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Brendan Tuma’s Prospect Report: Alex Kirilloff, Luis Patino, Ryan Weathers (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Apr 28, 2021

To this point in the 2021 season, prospect analysis has revolved around players who began the year in the majors. This was due to several factors:

  1. An unusually high number of top-100 prospects debuted in 2020 yet didn’t play enough to exceed prospect eligibility.
  2. There have been no minor league games yet.
  3. There aren’t as many reporters at the alternate training sites compared to 2020, which means we aren’t getting as much news on how prospects are performing there.

However, brighter days are head for prospect folks. We’re beginning to see some debuts/promotions, and now that service time consideration has passed, the floodgates could open in the coming weeks. And with some minor league games scheduled to begin the first week of May, we’ll hopefully be getting some stats on these guys for the first time in (literally) years.

Reminder to reach out with questions on Twitter anytime — @toomuchtuma.

1 (1) Wander Franco SS TB The consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball has a good shot at debuting this season. The Rays aren’t known for aggressively promoting their prospects, though.
2 (2) Jarred Kelenic OF SEA I’m really hoping / expecting we see Kelenic in the very near future.
3 (3) Julio Rodriguez OF SEA J-Rod likely won’t debut until 2022, but his studly hit tool keeps him in the top-3 of dynasty prospect rankings.
4 (4) Spencer Torkelson 1B DET Another premium hitter who I don’t expect to see in ’21, Tork’s bat made him an easy No. 1 pick in first year player drafts this spring.
5 (5) Bobby Witt SS KC Witt’s big spring places him above Luciano for me.
6 (6) Marco Luciano SS SF Luciano struggled against the same competition Witt was dominating. Still, he’s just 19 years old. I’m not worried.
7 (7) Andrew Vaughn 1B/OF CWS Vaughn enters Tuesday night riding a five-game hitting streak. He’s still looking for his first big league homer.
8 (8) CJ Abrams SS SD Abrams’ future position remains up in the air, but a move to center field might suit the speedster best.
9 (9) Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B PIT Hayes recently re-aggravated his wrist injury, but he was reportedly feeling better after receiving some treatment. Please get well soon, KBH.
10 (10) Adley Rutschman C BAL Easily the top catching prospect in the sport. Your evaluation of him in dynasty leagues probably ties to how strongly you value high-end backstops.
11 (16) Michael Kopech SP/RP CWS Sunday’s dominant 5 IP, 1 ER, 10 K performance was enough for me to push him ahead of Gore.
12 (12) MacKenzie Gore SP SD Gore still has ace upside but there have been some control/delivery issues dating back to the alternate training site last summer.
13 (11) Sixto Sanchez SP MIA The latest update we have on Sanchez (shoulder) is that he’s throwing from 60 feet. Stay patient in dynasty leagues.
14 (13) Alex Kirilloff OF MIN Kirilloff has started in four straight games since being recalled, batting fourth or fifth in all of them. He also played first base on Monday night.
15 (14) Austin Martin 3B TOR I’m going to try and remain higher than the consensus on Martin. The flood of Toronto position players doesn’t worry me. He’ll hit wherever he plays.
16 (15) Jasson Dominguez OF NYY Dominguez has yet to play a professional game. If he’s legit he’ll be top-10 in a hurry. I’m willing to be higher on him now in an attempt to cash in early.
17 (17) Nate Pearson SP TOR Pearson (groin) continues to throw at the Jays’ alternate training site. He’s nearing a return to the majors.
18 (18) Jo Adell OF LAA Adell had a strong Cactus League showing after a disastrous first stint in the majors last year.
19 (19) Logan Gilbert SP SEA Tall right-hander showed an uptick in “stuff” at the alternate site last summer. If he can maintain those gains over a full season there’s ace upside.
20 (20) Spencer Howard SP/RP PHI Howard struggled in his most recent relief appearance and the Phillies are now sending him back down to be stretched out as a starter again.


Honorable Mentions

SP/RP Luis Patino, TB: The 21-year-old made his debut on Sunday against the Blue Jays and struck out both Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Patino totaled 42 pitches, working 2 2/3 scoreless frames with three strikeouts.

SP Matt Manning, DET: It shouldn’t be too much longer until the Tigers bring him up. He’ll be a factor in redraft leagues once that happens.

OF Brandon Marsh, LAA: We’ll likely see both Marsh and Adell with the Angels at some point this season. Marsh is a strong defender who has made strides as a hitter in recent seasons. He could flirt with mixed league redraft value once he gets the call.

OF Jarren Duran, BOS: The 24-year-old recently began playing left field at the Red Sox alternate training site, which is a sign that he could be in the majors quickly if he gets off to a hot start in Triple-A.

SP/RP Garrett Crochet, CWS: Chicago’s first-round pick from 2020, Crochet has made eight appearances out of the bullpen thus far. He hasn’t been overly dominant with an 8:5 K:BB ratio, but he’s given up just one earned run spanning nine innings of work.

On the Rise

SP/RP Ryan Weathers, SD: A back-end, top-100 prospect, Weathers is known for his “pitchability.” Baseball America has compared him to Hyun-Jin Ryu due to the control he possesses over his entire arsenal. Weathers’ breakthrough as a prospect came at the alternate training site last summer. The former first-round pick showed up throwing 4-5 mph harder, and if he can maintain those gains throughout a full season he’ll carry SP3/4 upside for fantasy purposes.

On the Way Down

SP Sixto Sanchez, MIA: We aren’t selling low on Sixto in dynasty leagues or anything like that, but the start to his ’21 campaign has certainly been frustrating. As mentioned above, the latest report on Sanchez is that he’s only throwing from 60 feet, which means he’s still a ways away. The second half of the year will be critical for him. If he hits the ground running and continues to display the upside he flashed last summer, then he’ll enter next season as a highly-ranked SP3. If the shoulder injury lingers then I’ll have begin having some long-term concerns.

Stat of the Week

Vanderbilt RHP Jack Leiter has now started 10 games this year. He’s 7-1 with a 1.49 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings pitched. The 21-year-old has an elite fastball that induces whiffs within the strike zone and a gorgeous 12-to-6 curveball that he can throw for strikes. The only questions that remain are whether or not his slider becomes a consistently plus offering, and if his 6’1″ frame can hold up as a starter. He continues to trend towards being the Pirates’ selection at No. 1 overall.

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

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