101 is an arbitrary number. Every year, the Baseball Prospectus Fantasy Team puts out a top-101 prospects list, and then Bret Sayre and I follow suit with top-101 dynasty prospect lists of our own. It’s a slight deviation on the industry-standard “top-100” you see around the web, but the truth is it often makes little sense to stop (or to extend to) a nice round number.
Take this most recent year as an example. We could’ve ended at 83, capping our exercise with Albert Almora, and it would’ve made just as much if not more sense as stopping where we did, which was basically in the middle of a tier. No one wants a top-83, though. They want a top-100 or a top-101.
Well I refuse to play by society’s rules. I play by my own rules, nobody else’s, not even my own. I could’ve easily pared this “next” list down to 100 or 101 additional players, but a) that would’ve been arbitrary, like we talked about b) that would’ve taken more effort. So instead what you get is a collection of dudes who were briefly considered for the top-101, or who I just jotted down as potential sleepers while writing the fantasy comments for the individual top-10 lists.
Another point: I’m not going to do a straight ranking of these guys. So many of them are just fliers or only figure to be role players that it’d be borderline disingenuous. Instead I’ll just throw them into groupings and let you figure out who you should value more based on your competition window and league size.
There are some of you who play in leagues with 190-man MiLB rosters who’ll know all the names on this list. I can’t help you. But if you play in your more standard keeper/dynasty format that rosters 100-200 prospects, hopefully this will help you once the big dogs are gone. Enjoy, and as always, I eagerly await you telling me who I missed or which player/team matchup I forgot to swap after a trade. Love you guys <3.
Continuation of Tier Eight (Lottery Tickets, More 2017 Dudes, or Guys We Just Like)
- Walker Buehler, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Forrest Whitley, SP, Houston Astros
- David Paulino, SP, Houston Astros
- James Kaprielian, SP, New York Yankees
- Kolby Allard, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Tyler Wade, IF/OF, New York Yankees
- Jorge Ona, OF, San Diego Padres
- Adrian Morejon, SP, San Diego Padres
- Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Chicago Cubs
- Luis Ortiz, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
- Alec Hansen, SP, Chicago White Sox
- Aristides Aquino, OF, Cincinnati Reds
- Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics
- Taylor Trammell, OF, Cincinnati Reds
- Hunter Dozier, 3B/OF, Kansas City Royals
- Jake Bauers, 1B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
If you prefer this set of players to the guys we listed in the back of the top-101, you won’t find much of an argument here. Buehler, Whitley, Allard, Morejon, and Hansen have high upsides but all come with a heaping portion of risk. Kaprielian, Paulino, and Ortiz lack big upside but should be ready soon, ditto Chapman, Candelario, and Bauers. Wade is one of the more fun names on this list, but we don’t know where he’ll play. Aquino, Ona and Trammell are fun outfield sleepers, with Aquino in particular turning into a TINO darling thanks to Craig Goldstein. It’s probably not gonna work for Dozier, but if it does you’ll love the power.
From here on out, it’s difficult to rank prospects altogether and easier to provide you with blockier segments.
The Next Glut of (Potential Mid-Fantasy Rotation) Arms
- Erick Fedde, SP, Washington Nationals
- Sean Reid-Foley, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
- Mike Soroka, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Luis Castillo, SP, Cincinnati Reds
- Fernando Romero, SP, Minnesota Twins
- Justus Sheffield, SP, New York Yankees
- Tyler Beede, SP, San Francisco Giants
I really like all of these arms, but they all lack just a little something or come with just a little too much risk to flirt with the top-101. Fedde, Reid-Foley, Soroka, and Beede are safe, but have underwhelming upsides. Castillo and Romero offer big-time strikeout potential, but aren’t locks to start. Sheffield is probably a reliever in my eyes, but I acknowledge I’m the low man on him. If you prefer any of these dues to, I don’t know, Grant Holmes, I get it.
- Steven Gonsalves, SP, Minnesota Twins
- Albert Abreu, SP, New York Yankees
- Adonis Medina, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
- Braxton Garrett, SP, Miami Marlins
- Juan Hillman, SP, Cleveland Indians
- Trevor Clifton, SP, Chicago Cubs
- Antonio Senzatela, SP, Colorado Rockies
- Cody Ponce, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
- Ian Anderson, SP, Atlanta Braves
There’s no real theme here, though for the most part, ETA is the problem. Guys like Garrett, Anderson, and Medina could be really solid, but you’ll be waiting for a while. Others like Gonsalves, Abreu, and Clifton are closer but won’t wow you. Basically, we could view them like we view the Fedde tier this time next season. Feel the excitement!
Modest Ceilings, But Ready Soon: Position Players
- Ronald Guzman, 1B, Rangers
- Sam Travis, 1B, Red Sox
- Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Phillies
- Scott Kingery, 2B, Phillies
- Renato Nunez, 3B/1B, Athletics
- Christian Arroyo, INF, Giants
A modest collection of infielders who’ll probably never be top-10 options at their positions, but who could sneak in some top-20 performances. Hoskins has good power but a questionable hit tool, Travis has a good hit tool but questionable power and Guzman is a little of column A, a little of column B. It’s tough to be a first-base prospect. Kingery could be useful for cheap steals, while Arroyo could be useful for an empty average. Nunez will probably see more playing time in Oakland than he would anywhere else and can sock some dongers on occasion.
- Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
- Harold Ramirez, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
- Charlie Tilson, OF, Chicago White Sox
- Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners
- Christin Stewart, OF, Detroit Tigers
- Andrew Toles, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jorge Bonifacio, OF, Kansas City Royals
- Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Houston Astros
- Ramon Laureano, OF, Houston Astros
Ah yes, the outfielders. Haniger, Tilson, and Toles could have value in daily lineup leagues right now, as they all project to get some playing time in 2017. Bonifacio has power but little else, while Ramirez has a hit tool but little else. Bader and Stewart will probably just end up being platoon bats, but good ones. Hernandez and Laureano won’t play unless the Astros suffer a lot of injuries, and each is only mildly interesting even if they do log PA.
Modest Ceilings, But Ready Soon: Pitchers
- Jharel Cotton, SP, Oakland Athletics
- Ariel Jurado, SP, Texas Rangers
- Anthony Banda, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Jacob Faria, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
- Brandon Woodruff, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
- Luke Weaver, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
- Steven Brault, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Spencer Adams, SP, Chicago White Sox
- Kyle Freeland, SP, Colorado Rockies
These are the types of pitchers I routinely told you to avoid during our top-10 series, but the truth is if you’re rostering 150-plus guys, they’re worth a look. Cotton is the best bet to produce 2017 value because he has the clearest shot to playing time and is in a great park. Jurado, Banda and Freeland all pitch in orgs short on pitching talent, so they could log some innings soon. Weaver and Adams are pure streamers. Woodruff and Faria have a little more upside, but neither profiles as better than an SP5/6 in their heydays.
The Sleepers – Bats
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
- Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
- Wander Javier, SS, Minnesota Twins
- Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Baltimore Orioles
- Yeyson Yrizarri, SS, Texas Rangers
- Andres Gimenez, SS, New York Mets
Hey now, this is whatchya came for. The next glut of shortstop wunderkinds has something for everybody, whether you like advanced hit tools (Mountcastle), uber athleticism (Yrizarri), bloodlines (Tatis, Bichette), or 80-grade names (Javier). If you told me any of these dudes were top-101 material next year, I wouldn’t bat an eye. Nor would I if they end up in “We Hardly Knew Ye” by 2019.
- Travis Demeritte, 2B, Atlanta Braves
- Shedric Long, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
- Joshua Lowe, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays
- Garrett Stubbs, C, Houston Astros
- Meibrys Viloria, C, Kansas City Royals
- Tyler Stephenson, C, Cincinnati Reds
More infield bats for you to gamble on. Demeritte has power and Long has speed, but I’m really not sure either of them will hit. Lowe and Stubbs have big-time upside but come with plenty of risks. You probably shouldn’t gamble on catchers who are as far away as Viloria and Stephenson, but if you’re going to, at least bet on them.
- Magneuris Sierra, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
- Michael Gettys, OF, San Diego Padres
- Monte Harrison, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
- Starling Heredia, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Brayan Hernandez, OF, Seattle Mariners
- Desmond Lindsay, OF, New York Mets
- Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Zomg tools. Sierra just missed the just missed section. It’s easy to envision him as a top-101 name next season. Heredia, Hernandez, Ortiz and Harrison are forever away but have OF2/3 upside. Lindsay is safer but is more of a future OF 4/5. Good luck knowing what to make of Gettys, but the power/speed combo is intriguing.
The Sleepers – Arms
- Tyler Jay, SP, Minnesota Twins
- Franklin Perez, SP, Houston Astros
- Touki Toussaint, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Dustin May, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Antonio Santillan, SP, Cincinnati Reds
- Devin Williams, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
- Riley Pint, SP, Colorado Rockies
- Taylor Hearn, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jose Albertos, SP, Chicago Cubs
- Sixto Sanchez, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
- Mitchell White, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Austin Franklin, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
- Hunter Harvey, SP, Baltimore Orioles
- Dylan Cease, SP, Chicago Cubs
Your guess is as good as mine with these guys. Perez, Toussaint, Albertos, Williams and Sanchez have big upside but are risky arms. Jay, Hearn, Santillan and Cease are probably relievers, but if not, look out. People have written Pint off because he’s a Rockie, but he can truly chuck it. May, White, and Franklin are pretty much all projection at this point. Hunter Harvey is the human manifestation of the shruggy emoji.
The Bounceback Candidates
- Jacob Nottingham, C/1B, Milwaukee Brewers
- Jomar Reyes, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
- Cornelius Randolph, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
- Eddie Julio Martinez, OF, Chicago Cubs
- Max Pentecost, C, Toronto Blue Jays
- Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Kyle Zimmer, SP, Kansas City Royals
- Brady Aiken, SP, Cleveland Indians
- Kohl Stewart, SP, Minnesota Twins
All of these players had pretty rough 2016 campaigns, but each has enough upside remaining that you shouldn’t write them off if you roster around 200 guys. Nottingham is close to the majors, still has big time power and was young for his league last season. Speaking of young for his league, the Orioles might want to ease up a bit on Reyes, who’s routinely playing against much older competition. Martinez had an underwhelming debut but still has big tools. Pentecost looked overmatched at High-A, which isn’t great for a hitter his age. Randolph, Hayes and Zimmer missed a ton of time with injury. Aiken hasn’t shown great stuff consistently since his return, but he’ll flash it. Stewart finally stayed on the mound but was eminently hittable, which is strange given his stuff.
The Relievers (3)
I don’t want to talk about it.
Not My Guys, But Okay (11)
- Forrest Wall, 2B, Colorado Rockies
- Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves
- Miguel Andujar, 3B, New York Yankees
- Will Craig, 3B/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Colin Moran, 3B, Houston Astros
- Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York Mets
- Luiz Gohara, SP, Atlanta Braves
- Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
- Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Boston Red Sox
- Max Fried, SP, Atlanta Braves
I am personally not really a fan of these dynasty assets, but there are fair arguments to be made in favor of each of them. Do what you will with that.
Not My Guys, Not Ok
- Billy McKinney, OF, New York Yankees
- Taylor Guerrieri, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
- Colin Moran, 3B, Houston Astros
- Tyler Kolek, SP, Miami Marlins
- Eric Jagielo, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
- Mark Appel, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
- Dillon Tate, SP, New York Yankees
There are some big names from rankings past here, but I advise just cutting bait. These guys are NOT part of the 112 referenced above, but I’m listing them here specifically so you don’t ask “what about 112” in the comments.
You may now proceed to ask me “what about” anyone not listed here in the comments, but if you double up, you owe me a drink. Them’s the rules.