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NL West 2021 Breakout Prospects

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Wrapping up the 6 part series of breakout prospects with the NL West. Home of some of the absolute finest farm systems in the game. Today we dive into the back half of each team’s system with the next wave of high upside prospects set to take the MiLB and their fantasy stocks go through the roofs.

This series will go division by division. Breaking down 2 prospects per team from multiple analysts: Today, the NL West. @JTillinghast27, @d__brack, @DrakeMann4, @MLBUKAnalysis1, @MPRichards1981, each tasked with digging into the back half of each team’s farm system to find some high upside prospects that we will be talking about much differently this time next year.

Criteria for the Prospects Below:
Must be ranked 10-20 or unranked in their teams rankings (via Prospects Worldwide ranks)
Prospects we feel will make a big impact in 2021.
Click each players Team Ranking to be directed to their teams Top 20 Prospect Ranks with scouting report attached
Click each players Dynasty Rankings to be directed to our Top 300 Dynasty Prospects List.


1. OF Wilderd Patino | 19 Years Old
Team Rank: 10th | Dynasty Rank: 158th

Patino signed with the Diamondbacks for $985,000 out of Venezuela in 2017 and health is the main issue with Patino. As he’s only had 303 plate appearances since his debut in 2018. So far in his career, he’s hit .294/.384/.389 with 20 stolen bases and a .773 OPS. Overall, Patino is one of the more fun players to watch in the Diamondbacks system. He plays with a lot of energy and has at the very least four tool potential.

He mixes good bat speed and consistent barrels to produce loud contact off the bat. There’s some power projection with Patino and while it is raw, Patino will tap into his power nicely with his double toe-tap load. His ability to get on-base and recognize off-speed pitches remains his most impressive part of his game. Continuing, Patino has plus-plus speed and is a solid defender in the outfield with above-average arm strength, and has great range in the outfield.

All in all, with the outfield talent in the Diamondbacks system ranging from Kristian Robinson to Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas. Patino needs a healthy 2021 season to showcase his potential, if it all goes right and Patino stays healthy he could rise the ranks quickly and be a worthy investment for the Diamondbacks.
– Drake Mann; @DrakeMann4

2. RHP Slade Cecconi | 21 Years Old
Team Rank: 13th | Dynasty Rank: 107th

Drafted late out of high-school due to sign-ability concerns, Cecconi spent a couple of years on the mound at the University of Miami before going 33rd overall in the 2020 draft to the Diamondbacks. Showcasing a prototypical starter’s body at 6’4 and 219 LBs, Cecconi looks like a potential true power arm for the middle of the D-Backs rotation.

Like most starters, Cecconi’s fastball is his go-to. In college, he sat mostly in the 92-95 range with his power four-seamer, though reports from fall instructs indicate he was touching triple-digits. With 2500+ RPMs and 17+ inches of “rise”, Cecconi won’t need much more to be an effective MLB pitcher in some capacity.

What makes Cecconi a legitimate mid-rotation candidate is his feel for his delivery. Many larger pitchers have trouble repeating their mechanics which is something Cecconi does well. Over his college career, he sported a very nice 4.76 K/BB rate. For reference, only 10 MLB starting pitchers in 2020 were able to post a rate higher than Cecconi’s career 4.76. Obviously, Cecconi was facing college hitters so take that with a grain of salt, though it does show he has a solid feel for finding the zone.

The command of his secondary offerings will ultimately dictate Cecconi’s future value. He has a traditional starter’s mix headlined by a sharp, plus slider. His change and curve show decent shape at times, though his lack of feel for both leave plenty of room for growth. If Cecconi can continue developing his secondary offerings to go with his power fastball, the D-Backs will have a very nice rotation piece to work in the near future.
– Danny Brackman; @d__brack


1. OF Luis Rodriguez | 17 Years Old
Team Rank: 13th | Dynasty Rank: 66th

Regarded as perhaps the best player out of Venezuela in the 2019 J2 class, Luis Rodriguez has already expressed his future aspirations in reaching the show and playing alongside Mookie Betts. Though that’s likely years away from even being a consideration, L-Rod is the type of player I would gamble on making it happen.

He hasn’t played a professional game yet due to Covid and was limited to training at the Dodgers’ facilities in the DR as opposed to participating at instructs in the States, so the hype hasn’t had a chance to catch up to the true potential. Mechanically speaking, Rodriguez has one of the sweetest swings I’ve ever seen from a teenager. With a small leg-kick, slight bat waggle, and an efficient coil, his pre-pitch movement is very controlled. Once he gets that front foot down, Rodriguez’ rotational ability is put on full display.

Rodriguez is a good athlete with a solid 6’2 and 175lb frame, and his body is far from set-in-stone with plenty of room for more muscle. He has the foot speed and arm to stick in center, though that could change going forward if he loses a step with added weight. Considering his lack of professional experience, it’ll be important to follow his state-side transition, though I’m confident he’ll be able to make the most of it. With a whole year hidden within the Dodgers’ developmental juggernaut, Rodriguez is set to explode onto the scene in 2021.
– Danny Brackman; @d__brack

2. OF Jake Vogel | 19 Years Old
Team Rank: Unranked| Dynasty Rank: 136th

Absolutely love this fit with Vogel and the Dodgers who they took in the 3rd round of the 2020 MLB Draft. I was able to see Vogel live quite a bit considering he attended High School just 5 minutes down the road from me. A fantastic athlete with legitimate 70 pushing 80-grade speed.

The kid can flat out play ball. Using that speed to his advantage in every aspect of the game. Flashing 30+ SB potential to go with a bat that could turn him into a perennial All-Star down the line. Vogel has shown a strong hit tool with legitimate bat speed and some juice that is capable of 15-20 HR per season, and maybe even a chance for more. While maintaining a strong batting average due to his consistent approach at the plate and on-base numbers with his plate discipline. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him become a consistent .280+ hitter with .370+ OBP numbers.

The Dodgers are the perfect organization to get the most out of Vogel long-term as they have helped so many other young hitters tinker with a minor part of their game. In this case, Vogel will be needing to get some added loft into the swing that is rather flat presently. Just a tick could see those HR totals increase slightly. Vogel should continue his development in CF where he has improved his jumps and routes to the ball over the past year, making this an extremely valuable and exciting profile for the Dodgers.
– Jake Tillinghast; @JTillinghast27


1. 3B Luis Toribio | 20 Years Old
Team Rank: 10th | Dynasty Rank: 121st

The Dominican 3B made his American debut in 2019, performing impressively with the AZL Giants Orange, by posting a .297 average with 21 XBHs. These levels of performances earned him a call-up to Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (SS).

Signed for $300k in 2017, he demonstrated his abilities with 10 HRs in the DSL, alongside a .270 average. He has a strong left-handed swing that makes regular hard contact, making him one of the purest hitters in the system, with one of the best exit velocities. Although he had the tendency to pull his HRs in 2018, he showed signs of improvement in 2019 as he spread his hits more consistently. This impressive bat, and power-hitting, makes him an ideal 3B based on bat alone.

From a defensive perspective, he lacks the agility and quick footwork to stick at 3B in the long-term. Currently, he possesses the frame to stick there, but as he develops physically he will grow into his tall stature and big frame. His arm strength isn’t questioned, but his range could be. Although this makes his defensive home questionable for the future, he is showing glimpses of his potential within the organization and will look to continue in 2021.
– Jake Tweedie; @MLBUKAnalysis1

2. SS Javier Francisco Estrella | 18 Years Old
Team Rank: Unranked | Dynasty Rank: 256th

Francisco is one of the most intriguing international prospects in recent memory that did not receive a six-figure bonus. The right-hander signed with the Giants in March of 2020 for $10,000, but a look into his history and mentality shows more upside in play than the bonus would suggest. Francisco, trained by 11-year MLB veteran Fernando Tatis Sr. in the Dominican Republic. He burst into the consciousness of talent evaluators when Tatis Sr. compared the teenager favorably to his son at the same age. Currently listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, the projectable shortstop has been working hard on his craft as he prepares for his first professional season.

Francisco combines a smooth, clean stroke with the ability to hit the ball hard to hard to all-fields. The Giants are working on his legs to increase speed, but he will likely be an average runner down the line. His value in fantasy leagues will come with the development of his power and hit tool. Like most young players with minimal professional experience, there is a wide range of outcomes. That said, signs are pointing to Francisco as the next up-and-coming international prospect to blossom being in the Giants organization.

With the recent emergence of players like Marco Luciano and Luis Matos, dynasty managers should buy-now in the event he conquers rookie ball and shoots up prospect lists by this time next year.
– Michael Richards; @MPRichards1981


1. OF Tirso Ornelas | 20 Years Old
Team Rank: Unranked
| Dynasty Rank: Unranked

The Padres signed Ornelas for $1.5 Million out of Mexico in 2016, there was plenty of hype around him as a potentially high ceiling player. It was starting to look that way as a 17-year-old Ornelas slashed .276/.399/.408 with a 16.8 BB% and a 127 wRC+ in 238 plate appearances. Unfortunately, for Ornelas, he had a wrist injury that has impacted his potential just a bit. However, he did fare well in the Mexican Pacific Winter League where he slashed .273/.373/.386 until an arm injury halted his season.

As long as he stays healthy in 2021, he could once again be that high ceiling player for the Padres. While having 10-15 home run power in his bat, Ornelas has a potential above-average contact tool and has terrific plate discipline. He has a quick violent swing that results in nice exit velocities and an ability to hit gap-to-gap with consistent line-drives. Ornelas has average speed and profiles better as a corner outfielder with his solid arm strength.

Ornelas is an interesting prospect to watch in 2021, he lost a year of development due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he’s already made a few adjustments to his stance like adding a leg kick to add some power and lowering his hands for more consistent contact. In the end, Ornelas gets overlooked in the Padres system but 2021 will be the year he opens some eyes across baseball.
– Drake Mann; @DrakeMann4

2. OF Joshua Mears | 19 Years Old
Team Rank: Unranked | Dynasty Rank:

If you like Raw Power, look no further than Joshua Mears. Who very well may have the most pop in the entire Padres system, which is filled with high upside talent. Drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2019 MLB Draft. A big kid, standing 6’3 235lbs which puts him in a clear corner OF role moving forward. There is some athleticism to the profile here, as he has shown some SB potential, 9 SBs in rookie ball. But don’t expect many of them moving forward. However, the bat potential is extremely exciting and the reason he makes this list.

Speaking about that power earlier, Mears brings legitimate 70-grade Raw Power to the table and is to tap into that pretty consistently in-game where he grades as an easy Plus. It’s loud, easy power that explodes off the bat. With the power potential comes some swing and miss of course, but also some potential to hold him back with the hit tool. There is a lot of development still to be done here, and the missed 2020 season did him no favors. But I’m convinced the talent is more than capable of winning out in the end and seeing Mears turn into a strong middle of the order run producer.

The 2021 season is going to be a huge season to see where Mears stand among the rest of the Padres prospects they have held onto from recent trades. Mears has a strong chance to put himself in a position to be a part of the Padres future.
– Jake Tillinghast; @JTillinghast27


1. SS Adael Amador | 17 Years Old
Team Rank: 10th | Dynasty Rank: Unranked

The 17-year-old switch-hitting shortstop was signed by the Rockies in 2019 for $1.5m. Although he has yet to make his pro ball debut, he has impressed with his skills on both sides of the ball. He demonstrates a sound swing and action from both sides of the plate, whilst being relaxed and in-control defensively. Currently, he strikes as a player who will look to bat for average, as his 6’0 160lb frame doesn’t quite generate the power needed to go long on a regular basis. Despite this, he should grow physically to become stronger and this can only help him create that extra pop to expand his game.

Although he lacks real pop, he can make hard contact into the gaps to get himself on base. He isn’t the strongest of base-runners, thus emphasizing the importance of making regular contact into the gaps. His fluid swing, aggressive approach, and quick bat speed should help him develop to be an above-average hitter. This should allow him to reach .270 BA and 10 HRs once he is more developed. There will need to be some more work on his approach from the right side, as it is slightly behind his left, but he is still smooth from both sides regardless.

Defensively, he shows soft hands and a quick first step to make plays from both 2B and SS. He lacks some agility in the field but makes up for it with his ability to make defensive plays look easy. He also demonstrates plus-arm potential, thus making him an even more solid defender.
– Jake Tweedie; @MLBUKAnalysis1

2. 3B Julio Carreras| 21 Years Old
Team Rank: 14th | Dynasty Rank: Unranked

An unheralded international signing during the 2018 J2 period, the projectable Carreras received a $15,000 signing bonus to begin his professional career. He played mainly third base in his debut season but also spent time at shortstop and second. The righty impressed in his first action posting a respectable .289/.398/.478 in the DSL as an 18-year old, catching the eye of scouts and deep dynasty managers alike. He followed that up in 2019 with an impressive .294/.369/.466 line in his stateside debut against pitchers nearly two years older than himself.

Described as twitchy and athletic, Carreras has a projectable frame that should carry extra weight well as he matures. The righty possesses above-average bat speed and extra-base pop that should develop into home runs as he fills out. He is also an above-average runner at present. There are some concerns about his big leg kick and violent uppercut swing that will need improvement to reach his full potential. Still only 20-years old, Carreras could emerge as a top 5 prospect in the Rockies system a year from now with a strong showing in 2021.

The Rockies haven’t given dynasty managers many reasons for optimism in recent years, but Coors is still a premium hitters park. Whoever ends up in their lineup down the road has potential for inflated offensive production that helps fantasy lineups.
– Michael Richards; @MPRichards1981

Past Articles of other divisions Breakout Prospects:
AL East Breakout Prospects | AL Central Breakout Prospects | AL West Breakout Prospects
NL East Breakout Prospects | NL Central Breakout Prospects

For more information on a number of prospects throughout the league follow the links below:

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