The 2021 season was a tough one for rookies. Collectively, they hit just .225/.295/.380 with a .293 wOBA, the fourth-worst in a season over the past 20 years. And things were only slightly better on the pitching side, as rookies collectively sported a 109 ERA-, the seventh-worst in that span. Fantasy players certainly remember disappointments from big names like Jarred Kelenic, Ke'Bryan Hayes, and Andrew Vaughn, among others. 

Maybe it was because most of those guys didn't play in real games in 2020 – the fact that the start of the 2021 minor-league season was delayed a month surely didn't help either – but for whatever reason, it felt like a lot of the most hyped names just didn't produce the way we expected them to in the majors. 

Despite that, prospect fever has not gone anywhere. In fact, the 2022 prospect class is one of the most hyped I can remember from a Fantasy Baseball perspective, especially since so many of the biggest names are going to be on the Opening Day rosters as teams break camp. 

We've been operating under the assumption that Bobby Witt was going to make the Royals Opening Day roster since before Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep season even began, which is why he's been drafted in every single NFBC draft this year, with an ADP of 86.9. But, as spring training has gone on, it's become more and more clear that Witt will be just one of many elite prospects Fantasy players need to have on their rosters as the season begins. We learned Monday that the Mariners won't be making us wait for Julio Rodriguez like they did with Kelenic a year ago, as he will be on the Opening Day roster – something that seemed like a foregone conclusion to everyone days ago, including Mariners broadcaster Dave Simms, who said, "Yeah, he's making this club" after Rodriguez's inside-the-park homer last week. 

Rodriguez's confirmation came just two days after the Tigers confirmed Spencer Torkelson would make the Opening Day roster, making three of Scott White's top four Fantasy prospects set to be everyday players. And it might have been a clean sweep of the top five if not for injuries to Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene – though we still expect to see both in the big leagues by June, if not earlier for Rutschman. 

Whether it's because of the new collective bargaining agreement, which featured incentives for teams to call up their top prospects rather than playing service time games with them, or not, this is exactly what we've been wanting to see teams do with their elite prospects. You don't have to stash these guys in a roster spot now, they're just going to be helping you from day one. Of course, it's worth remembering that, while we're chasing these guys for upside, they all come with significant risk, as the Kelenic example from 2021 makes clear. But the upside each of these players brings to the table makes them a big priority for your Fantasy roster, whether you're still drafting or have some preseason waiver-wire moves to make.

Let's take a look at all of the prospects from Scott White's preseason top-100 who will be on their team's Opening Day roster, with a target round for remaining drafts, a realistic and best-case scenario 2021 comparison, and how much I would be willing to invest in FAB if they are widely available: 

Bobby Witt, SS, Royals 

Witt is the guy we've been drafting with the expectation that he would be on the roster all along, which is why his ADP is in the seventh-round range in NFC drafts. He's got an extremely Fantasy-friendly skill set and has proven himself in Triple-A already. He had some swing-and-miss issues in the minors that could be exposed by big-league pitchers, but the power/speed combination should make him a must-start player in category-based leagues either way. He has legitimate first-round upside, and it doesn't hurt that Witt figures to get third base eligibility early on, a shallower position than shortstop these days. 

Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners

Rodriguez has comparable upside to Witt, but is less proven in the minors – he played just 74 games in 2021, including just 46 at Double-A. So, there's a considerable risk here that he'll just be overmatched given his lack of experience. On the other hand, Rodriguez hit .362/.461/.546 with just an 18.0% strikeout rate as a 20-year-old in Double-A last season, so we haven't seen him look overmatched – and it's worth mentioning that his minor-league playing time was limited last season because he played for the Dominican Republic in the Olympics. That includes this spring, as he has hit .419/.471/.839, albeit with a 26.5% strikeout rate. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him have some contact issues as a rookie given the leap he's attempting to make, but I'm not sure he should be going much later than Witt in remaining drafts. 

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Tigers

The appeal with Torkelson is obvious: If you're going to be the No. 1 pick in the draft and a top-five prospect when basically everyone agrees you are a long-term first baseman, that means your bat is special. Torkelson probably could've handled himself in the majors last year as an advanced college bat. He didn't hit for average in Double-A or Triple-A, but it wasn't because he didn't hit for power or because he struck out too much – he had 25 homers in 90 games with a combined 22.1% strikeout rate. The issue was a low BABIP, and while it's possible a fly-ball heavy approach could lead to issues there, he didn't hit an alarming number of infield fly balls, or anything, so I'm not too concerned. Torkelson feels about as safe as a rookie hitter can be. 

C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres

Technically, Abrams hasn't been confirmed for an Opening Day spot, but it seems like a foregone conclusion. The Padres have a massive payroll and an equally massive hole at shortstop with Fernando Tatis recovering from wrist surgery, and they've been aggressive with prospect promotions, so the assumption is Abrams is going to be their primary shortstop early on. He's played just 42 games above Double-A because of a season-ending leg injury last June, so he has a lot to prove. But his profile is potentially so valuable for Fantasy that he has to be on your draft radars now. In just 76 minor-league games, Abrams has 28 steals, and he has legitimate 80-grade speed, so if he's playing everyday, he's going to be a must-start option in category-based leagues if he can hit at all. It might be asking a lot, but with how hard it is to find steals these days, Abrams can't be overlooked. 

Matt Brash, SP, Mariners

Brash has been a fast riser over the past year thanks to a velocity spike, but there are plenty in the prospect community who aren't sold. He's looked dominant in the spring with 12 strikeouts to just two walks in 9.1 innings, including five strikeouts and 11 whiffs on 65 pitches in his most recent outing. Brash sits in the mid-90s and can dial his fastball up to 98 mph, but it's his slider that is the star of the show and the main reason he racked up a 35% strikeout rate last season. Control was an issue at times last season and he's a bit unproven, but what we've seen from Brash makes him someone worth targeting in all leagues in the second half of the draft. 

Hunter Greene, SP, Reds

Greene cracked the Reds rotation in part thanks to their rebuild-oriented trades during the spring, but it's not like he's totally unproven – he threw 106.1 innings with a 3.30 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season, his first real game action since 2018. Greene has been noted for his Aroldis Chapman-esque velocity since he was in high school, and while there's still a chance he follows Chapman to a high-leverage bullpen role before long, the Reds are going to give him every chance to prove himself in the rotation. Greene has frontline starter potential, but also struggled to keep the ball in the yard at times last season, with scouting reports suggesting his fastball is more hittable than you'd think. That's obviously less than ideal in Cincinnati's bandbox stadium, and Greene could be frustratingly inconsistent even if he proves ready. 

Reid Detmers, SP, Angels

Detmers probably doesn't have the strikeout potential of some of the other high-end pitching prospects being discussed here, which probably means his overall upside isn't as high. So, it's not hard to understand why his disastrous five-start stretch in his debut in 2021 has people alarmed – how can you call someone who gives up 17 runs in 20.2 innings "safe?" But Detmers struck out 42% of opposing hitters in the minors and has added velocity since being drafted and has three good secondary pitches, so I'm not at all ready to write him off. Detmers is one of my favorite late-round targets at starting pitcher. 

Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals

Ruiz's contact-heavy approach led to a .273/.333/.409 mark in 29 games last season and gives him a high floor, so the question is whether there's upside beyond that. His max exit velocity in the majors to date is just 106.5 mph, a below-average number, one that suggests there probably isn't much pop in his bat. But 21 homers in 72 games in the minors in 2021 suggest the potential for more. I'm skeptical that power will ever show up consistently outside of the Pacific Coast League. 

Bryson Stott, SS, Phillies

Stott doesn't draw rave reviews for his tools, and it's fair to wonder how much his apparent elevation to the starting third base job – which hasn't been confirmed yet, though we're assuming it's the case – is based on concerns about Alec Bohm's glove as much as anything with Stott. Stott has hit well in spring, albeit with little power, and that's the main concern for him as a prospect, especially with a swing more geared toward line drives than fly balls. A shortstop with 15-10 potential would've gotten our blood racing a lot more a half-decade or more ago, but that's fringe-y even when he qualifies for third base. A lot of this sounds like what we were saying about Jonathan India this time last year, to be fair. 

Joey Bart, C, Giants

Bart has flown under the radar this spring, but his .412/.500/.941 line with three homers in seven games is plenty impressive. The pop remains arguably Bart's primary draw, and he'll need to hit the ball hard to overcome the contact issues that have been exposed since his disastrous 2020 MLB debut. He still struck out 29.4% of the time in Triple-A last season, so unless he can overcome that issue, Bart might have a hard time standing out. Still, it's catcher and he's young, so I'll take him over most of the also-rans at the position. 

Joe Ryan, SP, Twins

Ryan seems like a sum-over-parts pitcher. He has below average velocity and no clear out pitch, but has put up massive strikeout rates throughout his minor-league career – he even managed a 30% mark in five MLB starts in 2021. He relies on pounding the strike zone and limiting walks and quality of contact, showing especially impressive infield flyball rates in the minors. It's not a Fantasy ace, and there's very little margin for error given the stuff and the approach, but Ryan is interesting enough to be worth snagging in the later rounds. The legacy of Marco Estrada lives! 

Seth Beer, 1B, Diamondbacks

Beer probably gets unfairly overlooked in Fantasy circles because he rarely ranks highly in lists of actual prospects, which tends to happen when pretty much everyone agrees you might already be limited to DH. This specific type of prospect is tough because the bat has to play up to get many chances. He should get a chance this season and Beer's minor-league numbers earn him a late-round look, but I'm worried he's the next in a long line of Rowdy Tellez and Daniel Vogelbach types. 

Jeremy Peña, SS, Astros

Peña played just 30 games last season, and you could argue that was actually a good thing for his prospect standing. Because he hit 10 homers in those 30 games, after hitting just eight in his first 135 minor-league games. If that represented a true breakout in terms of Peña's power potential, that's huge for his prospect pedigree; if it was just a small-sample size fluke, how would we know? It's worth noting, that power production came after he came back from a wrist injury, which is a point in his favor, for sure. Peña ranks highly in real life prospect lists thanks to his defense, but if he can be more like a 20-homer guy with speed, he's obviously a pretty intriguing Fantasy option. He's worth a look in the later rounds.