Brendan Tuma’s Midseason Top-100 Prospects (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
Well the 2021 MLB season has certainly flown by. July is coming to a close, which means I’m overdue for a massive update to my top-100 fantasy baseball prospects. The full list is below, but I have a good amount of notes to add on these guys, so I tried fitting in as many as I could into this article. Towards the end of the piece you’ll see the fully updated rankings.
Also note that I began putting in this year’s MLB Draft picks into the rankings. I tend to try and be conservative with slotting these players early in their pro careers. If you want expanded thoughts on the 2021 class you can read my pre-draft write-ups by clicking here.
Reminder to reach out with questions on Twitter anytime – @toomuchtuma.
Wander Franco (SS – TB)
Like many position player prospects this year, Franco hasn’t hit the ground running. Entering Tuesday he’s hitting just .216 with a .667 OPS, three homers, and two stolen bases through 80 plate appearances. The expected stats aren’t any better, but in dynasty leagues there is zero reason to panic. He remains my No. 1 prospect and it wasn’t a difficult decision.
Spencer Torkelson (1B/3B – DET)
Last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick, Tork reportedly put on a show during batting practice at the Futures Game last weekend. The 21-year-old has been a bit slow out of the gate to begin the second half, but he was on an all-time tear heading into the break. Torkelson is competing with Julio Rodriguez to become the No. 1 prospect in baseball once Franco and Jarred Kelenic both graduate.
Noelvi Marte (SS – SEA)
Through 61 games in High-A, the 19-year-old is batting .279/.364/.848 with 12 homers and 10 stolen bases. Marte doesn’t rank this high on traditional prospect lists since he entered ’21 without any track record and there are questions about his defense, but he’s one to be early on in dynasty leagues. I expect him to skyrocket up those rankings over the offseason.
Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)
Baseball America anointed “G-Rod” as the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball earlier this season, and it’s well deserved. Baltimore’s first-round pick from 2018, Rodriguez has thrived since being promoted to Double-A. In total he has started 13 games this year — totaling a 1.86 ERA, a 0.75 WHIP, and 97 strikeouts in 63 innings. Now is the time to “sell high” if you don’t believe in developing starting pitchers on your dynasty squad. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the potential profits to come.
Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY)
We finally have box scores to track for “The Martian”, who played in seven games at the Florida Complex League before the Yankees promoted him to Low-A. Dominguez recently hit his first professional homer, and the scouting reports on his legendary plate discipline are living up to the hype so far. Still just 18 years old (!), Dominguez’s dynasty value could see a meteoric rise if he finishes 2021 on a tear.
Austin Martin (SS/OF – TOR)
The 22-year-old was given an aggressive assignment in his first season as a professional, joining Double-A New Hampshire right out college. He has produced as a hitter overall, putting up a .402 OBP through 47 games. However, he has just two homers and when I watch him play I question his upside as a power hitter. Martin’s stance doesn’t appear to give him much of a chance to do damage at the plate. It’s something I’m monitoring down the stretch.
Cade Cavalli (SP – WAS)
One of the stars of the ’21 Futures Game, Cavalli has combined triple-digits heat with a devastating changeup to become one of the top pitching prospects in the minors this season. The 22-year-old flat out dominated High-A but he has recently struggled a bit in Double-A. He certainly needs to work on his control as his filthy repertoire won’t cover up a poor walk rate in the upper minors. He’s a bet-on-talent right now.
This changeup from Cade Cavalli was absolutely filthy pic.twitter.com/nZVjPwyntV
— Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL) July 11, 2021
Hunter Greene (SP – CIN)
A bit of a forgotten man after undergoing Tommy John surgery early in his pro career, the former No. 2 overall pick of the Reds has been lighting it up as a starter this season. Greene has struggled a bit since being promoted to Triple-A, and I’m beginning to wonder if some of these young pitchers are dealing with fatigue after the lost 2020 campaign. Regardless, Greene has reminded us of his potential this season.
Marcelo Mayer (SS – BOS)
Arguably the best player in this year’s draft fell to the Red Sox at No. 4 overall. The Red Sox! Fenway Park could one day be the perfect environment for Mayer’s fluid, lefty swing. He’s a long ways off from reaching the majors, but I inserted him at No. 31 following the draft. He’s my choice to go 1.01 in first year player drafts this offseason.
Marcelo Mayer (SS – Eastlake, California HS)
My 1.01 in this year's MLB Draft class, kid has a beautiful + effortless swing that allows him to hit tons of frozen ropes. Reminds me a bit of Corey Seager
— Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma) June 23, 2021
Brett Baty (3B – NYM)
One of the biggest risers in this midseason update, Baty is one of several exciting prospects that the Mets have in the lower minors. One of Brooklyn’s Big Three, the 21-year-old was recently promoted to Double-A and is trending towards becoming one of the top third base prospects in our sport.
Nate Pearson (SP – TOR)
It was revealed Tuesday that Pearson is dealing with a sports hernia, and the Blue Jays are relieved to finally have “clarity” on the situation. It sounds as if the 24-year-old will be back on a mound next week, and the plan is for him to finish the season as a reliever. I’ve long thought that Pearson would thrive out of the bullpen, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes. His on-field results haven’t been particularly encouraging this year.
Tyler Soderstrom (C – OAK)
There are questions as to whether or not the 19-year-old sticks at catcher (probably not), but the bat is looking like it’ll play anywhere. Soderstrom is hitting .313/.399/.573 with 11 homers in his first taste of pro ball in Low-A. He was the Athletics’ first-round selection in 2020.
Oswald Peraza (SS – NYY)
While he hasn’t hit for as much power since being promoted to Double-A, the 21-year-old is still flashing a strong hit tool with improving plate discipline. Oh, and he also has 24 steals in 63 minor league games this season. Peraza could blossom into a top-25 overall prospect if he’s able to unlock some more power as he gets stronger. Personally, my favorite type of prospect to buy into is one who already has the hit tool and plate discipline. Power is easier to develop in the modern game. See: Lindor, Francisco.
Edward Cabrera (SP – MIA)
It’s beginning to seem as if Cabrera will be up with the Marlins later this season. The 23-year-old was derailed by a biceps injury to begin his season, but that might wind up helping him with his workload management down the stretch. Cabrera has looked great since returning to minor league action, registering a 3.09 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Nick Pratto (1B – KC)
The 22-year-old is a former first-round pick of the Royals who got off to a very slow start to begin his pro career. Pratto has come roaring back in 2021, though. His 159 wRC+ ranks seventh among all hitters in the upper minors this season. Bobby Witt Jr. recently received all the attention for his promotion to Triple-A, but Pratto was given the call-up as well. If he keeps hitting in Triple-A he’ll once again rise up the rankings.
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