Bernie on the Scene: Scouting Readers' Favorite Players

Bernie on the Scene: Scouting Readers' Favorite Players

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

I am going to change my original plan of prospect profiles/scouting reports and offer reports on players requested by my readers.

I won't be able to respond to all requested players. If I haven't seen or watched video on the player, I won't write a report.

So, my next few articles will include players you, the readers of my articles, request for evaluation and review. I could not get to all of the requests. But I will always do my best to get most of them.

Scouting grades are for offense only. They do not include any defensive abilities and tools.

Scouting Grades:

45 - A utility player on a major league roster who comes off the bench and plays as needed

50 - An every day player subject to platoon

55 - A better than average performer, less subject to platoon

60 - An every day player with occasional All Star Game appearances and multiple tools

Patrick Bailey, C, Giants
Single-A San Jose
BB
6-1, 210
Age 22

It would appear the Giants prefer Bailey to previous first-round draft pick Joey Bart. Sources have told me the Giants wouldn't mind trading Bart if the right deal comes along.

Bailey was the team's first-round pick in the 2020 draft, No. 13 overall.  Out of North Carolina State, Bailey signed for $3,757,500. And what did Joey Bart get to sign? $7,025,000. Still, the word is out that the Giants would rather keep Bailey and trade Bart. I'll believe it

I am going to change my original plan of prospect profiles/scouting reports and offer reports on players requested by my readers.

I won't be able to respond to all requested players. If I haven't seen or watched video on the player, I won't write a report.

So, my next few articles will include players you, the readers of my articles, request for evaluation and review. I could not get to all of the requests. But I will always do my best to get most of them.

Scouting grades are for offense only. They do not include any defensive abilities and tools.

Scouting Grades:

45 - A utility player on a major league roster who comes off the bench and plays as needed

50 - An every day player subject to platoon

55 - A better than average performer, less subject to platoon

60 - An every day player with occasional All Star Game appearances and multiple tools

Patrick Bailey, C, Giants
Single-A San Jose
BB
6-1, 210
Age 22

It would appear the Giants prefer Bailey to previous first-round draft pick Joey Bart. Sources have told me the Giants wouldn't mind trading Bart if the right deal comes along.

Bailey was the team's first-round pick in the 2020 draft, No. 13 overall.  Out of North Carolina State, Bailey signed for $3,757,500. And what did Joey Bart get to sign? $7,025,000. Still, the word is out that the Giants would rather keep Bailey and trade Bart. I'll believe it when I see it. Why? Follow the money. Always.

The true value with Bailey lies in his ability to be a switch-hitter, negating a need to platoon. And with Buster Posey having a great year, the team can take some time to prepare either Bart or Bailey to be his ultimate successor.

Bailey doesn't really have any one great tool to separate him as a quality catching prospect.

Truth be told, his hit tool is below average. It is his defensive ability that may boost his overall chances for success. He has a good arm and has an ability to hit for a little pop, but other than that, he's very average as a prospect.

I clearly don't see much power from either side of the plate. So, in reality, he could be a handcuff platoon to Bart or win the job on his own if a great tool shows up in development.

Synopsis: Don't bet the house on Bailey just because he was a No. 1 draft choice. For me, he isn't as good as Bart. And when Posey returns to health from a current thumb contusion, he'll be around for the rest of this season and probably more to come

Fantasy Worthiness: Frankly, Bailey doesn't interest me too much. When the situation with the Giants' catching position clears a bit, we will have a better read on who succeeds Posey in the pecking order. For now, however, Posey, Bart and Bailey are one too many catchers.  

Scouting Grade: 50

Brett Baty, 3B, Mets
Double-A Binghamton
BL
6-3, 210
Age 21

Brett Baty is probably a 2023 graduation candidate for the Mets. he was signed as their first-round draft pick out of Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas, in 2019. He signed for a $3.9M bonus as the No. 12 pick in the draft.

Baty has the upside to be a middle-of-the order hitter with some true pop in a very good frame. He looks like a solid, left-handed hitting third baseman with power.  And this season, he is showing why he was a No. 1 pick — he's smoking the ball in Double-A.

If I had to predict, I would say Baty ends up at first base for the Mets. He just doesn't have the footwork, the agility or the first step quickness to stick at third without defense being on his mind. A place at first base may reduce the pressure.

As he progresses, he will have to improve his contact rate. He is striking out a quarter of the time, and that has to improve for him to advance quickly.

Synopsis: Brett Baty could become a consequential hitter in a lineup that will include Francisco Lindor by the time Bart arrives on the big-league scene. Baty's power is legitimate. And he has room to add a bit on to that frame. Like many corner infielders, Baty won't offer much in the stolen-base category. He's very slow.

Fantasy Worthiness: I think this guy will be an impact hitter. i would seek him out in dynasty for sure, and watch his development in seasonal leagues. 

Scouting Grade: 55

Alek Thomas, OF, Diamondbacks
Double-A Amarillo
BL
5-11, 175
Age 21

Thomas received an above-slot bonus of $1.2M when he was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft out of Mount Carmel High School in Chicago.

The Diamondbacks love their outfielders. Thomas, Corbin Carroll and Kristian Robinson are three of the best outfield prospects in any organization. Thomas, however, may be third among the other two in being the best prospect of the three. And that's saying something. For me, Robinson is the real deal, and is probably a Grade 70, with Carroll in between.

Thomas has a nice combination of power and speed to complement well above average center-field defense. His only real blemish is a weak throwing arm, and for me, that may dictate a future in left field.

Thomas is a line-drive hitter, which means he'll hit the large gaps in right-center at Chase Field in Phoenix. He also has "pool power" a very nice quality to have in that same outfield corridor.

Thomas is also the type of player who can deliver a solid batting average and very good on-base percentage. So really, he's a complete package as a hitter.

Synopsis: It will be interesting to track the three quality outfielders in development with the Dbacks. Of the three, it will be difficult to project any to bust. That includes Thomas. He can hit. He can hit for power. He can run. He can chase down fly balls.

Fantasy Worthiness: I like him a great deal, and I think his left-handed swing will play in Chase Field. I just hope they don't rush him. 

Scouting Grade: 55

Glenn Otto, RHP, Yankees
Double-A Somerset
6-3, 240
Age 25

To begin, Otto did not pitch in 2018 due to a blood clot in his shoulder that required surgery. For me, that's already a yellow caution flag.

The Yankees drafted Otto in the fifth round in 2017 out of Rice University.

His age and injury history likely make Otto more a candidate for the bullpen, rather than the rotation. Think of him as a reliever first. If he can show he has the arm strength and the stamina, he may eventually make it to the Yankees rotation. I think that's doubtful.

Otto uses a crossfire, three-quarter delivery. In his lower minor league days, that type of delivery fooled hitters. I don't think that will be the case if and when he advances in the system.

Otto can get some late sink on his pitches, using the bottom of the strike zone. However, with today's brand of upper-cut hitters, that might not be the best overall approach.

Otto has a sharp breaking curve, but he doesn't induce much in the way of strikeouts with that pitch.

Synopsis: Otto is a guy in the Yankees system. For me, he's relief pitching depth and he isn't ready for prime time. He has a good fastball and slider, but his changeup is meh, at best. To be a starter, he will have to perfect at least one more quality pitch.

Fantasy Worthiness: I pass.

Scouting Grade: 45

Josh Winder, RHP, Twins
Triple-A St. Paul
6-5, 210
Age 24

Josh Winder was a seventh-round pick of the Twins in the 2018 draft out of Virginia Military Academy.

He had an outstanding showing at this year's instructional league, hitting the high 90s with regularity and improving his future with Minnesota. He was good enough so far this year to have been promoted from Double-A Wichita to St. Paul.

Winder's velocity has improved markedly over his collegiate days.

Using his height to his advantage, Winder is a starter with an ability to strikeout more than 10 hitters per nine innings while walking less than two hitters per nine. I'll take that.

Winder has that solid fastball, a very good curve, an average slider and an average changeup. In essence, he has a four-pitch mix that is ready to go when he graduates to the big leagues.

While he appears to be tall and lanky, his current physicality represents an increase in depth and strength to his frame. His repertoire is really aided by his ability to pitch downhill and let those long limbs work.

Synopsis: Tall and lean, but strong all the same, Josh Winder is moving quickly in the Twins system. He can command his pitches, throw strikes and use a complete repertoire of average to above average pitches to control an offense.

Fantasy Worthiness: Winder remains a secret. The person who requested a profile of Winder knows his stuff. The guy could be a winner for the Twins sooner than later. Grab him now. I'm bullish on him, and I might have him graded higher than most analysts.

Scouting Grade: 55

Clayton Beeter, RHP Dodgers
High-A Great Lakes
6-2, 220
Age 22

Clayton Better was a second-round pick of the Dodgers in 2020. He was taken out of Texas Tech University, signing for $1,195,500 as the No. 66 overall selection.

Beeter was injured throughout his senior year in high school and his freshman year at Texas Tech. He had two elbow surgeries, including a 2017 Tommy John surgery.

When he returned to pitching, he was used out of the bullpen and struck out an average of two hitters per inning. Although he was wild, he was wildly effective. 

The Dodgers have moved him to the rotation from the bullpen, where he is effective as a starting pitcher in development.

Beeter throws a very solid high-velocity fastball, an above average curve and slider and an average to below average changeup. His fastball/slider combination with the curveball mixed in can give hitters fits.

He has average command and control of his repertoire, but it is his injury history that worried me the most.

Synopsis: Beeter has been elbow injury prone, but he is pitching healthy at this point. A strong fastball is the key to his success. When he makes that pitch work, the secondary pitches can be mixed and matched easily. They are pretty good.

Fantasy Worthiness: Beeter can be a guy to stash, given the fact the Dodgers have being going through their pitching depth pretty quickly. While Josiah Gray and Bobby Miller are likely the cream of the crop, there could be room for a pitcher like Ryan Pepiot or Clayton Beeter much sooner than expected.

Scouting Grade: 50

Jake Burger, 3B, White Sox
BR
6-2, 230
Age 25

Jake Burger was the 11th player chosen overall in the 2017 draft. Burger signed out of Missouri State University and received a signing bonus of $3.7M.

Burger's graduation to the big leagues is a great story. He missed all 2018 and 2019 with a twice-ruptured left Achilles tendon and a bruised left heel.

Burger is a strong and powerful third baseman, but he may have to ultimately switch to first base if it is determined his defense plays better there. He is slow and has limited range issues at third base.

He has plus power, better than average in his potential to hit the ball out of the park. Burger is rather patient for a big guy trying to hit the ball out of the park. In time, he will adjust to how pitchers are trying to get him out. But he'll have to work more on being able to hit to all fields as opposed to being a pure pull hitter.

Synopsis: Burger was set back badly by his injuries. Now, he is getting his chance to play in the big leagues, and we have to see how long that lasts. Frankly, he needs more development time, in my opinion.

Fantasy Worthiness: I think Burger can be a good fantasy option for 2022 and beyond. However, I wouldn't reach for him this year. He could deliver power and RBIs with no speed. 

Scouting Grade: 50

HEADING HOME

While I won't be able to get to every player profile requested, please let me know who you want to read about. I will try to get as many as possible in the next few articles, as well as some of my own choosing.

I spoke with two team executives this week who told me they were confident we would not be seeing a baseball work stoppage or strike in the coming months. Their reasoning is the same as mine. There is too much money in baseball for ownership or players to walk away. Yes, that was the case in previous work stoppages as well. The difference now? The pandemic has cost both players and owners millions of dollars. They want to put an end to it.

I would love to see additional skills competition at the All-Star break. For example, how about "The Fastest MLB Player" competition. Teams can nominate a player to do a 100-yard dash and/or round the bases to a stop watch.

While there is always a chance for injury, the same chance for injury exists with the Home Run Derby. I think baseball needs to add more life and excitement. That may help.

I was not impressed with Joe Buck speaking to hitters while they were at the plate. In fact, it was ridiculous. A hitter has to concentrate on the pitcher and the ball being thrown. He should not be answering stupid questions from an announcer. A hitter could be seriously hurt during that type of stunt. I don't blame Joe Buck. I blame Fox.

At first glance I liked the All-Star uniforms. The more I looked, the more I disliked them. I want to see the colors and uniform of my team — uniforms are important to baseball fans. They are kind of sacred. But in the quest to make ever more money, MLB and Nike have partnered to come up with more gimmick uniforms to sell more products. I think it was Nike, right? Turns out, I didn't like it at all.

Have you seen the new Home Town uniforms? WRIGLEYVILLE, etc? What do you think? I don't know if your team has one. Just curious to know your thoughts.

Again, those uniforms are a quest to make back some of the lost revenue. MLB always has different uniforms during the season, but these are way, way different. I guess the NBA did something similar.

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

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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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