Now the Lord can make you tumble
And the Lord can make you turn
And the Lord can make you overflow
But the Lord can't make you burn
Cleveland Indians Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
1) Adam Miller, RHP
Recovering from elbow problems, went 2-4, 4.83 in 12 starts for Class A Kinston, 45/17 K/BB in 60 innings. Overall control was OK but command within the strike zone was weaker than last year, and his stuff wasn't quite as good. Obviously the injury had an impact.
2) Grady Sizemore, OF
Excellent season for Indians, hit .289/.348/.484 with 22 homers, 22 steals. Broad base of skills, athletic, young, good combination of talents, Five Tool/Seven Skill guy.
3) Mike Aubrey, 1B
Hit .283/.336/.462 but limited to just 28 games for Double-A Akron by a back injury. I am told by baseball sources that Aubrey's back problems are likely to be chronic, with a large impact on his career prospects.
4) Franklin Gutierrez, OF
Hit .261/.322/.423 with 11 homers, 14 steals in 95 games for Akron. Excellent tools, but still trying to use them on the field consistently. Still just 22 years old, but needs at least a year of Triple-A in my opinion.
5) Brad Snyder, OF
Combined for 22 homers, .279 average, 31 doubles, 17 steals between Class A Kinston and Akron. Good power, runs well, but very high strikeout rate (94 Ks in 75 games for Akron) leads to questions about contact against better pitching.
6) Ryan Garko, C-1B
Hit .303/.384/.498 with 19 homers for Triple-A Buffalo. Solid all-around hitter, but where does he fit on the roster?
7) Fernando Cabrera, RHP
Pitched brilliantly in relief after promotion to Cleveland, 1.47 ERA in 14 games, 29/11 K/BB in 31 innings. If he continues to throw strikes, he has enough velocity and movement to be a very effective bullpen arm for a long time.
8) Jeremy Sowers, LHP
Pitched very well for Kinston, Akron, and one good start at Buffalo. In 13 starts for Akron, went 5-1, 2.08 with 70/9 K/BB in 82 innings. A finesse pitcher but a very effective one.
9) Francisco Cruceta, RHP
Pitched poorly in Triple-A, 5.19 ERA in 102 innings, allowed 123 hits. 92/32 K/BB was good but gave up 16 homers. Claimed on waivers by Seattle. Cruceta has a good arm but is still learning how to pitch at age 24.
10) Nick Pesco, RHP
Went 11-10, 3.82 in 26 starts for Kinston, 101/39 K/BB in 153 innings, 168 hits allowed. Numbers are OK but K/IP and H/IP don't project well to Triple-A. Very young at 21 but I don't expect super-rapid progress just yet.
11) Justin Hoyman, RHP
Made nine starts for Class A Lake County, going 2-0, 3.00 with 36/18 K/BB in 48 innings, then went on the shelf with an elbow injury. Obviously health is the main problem here.
12) Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Hit .339/.401/.591 for Kinston but limited to just 68 games by a back injury. Has a very good bat, but health and age (he's already 24) keep him off top-prospect charts.
13) Fausto Carmona, RHP
Made 26 starts between Akron and Buffalo. In Triple-A, went 7-4, 3.25 with 49/15 K/BB in 83 innings. Excellent control, but K/IP warns that immediate major league success is unlikely. Just 21 years old however.
14) Brandon Pinckney, SS
Hit just .260/.308/.351 in 87 games for Class A Kinston, after hitting over .300 the previous season in Double-A. Not enough power or patience to compensate for drop in batting average.
15) Ryan Goleski, OF
Hit just .212/.276/.382 for Kinston. Hit 17 homers, but lack of production in other areas limits his value. Unable to duplicate 2004 success, and at age 24 he faces a make-or-break year in '06.
16) Scott Lewis, LHP
Limited to just 16 innings at short-season Mahoning Valley, though he did fan 24 guys. Interesting pitcher if healthy, with high strikeout rate in college and pro ball, but history of elbow problems is a concern..
17) Matt Whitney, 3B
Hit just .242/.332/.332 for Lake County. Although just 21 years old, this former first round pick has not been healthy and/or productive since 2002.
18) Jake Dittler, RHP
Went 10-9, 3.64 in 27 starts for Akron, 107/61 K/BB in 173 innings, 187 hits allowed. A better season than 2004, although K/IP and H/IP are unattractive. Will need a year of Triple-A.
19) Tony Sipp, LHP
Posted combined 2.40 ERA, 130/42 K/BB between Lake County and Kinston in 117 innings. Very strong ratio set, a big-time sleeper for 2006.
20) Mike Butia, OF
Hit just .235/.299/.347 combined between Lake County and Kinston in 109 games. Will be passed quickly by other prospects.
Injury attrition is a factor, but the Indians have a deep enough system to compensate.