MLB The Show 21: Top 10 Prospects to Target in Franchise Mode

Your franchise has started, and you are thinking long-term. Here are five position prospects and five pitching prospects to target in The Show 21.

Franchise Mode has long been the go-to mode in sports games for many gamers. Whether you are playing with a rebuilding franchise or a contending franchise, prospects are the key to any sustained success as they develop into their primes.

To help in your quest to bring championship after championship to your chosen franchise, this list will look at five position and five pitching prospects that you can build around for the team’s future. Importantly, this list avoids players like Wander Franco, Luis Gil, and Ke’Bryan Hayes, who have spent ample time in the Majors.

So, here are the ten best prospects that you should target in MLB The Show 21.

C.J. Abrams (San Diego Padres)

C.J. Abrams is a 19-year-old shortstop with an A-grade in Potential and rated 69 overall. His hit tool is light, but he should grow into that, and it is nice that his Plate Vision rating is decent at 56.

He has three things that will help any team. Firstly, he already has silver-level defense with a Fielding rating of 73, Arm Strength of 70, Accuracy of 64, and Reaction of 74.

Secondly, his Speed rating is a high 88. Playing a premium defensive position, the above-average reaction and fielding ratings coupled with his speed should make him a defensive stalwart on the left side of your infield. A Durability rating in the 70s should also mean that he is injured less often and for less time than the average player.

The third aspect that makes Abrams valuable is his versatility. In addition to shortstop, he plays all three outfield positions. Center field is also considered a premium defensive position, and although having a stronger arm is desirable, he should be able to make up for that by tracking down balls that others may not be able to catch on the fly.

Noelvi Marte (Seattle Mariners)

Noelvi Marte is even younger than Abrams at 18-years-old, plays the same position, and is also an A for Potential. While he lacks the versatility of Abrams, he is higher-rated at 72 overall.

Marte is a slightly better hitter, and the defense is a push, with Marte having better Accuracy at 73 but less Arm Strength at 68. Marte does boast attributes of 54 and 56 in Contact Right and Contact Left, 39 and 46 in Power Right and Power Left, 54 in Plate Vision, 38 in Discipline, 46 in Batting Clutch, 36 and 34 in Bunt and Drag Bunt, and 77 in Durability.

In real life, there are questions surrounding Marte’s ability to stay at shortstop. What this list (and reality) seems to indicate is there is a lack of quality second basemen in the pipeline. So, you may think about moving Marte to second, should you acquire him.

Adley Rutschman (Baltimore Orioles)

Aside from second base, catcher is the most difficult position to find a prospect who can contribute offensively and defensively. Rutschman is the top catching prospect, possibly top prospect in all of MLB, and can contribute on both ends. He could easily be classed as a must-trade prospect in The Show 21.

Rutschman is a little bit older at 21-years-old but still has an A-grade in Potential while being rated 70 overall. He is also the rare switch-hitting catcher, so this should counter any platoon splits.

While his Plate Vision and Batting Clutch are low at 41 and 44, his other hitting ratings are at least average. He sports 55 and 50 in Contact Left and Contact Right, 53 and 48 in Power Right and Power Left, and an above-average 60 in Discipline. His hit tool should grow with good coaching in your organization.

As a catcher, having a Durability rating of 85 means that he will be out there every day with little worry of injury. His fielding ratings are average, but again, he should grow in your organization. His Blocking rating, key for any catcher, is 66, so he should stop more balls than not from passing him.

Spencer Torkelson (Detroit Tigers)

The only position player on this list not to play a premium defensive position, Spencer Torkelson is an offensive-minded first baseman that brings versatility with his ability also to play third base and all three outfield positions.

The 21-year-old is the best overall hitter in this group of five, rated at 70 overall, with attribute ratings of 60 and 65 in Contact Right and Contact Left, 59 and 63 in Power Left and Power Right, 50 in Plate Vision, 57 in Discipline, 65 in Batting Clutch, and 40 and 35 in Bunting and Drag Bunting, showing that he has better bunting acumen than most. With an A in Potential, his hitting attributes should continue to grow into what projects to be a third or fourth slot in the lineup.

He is not the fastest, with a Speed rating of 50, so placing him in center field might be a last resort type of move. His defense is average, with a below-average Reaction at 48, so keeping him at a corner position is probably ideal.

Bobby Witt Jr. (Kansas City Royals)

Bobby Witt, Jr. is the son of former Major Leaguer Bobby Witt and is yet another shortstop on the list. Like Marte, he hasn’t got a secondary position, but that might not be an issue.

The 19-year-old has an A in Potential and is already rated 71 overall. He and Marte are similar in ratings, but Witt Jr. is a slightly better defender with more speed, whereas Marte is a better hitter.

While Witt Jr.’s Contact Right and Contact Left are decent at 52 and 56, he is decidedly a contact hitter as his Power Right and Power Left ratings are only 31 and 37. His Plate Vision, Discipline, and Batting Clutch are also lacking, with ratings of 29, 28, and 42, respectively.

Witt Jr. does excel in the field, though, and has a high Speed rating of 88, like Abrams. His defense is close to gold-level with Fielding at 77, Arm Strength at 71, Arm Accuracy at 72, and Reaction at 78. Given his speed and defense, should you add a secondary position – center field would be a good choice.

MacKenzie Gore (San Diego Padres)

The first pitcher on this list, MacKenzie Gore, is a highly-touted prospect in real life. The 20-year-old southpaw has A-grade Potential, an impressive five-pitch repertoire, and is rated 68 overall.

Left-handed pitchers are a premium, so adding a promising young prospect like Gore should be high on your list. He has a 77 in Stamina, 56 in Hits per 9 Innings, a 60 in Strikeouts/9, 53 in Walks/9, and 48 in Home Runs/9. He also has a 54 in Pitching Clutch and Control, 71 in Velocity, and 66 in Break.

His ratings project to be one of a strikeout pitcher who occasionally loses control and gives up walks and the long ball with good velocity. Still, Gore should grow in your organization to be a top-of-the-line starter.

Adam Kloffenstein (Toronto Blue Jays)

The 19-year-old Adam Kloffenstein is a righty with a five-pitch repertoire who, while rated 60 overall, has an A for Potential, meaning that the growth should be immense. He is also listed as being 7’ tall – possibly the tallest player in the game – even though he is 6’5’’ in real life.

Kloffenstein has good Velocity (71) with a mid-90s fastball, average Break (55) and Pitching Clutch (50), and slightly below average Control (49). He has decent Stamina at 66 with average Hits/9 and Home Runs/9 at 56 and 54, but is below average when it comes to striking out (36) and walking (41) batters.

He projects as a contact pitcher who relies on his defense to get outs, which may be why three of his five pitches angle down to induce groundouts. He could be a solid number-two or number-three starter.

Matthew Thompson (Chicago White Sox)

Continuing in the recent lineage of great White Sox pitching prospects, Matthew Thompson also has a five-pitch repertoire and A-grade Potential while being rated 67 overall.

Displaying the best Velocity rating of the first three listed and second-best overall at 76, Thompson also has a decent Break at 54, slightly below average Control at 49, and Pitching Clutch at 56. A 77 in Stamina, he should (like Gore) go deeper into ballgames than your third through fifth starters.

Thompson also has average ratings in Hits/9 (54), Strikeouts/9 (52), Walks/9 (52), and Home Runs/9 (54) to round off his attributes. He projects to be a solid starter, possibly ace, who mixes in strikeouts with balls in play.

Blake Walston (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Walston may be the best prospect on the whole list considering his age (18), Potential (A),and overall rating (73). He is also a southpaw, like Gore, so prioritizing acquiring Walston would be prudent.

What separates Walston from the others on this list is that he is a strikeout pitcher with a rating of 74 in Strikeouts/9 even though his Velocity is 57, average at best – with the prevailing wisdom being that strikeouts come more easily with velocity. He has decent Stamina (66), so he should be able to throw a fair amount of pitches, like most other strikeout pitchers.

All of his other ratings are basically in the average range and should improve to, at worst, above average. Walston may reach his peak the fastest, but that peak may be in the 90s considering this starting point. He projects to be an ace in The Show 21.

Forrest Whitley (Houston Astros)

While Kloffenstein is listed as the tallest pitcher, Forrest Whitley is actually the tallest pitcher on the list as the righty stands 6’7’’. Whitley has a five-pitch repertoire of standard pitches, with the clear attribute in his favor being his 83 in Velocity. This brings his fastball to the upper-90s.

His Break is an impressive 70, adding extra bite to his slider and curveball especially. He couples that with good Control at 63 and Pitching Clutch at 52.

Whitley also has the best Stamina rating of the pitchers listed, edging Gore with a 78 rating. He can pump in those 96-99 miles per hour fastballs deep into the game while mixing in breaking pitches to (hopefully) devastating effect.

Whitley projects to be an ace or number-two starter for your franchise, initially weighing in with a Potential grade of A and a 68 overall rating.

Whomever you decide to acquire, the needs of your franchise will play a big role in the decisions. Regardless of if you decide to acquire one, a few, or all these top prospects in MLB The Show 21, any and all of them should better your franchise. Start working those trades!

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Bruce L

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