Bernie on the Scene: Final Fantasy Rankings

Bernie on the Scene: Final Fantasy Rankings

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

Today I offer my final fantasy rankings for 2022: designated hitter and reliever rankings. 

These two categories are very dependent upon the player's team. In both lists, I take into account how I believe each player will perform relative to his team and the park factors.

As usual, relief pitching will be at a premium. Closers may lose their jobs under impatient managers, which I took that into account.

Many more players may be used as designated hitters during the season. Since we have no history with the National League, I have given it my most careful consideration.

Designated Hitters

  1. Yordan Alvarez, Astros
  2. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees
  4. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox
  5. Franmil Reyes, Guardians
  6. Max Muncy, Dodgers
  7. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
  8. Austin Meadows, Rays
  9. Jesse Winker, Mariners
  10. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  11. Darin Ruf, Giants
  12. Luke Voit, Padres
  13. Nelson Cruz, Nationals
  14. Gavin Sheets, White Sox
  15. Jorge Soler, Marlins
  16. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
  17. Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
  18. Raimel Tapia, Blue Jays
  19. Andrew Vaughn, White Sox
  20. Willie Calhoun, Rangers
  21. Andrew McCutchen, Brewers
  22. Hunter Dozier, Royals
  23. Ryan O'Hearn, Royals
  24. Luis Arraez, Twins
  25. Jed Lowrie, Athletics
  26. Seth Beer, Diamondbacks
  27. Garrett Cooper, Marlins
  28. Keston Hiura, Brewers
  29. Corey Dickerson, Cardinals
  30. Robinson Cano, Mets
  31. Alex Dickerson, Braves
  32. Clint Frazier, Cubs
  33. Yonathan Daza, Rockies
  34. Nick Solak, Rangers
  35. Colin Moran, Reds
  36. Edwin Rios, Dodgers
  37. Brett

Today I offer my final fantasy rankings for 2022: designated hitter and reliever rankings. 

These two categories are very dependent upon the player's team. In both lists, I take into account how I believe each player will perform relative to his team and the park factors.

As usual, relief pitching will be at a premium. Closers may lose their jobs under impatient managers, which I took that into account.

Many more players may be used as designated hitters during the season. Since we have no history with the National League, I have given it my most careful consideration.

Designated Hitters

  1. Yordan Alvarez, Astros
  2. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees
  4. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox
  5. Franmil Reyes, Guardians
  6. Max Muncy, Dodgers
  7. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
  8. Austin Meadows, Rays
  9. Jesse Winker, Mariners
  10. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  11. Darin Ruf, Giants
  12. Luke Voit, Padres
  13. Nelson Cruz, Nationals
  14. Gavin Sheets, White Sox
  15. Jorge Soler, Marlins
  16. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
  17. Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
  18. Raimel Tapia, Blue Jays
  19. Andrew Vaughn, White Sox
  20. Willie Calhoun, Rangers
  21. Andrew McCutchen, Brewers
  22. Hunter Dozier, Royals
  23. Ryan O'Hearn, Royals
  24. Luis Arraez, Twins
  25. Jed Lowrie, Athletics
  26. Seth Beer, Diamondbacks
  27. Garrett Cooper, Marlins
  28. Keston Hiura, Brewers
  29. Corey Dickerson, Cardinals
  30. Robinson Cano, Mets
  31. Alex Dickerson, Braves
  32. Clint Frazier, Cubs
  33. Yonathan Daza, Rockies
  34. Nick Solak, Rangers
  35. Colin Moran, Reds
  36. Edwin Rios, Dodgers
  37. Brett Phillips, Rays
  38. Brent Rooker, Twins
  39. Rafael Ortega, Cubs
  40. Aristides Aquino, Reds
  41. J.D. Davis, Mets
  42. Christian Arroyo, Red Sox
  43. Harold Ramirez, Rays
  44. Daniel Vogelbach, Pirates
  45. Anthony Alford, Pirates
  46. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
  47. Micker Adolfo, White Sox

Relievers

  1. Josh Hader, Brewers
  2. Liam Hendriks, White Sox
  3. Ryan Pressly, Astros
  4. Edwin Diaz, Mets
  5. Emmanuel Clase, Guardians
  6. Kenley Jansen, Braves
  7. Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
  8. Jordan Romano, Blue Jays
  9. Raisel Iglesias, Angels
  10. Craig Kimbrel=Dodgers
  11. Giovanny Gallegos, Cardinals
  12. Taylor Rogers, Twins
  13. Matt Barnes, Red Sox
  14. Devin Williams, Brewers
  15. Andrew Kittredge, Rays
  16. Will Smith, Braves
  17. Gregory Soto, Tigers
  18. Corey Knebel, Philies
  19. Jake McGee, Giants
  20. Jonathan Loaisiga, Yankees
  21. Garrett Whitlock, Red Sox
  22. Trevor May, Mets
  23. Genesis Cabrera, Cardinals
  24. Chad Green, Yankees
  25. Blake Treinen, Dodgers
  26. Daniel Hudson, Dodgers
  27. Paul Sewald, Mariners
  28. JT Chargois, Rays
  29. Camilo Doval, Giants
  30. Joe Barlow, Rangers
  31. Michael Kopech, White Sox
  32. Brusdar Graterol, Dodgers
  33. Hector Neris, Astros
  34. Jake Diekman, Red Sox
  35. Yimi Garcia, Blue Jays
  36. Scott Barlow, Royals
  37. Anthony Bender, Marlins
  38. Jordan Hicks, Cardinals
  39. Kendall Graveman, White Sox
  40. Aaron Bummer, White Sox
  41. Ryan Tepera, Angels
  42. Diego Castillo, Mariners
  43. Andrew Chafin, Tigers
  44. Seth Lugo, Mets
  45. Aaron Loup, Angels
  46. Mark Melancon, Diamondbacks
  47. Lou Trivino, Athletics
  48. Pete Fairbanks, Rays
  49. James Karinchak, Guardians
  50. Alex Colome, Rockies
  51. Kyle Finnegan, Nationals
  52. Aaron Ashby, Brewers
  53. Drew Steckenrider, Mariners
  54. Brad Boxberger, Brewers
  55. Anthony Bass, Marlins
  56. Adam Ottavino, Mets
  57. Josh Staumont, Royals
  58. Bryan Shaw, Guardians
  59. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
  60. David Bednar, Pirates
  61. Ken Giles, Mariners
  62. Art Warren, Reds
  63. Amir Garrett, Royals
  64. Craig Stammen, Padres
  65. Jeffrey Springs, Rays
  66. Matt Wisler, Rays
  67. Michael Fulmer, Tigers
  68. Domingo Acevedo, Athletics
  69. Sean Doolittle, Nationals
  70. J.P. Feyereisen, Rays
  71. David Robertson, Cubs
  72. Dinelson Lamet, Padres
  73. Rowan Wick, Cubs
  74. Mychal Givens, Cubs
  75. Cole Sulser, Orioles
  76. Tanner Scott, Orioles
  77. Jeurys Familia, Phillies

HEADING HOME

The gimmicks being tried out by MLB are never ending. In their latest stunt to bring more action to the game, MLB will be experimenting with moving second base forward 13.5 inches (toward the mound). The ridiculous change will take place in the second half of the season, most likely in one or more minor leagues.

I guess the goal of moving second base closer to the pitcher is to get more stolen bases and even more doubles. But won't the catcher's throws to second get there sooner? So, maybe the goal is really to get more doubles into games.

The proposal to replace baseball caps with clown hats has not yet been approved. 

Jacob deGrom fantasy managers knew there was risk involved in drafting or paying the auction price for the Mets starter. Now, these managers biggest nightmares have materialized. deGrom has a "stress reaction" in his right (pitching) shoulder, his scapula, to be precise. Good luck with that.

As my readers and followers have known for quite some time, I am, always very worried about a pitcher with ANY type of barking in his shoulder, elbow or forearm. They are all connected. If the shoulder hurts, it could be the elbow next. And on and on down the chain it goes. I had deGrom as my highest-ranked pitcher last week. Of course, that would assume good health. It didn't happen. I don't see deGrom coming back any sooner than seven weeks. Truth be told, we may not see him until after the All Star break. Or not at all.

One of the best trades of the offseason sent reliever Craig Kimbrel from the Cubs to the Dodgers for outfielder AJ Pollock. Few trades are as beneficial to both teams as that one. The Dodgers needed a true closer to replace Kenley Jansen. They got him in Kimbrel. The White Sox needed a solid, everyday outfielder to avoid a platoon. They got him in Pollock. Both teams train in the same Glendale complex, so the players just had to walk to the other side of the field to join their new teams. 

Barking arms: Ken Giles (Mariners) and Wade Miley (Cubs) are not going to start the season with their respective teams. There will be more. Stay tuned. Partial blame can be placed on the shortened spring training. It would have been much wiser to start the season on April 15 or even later, keeping spring training a traditional length. Teams could have played seven-inning double-headers to get the full season under their belts. But ownership wouldn't hear of it. Now, we'll see a parade of players heading to the DL.

I got to watch grey beards Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke both pitch this past week. They both looked great. 

I have concerns about Nelson Cruz catching up with fastballs. That's why I have ranked him fairly low for a guy with his track record. But his new home park and weak lineup won't help him. And I think his bat speed is…well, it needs a jolt. He'll hit homers. But I don't see 30 of them coming.

At some point in the coming years, MLB will again be faced with another massive performance enhancing drug use scandal. The masking chemicals being used are far ahead of any MLB enforcement and the "testing" the league conducts. I have heard person after person whom I trust tell me that enhancement drug use is widespread among MLB players. In the past, Commissioner Selig closed his eyes to it. So did every MLB owner and general manager. I don't know when it will blow up, but some whistle blower out there will bring heart palpitations to the game of baseball.

Aaron Judge won't be able to play games in Toronto because he isn't vaccinated. Isn't that just a wee bit selfish on his part? What am I missing here? Media have to be vaccinated to enter a clubhouse. That's to protect the players. Why shouldn't MLB require players to be vaccinated to play? 

Which baseball will MLB be using this season? Juiced up? Toned down? Neutral? MLB owns the baseball manufacturing factory. They tinker with the baseball all the time. We'll know pretty soon in the new season if they messed with the baseball again. There will be people tearing those baseballs apart and comparing them with those used last season.

I always enjoy reading the comments you write. I do my best to respond to each of them.

Thanks for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff and for reading my columns at forbes.com.

Have a great week. The season is about to begin.

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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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