This article is part of our Minor League Barometer series.
The 2021 campaign feels more uncertain than ever when it comes to prospecting. If a player did not appear in the big leagues last season, then all we have to go on, at most, are "reports" on how the player looked at the team's alternate site. If he did appear in the big leagues, the sample size is almost certainly rather small. What can we put stock in then? Opportunity is certainly high on the list. If a player is guaranteed at-bats in the big leagues, then that player warrants monitoring. A sluggish start to the season could still be likely due to the extended/unconventional last year. There is also the "pedigree" of a prospect. Teams could elect to be more cautious with their prized phenoms based upon the lack of real game experience in 2020. On the flip side, perhaps a hot start from a prospect will be viewed with more skepticism than usual. Each team likely will have a slightly different philosophy based upon who is running the organization. It will be intriguing to see how phenoms are handled as the pandemic is still not over.
Let's look at some neophytes at the forefront of fantasy minds heading into the 2021 season.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA – There were plenty of spicy nuggets in the now infamous remarks of disgraced former Mariners CEO Kevin Mather. Derogatory statements aside, perhaps the most notable piece of information was the rather blatant admission that the team purposefully manipulated Kelenic's