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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.

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST

THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES

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

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Let's discuss in the comments section.