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Cleveland Indians Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects for 2009

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Cleveland Indians Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

This list was originally published December 29, 2008.  This is a review of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. I'm not doing new grades or lists until I start working on the 2010 book.

1) Carlos Santana, C, Grade B+: .287/.413/.515 for Double-A Akron, 90 walks, 83 strikeouts in 421 at-bats. Looks great to me.

2) Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF, Grade B+: .299/.388/.530 for Triple-A Columbus, .268/.311/.443 in 97 at-bats for Cleveland. Just needs to play.

3) Adam Miller, RHP, Grade B: We could reduce the cost of health care by 39.78% nationwide if we could just keep this guy away from the doctors.

4) Beau Mills, 1B, Grade B: .266/.306/.412 for Akron, quite disappointing power production.

5) Hector Rondon, RHP, Grade B: 2.75 ERA with 73/16 K/BB in 72 innings for Akron, 60 hits.  4.05 ERA with 59/13 K/BB in 67 innings for Columbus, 75 hits. Good K/BB ratios, will probably need more Triple-A time.

6) Lonnie Chisenhall, SS, Grade B-: .276/.346/.492 in 99 games for Class A Kinston, .182/.240/.398 in 23 games  for Akron. Rushed to Double-A and it shows.

7) Nick Weglarz, OF, Grade B-: .227/.377/.431 for Akron. Draws walks, has some power, but will need more time.

8) David Huff, LHP, Grade B-: 6.57 ERA with 49/32 K/BB in 101 innings for the Indians, 138 hits. Um, that's not very good. He throws strikes at least, but stuff is short.

9) Carlos Rivero, SS, Grade B-: .244/.312/.346 for Akron. He got off to a slow start but hit somewhat better in the second half, .288/.351/472 after the All-Star break.

10) Scott Lewis, LHP, Grade C+: Pitched 23 innings at five levels on rehab.

11) Michael Brantley, OF, Grade C+: .267/.350/.361 with 46 steals in 51 attempts for Columbus. I like the speed, walk rate, and low strikeout rate. Lack of pop a problem.

12) Kelvin De La Cruz, LHP, Grade C+: On rehab in the Arizona Rookie League.

13) Wes Hodges, 3B, Grade C+: .270/.312/.394 for Columbus. Bat is short for a corner.

14) Matt McBride, OF, Grade C+: Hit .405/.453/.667 in 31 games for Kinston, but just .244/.300/.427 in 95 games after moving up to Akron. Still somewhat intriguing.

15) Luis Valbuena, 2B, Grade C+: .239/.295/.412 in 79 games in the majors. Not exactly stunning, but will get more chances.

16) Jon Meloan, RHP, Grade C+: 66 innings at four Triple-A stops, playing the bouncing waiver game. 60/29 K/BB, 4.50 ERA combined. Command his main issue, we'll see if Oakland can improve it.

17) Zach Putnam, RHP, Grade C+: 4.18 ERA with 77/23 K/BB in 80 innings between Kinston and Akron, 79 hits. I think there is development potential here.

18) Trevor Crowe, OF, Grade C+: .297/.401/.400 for Columbus, .208/.271/.283 in the majors. Expect him to bounce around as a reserve/Triple-A guy for the next ten years.

19) Rob Bryson, RHP, Grade C+: Rehabbing in the Arizona Rookie League.

20) Chen-Chang Lee, RHP, Grade C+: 3.28 ERA with 96/28 K/BB in 82 innings, 66 hits for Kinston. Very good numbers.

21) Cord Phelps, 2B, Grade C+: .258/.385/.354 for Kinston, 92 walks. Gets on base, but lack of power will be an issue.

22) Bryce Stowell, RHP, Grade C+: 5.31 ERA with 54/31 K/BB in 58 innings for Kinston, 62 hits. Pre-season sleeper pick that hasn't panned out yet.

Not a terrific year for a lot of guys on the list. Santana looks great to me, and LaPorta can hit once he gets a job. Rondon and Chisenhall will also rank highly on the 2010 list, as well as prospects brought in through recent trades. The system was stagnating so the new blood should help.