Cleveland Indians Top MiLB Tools

 Moncrief, Carlos

With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here

Cleveland Indians Top Prospects for 2013


Hit Tool: Francisco Lindor, SS

Power: Carlos Moncrief, CF/RF

Eye: Roberto Perez, C

Base Stealer: Francisco Lindor, SS

K-Ability: Danny Salazar, RHP

Control: Ryan Merritt, LHP


Best Hit Tool: The heir apparent to Cleveland’s shortstop position, Francisco Lindor doesn’t have the power potential as many of his minor league counterparts, but hit .303/.380/.407 as a 19-year-old across two levels. Lindor combined strong contact rates and a solid eye at the plate.

Best Power: A bit of late bloomer because he spent the first two years of his career on the mound, Carlos Moncrief has steadily improved in each of four seasons at the plate. Last season, Moncrief hit .284/.354/.470 with 26 doubles, seven triples, and 17 homeruns. He could peak with 20- to 25-homeruns.

Best Plate Discipline: Overlooked because of below-average hit tool and power, Roberto Perez, a career .227/.359/.326 hitter, could conceivably carve out a backup role in the big leagues before his career comes to an end. The Puerto Rican-born Perez has a strong – he’s thrown out 38% of would-be base stealers in his career – and shows a strong willingness to take a walk. His career walk rate is an impressive 15.5%.

Best Base Stealer: An above-average but not an elite runner, Francisco Lindor has swiped 52 bags over the past two seasons and could peak as a 30- to 35-stolen base threat  in the big leagues. Whether the big league club would let Lindor run that much is another question.  

Best Ability to Miss Bats: Blessed with a plus-plus-fastball, Danny Salazar, a recent Tommy John recipient, struck out an impressive 194 batters in just 151 (11.56 K/9) innings spanning three separate levels (including his time in the big leagues). Among MiLB’ers with at least 90 innings, Salazar’s K-rate, 12.48, was the second highest.

Best Control: A finesse lefty plucked in the 16th round out of McLennan Community College in 2011, Ryan Merritt just continually posted below-average K-rates, but has succeeded by limiting free passes. Merritt, who’s averaged just 6.3 K/9 in his career, issued just 19 free passes in 135.1 innings (1.3 BB/9).  


Photo of Carlos Moncrief Courtesy of  David Monseur/Akron Aeros via


After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: