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Brendan Tuma’s Top 100 Prospects (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Jan 23, 2021

The No. 1 overall pick from 2018, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman has lived up to the hype from his college days at Oregon State.

We all have our reason for playing fantasy sports. Maybe your college buddies started a league, and it’s a great way for everyone to stay connected. For others, perhaps the interest came from wanting to understand these sports on a deeper, more sophisticated level. My journey of playing sports began with my dad, who runs a sports card and memorabilia shop outside of Boston. To put it another way, sports were always going to be a part of me. When your hero (my dad) takes that big of an interest in something, how can you not want to follow in their footsteps?

My dad and I co-managed my first fantasy baseball league as a 12-year-old in 2005. Incredibly, we wound up with the No. 1 pick. We took A-Rod in one of his three MVP seasons. Isn’t it funny how we remember those kinds of details? Even for something as trivial as fantasy sports, I have many memories of notable draft picks and trades throughout the years, both positive and negative.

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In 2007 we joined a startup keeper league: 16 teams that keep nine players plus four minor leaguers. I had just two teenage years of fantasy sports experience under my belt. Again, we got the No. 1 pick. We selected an in-his-prime Albert Pujols. Unfortunately, that might’ve been the only correct decision we made that night. A hopeful win-now strategy quickly turned into a multi-year rebuild attempt. We traded veterans for prospects, established stars for rookies. In 2010 we won the championship.

My mind was blown by the intricacies of keeper and dynasty leagues. The player pool gets expanded to the point where you need to be familiar with minor league players, international prospects, and the next wave of MLB draft picks. Just like our favorite MLB organizations are attempting to do, bringing together a haul of young talent is the most effective (and the most fun) method of building a sustained winner in dynasty leagues.

Below is the January 2021 edition of my Top 100 Prospects for fantasy baseball leagues. As is always the case with rankings, don’t use these blindly. Rankings change based on your team’s competitive cycle, the scoring format, and how many minor leaguers are rostered/protected each season. These will also be updated throughout the year as more research is conducted and we get more information.

Of course, if you’d like to discuss further, don’t ever hesitate to reach out on Twitter @toomuchtuma if you have questions regarding keeper selections, trade offers, strategy thoughts, or general fantasy advice. Fantasy sports have had an enormous impact on my life, especially when it comes to prospects. If you’re reading this, then I’m guessing you’re just like me. I hope you find these rankings helpful.

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Whether you’re new to fantasy baseball or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Baseball 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with our Sabermetrics Glossary or head to a more advanced strategy – like How to Make Custom Fantasy Baseball Rankings with Microsoft Excel – to learn more.

Brendan Tuma is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, check out his archive and follow him @toomuchtuma.

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