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Brendan Tuma’s Prospect Report: Logan Gilbert, Jesus Sanchez, Matt Manning (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Jun 16, 2021

Another week of minor league action is in the books. I’ll note that things have really begun to settle down in terms of prospect rankings, and therefore there aren’t many changes to this week’s report. Of course, I still updated all my player notes and added some new “honorable mentions” so there is definitely still fresh news to take in. I just didn’t find the need to alter my top-20 in a major way.

Next week I’ll be focusing on the 2021 MLB Draft with some notes on most of the names to know for the first round. The draft takes place from July 11-13th, so we still have a ways to go. Two weeks from now there should be more changes in terms of player movement in my rankings.

Click here for last week’s prospect report and player notes.

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

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RANK (LW) NAME POS TEAM NOTES
1 (1) Wander Franco SS TB The Super Two deadline should be passing very soon, which removes another obstacle for getting Franco to the majors.
2 (2) Jarred Kelenic OF SEA Two homers and two steals in his past two games for Triple-A Tacoma. Was 1-for-12 in first three games after being sent down.
3 (3) Julio Rodriguez OF SEA Starred for the Dominican Republic in the recent Olympic qualifying tournament. Reports from his time there are glowing.
4 (4) Spencer Torkelson 1B DET Recently promoted to Double-A after bouncing back from a slow start to his professional career.
5 (5) Bobby Witt SS KC Power/speed combo will translate to fantasy success eventually, but Witt still needs to work on his contact skills
6 (6) C.J. Abrams SS SD I expect Abrams to be one of the most exciting redraft stashes early in the 2022 season. 80-grade speed.
7 (7) Marco Luciano SS SF Has the potential to be the No. 1 overall prospect one day.
8 (8) Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B PIT It’s truly a delight to see him back from his wrist injury. Riding a 10-game hitting streak since returning.
9 (9) Adley Rutschman C BAL 10 homers, a .999 OPS, and a 28:28 BB:K ratio in 34 games for Double-A Bowie. A true monster.
10 (10) Alex Kirilloff OF/1B MIN Still worried that the wrist injury is lingering. Finally homered again on Monday night.
11 (11) Vidal Brujan 2B/OF TB Over his past 60 PAs is batting just .203 without a homer. Still has a 10:8 BB:K ratio during this time, so not a total disaster.
12 (13) Triston Casas 1B BOS Special combination of on-base skills with the ability to impact the ball in a major way when he decides to swing. Highly intelligent hitter.
13 (12) Alek Manoah SP TOR Learning how to pitch, and not just throw, in the major leagues. Has turned in three good outings in his first four starts.
14 (14) Grayson Rodriguez SP BAL Enters his Double-A career as Baseball America’s No. 1 pitching prospect.
15 (15) Austin Martin SS/OF TOR Hitting .301 over his past 90 PAs in Double-A, but has just two homers and one steal during this time. Need to see more over the next two months.
16 (16) Jo Adell OF LAA Neither the power production nor the strikeouts are slowing down. Is this just who he is?
17 (17) Logan Gilbert SP SEA A combined 39 (!) swinging strikes over his past two big league starts, which are his two best since his arrival.
18 (18) Noelvi Marte SS SEA One of my biggest risers of the season, Marte is hitting .324 with a .999 OPS and eight homers in Low-A this season.
19 (19) Jarren Duran OF BOS The highlights are tantalizing, but Duran still needs to smooth out the rough edges of his game.
20 (20) Jasson Dominguez OF NYY I refuse to remove this potential once-in-a-generation prospect from my top-20 until we see how he fares in actual games.

Honorable Mentions

SP Cade Cavalli, WAS: Recently promoted to Double-A following a dominant seven-start stretch to begin his professional career: 1.77 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 71 strikeouts in 40 2/3 IP.

SP Hunter Greene, CIN: Another prospect who was recently promoted, Greene arrives in Triple-A after going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts in 41 innings at Double-A (seven starts).

OF Riley Greene, DET: 20-year-old, former No. 5 overall pick is a darling of scouts, but I’m still waiting for the big-time statistical production before inserting him into my top-20.

SP MacKenzie Gore, SD: Returned from a two-week absence due to a blister this past weekend, and was limited to 19 pitches (two perfect innings).

OF Jesus Sanchez, MIA: Marlins recalled the 23-year-old prior to Tuesday’s game. Through 33 games in Triple-A Sanchez hit .349 with nine homers and a 1.043 OPS. He flopped in a 10-game sample in the majors last summer, but there are reasons to think his approach changed this spring.

On the Rise

SP Shane Baz, TB: The “other” piece the Rays acquired from the Pirates in the Chris Archer trade (so not Tyler Glasnow or Austin Meadows). Baz was recently promoted to Triple-A Durham. Through seven starts at Double-A Baz has posted a 2.48 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP. The most impressive stat though — a 49:2 K:BB! Baz has two double-plus pitches and I’m betting he’s pitching out of Tampa Bay’s bullpen by the end of the season.

On the Way Down

SP Matt Manning, DET: The 2019 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year at Double-A, Manning entered this season as roughly a consensus top-40 prospect. However, things haven’t gone well in Triple-A. Through seven starts the 23-year-old has posted an 8.07 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. He’s also given up 11 homers. An inconsistent changeup with spotty command has mostly been to blame.

Manning is set to make his MLB debut on Thursday against the Angels. The Tigers have done a good enough job of developing pitching at the big league level recently (Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal) that I still have hope for long-term dynasty leagues. In redraft formats, though, a wait-and-see approach is advised.

Stat of the Week

It hasn’t really been a good start to his professional career, but Zac Veen also hasn’t been a total flop. The stat line is just so interesting. Colorado took Veen with the No. 9 pick out of high school last summer, and the thought was he could develop into a lethal power/speed combo playing half his games in Coors Field. Through 35 games in Low-A, though, the power hasn’t come. Veen has yet to homer but he has 20 (!) stolen bases already. It’s encouraging that he’s running so much, and if the 19-year-old develops power over the next couple of seasons then he could skyrocket up fantasy prospect ranking lists.

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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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