Fantasy baseball: What to watch for in summer camp

Even if Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Yankees in the season opener, that doesn't mean he's going to pitch enough innings to qualify for a win for quite some time. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball cautiously gathers its players this week for an unprecedented three-week version of summer camp (formerly known as spring training) as it aims to prepare for its truncated 2020 season. Most fantasy managers remain perplexed as to how to view it all and how to adjust. This is understandable, frankly. All of this is new, as global sport tries to play through a pandemic, with plenty of skepticism that it can actually succeed.

Headlines scream about several brave players having already announced their intention to sit out this baseball season. While we commend Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals, Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies -- especially Desmond, for his heartfelt announcement -- the proverbial bunk will hit the fantasy fan if or when an actual "statistical difference-maker" follows suit. Nothing against these fine fellows, but none of them made my top-300 rankings.