Bernie on the Scene: Young Players to Target

Bernie on the Scene: Young Players to Target

This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.

This is my second article on young players to target for the upcoming fantasy season.

It is quite possible any of these players may be traded before the season begins. If a player is traded, he is still viable to be drafted. These are quality players that should contribute. Of course, right now the lockout is making that impossible.

American League Targets:

Baltimore Orioles:

Adley Rutschman: C, Age: 23 Bats: Both

If there is any certainty among prospects, it is probably that Rutschman will get plenty of playing time for the Orioles. The guy can hit for average and power. I don't think he can miss.

Boston Red Sox:

Triston Casas, 1B, Age: 21, Bats: Left

I firmly believe Casas will be on the field and at the plate in Boston this coming year. He may be part of a platoon, but his bat is ready. I like what I saw of him in the Fall League.

Chicago White Sox:

Jake Burger, Age: 25, Bats: Right

After an Achilles tendon rupture, Burger is back on track. I don't know if the White Sox will have room for him, but he's a top prospect with a bit better than average power. Risky though.

Cleveland Guardians:

Nolan Jones, 3B/OF-Age: 23, Bats: Left

Jones has not made enough progress for my book, but the Guardians may need him to fill out a woefully weak outfield roster. Much depends on offseason transactions, but he's in the mix.

Detroit Tigers:

Spencer

This is my second article on young players to target for the upcoming fantasy season.

It is quite possible any of these players may be traded before the season begins. If a player is traded, he is still viable to be drafted. These are quality players that should contribute. Of course, right now the lockout is making that impossible.

American League Targets:

Baltimore Orioles:

Adley Rutschman: C, Age: 23 Bats: Both

If there is any certainty among prospects, it is probably that Rutschman will get plenty of playing time for the Orioles. The guy can hit for average and power. I don't think he can miss.

Boston Red Sox:

Triston Casas, 1B, Age: 21, Bats: Left

I firmly believe Casas will be on the field and at the plate in Boston this coming year. He may be part of a platoon, but his bat is ready. I like what I saw of him in the Fall League.

Chicago White Sox:

Jake Burger, Age: 25, Bats: Right

After an Achilles tendon rupture, Burger is back on track. I don't know if the White Sox will have room for him, but he's a top prospect with a bit better than average power. Risky though.

Cleveland Guardians:

Nolan Jones, 3B/OF-Age: 23, Bats: Left

Jones has not made enough progress for my book, but the Guardians may need him to fill out a woefully weak outfield roster. Much depends on offseason transactions, but he's in the mix.

Detroit Tigers:

Spencer Torkelson: 1B, Age: 22, Bats: Right

He has power from an average frame, but his pitch recognition and patience at the plate are well above average. I think the Tigers will find a place for that bat as they continue to improve.

Houston Astros: 

Pedro Leon, SS/OF, Age: 23, Bats: Right

It may still be too early for Leon, but his versatility may be intriguing to the Astros as they will try to get back to the World Series. He would be a bench player, and he comes with risk.

Kansas City Royals:

Bobby Witt, SS/2B, Age: 21, Bats: Right

I do think Witt makes the club out of spring training and starts at either short or second. He can hit and he has power in his bat. He's a well above average, five-tool player.

Los Angeles Angels: 

Reid Detmers, LHP, Age: 22

The Angels will never have enough pitching, even if they add more pitching this offseason. They will need their best prospect pitcher to use his nasty curveball against big league hitters.

Minnesota Twins:

Royce Lewis, SS, Age: 22, Bats: Right

I think Lewis is ready to take a major step forward on a club that slipped very badly last season. His time has come, and he can really hit and has great speed to steal bases.

New York Yankees:

Deivi Garcia, RHP, Age: 22

Garcia has great off-speed pitches, but only a mediocre fastball. His lack of a great fastball has kept him down, and maybe the Yankees will look to trade him. But he's pretty deceptive.

Oakland Athletics:

A.J. Puk, LHP, Age: 26

Hurt constantly, maybe Puk can get a full season on the mound. He's huge at 6-7, 248 pounds. He throws very hard, and, if healthy, he may finally break through. I like his arm.

Seattle Mariners:

Julio Rodriguez, OF, Age: 20, Bats: Right

I think it's too soon for Julio, but I think the Mariners are ready for what he can bring. Plenty of power, plenty of strikeouts and a very solid hit tool. He's a complete player with All Star qualities.

Tampa Bay Rays:

Shane Baz, RHP, Age: 22

A very solid pitcher with a very solid fastball that is complemented by a wicked slider. He has enough of a repertoire to fit nicely with the Rays. He could be an opener for them. Or in the pen?

Texas Rangers:

Sam Huff, C/1B-Age: 23, Bats: Right

Huff can possibly make the club, but the "new" Rangers seem to be going for broke and buying players left and right. There is risk in choosing him, but he's versatile, with power.

Toronto Blue Jays:

Gabriel Moreno, C, Age: 21-Bats: Right

A young, athletic catcher with an ability to play third base is a luxury. That's Moreno. The guy can hit the gaps and drive in runs. Good defense and that hit tool make sense for Toronto.

HEADING HOME:

The owners best be careful. The longer they lock out the players, the further MLB gets from the minds and hearts of baseball fans. And believe me, younger baseball fans are becoming more and more rare. Football is king. Basketball is growing, and soccer makes sense for lots of people. Hockey hangs in there as well.

If older baseball fans get even more turned off, attendance will suffer. So will TV and streaming ratings.

Baseball owners face a real problem. The worth of their club comes when they sell the franchise. They cash in their club for at least a billion dollars, and much more than that for most teams, only when they sell. No baseball, no team to sell. It really is that simple.

That's why I think we will have a 2022 baseball season. Maybe not 162 games. But a season.

We'll be able to see who blinks first as it gets closer to spring training. Owners will lose revenue flow if spring training is not to be. Players have been saving money for the rainy days of a lockout for months.

Several factors will dictate if we have spring training:

1. Which side will compromise?

2. How much do the owners want spring training?

3. How much money will the owners be willing to yield to the players?

4. Will service time, arbitration and free-agency qualifications change?

5. How important is gambling money to both sides?

6. How much do the player's wives want them out of the house in February?

Have a great week. And thanks for reading my work.

I leave on holiday for a while. As a result, I won't be responding to your comments until I return just before Christmas. Please leave comments as usual.

And I'll have a prospect column up next week, as I return to rating prospect players.

Follow me on twitter @BerniePleskoff

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernie Pleskoff
Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
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