This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.
This begins a four-part series I will be writing about rookie performances in the shortened 2020 "sprint" season from my scouting perspective.
I will assess the performances of high-profile hitters and pitchers. Today, I will look at National League hitters, followed by National League pitchers, American League hitters and finally, American League pitchers.
My intent is to provide some insight on these important young players for next year's fantasy drafts and auctions.
Statistics are as of Sept. 26.
Shogo Akiyama, OF, Reds
I still don't understand why the Reds needed Akiyama, a 2020 international free-agent out of Japan. The team is deep in outfielders with a 40-man roster that includes Aristides Aquino, Nick Castellanos, Brian Goodwin, Travis Jankowski, Mark Payton, Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker in addition to Akiyama. Clearly, Jankowski can play a solid center field. They parted ways with Boog Powell in September. Phillip Ervin was claimed off waivers by Seattle in September. And rookie outfielders Mike Siani, and Austin Hendrick are waiting in the wings.
They didn't need Akiyama, and he didn't really produce. Yes, he was a good defensive outfielder in Japan. He did, however, struggle offensively at the beginning of the short season and didn't get going until early September. He signed a three-year, $20M contract.
At 31, Akiyama really doesn't have much to offer the Reds on offense next