Bernie on the Scene: My Latest Prospect Profiles

Bernie on the Scene: My Latest Prospect Profiles

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

Today, I'm going to profile some prospects who are highly regarded by their teams. Some have been on my list of requested scouting profiles. 

Micker Adolfo, Outfielder Chicago White Sox

6-4, 230 

Bats: Right

Age 25

Micker Adolfo was signed by the Chicago White Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He received a $1.6M signing bonus. Adolfo is big and strong, profiling as a right fielder with an incredibly strong, grade 70 arm. He also has above average power, but he can't be counted upon to hit in the clutch or deliver a batting average. 

Slow afoot, Adolfo will not be delivering that extra base easily or provide your fantasy roster with stolen bases. If he makes the big club, it will be for his power.

I scouted Adolfo in the 2019 Arizona Fall League. He hit .260 with two homers and only three RBI in his 61 plate appearances. I did see 21 strikeouts, which to me, was an issue.

Adolfo played last season at both Double-A and Triple-A, combining for a season of .245/.311/.520/.832 in 405 plate appearances. He struck out 138 times and walked 31 times.

Beware of the fact that Adolfo has already had two elbow surgeries. While he's big and strong, he comes with risk. Injury risk. Poor contact skills. But plenty of power.

Adolfo is still too aggressive at the plate, and his hitting coaches will still have to work on his approach at the plate. He needs to find better

Today, I'm going to profile some prospects who are highly regarded by their teams. Some have been on my list of requested scouting profiles. 

Micker Adolfo, Outfielder Chicago White Sox

6-4, 230 

Bats: Right

Age 25

Micker Adolfo was signed by the Chicago White Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. He received a $1.6M signing bonus. Adolfo is big and strong, profiling as a right fielder with an incredibly strong, grade 70 arm. He also has above average power, but he can't be counted upon to hit in the clutch or deliver a batting average. 

Slow afoot, Adolfo will not be delivering that extra base easily or provide your fantasy roster with stolen bases. If he makes the big club, it will be for his power.

I scouted Adolfo in the 2019 Arizona Fall League. He hit .260 with two homers and only three RBI in his 61 plate appearances. I did see 21 strikeouts, which to me, was an issue.

Adolfo played last season at both Double-A and Triple-A, combining for a season of .245/.311/.520/.832 in 405 plate appearances. He struck out 138 times and walked 31 times.

Beware of the fact that Adolfo has already had two elbow surgeries. While he's big and strong, he comes with risk. Injury risk. Poor contact skills. But plenty of power.

Adolfo is still too aggressive at the plate, and his hitting coaches will still have to work on his approach at the plate. He needs to find better pitch recognition and lose some of his desire to put a dent in every pitch thrown to him. And he still has to work on his long, uppercut swing that is designed totally for launch angle. Scouting Grade: 50

Fantasy Relevance: Adolfo has upside as a home run hitting right field slugger. However, he may not be a regular player. He may only be a utility guy, a grade 45. I'm being generous here because I think the White Sox can turn his aggressive approach to one of more patience. If that happens, I'm more inclined to be in on fantasy. But not yet.

Luis Barrera, Outfielder, Oakland Athletics

6-0, 195

Bats: Left

Age: 26

Luis Barrera was signed by Oakland as an international free-agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He signed for $450,000, and Oakland doesn't not have a big financial investment in Barrera.

Barrera has been slow to develop as a potential big league player. Last year, he did play in six Athletics big league games, and had eight plate appearances. 

The bulk of Barrera's season was spent playing for Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit and ran fairly well. His numbers: .276/.349/.393/.741 with four homers and 37 RBIs. He made solid contact, but he clearly didn't hit with much power. He stole 10 bases in 12 attempts.

For the coming season, Barrera could win the starting center field job out of camp. As a left-handed hitter with some speed, the team may be trading away enough players to elevate Barrera's profile for the coming season.

But beware-Barrera has virtually no home run potential. His power is very, very limited, and it would be a fluke for him to hit the ball out of the park. What he can do, however, is hit the gaps and run enough to stroke some doubles.  He hits to all fields, and that will be a plus for him in spacious parks.

To me, Barrera is still an unfinished player. He's good. He could get better. But his skills are limited.

I saw Barrera in the 2018 Arizona Fall League. He was 22 at the time, and he hit enough to peak some interest in his game. But he was raw and it showed. Now, several years later, he is on the brink of a potential big league role. Scouting Grade: 45

Fantasy Relevance: I just can't see Barrera playing every day at the big league level. He's very, very fast. But he'll have to get on base regularly against quality pitching to make that speed work for his game. I'm really not interested, and I think he'll be a platoon player.

Austin Martin, Outfielder, third baseman, shortstop

6-0, 185 

Bats: Right

Age: 22

The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Austin Martin in the 1st round of the 2020 draft out of Vanderbilt University. Martin was the No. 5 player taken overall, and received a signing bonus of $7.85M.

Yes, the Blue Jays really, really needed starting pitching when they traded Martin and another good prospect, Simeon Woods Richardson to the Minnesota Twins for Jose Berrios. It was a very steep price to pay to improve their pitching.

Martin split his 2021 season between playing for the Toronto Double-A club and the Minnesota Double-A club. He appeared in 93 games, and had 418 plate appearances. Martin finished the season hitting a combined .270/.414/.382/.796 with five homers and 35 RBIs. He stole 14 bases in 18 attempts. He also had 18 doubles and two triples.

Scouts loved Martin's hit tool when he was coming out of Vanderbilt. He has very solid eye-hand coordination, makes good contact and has a true "feel" for hitting. It is his hit tool that scouts speak of first when discussing Austin Martin. He should hit big league pitching well, and have a solid on-base percentage due to that ability to hit for a high average. 

Martin won't give the Twins or fantasy owners much power. His game is to get on base and score. He has enough speed to steal.

An average defensive players, the Twins can take their pick at where they play him. He can be solid in the outfield and capable at both third and short. I believe he profiles best as an outfielder. Teaming with Byron Buxton, he could play left field, with Buxton in center. I have little doubt about Martin being a solid big league player. Scouting Grade: 55

Fantasy Relevance: I would not be surprised if the Twins rush Martin to the big leagues. Even though I think he should play an entire season at Triple-A, the Twins may want a return on giving up Berrios sooner than later. He could struggle if rushed. He isn't on the 40-man roster yet, so that would have to happen first. I'm not ready to put him in re-draft leagues. I am, however, ready to get my share of him in keepers.

Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, Minnesota Twins

6-3, 210

Age: 21

The New York Mets drafted Richardson at the age of 17 out of Kempner High School in Sugar Land, Texas. Richardson went in the 2nd round, and was the youngest player chosen in that draft.

The Mets signed Richardson for $1.7M.  The Mets traded him to the Blue Jays in 2017 in the deal that sent Marcus Stroman to New York.

Then, the Blue Jays sent Richardson, along with Austin Martin to the Minnesota Twins to yield starting pitcher Jose Berrios.

Richardson is quite a solid prospect. He could be a steal. He has a fastball that is well above average, a very good slider and a solid curve. His three pitches are each above major league average in quality. The best part is that Richardson can control and command each of his pitches at a very high level.

This past year, Richardson pitched at Double-A for both Toronto and Minnesota. The results weren't great. He threw to a combined 5.91 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He walked way too many hitters, uncharacteristic for what I've seen of his stuff.

I am not discouraged. I think he has the stuff to rebound and have a great season. He's still only 21 and has a great deal to learn in his development.

Repeating a clean delivery, Richardson will likely sit at 94-95 with his fastball, using outstanding mechanics in the process. His curveball is deceptive, and he seems to be working on a slider. If he perfects that pitch, it would add even more to an already quality arsenal. 

To me, Richardson has everything it takes to be a consequential big league pitcher. And if the Twins can hit, and he wins some games, he could be an All Star. Scout Grade: 60

Fantasy Relevance: I like everything there is about Simeon Woods Richardson. I think he's a winner. I think he has the size and the repertoire to be outstanding.

Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

6-5, 220 

Age: 22

The Baltimore Orioles chose Grayson Rodriguez in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches, Texas. They signed him for $4.3M.

Rodriguez has flown through the Orioles development program, mostly because they are desperate for starting pitching. 

He started in Rookie Ball in 2018. Then it was Class-A in 2019, no baseball due to the pandemic in 2020 and last year he pitched at Class-A Advanced and Double-A. So he's really moving along.

His 2021 season saw him throw 103 combined innings, with 23 starts. He threw to a very fine 2.36 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP, striking out an average of 14.1 hitters per nine innings. He walked an average of 2.4 per nine.

Rodriguez is now up to 99MPH with his blazing fastball. It is a pitch that is well above average, and one that induces swings and misses. He also throws a wicked slider, a very solid changeup and a mediocre curveball. The curve is a work in progress. However, given his deep arsenal and improving command and control, Rodriguez stacks up to be a very solid pitching prospect.

I hope the Orioles will slow down, let him face better and better hitters and give him a chance to learn and develop before rushing him to the big leagues. Scouting Grade: 60

Fantasy Relevance: He isn't ready for prime time yet, but I would grab him whenever possible in keeper leagues. He will be the Orioles ace. Along with D.L. Hall, the team has two good starters for their future.

Next Week: I will offer my Top 15 American League Prospect Rankings. The following week, I will provide my Top 15 National League Prospect Rankings.

Heading Home:

As the horrible impasse continues in the MLB lockout of players, the owners requested federal mediation be introduced to the process of negotiating a new basic agreement. 

The players denied the request for federal mediation, which is their right. 

To me, they were correct in denying federal mediation and saying that the two sides should continue collective bargaining.

Why did the players reject federal mediation? To me, there are two simple reasons:

1-Federal mediators do not have the depth and breath of the deeply rooted problems being negotiated for a new Basic Agreement. Some of the mediators may be fans. Maybe some are not. Even so, it really takes people who are experiencing and living with the issues to know and understand the issues. 

Frankly, I think I know a great deal about the issues being discussed. Many of my friends know the issues. Many of my readers know the issues. None of us live the issues. None of us experience falling short of contract plateaus that could impact our MLB livelihood.

None of us experience sitting in front of a Major League arbitration official and have to hear the club denigrate our play in an attempt to "win" the team's side of arbitration.

Yes, we don't have to feel sorry for baseball players. They make a great deal of money.

But…

1-They have jobs none of us can get. In fact, only 10% of those that make it to the MINOR leagues ever make it to the MAJOR leagues. So, the fewer capable professional baseball players that exist, the greater they should be rewarded for their unique skills. They should be paid  from owners who have not played the game (in most instances) and don't have the skill required to play the game.

2-They are paid by owners who have seen the value of their franchise increase to almost mind boggling figures. Why? Because the players they employ attract interest and revenue to line their pockets and increase the value of their franchise. Media contracts alone are beyond comprehension.

No players. No game. No game, no franchise. No franchise, no ability to sell the franchise for the almost immense profit every owner is now expecting.

And every day that passes is another day when this fan or that fan throws up his or her hands and proclaims they are fed up. Will they return and watch baseball when the Civil War is over?

Probably. BUT some won't.

Will the Civil War be over? I'm not sure anymore. When? I really don't know.

Thanks for reading my work and following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff and for reading my work at Forbes.

Have a great week.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernie Pleskoff
Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
MLB Best Ball: Evaluating Hitters on Underdog
MLB Best Ball: Evaluating Hitters on Underdog
Closer Encounters: 2023 Closer Rankings
Closer Encounters: 2023 Closer Rankings
Cleveland Guardians Odds To Make The Playoffs In 2023
Cleveland Guardians Odds To Make The Playoffs In 2023
Collette Calls: 2023 AL Central Bold Predictions
Collette Calls: 2023 AL Central Bold Predictions