule 5 draft pick. I got Lucas Sims back too as a flier name since I was trading an MLB arm.

Smitty
1 year ago

I know he’s only 20 but wondering if Bobby Witt Jr. got any consideration, I’m high on him. Great work Itch thanks!

Josh J
Josh J
1 year ago

Do you really see Julio Rodriguez as that high in redraft leagues? I can see it in Dynasty rankings, but is he going to contribute in 2021 that much? What do you know that I don’t?

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

Love ya Itch, but questions here:

Everyone loves Randy now, but c’mon, the best prospect for next year? Methinks he’s going to be drafted way too high and then get Ray’d into a platoon, or worse, Aquino’d.

Both Mariners coming up next year? and Wander? Where does Wander play, with Adames there?

And Adell graduated.

Looking forward to the Dynasty Minors rankings and FYPD. Thanks!

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

please do NOT use some arbitrary date no matter what MLB is up to, most of us are using the standard 130/50 for prospect status in leagues.

Phil
Phil
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

There is no better feeling in fantasy than being in a guy before he blows up (my best is traded for JD Martinez a week before the Tigers traded him to the Dbacks).

Randy has been a tough one thus far in fantasy circles, so many are screaming “small sample size” but there are many other factors, as you mention.

Intriguing notes on the M’s situation, most appreciated.

Keep up the excellent work!

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Phil
1 year ago

i think you mean HOU, not ARI (unless HOU now also have some cheating related douchebags name that is the appears similar to dbacks as “dbags”)

NUX
NUX
1 year ago

*insert Kramer sliding through the apt door gif*

Dean made the list!!! Woohoo

Grey
Admin
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

A Jewish Oriole, I have seen it all

Grey
Admin
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Ha!

Joey Schmoey
Joey Schmoey
Reply to  NUX
1 year ago

Tork never disrespect the tork

How could you. Dude aint playin w babies he is a beast. He at 3b latest June 1

TC
TC
1 year ago

Would you trade Hiura and Sixto to get back Lux and Kelenic in a forever keeper?

How about Lindor and Sixto for Xander and Kelenic?

It’s a standard 5×5 roto. Thanks

Benny the Jet
Benny the Jet
Reply to  TC
1 year ago

Would EASILY take Lux and Kelenic in a dynasty over Hiura and Sixto. Lux and Kelenic are both much more polished hitters than Hiura and it’s not even close. I’ll always value hitters over pitchers.

Lindor and Sixto, I’d still take Xander and Kelenic. Word on the street is Kelenic has a Trout-esqe hitter profile.

batflix
batflix
Reply to  Benny the Jet
1 year ago

on what planet did Lux and Kelenic become polished hitters?

Benny the Jet
Benny the Jet
Reply to  batflix
1 year ago

Planet Earth, welcome aboard!

Check their stats in the minors. Low K rates, high walk rakes = polished hitter with good sense of the strike zone. Hiura has a 30+% K rate and never walks.
Tune in next week when I explain the difference between hot and cold.

C
C
Reply to  Benny the Jet
1 year ago

They’ve been saying Kelenic has a trout profile since he was drafted. Still doesn’t make it true. It’s more hyperbole and lack of imagination than anything. Kelenic’s power is suspect.

JRod is the Mariner OF prospect you want.

Benny the Jet
Benny the Jet
Reply to  C
1 year ago

I have them both in my dynasty league

Kcc26
Kcc26
1 year ago

Wow, Randy at the top!

My main league is a keeper in which we keep 6 each year. The players “cost” the average of the round where they were drafted the previous year and the round of their preseason ADP. Can keep guys forever—their price just gradually escalates by that formula.

Here are my top options for next year (can also trade preseason):

Darvish (round 2)
Story (3)
Woodruff (4)
Acuña (5)
Albies (8)
Alonso (11)
Arozarena (17)
Kelenic (20)

Obviously keeping Acuña and Albies, but after that not so sure! Who are your 6? Any you’re definitely exploring trading?

Thanks!

Kcc26
Kcc26
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Yeah. Aces are tough! Most are kept. Last year I kept all hitters and then went Darvish/Morton at the turn. Strasburg and Kershaw went in the 1st and Greinke/Nola/Syndergaard were 2nd rounders.

Kcc26
Kcc26
Reply to  The Itch
1 year ago

Thanks! Yeah kelenic is tough one for me. I really wanted to just keep the 4 stud hitters, one pitcher and then Kelenic with the last just in case he hits his ceiling and becomes a stud guy that I’m keeping at a steep discount for years to come. I feel like keeper leagues are all about hoarding those high upside talents. Unfortunately we only keep 6 so in order to keep top prospects you’re always forced to bypass safer established guys. Anyway, Arozarena has changed the calculus a bit, small sample size and all…

hardball24
hardball24
1 year ago

great list, itch. surprised to see matt manning didn’t make the list, how much did he miss by?