With the draft officially wrapped up and picks quickly inking their names on the dotted lines – southpaw Justus Sheffield signed for $1.6 million and another $250K for college at some point in the future – it’s time to see how the Tribe’s farm system looks with the influx of new talent.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE.
1.Francisco Lindor, SS, Age: 19
The club’s top prospect for the past couple of years, the 20-year-old switch-hitting shortstop has more or less maintained status quo this season, hitting .274/.364/.381. The glove’s nearly big league ready, but the bat, well, it may not be ready to take over shortstop when Asdrubal Cabrera departs after the season.
2. Clint Frazier, CF, Age: 19
A nice enough debut showing in low Class A so far, Frazier, whose production has hovered around the league average, is striking out at a near-alarming rate (28.9%) and showing very little pop (.092).
3.Mike Papi, 1B/OF, Age: 21
My favorite collegiate bat in the entire class, Papi’s a Nick Swisher clone waiting to happen. Elite, elite eye at the plate, 20-HR pop and positional versatility. He could move quickly. For Papi’s pre-draft analysis click HERE.
4. Bradley Zimmer, CF, Age: 21
Hasn’t really tapped into the power his 6-foot-5 frame would suggest quite yet. Very toolsy. It’ll be interesting to see if he can stick in center field, where his bat profiles far better. For Zimmer’s pre-draft evaluation click HERE.
5. LeVon Washington, LF, Age: 22
I am, quite frankly, one of the biggest – if not the biggest – LeVon Washington supporter in the entire country, something I’ve never shied away from over the past couple of seasons. And right now the Carl Crawford clone, whom I ranked the organization’s #7 prospect heading into the year, is showing his tantalizingly impressive skillset: through his first 23 games with Carolina, Washington is hitting .325/.418/.422 with three doubles, one triple, one homerun, three stolen bases, and walk rate just north of 13%.
6. Dorssys Paulino, SS, Age: 19
At some point Paulino is going to have to prove that his breakout debut season in 2012 (.333/.380/.558) was something more than an anomaly. Since debuting in low Class A last season, the 19-year-old shortstop has hit .243/.295/.344 in 163 games.
7. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Age: 18
The eighth high school hurler taken, the Indians, however, haven’t had the best of luck developing early round prep arms. See: Mitch Brown, Kieran Lovegrove, Dillon Howard.
8. Tyler Naquin, CF, Age: 23
The former 15th pick in the 2012 draft has quelled some concerns with a strong showing in Akron over the past two-plus months. Naquin’s hitting .322/.377/.442 with nine doubles, four triples, four homeruns, and 14 stolen bases. His total production, per Weighted Runs Created Plus, has been 29% better than the league average.
9. Jose Ramirez, IF, Age: 21
It’s going to come down to his ability to drive the ball on a consistent basis, something he’s done in spurts throughout the minor leagues. Solid eye, plus-speed, still not convinced if he can develop into anything more than a good/great role player.
10. Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Age:24
After hitting a scorching .356/.440/.667 with seven homeruns in April, Aguilar has posted a .202/.313/.298 triple-slash line between Columbus and Cleveland.
Photo Courtesy of David Monseur/Akron Aeros via wksu.org.