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Fun fact: I used to "compete" with Bret Sayre when it came to this stuff.

Before the days of Craig Goldstein and I joining the fantasy team, I considered Bret to be something of a rival in the niche world of dynasty fantasy writing. We both published top-100 lists every year. We both wrote extensively about minor leaguers. Neither of us were very good at Twitter. We were on a collision course.

Then, Bret started I agreed to write for him there, which led to him hiring me at BP, which led to TINO, which has led to the beautiful editor/writer, father/son, big brother/little brother relationship you see played out before you today. A good relationship, to be sure, but one that prevented me from publishing my individual fantasy rankings, as this rightfully is and will remain Bret's show.

Until now, that is. This year, Bret has graciously allowed me to post my own rankings, which I cite often in my writing and on TINO. So let's make this clear: this is NOT the official Baseball Prospectus Dynasty Top 101. You can find the top half of that list here, and the bottom half of that list here. Bret's list is what we're using in the 2015 Futures Guide, and it's our official ranking.

What follows is simply my personal breakdown of the top 101 dynasty league prospects, and while there are plenty of similarities between this list and Bret's, there are some key differences; both philosophical and in terms of individual player evaluations; that I think are interesting.

Is this repetitive? Maybe. But the internet does love lists. Without further ado, here's my personal top 101, broken down by tiers:

  1. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
  2. Byron Buxton, OF, MIN
  3. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
  4. Addison Russell, SS, CHC
  5. Corey Seager, SS/3B, LAD

Yes, Bret and I have the same top four. Thank god we published different rankings!

On a serious note, these five are listed in one tier here, but really, Bryant and Buxton are on their own level, with Correa, Russell, and Seager just a touch behind. I do think people are overly optimistic on what Bryant can bring to the table this year, but in the long run you have to love his mix of upside and floor. Correa and Buxton will likely battle it out for 1-1 status next year.

  1. Jorge Soler, OF, CHC
  2. Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX
  3. Miguel Sano, 3B, MIN
  4. Yoan Moncada, INF, BOS

Can I interest you in power? Soler should routinely challenge for 25 bombs in Chicago, while Gallo and Sano are the best bets in the minors to surpass 40 some day. I've been high on Gallo for a long while now, and while the swing and miss issues are real, so is the upside as a top-10 fantasy asset.

If Yoan Moncada were elig … wait, he is! And so here he ranks, hindered by his signing with Boston in that it means he likely won't be a second baseman, but aided by the reality that Fenway Park will be his home.

  1. Lucas Giolito, RHP, WAS
  2. Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE
  3. Joc Pederson, OF, LAD
  4. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM
  5. Julio Urias, LHP, LAD
  6. Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI
  7. Carlos Rodon, LHP, CHW

In this year's BP Future's Guide, I wrote an essay detailing why it really only makes sense to target high upside fantasy starters, rather than settle for arms who project as no. 3-4 starters. Investing in top-shelf arms is often smart, albeit scary, and this group is very, very talented. Giolito has the highest upside but also possesses the most risk, while Syndergaard has a very high floor.

Lindor and Pederson don't have massive upside, but both should make an impact in 2015 and both are safe bets to be fantasy factors for a long, long time.

  1. David Dahl, OF, COL
  2. Dylan Bundy, RHP, BAL
  3. Jon Gray, RHP, COL
  4. Tim Anderson, SS/OF, CHW
  5. Blake Swihart, C, BOS
  6. Alex Meyer, RHP, MIN
  7. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, TOR

Can I interest you in upside? Dahl is a potential OF1 in Coors Field. Anderson has a really low floor, but his ceiling is insane. Gray is one of my favorites, and while he has contextual factors working against him I think he's good enough to succeed in Colorado. Meyer and Sanchez are either going to be strikeout-heavy mid-rotation starters or elite closers, and they're going to make an impact this year.

Swihart's the one guy in this tier who doesn't really fit the theme, but he's got a very high floor and he could be a top-10 catcher for years. Don't expect any real fantasy impact until 2016, but it's a good sign that his progression through the minors has been so linear.

  1. Josh Bell, OF/1B, PIT
  2. Jesse Winker, OF, CIN
  3. J.P. Crawford, SS, PHI
  4. Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR
  5. Jameson Taillon, RHP, PIT

Whereas the previous tier was all about upside, this one is more about floor. Bell might be more of a starting CI than a 1B if he moves from the outfield full time, but I believe in the bat. Winker doesn't have explosive upside but he's going to hit and is in a great park. Crawford could be a starting shortstop for many years, but is unlikely to be a consistent top-five option. I think Pompey gets a bit overrated in dynasty circles (guess I'm not an optimist about this), but he does have a great home park and should see among the most MLB time of any hitter on this list in 2015. Taillon lacks the ace upside many thought he had when drafted, but if the stuff comes back he'll be pitching in a great park and can be a solid SP 2/3 in his prime.

  1. Nomar Mazara, OF, TEX
  2. Maikel Franco, 3B/1B, PHI
  3. D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B, SEA
  4. Nick Williams, OF, TEX
  5. Rymer Liriano, OF, SD
  6. Hunter Renfroe, OF, SD
  7. Aaron Judge, OF, NYY

Hooray for offense! This is a meaty tier of non-elite hitters who could become fantasy factors in fairly short order. Having Williams this high will raise some eyebrows, but it won't be a shock if you listen to TINO. I believe in the hit tool, and while he's going to have to get better at making adjustments, the natural skills are there for him to hit for average and power with a few stolen bases sprinkled in, too.

  1. Raimel Tapia, OF, COL
  2. Daniel Norris, LHP, TOR
  3. Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN
  4. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, PIT
  5. Jose Peraza, 2B/SS, ATL
  6. Braden Shipley, RHP, ARI
  7. Hunter Harvey, RHP, BAL
  8. Kohl Stewart, RHP, MIN

Tapia ranks below the previous tier of outfielders because of distance from the majors, but he's headed to the Cal League and could put up numbers that make him a top-10 prospect at this time next year.

Norris, Peraza, and Shipley don't have crazy upsides but should all be making an impact by late 2015 or early 2016. Stephenson is close and has huge upside, but he needs to refine his command before I get too excited. Glasnow, Harvey, and Stewart will take longer but could all be 200-plus-strikeout guys. From where I've seen Glasnow ranked elsewhere this offseason, now's a good time to sell high.

  1. Michael Taylor, OF, WAS
  2. Stephen Piscotty, OF, STL
  3. Clint Frazier, OF, CLE
  4. Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, CHC
  5. Mark Appel, RHP, HOU
  6. Jorge Alfaro, C, TEX
  7. Alex Jackson, OF, SEA

The first half of the list is capped with an intriguing collection of talent. Piscotty and Appel are here for their proximity to the majors and their enticing floors. Frazier, Schwarber, and Jackson are here for their upsides. Taylor and Alfaro have crazy tools, but may lack the refinement necessary to maximize the utility of said tools.

  1. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, KC
  2. Matt Wisler, RHP, SD
  3. Henry Owens, LHP, BOS
  4. Jeff Hoffman, RHP, TOR
  5. Albert Almora, OF, CHC
  6. Austin Meadows, OF, PIT

This is a dangerous collection of players to invest in, but there's just enough going for each of these guys that they really can't rank any lower. Zimmer and Hoffman have the stuff to be no. 2 starters, but their checkered medical pasts hold them back. Wisler and Owens lack that upside, but both should be ready for the majors by July and profile as safe mid-rotation fantasy talents. Almora and Meadows may contribute as modest five-category threats, but the former could be undone by his approach while the latter has yet to prove much in the minors. This group is best represented by the shruggy-guy emoji.

  1. Ryan McMahon, 3B, COL
  2. Raul Mondesi, SS, KC
  3. Franklin Barreto, SS, OAK
  4. Trea Turner, SS, WAS

All of these players have questions and are a ways away from seeing MLB time, but they all have upside as top-10 options at their positions, too. Mondesi is a better "IRL" prospect than fantasy asset, while the opposite is true of McMahon. Barreto might need to move to second base, third base or the outfield, which would put a significant damper on his value. Turner faces questions about his ultimate position and his hit tool. Still, if you're going to gamble on prospects, gambling on those who might be infielders is a smart play.

  1. Jake Thompson, RHP, TEX
  2. Aaron Nola, LHP, PHI
  3. Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP, TEX
  4. Eddie Butler, RHP, COL

Mid-rotation upsides, but crappy contextual factors. Womp womp.

  1. Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, ATL
  2. Tyler Kolek, RHP, MIA
  3. Jose Berrios, RHP, MIN
  4. Alen Hanson, 2B/SS, PIT
  5. Dilson Herrera, 2B, NYM

Foltynewicz, Berrios, and Kolek have nothing in common, yet here we are: aren't fantasy rankings fun? Folty could be a mid-rotation starter who's great for strikeouts but bad for WHIP, but he is more likely a dominant reliever. Berrios lacks that type of upside, but has a high floor and will play in a great park. Kolek is forever away but we could eventually look at him like how we look at Archie Bradley now, though Kolek's secondary pitches have a lot further to go than Bradley's ever did.

Hanson and Herrera aren't very exciting, but there's value in middle infielders and each could profile as such by July or August, or at least by 2016.

  1. Sean Manaea, LHP, KC
  2. Steven Matz, LHP, NYM
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, BOS
  4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B/UT, CHC
  5. A.J. Cole, RHP, WAS
  6. Marco Gonzales, LHP, STL
  7. Aaron Blair, RHP, ARI

Here we have a collection of no. 3/4 starters who you'll probably see ranked higher elsewhere. But, as I mentioned above, I've done enough research on guys like these that I'm comfortable ranking them toward the bottom of this list.

Manaea, Matz, and Rodriguez are an intriguing triplet of lefties who all seem to have prospect helium, but have a lot of proving themselves left to do. Cole, Gonzales, and Blair lack their upside, but all are a bit closer to the majors and arguably have higher floors.

Then there's Vogelbach, who probably needs to change organizations and DH but who has the hit and power tools to remain relevant nonetheless.

  1. Daniel Robertson, INF, TB
  2. Nick Gordon, SS, MIN
  3. Rafael Devers, 3B, BOS
  4. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, WAS
  5. Amed Rosario, SS, NYM
  6. Michael Conforto, OF, NYM
  7. Brandon Finnegan, LHP, KC

Another pretty jumbled collection of talent. Devers has the upside to rank even higher, but we should show some restraint given that he's yet to play full-season ball. Still, if you're looking for the guy most likely to jump, say, 50 spots up this list next season, Devers is the one you seek.

Robertson and Conforto are here for their floors as fantasy-relevant bats, while Gordon and Rosario are here for their upsides. Finnegan would rank near Berrios if I knew he would start but wouldn't be on the list at all if I knew he'd relieve, so this splits the difference. Lopez is super exciting, but he's in danger of becoming overhyped.

  1. Brandon Nimmo, OF, NYM
  2. Steven Souza, OF, TB
  3. Manuel Margot, OF, BOS
  4. Alex Reyes, RHP, STL
  5. Luis Severino, RHP, NYY
  6. Bradley Zimmer, OF, CLE
  7. Brandon Drury, 3B, ARI
  8. Garin Cecchini, 3B, BOS

Quick disclaimer: there's no real difference between these guys and the preceding tier, but it's easier to break the list down into bite-sized pieces.

Nimmo, Souza, and Margot are fun to lump together because of what they represent: Souza can be a no. 4/5 OF now, but doesn't have any appreciable ceiling. Nimmo has another season or so in the minors, but his upside is a touch higher. Margot has the highest upside of the three, albeit one still capped at a high-end OF3, but still needs to conquer High-A.

Reyes and Severino have disgusting upsides, but the former is ages away, while there's still a really good chance the latter is a reliever. If Severino proves he can start, he's another candidate for a 50-spot jump up this list.

Zimmer should be a fast-mover and is very close in value to the three outfielders above. Drury and Cecchini can both be second-division third basemen who are aided by contextual factors, though the Pablo Sandoval addition muddles Cecchini's future.

  1. Kevin Plawecki, C, NYM
  2. Andrew Susac, C, SF
  3. Matt Olson, 1B, OAK
  4. Hunter Dozier, 3B, KC
  5. Forrest Wall, 2B, COL
  6. Lewis Brinson, OF, TEX
  7. Miguel Almonte, RHP, KC
  8. Grant Holmes, RHP, LAD

This is a really interesting mix of talent. Plawecki and Susac have top-12 fantasy backstop upside, but neither has a clear path to playing time nor favorable contextual factors. Olson and Dozier have big power but have yet to prove they can hit advanced pitching. Wall and Brinson are two names to dream on, though you'll need to be very patient with both. Almonte and Holmes are potential mid-rotation fantasy arms who'll find themselves in good situations if they stick with their current squads.

  1. Jake Lamb, 3B, ARI
  2. Nick Kingham, RHP, PIT

Rather than end on a high note, let's go out with a whimper! Lamb and Kingham lack upside, but they both figure to help you this year, they both have favorable contextual factors and they'll both skirt the fringes of 12-team dynasty leagues for a long time. In deeper formats, however, guys like this retain some importance, and so here we are.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order): Matt Barnes, RHP, BOS; Matt Davidson, 3B, CHW; Erick Fedde, RHP, WAS; Derek Fisher, OF, HOU; Kyle Freeland, LHP, COL; Billy McKinney, OF, CHC; Joe Ross, RHP, WAS; Marcos Molina, RHP, NYM; Gary Sanchez, C/1B, NYY; Domingo Santana, OF, HOU; Lucas Sims, RHP, ATL; Chance Sisco, C, BAL; Tyrone Taylor, OF, MIL; Touki Toussaint, RHP, ARI; Vincent Velasquez, RHP, HOU

Players on Bret's list who didn't make Ben's: Gary Sanchez, C/1B, NYY; Tyrone Taylor, OF, MIL; Max Fried, LHP, ATL; Joe Ross, RHP, WAS: Touki Toussaint, RHP, ARI; Marcos Molina, RHP, NYM; Erick Fedde, RHP, WAS

Thank you for reading

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Is there an ETA for the Futures Guide?
I'll look into this for you!
Thanks Ben. Looking forward to it
Nice list.

How much do you consider positional value? I know catcher is a position that a lot of "experts" believe you shouldn't put too much value in with a fantasy team, but backstops seem to be better represented on your 101 than I've seen elsewhere.
Positional value is a huge factor. From most valuable to least valuable, it's generally C, SS, 2B, 3B, OF, 1B, UT

There are only four catchers on this list -- five if you include Schwarber -- and two are in the 90s, so I don't think I've made an especially strong case for drafting catching prospects.
What I'm about to say isn't really necessary since you linked Bret's list, but both because his list is in two parts and because you refer to it as the official one, it would have been helpful to me to have you include where each player ranked on the other list for comparison's sake. Thanks for doing the list. Multiple perspectives are absolutely not redundant.
Interesting list. Have a minor league draft later this month were both Swihart and Schwarber are available. Mind expanding on the reasoning behind Swihart being higher and Schwarber so much lower than in Bret's rankings?
Swihart has a high floor where he should be a consistent and valuable contributor as a catcher. Schwarber has a bat that should be productive, but he may have to move to a position that it won't carry quite the same value.

I'm think that I'm in line with your original comment on the article. Although I'm not an "expert" (nowhere close really), but I don't put a lot of value on catchers in dynasty given the extra amount of time that it seemingly takes for their bats to be ready for the bigs. Is the position what vaults Swihart up so high in Carsley's eyes or does he think that there's a huge disparity between the bats? I would think that Schwarber's power might lean things in his favor on a dynasty list. This is why I'm so curious to hear Ben's thoughts!
A lot of what Stephen said is accurate. To me, Swihart is a lock to stay at catcher and has a really, really high floor for a guy who plays a premium position. Schwarber has the higher ceiling, yes, but he's substantially farther away from the majors and is far from a lock to stick behind the plate. I'll take someone with an 80% chance of being a consistent top-10 backstop over someone with a, say, 40% chance of being a top-5 backstop. And yes, the equation shifts a bit more in Schwarber's favor in really shallow leagues.
Yes, the more lists the better!

But...I don't really understand why, in this list and others, Tim Anderson is ranked so much higher than Jorge Alfaro. The rap against Alfaro seems to be his hitting approach-- but his walk rate was twice as high as Anderson's, while the K rates are similar. They both seem to have elite tools at key defensive positions. Why are prospect gurus less forgiving of Alfaro's lack of refinement?
Anderson's ceiling is higher than Alfaro's if the former sticks at SS and the latter sticks at C. You can argue that Alfaro's floor is higher, though that's up for debate as even if Anderson moves to the OF he has the speed to be interesting.

Sometimes it just comes down to personal evaluations. You mentioned some ways in which Anderson and Alfaro are similar, but there are more ways in which they differ. Different positions in play, different carrying tools, different upsides. Lots of variables in play.
I always have a hard time figuring out why Francisco Lindor is consistently ranked so highly in dynasty/fantasy prospect lists. Yes, his defense is good enough to stick at SS. But so was Brendan Ryan's. Lindor has consistently been mediocre with the bat at every step of the way through the minors. So what on earth makes everyone think he'll hit above-average, even for a SS, in the minors? And if he can't do that, then why bother owning him on a dynasty roster?
He's 21 and has already held his own against AAA pitching. You're right in that he doesn't project as a stalwart fantasy SS the second he reaches the majors, but as he grows he projects as a 60 hitter with 60 speed and a little bit of power.

The last bit of what you wrote is just a leading question. Yes, *if* he can't hit he's not worthy of owning. But the only evidence you've provided that he won't is that he's yet to light the world on fire at levels for which he's incredibly young. The comp to Brendan Ryan is a bit silly.
I appreciate the response. As for "holding his own" at AAA, I guess I just can't get all that excited about a guy putting up a sub-700 OPS and wRC+ of 88 at AAA. I get it that he's very young, but I guess I tend to fall more on the side of wanting to see some sort of production at some point and not just going on scouting reports and tools alone.

The Brendan Ryan was just a throwaway line because all I ever read about Lindor is that "his defense is good enough that he'll stick at SS". Ok, well so what? A lot of guys who can't hit can stick at SS.
Again, though, I appreciate the response and if you think he really has potential 60-grade hit tool, then I understand why you rank him as highly as you do. I just want to see that hit tool actually produce before I believe it.
This is cheating. You can't wait until spring training begins.
One slight error:

13. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, WAS

As if the Nats needed more pitching depth.
Glad to see you are also high on Hoffman as well. I was struggling between him McMachon,Matz and Nola. My logic was this in grabbing Hoffman. The minute he steps on the mound: His value goes up. If he looks like 80% of what we saw before the injury, he could easily shoot into the top 20. Then you can deal him if you like.

Plus I personally see him having a potential 70 fastball and Curveball with a plus changeup. I mean he kinda seems like a poor man's Giolito to a degree.

(comment removed at customer's request)
A little late to seeing this, but was wondering:

1. Was Andrew Heaney an accidental omission, and if so where would he rank?

2. Where would the older Cubans like Tomas, Castillo, Iglesias have ended up on this list if eligible?

Crap. Heaney should've ranked somewhere in the Mazara/Franco or Tapia/Norris tier. Thank you for that catch.

Castillo would've ranked right behind ahead of Josh Bell. Tomas would've ranked of Jose Peraza. Iglesias would not have ranked.