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Cleveland Indians Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON Prospects, mid-season review

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Mike Clevinger
Mike Clevinger
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our mid-season prospect reviews, we turn this morning to the Cleveland Indians.




We will discuss current system events in the comments thread.

This list was originally published November 27, 2015

1) Bradley Zimmer, OF, Grade B+: Hitting .243/.361/.479 with 14 homers, 30 steals, 51 walks, 109 strikeouts in 313 at-bats in Double-A; showing expected secondary average skills with power, speed, patience; stock holding steady; not worried about the whiffs just yet.

2) Clint Frazier, OF, Grade B+:
Hitting .285/.365/.474 with 11 homers, 11 steals, 38 walks, 74 strikeouts in 312 at-bats in Double-A; adapting well to Double-A with reduced strikeouts but no loss of production; looks good.

3) Mike Clevinger, RHP, Grade B+:
Excellent in Triple-A (2.72, 83/28 K/BB in 76 innings, 59 hits) but not so much in the majors (7.71 ERA, 14/9 K/BB in 16 innings); obviously deserves more chances; not a lot left to prove in minors.

4) Bobby Bradley, 1B, Grade B+:
Hitting .257/.377/.484 with 16 homers, 54 walks, 115 strikeouts in 304 at-bats in High-A; very impressive at age 20; as with Zimmer there are some strikeout issues but not overly worried yet given enormous power potential, patience, youth, and overall production.

5) Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Grade B+/B:
3.86 ERA in 16 starts for Double-A Akron with 52/30 K/BB in 82 innings, 78 hits, 1.82 GO/AO; I'd like to see more strikeouts but in general he is holding his own given age (21) and experience level; I still like him.

6) Justus Sheffield, LHP, Grade B+/B:
3.81 ERA in 83 innings in High-A, 79/34 K/BB, 79 hits; slippage in all ratios since last year in Low-A but he's just 20 and has still had some dominant starts. Stock holding steady in my view.

7) Triston McKenzie, RHP, Grade B/B-:
Age 18, compensation pick bought away from Vanderbilt in 2015 draft; very strong performance in New York-Penn League so far; 0.28 ERA in 32 innings with 34/12 K/BB, 21 hits; will shoot up prospect lists quickly if this continues all summer. Highly projectable. 

8) Juan Hillman, LHP, Grade B/B-:
Second round pick in 2015, nasty one-two punch with McKenzie in the NY-P: 0.89 ERA in 30 innings, 26/8 K/BB, 21 hits; like McKenzie he will vault up the lists quickly if this continues.

9) Brady Aiken, LHP, Grade B-/B
: Age 19, unsigned Astros first round pick in 2014 re-drafted by Indians in first round in 2015, recovering from Tommy John surgery; limited data from Arizona Rookie League, 6.75 ERA in 15 innings with 22/9 K/BB, 18 hits; good strikeout rate but control needs sharpening, not unexpected; high ceiling.

10) Adam Plutko, RHP, Grade B-:
3.66 ERA in 108 innings between Double-A and Triple-A; 83/31 K/BB, 95 hits; polished, does not have same type of huge upside as Hillman, Aiken, Sheffield; or McKenzie but closer to the majors of course; potential four/five starter.

11) Tyler Naquin, OF, Grade B-:
Very successful major league rookie season, hitting .314/.373/.598 with 10 homers, 15 walks, 56 strikeouts in 169 at-bats; more power than expected but with less contact; be interesting to see if pitchers adjust but you can't knock what he's done so far.

12) Francisco Mejia, C, Grade B-:
20 year old catcher with breakout season, hitting .345/.373/.526 with eight homers, 15 walks, 47 strikeouts in 293 at-bats in Low-A/High-A; has thrown out 41% of runners; thriving in all respects, stock way up.

13) James Ramsey, OF, Grade C+:
Traded to Los Angeles Dodgers in April; hitting .268/.335/.445 with 19 walks, 67 strikeouts in 209 at-bats in Triple-A; still has a chance as a reserve outfielder.

14) Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Grade C+:
Hitting .220/.299/.420 with 19 homers, 37 walks, 74 strikeouts in 345 at-bats; third season in Triple-A and continues to show huge power, though other numbers have slipped this year. That often happens when a guy gets blocked.

15) Nellie Rodriguez, 1B, Grade C+:
Hitting .258/.396/.490 with 18 homers, 44 walks, 128 strikeouts in 341 at-bats in Double-A; similar to Aguilar but four years younger at age 22; scouts as you'd expect from the numbers, huge power but with contact concerns.

16) Shawn Armstrong, RHP, Grade C+:
2.52 ERA in 36 innings in Triple-A, 52/26 K/BB; similar to last year at the same level; high whiff rate with a lot of walks, could be effective middle man if given chance.

17) Yandy Diaz, 3B, Grade C+:
Age 24, Cuban defector, hitting .308/.412/.434 between Double-A and Triple-A; 53/55 K/BB in 295 at-bats; excellent feel for hitting without big home run power.

18) Mark Mathias, 2B, Grade C+:
Age 21, third round pick from Cal Poly in 2015; hitting .271/.357/.412 with 34 walks, 54 strikeouts in 277 at-bats in High-A; good defender at both second and third base with a line drive bat.

19) Erik Gonzalez, SS, Grade C+:
Just promoted to majors after hitting .296/.328/.420 in Triple-A; some pop in the bat, plate discipline could use work, versatile defender who has experience at every position except catcher.

20) Shawn Morimando, LHP, Grade C+:
3.22 ERA in 106 innings between Double-A and Triple-A; 3.22 ERA with 83/38 K/BB; up briefly to the majors for one relief outing; back-end starter profile but some chance to exceed that and surprise.

OTHER GRADE C+: Sean Brady, LHP; Mitch Brown, RHP; Yu-Cheng Chang, SS; Tyler Krieger, INF; Luis Lugo, LHP; Gabriel Mejia, OF; Ryan Merritt, LHP

OTHERS OF NOTE: Greg Allen, OF; Jeff Johnson, RHP; Thomas Pannone, LHP; Mike Papi, OF-1B; Luigi Rodriguez, OF; Casey Shane, RHP; Ka’ai Tom, OF; Jonas Wyatt, RHP


Let's discuss in the comments section.