What’s up party people. We are now 6 days away from Re-Opening Day and the player landscape is starting to move into focus… and simultaneously move out of focus. This is the continuation of my series on outfielders, the last installment being Top 75 Outfielders for 2020: Summer Camp Edition. Some guys are now arriving back into camp just in time to take a few cuts including Juan Soto, Joey Gallo, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Mallex Smith. Then there are others still not back yet like Yordan Alvarez, Austin Meadows, and Victor Robles. Hahahahaha, nothing to see here. The testing policy is going swimmingly, huh? Leave it to MLB to be the MLB’s worst enemy. So, with so much chaos at play as the season starts you will want to make sure you are ready to fill roster holes and have bench guys ready to go in what could be 4–5 roster spots exclusively for outfielders. That could be a real challenge to keep up with and your boy is here to help.
Here’s what I’ve been seeing around camp:
Yasiel Puig – Signed with the Braves. The hype train is now leaving the station. In 100 games with the Reds, he went for 51/22/61/14/.252 and then after a trade to Indians for 59 games, he went for 25/2/23/5/.298 – great! As you know he’s very streaky: in 60 games he could give you the 2/5 or 10/5 or 8/8 with a .250+ AVG. Either way, you are looking at a multicategory threat in a good lineup. Writeup coming soon. Nooooo!!! COVID!!!
Kyle Lewis – *eyes emoji* Kyle has been turning heads in camp. He’s playing the field much better, burst and closing speed in CF has looked much better, not to mention going yard every damn day. Let’s take a look at the scouting report *Chris Farley flipping up glasses meme* 70 raw power! Yes, please. I’ll take 2. (Although, he could hit .230 again) Grey just hyped him here as well.
Trent Grisham – With the trade of Franchy Cordero, this bodes very well for his playing time. My exuberance has been rewarded and reassured. Given a hot start, Grisham could be a 5-tool contributor with a good OBP. I want all the shares.
Scott Kingery – Enthusiasm and good vibes. He’s back in camp now and playing. He’s already hitting the ball well with authority and is penciled in to start at 2B. His multi-positional eligibility is a kingly gift for the short season as you are almost guaranteed to be shuffling guys in and out the lineup on the regular. He’s one of a handful of Swiss Army knives like Cavan Biggio, Danny Santana, Tommy Edman, etc. that can give you all the stats in all the positions. Moved him back up to correct my overreaction (oops). I’m optimistic he’ll be ready to go now.
Mike Trout – As much as it pains me, had to finally knock him down a bit. With the little minnow due in August, no telling how many games he will play during the season; granted, he could still be amazeballs and outperform everyone while on the field, the volume might not make up for it. If he was any other player he’d be down a lot lower, but I just can’t cast a bet against Trout. And that makes me a sad panda.
Austin Meadows – Still out with COVID and uncertain if he will make it back in time for Re-Opening Day. Julie Andrews is no longer singing in this field. I’ll take the L on this one. And, will now mourn with Edelweiss playing in the background.
Willie Calhoun – Diagnosed with a strained hip flexor. Likely to miss Re-Opening Day. Big Willie Style put the Hop before the Hip.
Byron Buxton – Diagnosed with a mild foot strain and listed Day-to-day. Twins are optimistic he can still make Re-Opening Day; but even if he does, he’s missing a week’s worth of reps to get up to game speed and might affect his speed in the early going.
Yasiel Puig – COVID sadness. Too soon to puig-out; I was achin’ for some bacon and ready to go ham. Not sure how long he has had it or when he will be cleared, hopefully soon.
Charlie Blackmon – Clear of COVID. Yay. So he’s back in camp now and supposedly going to be ready for Re-Opening Day. But he’s already missed most of Summer Camp and has yet to run his shorts up the flagpole. So he may not have his timing ready once the season starts, and with his speed already aging out, yadda yadda… carry the 1… equation equals MEH. lowercase yay. I moved him back up in the rankings to correct my overreaction but if I said I was drafting him, I’d be lying to you. I don’t want to lie to you.
Domingo Santana – It’s looking like he will have (mostly) regular ABs now. From what I’ve seen from summer camp, Franmil Reyes and he will share time at DH and in a corner spot. Oscar Mercado will be manning CF while Luplow (vsLHP) and Naquinn (vsRHP) appear set to platoon the other corner spot. Yet, this still could be a merry-go-round. Wheeeee!
Cody Bellinger – So Bellinger has reportedly been changing his swing. Short season with less time acclimate to a change, let’s fix an MVP swing! That’s fine, everything’s fine. In all seriousness, he did trail off noticeable in the second half last year, enough for him to desire change. From what I have been able to see in the last few intrasquad games, it doesn’t look like a massive change. No change in his timing mechanism, no added leg-kick, nothing crazy. What I HAVE noticed so far is him turning his lead foot in more (pigeon-toed) and seems his cocked bat is more horizontal as opposed to vertical like last season. This is likely to an effort to help close his shoulders more and help his hands get the bat head through the zone at a more ideal launch angle. I’ll continue to watch this and likely do a writeup on him once I have more data/film.
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||OF||0|
|4||Cody Bellinger||LAD||1B/OF||1||batting stance?|
|5||Mike Trout||LAA||OF||-3||baby countdown|
|6||Juan Soto||WSH||OF||0||now in camp|
|12||Ketel Marte||ARI||2B/SS/OF||0||locked in|
|22||Oscar Mercado||CLE||OF||1||not leadoff|
|24||Charlie Blackmon||COL||OF||12||COVID return|
|28||Joey Gallo||TEX||OF||-1||now in camp|
|36||Scott Kingery||PHI||2B/SS/3B/OF||20||looks healthy|
|38||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||TOR||2B/OF||0||now in camp|
|39||Willie Calhoun||TEX||OF||-8||strained hip|
|47||Mallex Smith||SEA||OF||1||now in camp|
|49||Byron Buxton||MIN||OF||-3||mild foot strain|
|59||Jo Adell||LAA||OF||-4||LAA mgmt|
|72||Kyle Lewis||SEA||OF||NA||*eyes emoji*|
|74||Domingo Santana||CLE||OF||NA||not in platoon|
|75||Dylan Carlson||STL||OF||-7||STL mgmt|
You can follow me on twitter @CoolwhipRB.