|Original Published Date: April 15, 2014|
|Updated: June 9, 2014|
Coming off a surprising 2013 campaign, the Cleveland Indians did little over the winter to improve their stock. The result will likely be a middle-of-the-road finish with a potential sell-off of key players mid-season. If this occurs, this could unblock some prospects in the upper minors, most notably, Francisco Lindor to help establish the future in Cleveland
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Jesus Aguilar (1B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Jose Ramirez (2B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
- Francisco Lindor (SS, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: Jesus Aguilar hit 18 home runs in the Venezuela Winter Leagues and many observers thought he had a chance to make the major league roster out of Spring Training. Unfortunately, the production didn’t carry over and Aguilar started the season in the minors. While he’s gotten two calls during the year, he hasn’t been able to get enough at-bats to earn a permanent spot on the roster. Jose Ramirez is a nice little second baseman with plus running ability but unfortunately is blocked by the Indians best player. Ramirez did get the call in early May after Kipnis went on the Disabled List, but didn’t taken advantage of the opportunity and is now back in Triple-A. Top prospect Francisco Lindor is their future shortstop and while he only has 100 at-bat above High-A, could be ready to take over the shortstop duties in the second half if the Indians decide to make a move with free agent to-be, Asdrubal Cabrera.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Carlos Moncrief (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: Carlos Moncrief is a converted pitcher and therefore is an older prospect at 25-years-old. However, he has an interesting blend of power and speed and could see Cleveland in the second half. He won’t put up monster numbers but could develop into a 20/20 player with consistent at-bat, albeit a below-aveage hit tool.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Trevor Bauer (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High – Promoted: 5/20/14
- Tyler Cloud (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: When I scouted Trevor Bauer last year, the velocity was down and his mechanics were regressing. He decided to break-down his mechanics over the winter and the results have been very promising. The velocity is back up-to the mid-90’s and his secondary pitches are as good as ever. The delivery will always been max-effort and he’ll likely never have elite control, but Bauer is clearly back on the prospect radar and should contribute in a significant way in 2014.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Nick Hagadone (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low