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Prospects Just Outside of Bernie’s Top 40 (2020 Fantasy Baseball)

by Bernie Pleskoff | @BerniePleskoff | Featured Writer
Feb 4, 2020

A graduate of the Major League Baseball Scout School, Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional baseball scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Bernie watches and scouts baseball players from a stadium press box at least 100 times a year.

Today I will share a list of players that didn’t quite make the top-40 list that this old scout revealed yesterday.

These players will be noted in alphabetical order. The same criteria were used for selection below as were noted in the Top 40 list. Those standards include:

  • Evidence and demonstration of hitting, power, speed/running, arm strength/accuracy, and defensive tools
  • Impact upon his team’s performance
  • Depth of development experience and proximity to major league   graduation
  • Relationship and comparison of the player’s skills to the league average/norm
  • Impact of injury history
  • Fantasy impact

Given those factors, the separation between and among players can be minimal. The rankings below are the result of this old scout’s personal scouting of almost every player noted in either spring training, minor league games, and the Arizona Fall League. Personal observation forms the foundation for player evaluations on this list.

Many of the players are still require development-meaning they need more time in the club’s minor league system in preparation for major league graduation.

I will include my scouting grade for each player:

  • 50 – an everyday regular in the lineup
  • 55 – a better than average player with at least one high-quality tool
  • 60 – a player that will see an occasional All-Star Game
  • 65 – a frequent All-Star player
  • 70 – a high impact, premium, best in the game type player

In some cases, a player with a higher grade is ranked above a player graded lower. Injury history or other factors like fantasy relevance and minor league playing experience dictate the ranking difference.

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Vidal Brujan (2B/SS – TB)

  • Switch hitter
  • 21 years old
  • Grade: 55

An international player from the Dominican, Brujan has disruptive speed and an advanced bat with little power. He’s still raw and has struggled at the plate on occasion, but he has excellent upside.

Jazz Chisholm (SS – MIA)

  • Left-handed hitter
  • 22 years old
  • Grade: 55

Traded by the D-Backs to Miami, Chisholm is a very fluid shortstop, but he has to cut down on strikeouts and improve his contact rate.

Jasson Dominguez (OF – NYY)

  • Switch hitter
  • 16 years old
  • Grade: 55

A very, very young international player from the Dominican, the Yankees will be developing an exciting and powerful hitter with a smallish frame but big upside and a big future in the Bronx.

Jeter Downs (SS/2B – LAD)

  • Right-handed hitter
  • 21 years old
  • Grade: 55

With a full toolbox of balanced skills across the board, Downs is a capable player on both sides of the ball with another year of development likely for the coming season.

Logan Gilbert (RHP – SEA)

  • 22 years old
  • Grade: 55

Gilbert has a big 6-6 frame and throws a powerful grade 65 fastball, an above-average changeup, a slider and a credible curveball that can induce strikeouts.

Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B – PIT)

  • Right-handed hitter
  • 23 years old
  • Grade: 55

A very good defensive third baseman, this old scout is a bit cautious of Hayes due to some very inconsistent offensive approaches as he gets closer to graduation.

Nolan Jones (3B – CLE)

  • Left-handed hitter
  • 21 years old
  • Grade: 55

The Indians’ third baseman in waiting just had thumb surgery and will be recovering, but he can hit with gap and home run power to go along with only average defense.

Mitch Keller (RHP – PIT)

  • 23 years old
  • Grade: 55

Keller brings maturity and a complete repertoire of outstanding pitches with the potential of improving on a tough MLB start last year while breaking into the Pirates rotation this season.

Nick Lodolo (LHP – CIN)

  • 21 years old
  • Grade: 55

Three strong pitches, including a fastball, changeup, and slider are all above average, but it is his command and control that are the most impressive.

Marco Luciano (SS – SF)

  • Right-handed hitter
  • 18 years old
  • Grade: 55

An international signing out of the Dominican, the very young Luciano gives the Giants a true multi-tooled, powerful shortstop for their future.

Brandon Marsh (OF – LAA)

  • Left-handed hitter
  • 22 years old
  • Grade: 55

Marsh is surprisingly fast for a 6-4 man, and he has power and good hitting mechanics that should help him move quickly in the Angels system.

Sean Murphy (C – OAK)

  • Right-handed hitter
  • 25 years old
  • Grade: 55

The likely starting catcher this coming season, Murphy’s greatest tool is an extremely strong and accurate arm, but he can also hold his own at the plate.

Grayson Rodriguez (RHP – BAL)

  • 20 years old
  • Grade: 55

A bright light for the Orioles, Rodriguez is a huge 6-5 lefty with a good fastball/slider combination and an average curve and changeup as well.

Tarik Skubal (LHP – DET)

  • 23 years old
  • Grade: 55

An excellent lefty with a very good fastball/slider combination at the top of his repertoire, he has above-average command and control as well.

Evan White (1B – SEA)

  • Right-handed hitter
  • 23 years old
  • Grade: 55

An outstanding defensive first baseman with a solid hit tool, the Mariners have installed White as their starting first baseman and have awarded the rookie with a long term contract.

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Bernie Pleskoff is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bernie, follow him @BerniePleskoff and read more of his work here.

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