As Major League Baseball continues to stumble its way through one of the most ridiculous negotiations in the history of professional sports on how to get baseball underway in 2020, it is practically certain that the season will be shortened to most likely somewhere around 50 or 60 games. With a shortened season, it will provide an opportunity for a few surprise names to possibly snag AL Rookie of the Year if they are able to play at a high level during the shortened stretch of games -- sorry, White Sox slugger Luis Robert!
3. Nate Pearson
This young arm in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Toronto had high hopes for Pearson down in the minors in 2018, but he was plagued by injuries and barely saw the mound during the entire season. After making a recovery, Pearson set the world on fire in the Blue Jays' system in 2019 and moved all the away up to Triple-A within the course of a single season. That season, Pearson put up a 2.30 ERA with 119 strikeouts. If the Blue Jays believe that it's time to bring Pearson up to the majors, and he replicates what he did in 2019, he could certainly go home with the AL Rookie of the Year as a vicious bullpen arm or dominant starter in a short campaign.
2. Forrest Whitley
Whitley was drafted by the Houston Astros in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, and by the 2019 season had worked his way up to Triple-A, seemingly on the cusp of the bigs. Despite high hopes, things did not go as planned for Whitley in the 2019 season where he put up a horrible 12.21 ERA in Triple-A. Whitley continually got demoted, and it seemed like his confidence was shaken with each tough outing, even as he was moving down. Whitley managed to salvage his 2019 season in the Arizona Fall League where he posted an ERA of 2.88. Despite a rocky season last year, Whitley was able to gain perspective on what it takes to pitch well, and if he is able to make it to Houston, he could certainly shock some people on one of the AL's best teams in a short stretch.
1. Jo Adell
Nagging hamstring and ankle injuries caused this former 10th overall selection by the Los Angeles Angels in the 2017 MLB Draft to miss the first two months of last season. When Adell recovered, he started the year at Double-A where he had great success, batting .308 and hitting eight home runs over 43 games. Later that summer, Adell was called up to Triple-A ball in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adell then maintained solid numbers in Triple-A, ending with a batting average of .264 and eight RBI. Although it is not certain that Adell has what it takes to be an MLB star, the Angels definitely could use him to complete their outfield this season, rather than have him miss a crucial year of development with a canceled minor league campaign. Adell will most likely get his shot at the big leagues this upcoming season, and if he plays like he did in Double-A, the AL Rookie of the Year award is not out of the picture.