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Cleveland Indians Pre-Season Top 20 Prospects

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Grady Sizemore (AP)

Cleveland Indians Top 20 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

1) Adam Miller, RHP
Pitching again after missing early part of the year with elbow trouble. Results so far are not impressive: 5.04 ERA in 7 starts, 19/10 K/BB in 31 innings, way off his '04 numbers. I still worry about that elbow.
2) Grady Sizemore, OF
Hitting .278/.326/.442 for the Indians, 22 doubles, 9 homers, 12 steals. Solid player, will get better.
3) Michael Aubrey, 1B
Hit .283/.336/.462 in 28 games for Double-A Akron, before going on the shelf with back trouble.
4) Franklin Gutierrez, OF
Hitting just .235/.293/.398 for Akron, having major problems with strike zone judgment. His status is slipping; he seems to have stalled out, having problems converting his tools into skills.
5) Brad Snyder, OF
Hit .278/.365/.431 at Class A Kinston, leading to promotion to Akron, where he's at .257/.338/.493 so far. Good power, adequate strike zone judgment though a high strikeout rate. Holding his own.
6) Ryan Garko, C-1B
Hitting .284/.363/.485 with 14 homers for Triple-A Buffalo. Doing just fine, will be ready in 2006.
7) Fernando Cabrera, RHP
0.99 ERA with 62/9 K/BB in 45 innings for Buffalo, earning a promotion to Cleveland where he's allowed 2 runs in his first 9.1 innings. I like him a lot, should be a bullpen mainstay.
8) Jeremy Sowers, LHP
Since being promoted to Double-A, is 1-1 but with a 2.04 ERA in 6 starts, 33/7 K/BB in 35 innings. Doing very well indeed, keeping hitters off-balance with his ability to throw strikes and change speeds.
9) Francisco Cruceta, RHP
5.55 ERA in 24 games, 12 starts at Buffalo, 83/28 K/BB but 101 hits allowed in 86 innings. Stats have never quite lived up to his reputation as a prospect, and it is catching up with him this year. Status slipping.
10) Nick Pesco, RHP
4.05 ERA, 6-9 in 19 starts for Kinston, 68/28 K/BB in 107 innings, 121 hits allowed. Not terrible, not great. Best attribute is good control, but K/IP and H/IP are disappointing.
11) Justin Hoyman, RHP
9 starts at Class A Lake County, with a 3.00 ERA and 36/18 K/BB in 48 innings, before being sidelined with elbow trouble.
12) Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Hit .346/.398/.616 in 49 games for Kinston, obviously strong performance, but playing time limited by a back injury.
13) Fausto Carmona, RHP
1.95 ERA in 5 starts since being promoted to Buffalo, with a sound 25/2 K/BB in 37 innings. Possible September call-up, but like Cruceta his underlying ratios bear watching.
14) Brandon Pinckney, SS
Hitting just .223/.260/.310 at Kinston, very disappointing performance considering his performance last year. At this point, a utilityman at best.
15) Ryan Goleski, OF
.214/.267/.367 at Kinston, with 99 strikeouts in 346 at-bats. Another major disappointment, this will knock him off prospect lists.
16) Scott Lewis, LHP
14 strikeouts in his first 9 innings at Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League. Sample too small to be meaningful.
17) Matt Whitney, 3B
Hitting just .222/.309/.281 at Lake County. Another guy not living up to potential.
18) Jake Dittler, RHP
3.33 ERA at Akron, 74/43 K/BB in 127 innings, 133 hits allowed. Has a pretty ERA, but has allowed 20 unearned runs, and his K/IP and H/IP marks are below average. Don't fall for any hype you may hear.
19) Tony Sipp, LHP
Posted a fine 2.22 ERA in 12 starts for Lake County, with a 71/19 K/BB in 69 innings. Promoted to Kinston, is 1-1, 3.75 in 5 starts, with a 30/12 K/BB in 24 innings. Solid performance in all categories, will move up the list.
20) Mike Butia, OF
Hit .252/.315/.379 in 74 games at Lake County, very mediocre numbers. Promoted to Kinston this month and is struggling with a .178/.229/.378 mark. Has some pop, but not much finesse or polish at the plate.

Injuries have been a factor here, but several Cleveland prospects have just not played as well as anticipated. This system looked loaded at the beginning of the year, but things can change quickly.