With our play-in matchups settled, the field of 64 is set. Now the fun really begins as we tip off the opening round matchups!
You can also view the entire updated tournament bracket here.
Day 1 Opening Round
WINNER (8) OF Brennan Davis, CHC
.260/.375/.494 19HRs 53RBI 8SBs
(9) OF Owen Caissie, CHC
.302/.434/.489 7HRs 29RBI 1SBs
One of several landslide victories by the higher seed on Day 1, Davis carried this one wire to wire. I think Caissie will work his way into the top 100 prospect conversation this season and I’ll be interested to see him in next year’s bracket but Davis has too much of a pedigree, too many loud tools and is closer to patrolling the ivy-covered OF at the Friendly Confines.
WINNER (4) C Adley Rutschman, BAL
.285/.397/.502 23HRs 75RBI 1SBs
(13) OF Andy Pages, LAD
.265/.394/.539 31HRs 88RBI 6SBs
See above. In all seriousness, Rutschman may have been under-seeded here as he is among four or five top prospects that are fully expected to play the majority of 2022 at the major league level. Pages has prodigious power (try saying that 3x fast) but he’s in a talent rich system where prospects spring up like dandelions. He’ll need to show continued plate discipline in the upper majors in order to catch more attention.
(7) OF JJ Bleday, MIA
.212/.323/.373 12HR 54RBI 5SBs
WINNER (10) C Francisco Alvarez, NYM
.272/.388/.554 24HR 70RBI 8SBs
UPSET ALERT!! In a runaway vote of 47 – 2, Alvarez triumphs in his first round matchup. I have to say I’m surprised, I thought that Bleday’s impressive Arizona Fall League campaign was recent enough to sway voters but obviously not. Give credit to Alvarez, hitting 24HRs with as a 20 year old catcher is nothing to sneeze at. But a closer look at his season shows that his hit tool is still in need of development to continue to meet his potential. Bleday’s AAA season is commonly looked at as sub-optimal but the underlying data suggests that he may have been more unlucky than just plain bad. Congrats to Alvarez on advancing but I’d put my money on Bleday in my dynasty leagues.
WINNER (2) P Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
2.36ERA .825WHIP 161Ks 103IP
(15) P Mick Abel, PHI
4.43ERA 1.209WHIP 66Ks 44.2IP
More chalk here. Respect to Mick Abel but a prep pitcher against the #1 pitching prospect in the country isn’t much of a matchup. As an Orioles fan, it’s both exciting and frightening to consider Grayson’s future, given the Orioles’ franchise history of young pitchers.
WINNER (1) SS Anthony Volpe, NYY
.294/.423/.604 27HR 86RBI 33SBs
(16) OF Zac Veen, COL
.301/.399/.501 15HR 75RBI 36SBs
When’s the last time a prospect rose as meteorically as Anthony Volpe? His 2021 season was one for the prospect history books and it shows in this vote. I’ll be honest in admitting that I’m low on Veen but it’s mostly based on his organization’s poor track record in developing players.
WINNER (5) P Cade Cavalli, WAS
3.36ERA 1.265WHIP 175Ks 123.1IP
(12) P Matt Brash, SEA
2.34ERA 1.14WHIP 142Ks 97IP
This result was actually more surprising than the Alvarez/Bleday matchup. Next to Volpe, Matt Brash may be the prospect I read/hear about the most in the dynasty community so I thought for sure he’d pull the first round upset. Cavalli was more heralded as an amateur and his pro debut started incredibly strong but each promotion saw a decrease in his production. Brash brings incredibly swing & miss stuff but questions still linger whether he may be best deployed from the bullpen. Two reliever-risk heavy prospects but Cavalli moves on to the 2nd round.
WINNER (3) SS Noelvi Marte, SEA
.273/.366/.460 17HR 71RBI 24SBs
(14) OF Michael Harris III, ATL
.294/.362/.436 7HR 64RBI 27SBs
I feel like Harris will make waves in next year’s tourney; I foresee him having a really strong 2022 season. But Marte has remained on the top of most prospect lists over the past couple of seasons for a reason. The power is legit with minor strikeout concerns thus far. I mean when you’re 20 years old and haven’t played AA yet and ZiPS still projects you with a 20HR/10+ SB year at the major league level, you’re probably legit.
WINNER (7) 3B Jose Miranda, MIN
.344/.401/.572 30HR 94RBI 4SBs
(10) SS Oswald Peraza, NYY
.297/.356/.477 18HR 58RBI 38SBs
Maybe the least interesting of the day one matchups based on upside. There’s not much more that can be written about Miranda’s 2021 season at this point but until spring training starts we really don’t know where he fits into the Twins lineup. I’m still very much a believer in his hit tool but suppose his power at the minor league level was an overperformance of his ability? A utility infielder with 10-14 HR power and no speed is a lot less appealing. Meanwhile Peraza is stuck in the Yankees’ traffic jam up the middle. He looks like he should stick at SS and he appears to be a sneaky good baserunner (20SBs at AA). He may not have superstar upside but appears have the makings of a solid everyday major leaguer.
Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)