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Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Redraft Prospects for 2021 (Part 2)

Jo Adell - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Spring Training 2021 is almost here, which means it’s time to start thinking about prospects again. A strong pop-up performance from a rookie or two can have a massive impact on a fantasy manager’s season.

If we look back to the truncated 2020 season, we can easily locate a healthy dose of players that had strong performances for their respective clubs. Outfielders Kyle Lewis and Luis Robert provided a healthy dose of power. Third baseman Alec Bohm didn’t tap into his raw power as much as expected during his debut season but he was a strong performer nonetheless and produced a 136 wRC+. Infielder Jake Cronenworth built off a strong minor league showing in 2019 to become a key contributor for the Padres with a 125 wRC+ as well as positional versatility. On the pitching side, Ian Anderson and Tony Gonsolin — whom we heavily promoted during last year’s preseason — outperformed some of the larger names like Jesus Luzardo and Dustin May.

With an eye towards the 2021 season, we’re relaunching our annual Top 50 redraft prospects list which will be regularly updated throughout the season. Prospect projecting is never an easy task because the success of the projections relies on a few things we cannot control such as injuries and, most importantly, playing time opportunities which are far less certain for rookies than they are for established players. I've already provided detailed comments on the Top 20 rookies for 2021 in the first part of this series. Here are some thoughts on the other 30 prospects that could make an impact on your fantasy teams in the coming year.  

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Top Prospects for 2021 Fantasy Baseball

These prospect rankings are for 2021 redraft leagues.

Ranking Player Pos Team Age ETA
1 Randy Arozarena OF TB 26 APRIL
2 Ian Anderson SP ATL 22 APRIL
3 Dylan Carlson OF STL 22 APRIL
4 Alex Kirilloff OF MIN 23 APRIL
5 Nate Pearson SP TOR 24 APRIL
6 Triston McKenzie SP CLE 23 APRIL
7 Jarred Kelenic OF SEA 21 MAY
8 Wander Franco SS TB 20 MAY
9 Ke'Bryan Hayes 3B PIT 24 APRIL
10 Ryan Mountcastle OF BAL 24 APRIL
11 Sixto Sanchez SP MIA 22 APRIL
12 Spencer Howard SP PHI 24 APRIL
13 Tarik Skubal SP DET 24 APRIL
14 Brent Rooker OF MIN 26 APRIL
15 Cristian Pache OF ATL 22 APRIL
16 Casey Mize SP DET 23 APRIL
17 MacKenzie Gore SP SD 22 MAY
18 Tyler Stephenson C CIN 24 APRIL
19 Andrew Vaughn 1B CWS 22 MAY
20 Bobby Dalbec 1B BOS 25 APRIL
21 Luis Patino SP TB 21 JUNE
22 Jo Adell OF LAA 21 MAY
23 Jazz Chisholm SS MIA 23 APRIL
24 Nick Madrigal 2B CWS 24 APRIL
25 Andres Gimenez SS CLE 22 APRIL
26 Dane Dunning SP TEX 26 APRIL
27 David Peterson SP NYM 25 APRIL
28 Tanner Houck SP BOS 24 APRIL
29 Joshua Lowe OF TB 23 JUNE
30 Nolan Jones 3B CLE 22 JUNE
31 Daulton Varsho C/OF ARZ 24 MAY
32 Alejandro Kirk C TOR 22 JUNE
33 Garrett Crochet RP CWS 21 APRIL
34 Daniel Lynch SP KC 23 MAY
35 Clarke Schmidt SP NYY 25 MAY
36 Jose Garcia SS CIN 22 MAY
37 Logan Gilbert SP SEA 23 JUNE
38 Shane McClanahan SP TB 23 JUNE
39 Josiah Gray SP LAD 23 JUNE
40 Forrest Whitley SP HOU 23 JUNE
41 Joey Bart C SF 24 JUNE
42 Reid Detmers SP LAA 21 JUNE
43 Vidal Brujan 2B TB 23 JUNE
44 Brandon Marsh OF LAA 23 JULY
45 Trevor Larnach OF MIN 24 JULY
46 Drew Waters OF ATL 22 JULY
47 Royce Lewis OF/SS MIN 21 JULY
48 A.J. Puk SP OAK 25 JUNE
49 Brendan Rodgers 2B/SS COL 24 JULY
50 Oneil Cruz SS PIT 22 JULY


Top Prospects for 2021 ranked 21-30

21. Luis Patino, SP, Rays: There’s no doubt that Patino was rushed to the Majors in 2020 but his talent is undeniable and he will eventually settle in as one of the top arms in baseball. The Rays know how to develop pitching so Patino is in a great place to continue to develop, but he may not have a huge impact on the big league roster until 2022.

22. Jo Adell, OF, Angels: Adell was another young player that reached the Majors before he was ready. The talented outfielder will be a successful big leaguer at some point but he needs some additional work to polish his contact skills before his raw potential is realized.

23. Jazz Chisholm, SS, Marlins: As it stands, Chisholm has a shot at securing the everyday shortstop gig in Miami but I’ve never been a fan. He’s an electric athlete with a tantalizing power-speed mix but he’s predominantly a fastball hitter who struggles against breaking balls. I also don’t have a ton of trust in either the Diamondbacks’ or the Marlins’ player development systems.

24. Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox: Madrigal has a natural feel for hitting as seen by his elite bat-to-ball skills and will no doubt be a threat to hit .300 multiple times throughout his career but his fantasy value takes a hit because he has little-to-no power (4% launch angle, 21% Hard Hit rate). On the plus side, he also has the speed to steal 20+ bases.

25. Andres Gimenez, SS, Indians: Gimenez moved from the Mets to the Indians during the offseason in the Francisco Lindor deal and I’m excited to see what the Indians development staff can do with the young shortstop. Gimenez had a strong launch angle during his MLB debut but he didn’t really hit the ball all that hard (nor has he flashed much power in the minors). I worry that he’s trying too hard to be a player that he’s not and should focus more on hitting the ball into the gaps and stealing bases.

26. Dane Dunning, SP, Rangers: I’ve been a big believer in Dunning for a few years now but he moved to the Texas Rangers organization during the winter and that seems to be where pitching prospects go to die. He does a nice job staying away from the heart of the plate while still throwing strikes and limits hard contact.

27. David Peterson, SP, Mets: Peterson had a strong debut with the Mets in 2020 but the club has spent a lot of energy building up the starting pitching depth in the organization which could make it harder for this young lefty to pitch meaningful innings in 2021 — especially if he struggles early or the club ends up with Trevor Bauer. If he does hold on to his starting gig, he projects as a solid-but-unspectacular contributor.

28. Tanner Houck, SP, Red Sox: Houck looked better in his brief MLB trial than he had in the minor leagues so the time spent at the alternate training site clearly benefited him. If he continues to show this form in 2021 (his secondary stuff was unhittable) then he could end up as a solid No. 3/4 starter for the Red Sox. If not, then the former first-round pick could end up back in the bullpen.

29. Joshua Lowe, OF, Rays: Lowe is basically Kyle Tucker-lite given his power-speed combination. He swings and misses a little more than the Astros’ breakout hitter but Lowe has really sped up his learning curve over the past 12-18 months.

30. Nolan Jones, 3B, Indians: Jones has an incredibly enticing mix of on-base skills and raw power — especially if he’s being looked at in an on-base league like Ottoneu. The Cleveland prospect has a massive ceiling if he can find a consistent launch angle that helps him consistently tap into that raw pop.


Top Prospects for 2021 ranked 31-40

31. Daulton Varsho, C/OF, Diamondbacks: The intriguing mix of power and speed could make Vasho a valuable fantasy player, especially as long as he maintains eligibility at catcher along with the outfield.

32. Alejandro Kirk, C, Blue Jays: Kirk is already growing into a bit of a legend, and he has a chance to be an excellent offensive catcher if… he can stop growing. He likely won’t steal enough playing time away from Danny Jansen in 2021 to be an elite fantasy option just yet.

33. Garrett Crochet, RP, White Sox: It’s possible that Crochet will work his way back into the starting rotation for the White Sox in 2021 but I’m expecting him to end up as a multi-inning, high-leverage reliever that can help bridge the gap to new closer Liam Hendriks.

34. Daniel Lynch, SP, Royals: The Royals debuted a number of talented arms in 2020 but the best is yet to come with lefties Asa Lacy and Lynch. The latter pitching prospect has the stuff to be a No. 2/3 starter but I’m concerned about his lack of durability.

35. Clarke Schmidt, SP, Yankees: Schmidt will have a lot of competition for innings in 2021, which hurts his initial value but, in the long run, he’s one of the club’s most promising and well-rounded starting pitcher prospects.

36. Jose Garcia, SS, Reds: Garcia didn’t have a great MLB debut in 2020 but the organization lacks middle infield depth so he’ll get another shot to prove he’s a developing, high-impact talent.

37. Logan Gilbert, SP, Mariners: These next two arms have a chance to really jump up the list if they get the call early enough in the 2021 season. Gilbert doesn’t have elite velocity but he throws strikes, keeps the ball in the yard, and has a chance for four average-or-better offerings.

38. Shane McClanahan, SP, Rays: This young lefty doesn’t get enough attention. He throws hard with a good breaking ball and his control has improved significantly since he was drafted 31st overall in 2018. He has the makings of a mid-rotation starter who keeps getting better.

39. Josiah Gray, SP, Dodgers: When the Dodgers get done sprinkling their prospect fairy dust on Gray, he’ll no doubt get every ounce of ability out of his elite athleticism (he’s only been focusing on full-time pitching for a few years now). With the Dodgers’ pitching depth, though, it’s hard to envision him getting 100+ innings at the MLB level in 2021.

40. Forrest Whitley, SP, Astros: On raw talent alone, Whitley should be much higher on this list. But I struggle to buy into his future too much until I see improved maturity and commitment from this young player (and also health). There should be an opportunity for Whitley to secure a big-league role in 2021 so I’m curious to see what he does with it.


Top Prospects for 2021 ranked 41-50

41. Joey Bart, C, Giants: Bart looks like one of the top-hitting catcher prospects in the game at times but significant swing-and-miss issues threaten to limit his ceiling at the MLB level. He needs further polish before he takes over for Buster Posey.

42. Reid Detmers, SP, Angels: Detmers will no doubt be one of the first 2020 draftees to reach the Majors due to his noticeable polish. Nothing about his stuff is elite although he has shown plus command/control which helps his stuff play up.

43. Vidal Brujan, 2B, Rays: Brujan is a small, speedy middle infielder who lacks a clear path to playing time in 2021. Still, his speed could be a huge asset to the Rays and fantasy managers… if he finds reliable playing time.

44. Brandon Marsh, OF, Angels: Marsh has a lot of raw talent and athleticism but he has yet to fully put it all together due to swing-and-miss issues and the inability to develop his raw power into useful in-game pop. Reports out of the alternate training site were very positive on his work there so keep that in mind if he gets off to a fast start.

45. Trevor Larnach, OF, Twins: Larnach finds himself way down the list due more to the depth ahead of him than anything against his skill set. He may very well develop into a 20-30 home run threat in the Majors but he has to work past Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker to find playing time.

46. Drew Waters, OF, Braves: Waters has always been young for the leagues he’s played in and he has intriguing athleticism. Unfortunately, his results have always been hindered by a poor approach at the plate.

47. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins: Yes, Lewis is further down on this list then you’re probably expecting. He has a lot of pedigree but he hasn’t shown enough above A-ball to really prove he’s ready to realize his full potential and be an impact MLB contributor.

48. A.J. Puk, SP, Athletics: Puk is another player that is way down on the list — much further than his talent would dictate — but the injuries he’s suffered over the past few years are worrisome. I’m not convinced he has the durability to stick as a starter but he could be an excellent high-leverage reliever.

49. Brendan Rodgers, 2B, Rockies: Like Puk above, Rodgers’ value takes a hit from the durability concerns related to repeated shoulder injuries. There is also a concern that he’s worn out his welcome in Colorado (although he may get one more shot due to the Nolan Arenado trade) and his offensive contributions will be hurt by leaving a very good hitter’s environment.

50. Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates: Cruz has massive raw power but has a history of making poor choices and having questionable maturity. At 6-foot-7, he also has a lot of moving parts to his swing and a lot of holes that good pitchers will exploit.

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