Bernie on the Scene: Young NL Fantasy Baseball Targets for 2022

Bernie on the Scene: Young NL Fantasy Baseball Targets for 2022

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

In preparation for 2022 fantasy drafts and auctions, today I begin several "target" articles.

I will share my thoughts on a player from each National League club who could be a viable target for fantasy managers. It remains possible that any of these players could be traded before your draft. If that's the case, the new team they will be playing for really shouldn't matter.

National League Targets:

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Alek Thomas, OF, Age: 21, Bats: Left

Given the lack of offense on the Diamondbacks, I think Thomas would be a good bet to get plenty of playing time in a weak D-Backs lineup.

Atlanta Braves: 

Kyle Muller, LHP, Age 24

A huge, 6-7 lefty is always coveted by major league clubs. Muller has a big fastball that sits in the upper 90s. It would not surprise to see Muller pitching in Atlanta this coming season.

Chicago Cubs:

Brennan Davis, OF, Age: 22, Bats: Right

I'm very bullish on Davis, and at 6-4, 210 pounds, I think he has enough strength to become a better than average power hitting outfielder. They need him for their offense.

Cincinnati Reds: 

Hunter Greene, RHP, Age: 22

The Reds are looking to trade pitchers currently on their roster. That should open a spot for huge, 6-5, 230-pound Greene. He is their best prospect, and his time is coming this season.

Colorado Rockies:

Ryan Vilade, OF, Age: 22, Bats: Right

Vilade got a cup of coffee with the Rocks this past season. I think

In preparation for 2022 fantasy drafts and auctions, today I begin several "target" articles.

I will share my thoughts on a player from each National League club who could be a viable target for fantasy managers. It remains possible that any of these players could be traded before your draft. If that's the case, the new team they will be playing for really shouldn't matter.

National League Targets:

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Alek Thomas, OF, Age: 21, Bats: Left

Given the lack of offense on the Diamondbacks, I think Thomas would be a good bet to get plenty of playing time in a weak D-Backs lineup.

Atlanta Braves: 

Kyle Muller, LHP, Age 24

A huge, 6-7 lefty is always coveted by major league clubs. Muller has a big fastball that sits in the upper 90s. It would not surprise to see Muller pitching in Atlanta this coming season.

Chicago Cubs:

Brennan Davis, OF, Age: 22, Bats: Right

I'm very bullish on Davis, and at 6-4, 210 pounds, I think he has enough strength to become a better than average power hitting outfielder. They need him for their offense.

Cincinnati Reds: 

Hunter Greene, RHP, Age: 22

The Reds are looking to trade pitchers currently on their roster. That should open a spot for huge, 6-5, 230-pound Greene. He is their best prospect, and his time is coming this season.

Colorado Rockies:

Ryan Vilade, OF, Age: 22, Bats: Right

Vilade got a cup of coffee with the Rocks this past season. I think he'll win a bench role with the club in 2022. I'm not that bullish on him, but he'll be there for you as a Rockies hitter.

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Ryan Pepiot, RHP, Age: 24

The once dominating Dodgers pitching is getting thinner by the moment. That may give the fastball/changeup wizard Pepiot a solid chance to contribute this coming year.

Miami Marlins:

Max Meyer, LHP, Age: 22

The Marlins are loaded with great pitching. I think Edward Cabrera, Sixto Sanchez and Meyer form a nucleus of future excellent starting pitching options or trade bait. I like them all.

Milwaukee Brewers:

Brice Turang, SS/2B, Age: 22, Bats: Left

Depending on their offseason success, the Brewers may need Turang to add some zest to their offense. He doesn't have great power, but I think this guy can really hit. I like him a great deal.

New York Mets:

Mark Vientos, 3B, Age: 21, Bats: Right

I don't think many young players will be on the Mets roster in 2022, but if I had to guess, one would be Vientos. He plays a position of need and has some power in his bat. But I'm not bullish.

Philadelphia Phillies:

Bryson Stott, SS, Age: 24, Bats: Left

This guy can hit. I was impressed with him in the Fall League, and I think he'll get a shot with the parent club if they have room to let him play. Not great power, but a good hitting tool.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

Oneil Cruz, SS/3B, Age: 23, Bats: Left

Cruz was supposed to play in the Fall League but did not. I still think he has a shot to make an impact on the big club at some point in 2022, but he is also a very good trade chip. Huge at 6-7. 

San Diego Padres:

Luis Campusano, C, Age: 23, Bats: Right

I think the door is open for him to get lots of work on the parent club. He can hit and hit with power. He's got a good arm, but inconsistent mechanics behind the plate still need improving.

San Francisco Giants:

Joey Bart, C, Age: 24, Bats: Right

Something is drastically wrong if Bart is not the Opening Day catcher in San Francisco. I'm not sure the Giants like him that much, but with Posey gone, he seems to be the natural successor.

St. Louis Cardinals:

Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Age: 22

The Cardinals will have room for Liberatore in their rotation. He has a very good fastball/curveball/changeup repertoire with good command and control. I think he'll get a shot.

Washington Nationals:

Cade Cavalli, RHP, Age: 23

Cavalli might be the team's highest-ranked pitcher right now, ahead of Jackson Rutledge. While I'm not very bullish on Cavalli, I think his fastball/curveball combination are solid pitches.

HEADING HOME:

Well, they did it. The owners have locked out the players. Now the civil war is in motion.

I don't anticipate this ending anytime soon. Both sides feel they need a "win" to save face and preserve their stake in the multi, multi billion-dollar business.

Clearly, the fans are the losers. The postseason Hot Stove talk gets fans prepared for the season ahead. We like reading and hearing about trades and free agent signings. None of that will happen now. There will be no transactions. No winter meetings. No free-agent signings. No trades. No Rule-5 draft. No kidding.

The owners have lamented how much money they lost during the shortened 2020 season. But there they are: big markets and small markets, spending money they claimed to have lost.

How in the world can athletes making millions of dollars a year and owners worth billions of dollars shut down the sport because of money? How? Why? How much money does one person need to be happy?

MLB.com has shut down any and all information, pictures and stats about players. They are running only baseball history articles. I hope their clicks plummet and the advertisers leave. Clicks pay the freight.

I wrote for MLB.com as a prospect analyst on their Pipeline team. They were good colleagues to work with, and I have no complaints about those who supervised me. But this removal of any and all player information is a bridge too far for me. I have given them my last click until I read somewhere they have returned to player content.

Thanks for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff, where I will still be tweeting about baseball.

And you can still read my baseball columns at forbes.com

My best to each of you for a wonderful week.

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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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