The Opening Round is completed and the contenders have been separated from the pretenders. Many of the results went with the favorites as the top seeds won an overwhelming majority of the opening round. But now, there are no 16 seeds to beat up and the competition gets a bit more intense.
Here are the Day 1 matchups in the Round of 32.
*NOTE: 2021 stats won’t be included with matchups moving forward, it seems a bit redundant.
You can also view the entire updated tournament bracket here.
Day 1 Round of 32
(1) SS Anthony Volpe, NYY
(9) P Max Meyer, MIA
Am I a Volpe hater now? It’s hard to scoff at what he did last season and how he did it but now I’m starting to wonder if there’s too much helium in the balloon at this point? Maybe I’m overthinking but looking at Meyer’s 2021 at both AA & AAA, I find it really compelling to buy him as a staff ace. Of course, pitching is fickle but I think I need to see Volpe dominate in AA before I’m completely sold on him being the next great Yankee. The voters disagree however as Volpe waltzes to the Sweet 16.
(4) C Gabriel Montero, TOR
(5) P Cade Cavalli, WAS
Two high seeds, neither of whom I was certain would make it out of the first round, clash here and Moreno wins in a squeaker. I asked in the PL+ Discord about Moreno’s value and it seems that readers are sold on his bat to ball skills and power potential. I get it although Cavalli looks like he’s about a half season from being MLB ready right now.
(3) SS Noelvi Marte, SEA
(11) C MJ Melendez, KCR
So there is something that can stop Melendez from taking over the world. I’ve talked to some people online who aren’t convinced Marte is a top 5 prospect but when I look at his bat speed, it’s hard to convince me otherwise. Will Melendez breakthrough with Kansas City? Or does he actually become the odd man out between himself, Pratto, and Vinnie Pasquantino? Hopefully we get some sort of answers this year.
(2) SS Marco Luciano, SFG
(7) 3B Jose Miranda, MIN
My two large adult sons facing each other, now I understand how Archie Manning felt all of those years…Anyways, I’ll be honest, I’m in on Miranda because he was my first big “discovery” upon really diving into minor league players last year but I have no idea about his best case outcome. Is he a limited 3B with 15-18HR power and a high avg/OBP? a utility infielder that only gets to play twice a week? I don’t honestly know but I’m still eager to find out. Luciano’s stock has almost done a complete 180 since this time before the 2020 season was cancelled. I get that he didn’t dominate High A but he was still a teenager with only 1 (short) season of pro ball under his belt. Even if he’s completely moved to 3rd by the time he hits the upper minors, I still think the raw & game power play and he’ll be enough of a threat to work in some walks. The average may never go north of .260 at the ML level but the OBP and HRs will make up for it.
(1) 3B Jordan Walker, STL
(8) OF Brennan Davis, CHC
Our first #1 seed falls! In an incredibly close vote (48-42), the Cubs OF phenom takes out the Cardinals highly ranked hot corner. Now yes, Davis should’ve been higher ranked so this matchup could’ve waited until even the Elite 8 but here we are and here are the voters who seem to be sold on Davis’ polish along with his skillset. Barring anything catastrophic, it’s easy to see Davis in RF at Wrigley as early as 2023 while Walker still needs to hit AA pitching consistently.
(4) C Adley Rutschman, BAL
(12) OF Josh Lowe, TBR
I mention my love of Lowe and his type of player but Adley is too accomplished a hitter to stumble at this point in the tournament. Additionally I know many in the dynasty community downgrade Lowe because of his organization setting, Tampa just can’t quit Kevin Kiermaier yet and as long as he’s in CF, Lowe is not. Meanwhile his AL East peer is cha-cha-sliding into the starting catcher position in Baltimore. We’ll see if the triceps injury is a cautionary play by the Orioles braintrust or another example of service time chicanery.
(3) 1B/3B Triston Casas, BOS
(6) P Eury Perez, MIA
At first I was surprised by this result and the lack of closeness in the votes but the more I ponder, the more obvious it seems. Casas has one of the most polished hit tools among prospects and he’s shown his ability at every level thus far. Similar to Brennan Davis, it’s not hard to imagine a 2023 Red Sox lineup card with his name penciled in at 1B or DH. Perez exploded on the scene in 2021 and we’re all eager to see an encore but he’s not nearly as ready for primetime. Add in general pitching risk and this outcome isn’t difficult to understand.
(2) P Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
(10) C Francisco Alvarez, NYM
So take the previous paragraph and invert it. Here we have a pitching prospect who is among the most ML ready in the field and has proven it at each level. In fact, he’s so valued by his big league club that they’ve moved the fences in OPACY to help prepare the ballpark for his ascendancy. Alvarez will be interesting to watch as all of the young catchers not named Adley shake out over the next couple of seasons but would it be outrageous to see Ford or Davis move ahead of him in rankings? I don’t think so. Meanwhile by this time next year, Grayson could be preparing to for his first Opening Day start.
Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)