When mapping out this year’s Top 100, I kept getting lost in the layout. I’ve tried a few different ways to skin this cat, and I think my favorite so far was my first: Top 25 Prospects for 2020 Fantasy Baseball.

It was simple, sleek, easy to see, easy to scroll, and it was built in tiers, which feels like a realistic lens through which to view these players. You can argue that Nolan Gorman is definitively a better prospect than George Valera if you want to, or vice versa, but if you get offered one for the other in a trade, you might freeze up like me pondering the layout of this article. The differences are real, certainly, but they’re more aesthetic and subjective than anything like objective truth. It’s a difference in type or style more than a difference of quality. 

I’ll try to stay concise in between the tiers here, but you can access a more in-depth consideration of each individual player by clicking on their names or skimming around in the 2022 Minor League Preview Index

Here’s a link to the Top 25

And here’s a link to the Top 50

Drumroll please and away we go!

51. OF Johan Rojas | Phillies | 21 | A+ | 2023 

52. SS Jose Barrero | Reds | 23 | MLB | 2020 

I’m gonna say I love this tier, and you’re gonna think something like “Yeah you must really love them to rank ’em outside the Top 50.” That’s fair, but I am trying to trade for Johan Rojas everywhere I can. Barrero is gettable too, I think, despite being on the cusp of some sort of opportunity in Cincinnati. I’d like to think he’ll play everyday between shortstop, outfield and DH, but that might be a pipe dream at this point, which is why you could still trade for him.

 

53. OF George Valera | Guardians | 21 | AA | 2023

54. OF Robert Hassell III | Padres | 20 | A+ | 2023

55. SS Jordan Lawlar | Diamondbacks | 19 | CPX | 2025

56. 3B Coby Mayo | Orioles | 20 | A | 2024

In this tier, we find three players I wouldn’t trade for and one player I’d be happy to have for a reasonable price.

Valera is tricky. If I had him, he’d be tough to trade, but I would put him on the block and see what materialized. Cleveland slow-rolls their roster spots, and I’m impatient enough to at least peek behind door number three.

Hassell III got moved for Seiya Suzuki in the Razz30 this year, and he’s a definite sell for me if that’s the kind of return you can expect. I’m not sure it is now that Suzuki is in Chicago. At the time, he represented a significant risk, as the team trading for him might’ve just lost Hassell for nothing if Suzuki hadn’t signed. Anyhow, the point stands he commands significant trade value despite struggling in High-A and being several years away from helping your stats. 

Mayo is a go for me. He’s still available in the 15-team Ditka Dynasty. That draft is scheduled for April 1, and even though I’m trying to defend a title, I’ll probably end up scooping some Mayo into the shopping cart. He’s a little unorthodox, but he strikes me as the smooth-swinging sort of elite who might just never struggle. Reminds me a little of Ryan Braun in the bat whip and exit velocity.

 

57. SS Liover Peguero | Pirates | 21 | A+ | 2023

58. 3B Nolan Gorman | Cardinals | 21 | AAA | 2022

59. RHP Jack Leiter | Rangers | 21 | NCAA | 2023

60. SS Elly De La Cruz | Reds | 20 | A | 2024

61. OF Jasson Dominguez | Yankees | 19 | A | 2024 

62. OF Jay Allen II | Reds | 19 | CPX | 2025

63. 3B Elehuris Montero | Rockies | 23 | AAA | 2022

Peguero tends to raise some eyebrows on my lists, so I cut out a sample size that exemplifies my optimism for him. Over his final 36 games, Peguero slashed .305/.363/.523 with 8 HR and 13 SB. He’s not going to be a 25/50 type player, but his topside is the kind of cross-category contributor that never makes it out of the third round or redraft leagues during his prime.

Gorman’s been cutting the strikeout and justifying some of his early career hype. He’s still more of a sell than a buy for me, but now that he’s got a chance at 2B eligibility, I have to re-evaluate that on the regular. 

I had no idea what to do with Jack Leiter. It’s tough to get a solid read on his perceived value around the dynasty game. He’s probably best used as a trade piece at the moment. 

The same could be said for Elly De La Cruz, who’s topside is first-round redraft piece and who’s floor is somewhere below Aristides Aquino

Here’s a third trade piece in a row with Jasson Dominguez, unless he’s already lost most of the sheen in your league. If so, just wait it out. He’ll catch another spotlight soon. 

These last two are buys. In 19 games on the complex, Allen II slashed .328/.440/.557 with 3 HR and 14 SB. He was caught stealing once. This is what future roto studs look like at the lower levels.

I’m hoping to get Montero where I can. He’s made little tweaks to shorten up his swing and sharpen up his approach, and he doesn’t have to be particularly great to be a fantasy stud in Colorado. As an added plus, they kind of have to get him on the field. Garrett Hampson, he’s not, is what I’m saying. He’s the primary return for Nolan Arenado, so I’m hoping he gets treated more like a prospect than a bench-extender in his early career. 

 

64. RHP Camilo Doval | Giants | 24 | MLB | 2021

65. C Henry Davis | Pirates | 22 | A+ | 2023 

66. C Diego Cartaya | Dodgers | 20 | A | 2023

I can see some scenarios where I don’t trade Davis or Cartaya for Camilo Doval, like a SV+H league with 40-some starting catchers, but I’m typically contending, and as such, a guy like Doval carries immense upside in saves-only formats. Maybe he splits the job with Jake McGee. Maybe he loses the gig entirely. Either way, it’s hard to get elite relievers. If you think saves are tough to come by in 15-team redraft, wait til they get scarce in your dynasty league.

Cartaya ended last season with back issues, or he might be a little higher. That plus the catcher piece was enough to waterlog his elite power. 

 

67. RHP Roansy Contreras | Pirates | 22 | MLB | 2021

68. RHP Joe Ryan | Twins | MLB | 2021

69. LHP Aaron Ashby | Brewers | 23 | MLB | 2021

70. 3B Brett Baty | Mets | 22 | AA | 2022

I like all these guys. Green lights all the way at these prices, which I think are a fair representation of where they’d land in most dynasty leagues. Baty would be higher for builders. Roansy, Ashby and Ryan would be higher for tenders. I’m a little worried about the role for Ashby, but Milwaukee’s track record is incredible over the past few years.

 

71. SS Cristian Hernandez | Cubs | 18 | DSL | 2025 

72. SS Wilman Diaz | Dodgers | 18 | DSL | 2025

73. OF Steven Kwan | Guardians | 24 | AAA | 2022

If you’re looking long term, you could swing for the fences on Hernandez and Diaz. If you need help now, pivot to Kwan. 

 

74. OF Josh Lowe | Rays | 24 | MLB | 2021 

75. LHP Reid Detmers | Angels | 22 | MLB | 2021

Lowe features incredible power-speed upside but doesn’t make consistent enough contact for us to be confident about banking those stats.

Detmers was hittable partly because his pitches move pretty close to the average offering in his velocity band. He can overcome this with command and further reliance on his slider along with stealing more strikes early in counts with his curveball, but the early returns against major league hitters were a little scary. 

Thanks for reading! 

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter. 

27 Comments
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r_wright14621@yahoo.com
4 months ago

Great read, thanks. What’s your thoughts on Cade Cavali?

Looks like he may break spring training with the club.

Ross
Ross
4 months ago

This series of posts is a great read, thank you for the insight! Once the 100 is completed (I assume theres one more post of 76-100 coming), would it be possible to get the full 100 in a simple table format?

Prawn Lord
Prawn Lord
4 months ago

Hi Itch!
I was wondering if you think all of the Twins’ recent moves have hurt Jose Miranda’s outlook or delayed his timetable at all. I know you’re high on him and he can hit, but would he be ranked a bit lower now than his current spot because of less opportunity?
Thanks!

Ben W
Ben W
4 months ago

Thanks for putting this together! Where is Hedbert Perez? He’s your top Brewers prospect but Ashby is on this list?

Chud
Chud
4 months ago

Great work Itch!

Im in a 10 team roto NL only full keeper n have Oneil Cruz, BDavis, & Veen as MiLB players.

I’ve been offered my Austin Riley, Jazz C, and either BDavis or Veen for Tatis. Tatis can be my 1 designated “lifer”.

Make them move?

Appreciate all of your prospect insight.

Dr Sauce
Dr Sauce
4 months ago

Afternoon Itch,
Following up on a question I asked last week. Refresher – 6 man roto keep forever no limits … I have Bichette, Acuna, Ohtani, Tucker, Robert and Betts. I asked about trading Betts and keeping Bobby Witt. I’m looking at another scenario, it’s not a prospect question but I do appreciate and respect your opinion. Would you trade Betts straight across for Corbin Burnes? Thinking it gives my team a little better balance heading into the draft. Thoughts?

Dr Sauce
Dr Sauce
Reply to  The Itch
4 months ago

Thanks Itch, Ultimately, I will likely pull the trigger on this trade. My biggest dilemma is what to do about Bobby Witt? I really want to keep him, but tough to justify with my current keeper core. I’m having difficulty finding a 2 for 1 upgrade in order to keep him. And I’m pretty sure if I throw him back in the draft I’ll never see him again. It’s a good problem to have, my keepers are rock solid, just don’t like throwing back Witt. A guy I was in on way before my league mates but probably won’t get to enjoy him!! Thanks for input!

thorby
thorby
4 months ago

Hey Itch, good stuff!

Any thoughts on Kevin Smith after the trade? Is it crazy to think he might put up a .250 – 15 – 20 or something like that if he plays full-time all year?

junior56
junior56
4 months ago

Thanks for the Elbow Grease and Insight.

In the second round of a 16 team Dynasty Rookie Draft

Mayo or Grissom?

junior56
junior56
Reply to  The Itch
4 months ago

Good Point!

Fantasy Fiend
Fantasy Fiend
4 months ago

Hello,
10 team keeper league, 6×6 format. Keep players for pick drafted last year with increasing penalties for each consecutive year kept
Need to pick 7 of the following keepers:
Vlad Jr. 13
Jose Ramirez 11
Luis Robert 21
Kyle Tucker 21
Austin Riley 26
Spencer Torkleson 26
Alex Kiriloff 26
Marcus Semien 18
Logan Webb 26
Johnathan India 22
Emmanuel Clase 22
I tend to keep more hitters than pitchers, format for hitting is AVG and OPS

Which 7 would you keep here?
Thanks

Powdered Toast Man
Powdered Toast Man
4 months ago

With Story now a BoSox who would take in an OPS league- Moncada or Story?

And thanks Itch- our minors drafts are starting soon. I’ll be zeroing in on Mayo.

bigbear
bigbear
4 months ago

I’m not ‘pert, and only really looked at a few of these guys beyond the stats. Mayo is a hoss! Dude has an easy swing with big-league power.

Also interested in what Hassell does this year.

VinWins
VinWins
4 months ago

Still 6 openings in a $20 RCL featuring B_Don drafting at 10 ET tonight. JOIN

toolshed
toolshed
4 months ago

I know this is a very open ended question, but who are a couple of your favorites to make the biggest leap next year? Just looking to get a head start on some upside. I realize this is kind of like fishing, sometimes they hit / sometimes they don’t.

I recall wilman diaz being a name you were high on last year around this time. He’s still in your top 75 but fell quite a bit. Do you still have the same enthusiasm for him? Thanks

bigbear
bigbear
Reply to  toolshed
4 months ago

I’ll defer to Itch’s expertise, but DL Hall’s on my shopping list. Elite K% on nearly all of his pitches. But does have control issues. Reminds me of the question marks around Scherzer and his control issues early. And he had arm issues last year too. Feels like he’s too low on the MLB prospect lists. And plays up more in fantasy than he might IRL because of his obnoxious K%.

Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
4 months ago

The Itch!!!!

Awesome!!!

a. Love the report and analytical insights as always, man. Thank you.

b. Questions abound I’ll try to prioritize by going with the most urgent and important question on the urgent-important time-space continuum. In this dynasty (4×4 [OBP, RC, SB, TB x WHIP, SVH, QS, K/9]), keep forever, 15-MiLB slots) I need to reduce this down from its current 40 players to 35 by April 1. I’ve added a few guys.

Garver
Cron
India
Chapman
Xander
Schwindel
Brujan
Walsh, SMarte, Arozarena, Betts, Biggio
JLowe, Siri
Bench Burger, Elehuris, Villar, Eddys, Mateo, MRojas, Fraley, Connor Joe, EPereira, Robles
MiLB DHarris, Kreidler, JWalker, BAcuna, Arias, CSantana, LButler, Cowser, Wiemer

SP Cease, Manoah, Musgrove, Roansy, Gonsolin, Houck, CMorris, JRyan, RangerS, Kopech
RP Whitlock, Doval, CGreen, Hendriks, Iglesias, Kittredge
MiLB Canterino, Lodolo, Walston, EuryP, LoganT, JMurray

1 So, added Mateo over JTena and MRojas over Eguy. Thoughts?
2 In my draft I copied the entire convo. Long story short.
a One guy drafted Doval in the MLB draft, which was immediately shot down because he had less than 50 IP.
b Another guy commented ‘good pick’ after I took CamiloD in the 10th round of our supplementary 15-round MiLB draft.
c With that intel, I’m thinking of trading 2/1 (including Doval + someone from my team) to the guy who drafted him or the guy who said good pick.
3 If all trades are rejected to force my hand who would be your bottom 5 now to straight drop to get to 35? Obviously worst case scenario. Maybe Kopech starts the year on the IL and I can use that to save space. Will check in next Sunday and also am following ST like a hawk. Type in google ‘spring training tracker’ to find the same guy who followed ST last year in a google sheet with the lineups and comments.

c. George Carlin quote of the day for March 20, 2022

That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.’

Cheers,
Ante

toolshed
toolshed
4 months ago

Hey Itch I’m in thr middle of a 4 rd dynasty draft. 30 man rosters. You have miguel vargas higher than consensus. I think he’s very underrated. I thought proximity was in his favor until LAD signed freeman, re-upped Taylor (4 years) and Justin turner (2 years). Does this change your outlook on him? Would you still take him if you were picking in my draft. All of the other top 25 are owned. He fell through the cracks, but now I’m worried his time table will be pushed out. If I moved to the 25-50 list about half are owned. The highest available players are dustin harris and yorke. I suspect they’ll go before I pick. They weren’t in the yahoo system until this year. But if they don’t, which of those 3 would you grab first. Thanks