The Top 100 prospects for '21, team by team
MLB Pipeline’s 2021 Top 100 Prospects list is now live, with 19-year-old Wander Franco of the Rays being named MLB’s top prospect for a second straight year. The switch-hitting shortstop is one of eight Tampa Bay players on the brand-new list, which features some familiar names and plenty of fresh additions.
The past two No. 1 overall Draft picks, Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman (2019) and Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson (‘20), are Nos. 2 and 3, followed by a pair of Mariners outfield prospects, Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez.
MLB Network will air its Top 100 Prospects show on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. ET.
Here’s a team-by-team look at every organization’s representatives on this year’s list:
Blue Jays (4)
10. Nate Pearson, RHP (ETA: 2021)
22. Austin Martin, SS/OF (ETA: 2022)
46. Jordan Groshans, SS (ETA: 2022)
87. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP (ETA: 2021)
In the 2020 Draft, Toronto added a Top 100 prospect in Martin, taking the best hitter from the college ranks with the No. 5 overall pick. He gives the organization another high-ceiling, up-the-middle hitter to go along with Groshans and future Top 100 candidates such as Orelvis Martinez and Alejandro Kirk, to name a few. Pearson has already flashed his potential in the big leagues and should take on a more significant role in '21, with Woods Richardson and some other promising Blue Jays hurlers not too far behind.
2. Adley Rutschman, C (ETA: 2021)
27. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP (ETA: 2022)
69. Heston Kjerstad, LHP (ETA: 2023)
70. DL Hall, LHP (ETA: 2022)
77. Ryan Mountcastle, OF/1B (ETA: 2021)
The rebuild under Mike Elias and company has been successful, at least in terms of restocking what had been a barren system. The five members of the Top 100 are the most the Orioles have had since MLB.com started ranking prospects in 2004, led of course by No. 2 overall prospect Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 pick in the 2019 Draft.
1. Wander Franco, SS (ETA: 2021)
19. Luis Patiño, RHP (ETA: 2021)
34. Randy Arozarena, OF (ETA: 2021)
50. Vidal Brujan, 2B/SS (ETA: 2021)
72. Brendan McKay, LHP (ETA: 2021)
84. Shane McClanahan, LHP (ETA: 2021)
85. Xavier Edwards, 2B/SS (ETA: 2022)
90. Shane Baz, RHP (ETA: 2022)
The Rays have now placed at least five players in the Top 100 for four straight years, but the organization has never had as many representatives as they do going into the 2021 season. Franco leads the way once again, garnering honors as MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 prospect for a second straight year, and he’s one of six Rays Top 100 Prospects who could impact the team’s big league lineup this season. Arozarena and Patiño, acquired by the Rays in offseason trades one year apart, are the new additions to the loaded group.
Red Sox (3)
44. Triston Casas, 1B (ETA: 2022)
49. Jeter Downs, SS/2B (ETA: 2021)
93. Bobby Dalbec, 3B/1B (ETA: 2021)
After turning baseball's best farm system in mid-2015 into a World Series champion three years later, the Red Sox are now rebuilding their stockpile of young talent. Their three power-hitting infielders give them their most Top 100 Prospects since they had an identical number in 2017 but a far cry from the nine they had at the start of 2014.
32. Jasson Dominguez, OF (ETA: 2024)
88. Clarke Schmidt, RHP (ETA: 2021)
The Yankees have relied on homegrown talent as much as their considerable financial might while making four straight playoff appearances, though their system isn't as formidable as it was when it ranked fourth in the game four years ago. Dominguez has the potential for well above-average tools across the board but has yet to make his pro debut, while Schmidt reached New York last September and could play a key role in the big league rotation this year.
36. Nolan Jones, 3B (ETA: 2021)
51. Triston McKenzie, RHP (ETA: 2021)
98. Tyler Freeman, SS (ETA: 2022)
In a system on the rise, many of the Indians' best prospects are talented younger guys at lower levels, so their number of Top 100 Prospects figures to grow in coming years. McKenzie already made an impact on the 2020 club, Jones could do the same this year by moving to the outfield and Freeman isn't far behind.
7. Bobby Witt Jr., SS (ETA: 2022)
29. Daniel Lynch, LHP (ETA: 2021)
30. Asa Lacy, LHP (ETA: 2022)
The Royals have the same number of Top 100 Prospects as they did a year ago, albeit with 2020 No. 4 overall pick Asa Lacy replacing Brady Singer (graduated) on the list. Lynch and Lacy could soon join Singer in the Royals’ big league rotation, and the organization has a deep crop of pitching prospects beyond their two prized southpaws. Witt has done nothing but impress in the pro ranks, improving and performing like a player who could reach the Majors ahead of schedule.
3. Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B (ETA: 2022)
11. Casey Mize, RHP (ETA: 2021)
21. Riley Greene, OF (ETA: 2022)
24. Tarik Skubal, LHP (ETA: 2021)
25. Matt Manning, RHP (ETA: 2021)
The Tigers may appear to be top-heavy in talent with five Top 100 prospects ranking in the top quarter of the list, but there’s impact talent and depth spread throughout the system, thanks largely to the team’s strong Drafts in recent years. Four of Detroit’s Top 100 prospects are former first-rounders, including No. 1 overall picks Mize (2018) and Torkelson ('20), with Skubal, a ninth-rounder in ’18, being the lone exception.
17. Royce Lewis, SS (ETA: 2021)
26. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B (ETA: 2021)
80. Trevor Larnach, OF (ETA: 2021)
97. Jordan Balazovic, RHP (ETA: 2022)
The Twins have had at least three prospects in the Top 100 every year since 2013, when they had six. This is the fourth straight year that Lewis, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 Draft, has been in the top 20 of our preseason Top 100. Kirilloff contributed in the postseason last year, and he, Lewis and Larnach have a good chance to impact the big league club in '21.
White Sox (4)
14. Andrew Vaughn, 1B (ETA: 2021)
39. Michael Kopech, RHP (ETA: 2021)
40. Nick Madrigal, 2B (ETA: 2021)
56. Garrett Crochet, LHP (ETA: 2021)
The White Sox have the most top-heavy system in baseball, with four Top 100 guys who are all legitimate contenders for American League Rookie of the Year, and not much depth or close-to-big-league-ready talent behind them. Those four add to an impressive big league club, however, with Vaughn and Kopech featuring two of the loftier ceilings among prospects at their positions and Madrigal and Crochet coming off spectacular if brief debuts last season.
53. Brandon Marsh, OF (ETA: 2021)
74. Reid Detmers, LHP (ETA: 2022)
This is the third straight year the Angels have had a pair of prospects on the Top 100. Jo Adell, a one-time top 10 prospect, has graduated, but he has been replaced by Detmers, the Angels’ first-round pick in 2020. Marsh has a big up arrow next to his name after a strong Arizona Fall League in 2019 and an outstanding showing at the Angels’ alternate camp last year.
The A’s had three prospects each of the past two years, but Jesús Luzardo and Sean Murphy graduated off the list in 2020. Lefty A.J. Puk had been a mainstay, but worries about the health of his arm knocked him off in '21.
41. Forrest Whitley, RHP (ETA: 2021)
For the second straight year, Whitley is the lone Top 100 Prospect from the Astros, matching their lowest total since we expanded the list from a Top 50 in 2012. Their system has been highly productive in recent years, sending Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker to Houston and providing trade fodder for Justin Verlander, since-departed Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke, but won't be of much help in 2021.
4. Jarred Kelenic, OF (ETA: 2021)
5. Julio Y. Rodriguez, OF (ETA: 2022)
31. Emerson Hancock, RHP (ETA: 2022)
33. Logan Gilbert, RHP (ETA: 2021)
92. George Kirby, RHP (ETA: 2021)
100. Taylor Trammell, OF (ETA: 2021)
It’s been a steady build for the Mariners over the last four years, going from one Top 100 prospect in 2018 up to six in this year’s edition, an all-time high for the organization. The half-dozen have come via trade (Kelenic, Trammell), Draft (Hancock, Gilbert, Kirby) and international signing (Rodriguez).
63. Josh Jung, 3B (ETA: 2021)
78. Sam Huff, C (ETA: 2021)
91. Dane Dunning, RHP (ETA: 2021)
After years of targeting high ceilings in prospects, the Rangers have a pair of Top 100 guys who stand out more for their high floors in the sweet-swinging Jung and Dunning, who was the key to the Lance Lynn trade with the White Sox in December. Huff has tremendous raw power and went deep three times in 31 at-bats with Texas in September.
12. Cristian Pache, OF (ETA: 2021)
18. Ian Anderson, RHP (ETA: 2021)
35. Drew Waters, OF (ETA: 2021)
73. Shea Langeliers, C (ETA: 2022)
The system isn’t quite as top-heavy with elite-level talent as it used to be after maxing out with eight Top 100 prospects in both 2018 and '19, mostly due to graduations up to the big league roster. But the Braves still have a trio of top 50 players, with Pache and Anderson contributing to the postseason run in 2020 and expected to do more of the same in '21.
15. Sixto Sánchez, RHP (ETA: 2021)
20. JJ Bleday, OF (ETA: 2021)
28. Max Meyer, RHP (ETA: 2022)
66. Jazz Chisholm, SS/2B (ETA: 2021)
68. Edward Cabrera, RHP (ETA: 2021)
The Marlins are tied for third with five Top 100 Prospects, another indication that their system is on the upswing. Sanchez and Chisholm played in the postseason for Miami in October, Bleday and Cabrera could help upgrade the big league club in 2021 and so could Meyer, the No. 3 overall pick in last year's Draft.
48. Francisco Alvarez, C (ETA: 2023)
67. Ronny Mauricio, SS (ETA: 2022)
75. Matthew Allan, RHP (ETA: 2023)
94. Brett Baty, 3B (ETA: 2022)
Alvarez has overtaken fellow 19-year-old Mauricio as the Mets’ top prospect after his outstanding performance at the alternate training site and fall instructional camp. Allan’s ceiling might be as high as any teenage pitching prospect in the game, and it would surprise no one if he ranked considerably higher on the Top 100 by the end of the 2021 season. The Mets have now placed four in the Top 100 in back-to-back years after they had just four Top 100 prospects combined from '17-19.
99. Cade Cavalli, RHP (ETA: 2022)
Though the Nationals did lose a pair of Top 100 prospect when Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia graduated to the big leagues last season, they also gained one in Cavalli, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 Draft. The 6-foot-4 right-hander showed electric stuff after signing and gives the organization another power arm on top of Jackson Rutledge, Washington’s top pick in ’19. Trades and graduations have stripped the system of some high-end talent, but there’s still plenty of pitching depth that could help the big league roster in the coming years.
42. Spencer Howard, RHP (ETA: 2021)
76. Mick Abel, RHP (ETA: 2024)
Once upon a time, the Phillies had seven players in the Top 100 (2016), and they had six in '18. Alec Bohm graduated off the list last year, and Bryson Stott, the club’s first-round Draft pick in '19, didn’t make it this time around. Howard should graduate this season and it will be fun to watch Abel, the 2020 first-rounder, climb up the pitching charts.
65. Garrett Mitchell, OF (ETA: 2023)
96. Brice Turang (ETA: 2022)
The Brewers' system has been on the decline for several years, as they have either traded or promoted many of their top prospects to help prolong their competitive window in the Major Leagues. The only organization without a Top 100 prospect in 2020, the Brewers now have a pair of them in Mitchell and Turang, the club’s respective first-round picks from ’18 and ’20. Teenage outfielder Hedbert Perez looks like a future Top 100 candidate, and Aaron Ashby and Antoine Kelly are also in the mix as left-handers with impressive stuff and the strikeout numbers to match.
13. Dylan Carlson, OF (ETA: 2021)
37. Matthew Liberatore, LHP (ETA: 2022)
38. Nolan Gorman, 3B (ETA: 2022)
Carlson is an early favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year Award after finishing the 2020 season batting cleanup for the Cardinals in the playoffs at age 21. Liberatore and Gorman, both first-round picks in ’18, headline the next wave of young Cardinals talent along with Top 10 catching prospect Ivan Herrera, and the club added a trio of upside prep players in the 2020 Draft: 3B Jordan Walker (first round), SS/RHP Masyn Winn (second) and RHP Tink Hence (Competitive Balance Round B).
60. Brailyn Marquez, LHP (ETA: 2021)
61. Brennen Davis, OF (ETA: 2022)
89. Miguel Amaya, C (ETA: 2021)
The hard-throwing Marquez gives hope to an organization that has struggled mightily to develop pitchers since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer arrived to save the day in October 2011. By contrast, the Cubs have excelled at churning out position players and have two more up-the-middle difference-makers on the way in Davis and Amaya.
9. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (ETA: 2021)
43. Nick Gonzales, 2B (ETA: 2022)
52. Quinn Priester, RHP (ETA: 2023)
64. Oneil Cruz, SS (ETA: 2022)
Offseason trades have really beefed up the depth in this system, though no Top 100 prospects were added. Gonzales, the Pirates’ 2020 first-round Draft pick, and Priester, their top pick in '19, are newcomers to the preseason Top 100, and there could be more players added in the future -- a good sign, especially since Hayes will graduate from the list relatively quickly this season.
59. Nick Lodolo, LHP (ETA: 2021)
71. Hunter Greene, RHP (ETA: 2022)
86. Austin Hendrick, OF (ETA: 2024)
95. Tyler Stephenson, C (ETA: 2021)
From 2016-19, the Reds had at least four prospects on the list. That dipped to two last year, but they’re back up to four now, thanks to the addition of Hendrick, their 2020 first-round Draft pick, and Stephenson, who played his way onto the list and made his big league debut last year.
47. Corbin Carroll, OF (ETA: 2022)
55. Kristian Robinson, OF (ETA: 2022)
79. Geraldo Perdomo, SS (ETA: 2021)
81. Alek Thomas, OF (ETA: 2022)
Arizona’s system has been on the rise ever since it placed zero prospects in the 2017 Top 100. The fact that the D-backs’ four Top 100 prospects this year are all homegrown players reflects the organization’s ongoing effort to stockpile quality talent via the Draft and international market, and there are several more beyond that group with Top 100 potential. Some of those players could start to reach the Majors in 2021, with even more expected to arrive the following year.
57. Keibert Ruiz, C (ETA: 2021)
58. Josiah Gray, RHP (ETA: 2021)
The Dodgers have their fewest Top 100 Prospects since we expanded the list in 2012, though that's misleading. They still combine winning at the big leagues and developing talent in the Minors better than anyone, and they won a World Series in 2020 while graduating Brusdar Graterol, Gavin Lux and Dustin May to Los Angeles. Ruiz and Gray are ready to contribute if they get an opportunity on a loaded club, and other prospects such as second baseman Michael Busch, third baseman Kody Hoese, catcher Diego Cartaya and right-hander Bobby Miller will make their presence felt on the Top 100 in the near future.
16. Marco Luciano, SS (ETA: 2023)
23. Joey Bart, C (ETA: 2021)
82. Heliot Ramos, OF (ETA: 2021)
83. Hunter Bishop, OF (ETA: 2023)
The Giants have their strongest group of position prospects in years, with a superstar-in-the-making in the slugging Luciano, a potential All-Star catcher in Bart and a pair of multi-tooled outfielders in Ramos and Bishop. Left-hander Seth Corry, their best pitching prospect, barely missed the Top 100.
6. MacKenzie Gore, LHP (ETA: 2021)
8. CJ Abrams, SS (ETA: 2022)
45. Luis Campusano, C (ETA: 2021)
62. Robert Hassell, OF (ETA: 2023)
After placing an MLB Pipeline-record 10 prospects on the 2019 list, the Padres’ Top 100 prospect contingent has dwindled in each of the past two years as GM A.J. Preller has promoted from within or executed prospect-centered trades to help bolster the big league roster. That being said, they still have plenty of star power up top with two top 10 prospects in former first-rounders Gore ('17) and Abrams (’19), and another Top 100 prospect in Hassell (’20), who could shoot up the list in his first pro season.
54. Zac Veen, OF (ETA: 2024)
It’s the second straight season with the Rockies having just one prospect on the list. Long-time Top 100 prospect Brendan Rodgers graduated from it in 2020 and has been replaced by Veen, the club’s first-round Draft selection in 2020 who was the top-ranked high school talent heading into the Draft and the second prepster taken.