Fantasy baseball: Rookies who need to play this season

Young players like MacKenzie Gore could -- and perhaps should -- get an opportunity to lend a hand to their teams' postseason chases in 2020. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Padres could enter the abbreviated 2020 season with a starting rotation of right-handers Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Garrett Richards and Zach Davies, along with left-hander Joey Lucchesi, and nobody would truly blame them. Then again, everyone knows the Padres can do better and, in what should be a memorable sprint to the finish, it seems like a franchise that last tasted postseason play when George W. Bush was president would do whatever it could to contend.

Lefty prospect MacKenzie Gore, 21, has yet to ply his trade in Triple-A, but that opportunity cannot come in 2020 anyway, because there is no minor league baseball. A year ago, the Padres aggressively promoted shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. from Double-A to the majors and, injuries aside, he thrived. The Padres still lost a lot more games than they won but that was over a six-month stretch. This will be just two-plus months. Flags, as they say, still fly forever. Most any club can thrive for a 60-game window. So, win now, Padres. Promote the fellow who could be your top pitcher right now. Fantasy managers are sure watching.