2021 Topps Series One Rookie Rankings
Last year, I broke down the rookies from 2020 Topps Series One. You can find that here . There were some players that I had completely wrong like Randy Arozarena (Tier Four) and Kyle Lewis (Tier Three), but let's just chalk that up to the wonky season we had last year. I've broken down the rookies from Tier Four to Tier One. We'll do a quick run down on what to expect from each player starting at Tier Two. Here we go:
Tier Four - Pack Fillers
Eddy Alvarez - 2B - MIA
Edward Olivares - OF - KC
Albert Abreu - P - NYY
Daniel Johnson - OF - CLE
Nick Heath - DH/OF - KC
Kodi Whitley - P - STL
Humberto Mejia - P - ARI
James Kaprielian - P - OAK
Ryan Castellani - P - COL
Chadwick Tromp - C - SF
Blake Taylor - P - HOU
Santiago Espinal - SS - TOR
Mitch White - P - LAD
You'll find your 31 year old rookie in Eddy Alvarez and underwhelming pitchers in this category. I can see Abreu breaking out of this tier to get up to Tier Three, but that seems like a stretch. Much like last year, I don't have much to say on these players.
Tier Three - Contributors
Monte Harrison - OF - MIA
Daulton Varsho - C/OF - ARI
Deivi Garcia - P - NYY
Isaac Paredes - 3B - DET
Beau Burrows - P - DET
Anderson Tejeda - SS - TEX
Brandon Bielak - P - HOU
Dane Dunning - P - TEX
Jesus Sanchez - OF - MIA
Codi Heuer - P - CHI
Nick Neidert - P - MIA
Tyler Stephenson - C/DH - CIN (possible Tier Two)
Kris Bubic - P - KC (possible Tier Two)
Ryan Mountcastle - 1B/OF - BAL (possible Tier Two)
David Peterson - P - NYM (possible Tier Two)
Tarik Skubal - P - DET (possible Tier Two)
Spencer Howard - P - PHI (possible Tier Two)
In this tier, you'll find some interesting names like Isaac Paredes and Jesus Sanchez.
Tyler Stephenson is one player that I would keep my eye on in that if he gets traded to an AL team, or if the universal DH exists, could break into Tier Two easily.
While Kris Bubic doesn't feature an electric fastball, he does have the changeup and control to be a rotation player.
Ryan Mountcastle will benefit from a depleted Baltimore Orioles team to gather even more playing time this year.
Much like Bubic, David Peterson doesn't feature electric velocity, but will benefit from the monster offensive year the Mets may have.
Tarik Skubal is opposite of Bubic and Peterson in that his fastball is in the high 90's. If he can command, he's a top tier rotation player.
Spencer Howard is Philly's best prospect, and has three above average pitches (fastball, changeup, curveball).
Tier Two - Consistent Starters
Keibert Ruiz - C - LAD
Joey Bart - C - SF
Bobby Dalbec - 1B - BOS
Jo Adell - OF - LAA
Nate Pearson - P - TOR
Andres Gimenez - 2B/SS - CLE
Evan White - 1B - SEA
Brady Singer - P - KC
Cristian Javier - P - HOU
Cristian Pache - OF - ATL
Nick Madrigal - 2B - CHI
Luis Patiño - P - TB
Ian Anderson - P - ATL
Dylan Carlson - OF - STL
Luis Garcia - 2B - WAS
Casey Mize - P - DET
Triston McKenzie - P - CLE (possible Tier One)
Leody Taveras - OF - TEX (possible Tier One)
This group you'll be seeing for the next couple of years as starters on their teams.
Keibert Ruiz is the most interesting prospect here in that the catcher position might not be his final spot. He's got a wonderful feel for contact, but lacks in game power.
Joey Bart is the opposite of Ruiz in that he's a top tier defensive catcher with some pop. He's a better hitting version of Mike Zunino.
Bobby Dalbec struggles to make consistent contact, but will hit the ball a far ways. His defense is more than passible to be a consistent first basemen.
Jo Adell had a tough start to his major league career last year being rock bottom in all contact stats. However, his physical tools of speed and power will propel him forward to a successful 2021.
Nate Pearson might have the nastiest fastball in the majors now. He can easily top 100mph and it even has movement.
Andres Gimenez moved from the Mets to Cleveland in the Lindor trade. He'll slot in nicely with his Gold Glove tier defense.
Evan White is perhaps the best defensive first basemen already. Because of this talent alone, White will be a consistent starter.
Brady Singer already features two major league ready pitches in his fastball and slider. Once he develops a changeup, with his command, he'll be a number one pitcher.
Cristian Javier has plenty of postseason experience now thanks to being on the Astros. He's being used as a setup man now, but could easily transition into a rotation player.
Cristian Pache is still young at 22 years old. His defense coupled with his above average speed and 70 grade arm, will plant him in the outfield indefinitely
Nick Madrigal provides above average defense high contact. Think David Fletcher, except younger.
Luis Patiño was involved in the Blake Snell trade. His mid to high 90's fastball and young age (21), provide him the base to be a top end starter.
Ian Anderson provided a 11.41 K/9 and 1.95 ERA last year as a starter for the Braves. His barrel percentage was in the 99th percentile thanks to his deception of his delivery.
Dylan Carlson is above average at most intangibles. He's a switch hitting outfielder, so that will always earn you a spot on the bench.
Luis Garcia is the youngest player of this group at 20 years old. He grabbed 40 games of Major League experience last year, which will pay its dividends towards his career.
Casey Mize's injury history is the only reason it's hard to consider him a Tier One player in this group. The former number one overall pick features four strong pitches with his cutter being one of the best pitches out there now.
Triston McKenzie's incredibly small frame (listed at 6'5" 160lbs) gives shades of Chris Sale but also causes some worry. He was in the top end of the league for strikeout percentage and exit velocity, but is below average on fastball velocity.
Leody Taveras started off incredibly hot last year, but tapered off towards the end. He's still an elite athlete, and sees the plate relatively well. This projection combined with his age (22), provides a great foundation for his future.
Tier One - Future Stars
Sixto Sanchez - P - MIA
Alec Bohm - 3B - PHI
Sixto Sanchez broke into the league last year with the Marlins. He features an incredible mix of pitches. In order of percentage thrown, Sanchez features a changeup (26.7%), sinker (24%), fastball (23.8%), slider (17.2%), and curveball (8.4%). Because of this even distribution, his top tier fastball (which averages 98mph) surpises hitters leading to less contact. He was above the 70th percentile in xwOBA, xERA, xBA, xSLG, barrel %, and walk %. What's most impressive is that walk %. Typically, pitchers with a high fastball velocity will walk more batters. He walked players 7.0% of the time which was under the Major League average of 8.3%. Look for Sixto to be at the top of the list for pitchers for a bit.
Alec Bohm just missed out on the Rookie of the Year award last year. Bohm posted a .338 batting average with an .881 OPS in his first year in the majors in the hot corner for the Phillies last year. He was above average in almost every Statcast category except for walk % (48th percentile). Bohm's hitting statistics from last year closely follow those of Tim Anderson, which shows you how impactful he was in his first year. Bohm was third in Win Probability Added last year in the NL, just behind Mike Yastrzemski and Freddie Freeman. Although he only plays an average third basemen, Bohm could be shifted to first base. In seven games last year, Bohm didn't make an error. Couple last years success with the stacked roster of the Phillies, Bohm could be headed for some MVP buzz further into his career.