BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Cleveland Guardians

Prospects Overview

Top 30 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Player Reports

  1. 1. Triston McKenzie | RHP
    Triston McKenzie
    Born: Aug 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Palm Beach, Fla., 2015 (1st round supp).
    Signed By: Juan Alvarez.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Curveball: 60. Control: 60.

    TRACK RECORD: The last few years have been up and down for McKenzie, but he finished 2020 on a decidedly upward trajectory. He made his major league debut three weeks after his 23rd birthday, excelled down the stretch and earned a spot on the Indians’ playoff roster. It was quite the turnaround after McKenzie missed all of 2019 with an upper back injury. Scouts have questioned McKenzie’s durability since the Indians drafted him 42nd overall in 2015 due to his rail-thin 6-foot-5, 165-pound frame, but he’s excelled when healthy. He won the high Class A Carolina League’s pitcher of the year award in 2017 and ranked second in the minors with 186 strikeouts. He reached Double-A the following year as a 20-year-old and put together a strong summer despite being one of the youngest players in the Eastern League. That performance carried into the big leagues in 2020, despite a 24-month gap between competitive games. McKenzie struck out 10 batters in six innings in his debut, the second-most in a debut in franchise history, and posted a 3.24 ERA over 33.1 innings down the stretch to help the Indians secure a playoff spot.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Even with his skinny frame, McKenzie’s fastball averages 93 mph and has reached 97. He holds that velocity well and while it dips in the middle of his starts, he shows the ability to reach back for more and finish strong. McKenzie’s fastball plays up and gets swings and misses thanks to tremendous extension out of his delivery and a high spin rate. McKenzie also has a good feel for spinning his curveball and gets good depth on the offering, making it an out pitch that draws consensus plus grades from evaluators. His slider and changeup both improved over the last year to help round out his arsenal. His slider was especially impressive and showed it can be an above-average, swing-and-miss offering. McKenzie commands the ball well and earns praise for his makeup and understanding of his craft. He may never fill out his lean frame, so learning how to manage a starter’s workload remains a point of emphasis and will be critical for him to reach mid-to-front of the rotation ceiling.

    THE FUTURE: McKenzie’s debut was everything the Indians could have hoped for, especially given the unique nature of his long gap between games given the delayed start to the 2020 season. He has a chance to be Cleveland’s next great homegrown starter and should open the 2021 season in the big league rotation.

  2. 2. Nolan Jones | 3B
    Nolan Jones
    Born: May 7, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Bensalem, Pa., 2016 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.

    Hitting: 60. Power: 60. Running: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

    TRACK RECORD: The Indians viewed Jones as one of the best prep hitters in the 2016 draft and were surprised he was still available at No. 55, when they made him their second selection. He lived up to that reputation in pro ball, showing off his offensive ability at every stop and earning a selection to the 2019 Futures Game in Cleveland. Jones finished the season in Double-A and spent 2020 at the alternate training site before finishing at the instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Jones has an easy lefthanded swing and uses the whole field. He is a patient hitter and led all Indians minor leaguers in walks in both 2018 and 2019, though his patience also means he gets into deep counts and strikes out. He has plus raw power and has started to turn that into in-game production. Jones profiles at third base but has long faced questions whether he will stay at the position. He has plus arm strength and has worked hard to improve his glove work, infield actions and agility, especially ranging to his right. The Indians like their position players to be versatile and have started working Jones into the outfield and first base.

    THE FUTURE: Jones still needs seasoning before he reaches Cleveland. He’s closing in on the majors, and his offensive ability will get him into the lineup sooner rather than later.

  3. 3. Andres Gimenez | SS/2B
    Andres Gimenez
    Born: Sep 4, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 161
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2015.
    Signed By: Robert Espejo/Hector Rincones.

    Hitting: 50.Power: 40. Run: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50.
    TRACK RECORD: The prize of the Mets’ 2015 international signing class, Gimenez worked his way to Double-A as a 19-year-old in 2018. He didn’t blossom until after the 2019 season, when he hit .371 to win the Arizona Fall League batting title. Expanded 28- man rosters afforded Gimenez the chance to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster in 2020. He seized the opportunity and showed himself more than capable defensively and on the basepaths. The Indians acquired him after the season in the trade that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to New York.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Gimenez appeared unfazed by the big league spotlight. His strike-zone judgment was sound and he hit his first two home runs to the opposite field. Even if he never develops more than average hitting ability or power, Gimenez has the type of barrel control and speed that makes him difficult to defend. He stole eight bases in nine tries to put his double-plus wheels to good use. Gimenez has the soft hands, reflexes and plus arm of a true shortstop and the versatility to handle second base or third base. He made only one error as a rookie and ranked 10th among infielders with five outs above average, according to Statcast.

    THE FUTURE: Gimenez wrested playing time from fellow trade acquisition Amed Rosario in New York, and his defensive ability and feel for the game give him a chance to be the Indians regular shortstop in 2021.

  4. 4. Tyler Freeman | SS
    Tyler Freeman
    Born: May 21, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 2017 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Mike Bradford.

    Hitting: 60. Power: 40. Running: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

    TRACK RECORD: Freeman has been a top hitter at nearly every stop since the Indians drafted him in the supplemental second round in 2017. He led the short-season New York-Penn League in batting (.352) and slugging (.511) in 2018 and climbed to high Class A Lynchburg in 2019, where he hit .319/.354/.397 as a 20-year-old at two stops. The Indians brought him to their alternate training site in Eastlake, Ohio in 2020 with most of their other top prospects.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Freeman stands out for his excellent hitting ability and natural feel for the barrel. He has a very aggressive approach and rarely walks, but when he swings, he makes contact. Freeman got stronger during the shutdown and started showing more power over the summer. His bat speed and ability to consistently square balls up give him double-digit home run power despite his modest size. Freeman was drafted as a shortstop and has improved his hands, infield actions and instincts. He’s still an average runner with average arm strength, which limits his range and may push him to second base.

    THE FUTURE: Regardless of where he ends up defensively, Freeman’s bat will stand out. He’s likely to get his first taste of Double-A in 2021.

  5. 5. Bo Naylor | C
    Bo Naylor
    Born: Feb 21, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Mississauga, Ont., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Running: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

    TRACK RECORD: Naylor compiled a long track record of success as an amateur, especially facing premier competition with the Canadian junior national team. That helped ease his transition to pro ball after the Indians drafted him 29th overall in 2018. Naylor held his own in the low Class A Midwest League in 2019 and spent 2020 at the alternate training site. Midway through the season, the Indians acquired his older brother Josh from the Padres in the trade that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Naylor had perhaps the best offensive performance of any prospect at the alternate site. He has an advanced hit tool thanks to his smooth swing, pitch recognition and approach. His solid-average power hasn’t always played in games, but he makes consistent hard contact and has the ability to drive the ball. Naylor is an above-average runner and his athleticism plays well behind the plate. He earns high grades for pitch framing and he threw out 37% of basestealers in 2019. Naylor still has work to do to refine his defense, but he’s shown enough to quell talk of a potential move to third base, where he played a lot as an amateur.

    THE FUTURE: Naylor will be just 21 in 2021 and remains ahead of the curve. He may see Double-A during the season.

  6. 6. George Valera | OF
    George Valera
    Born: Nov 13, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 160
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba/Domingo Toribio.

    Hitting: 60. Power: 55. Running: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: The Indians made a splash internationally in 2017 and signed Valera, the fifth-ranked player in the class, for $1.3 million. He was born in New York and lived there until his family moved to the Dominican Republic when he was 13. After a broken hamate bone limited him to six games in 2018, Valera spent most of 2019 with short-season Mahoning Valley— where he was the youngest position player in the league— before a late-season promotion to low Class A Lake County. The Indians brought him to their alternate training site in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Valera has a loose, compact swing and keeps his bat in the zone for a long time. His feel for the barrel, bat-to-ball skills, pitch recognition and plate discipline all help him make consistent, hard contact and give him the kind of hitting ability the Indians covet. He has above-average raw power and gets to it in games, hitting eight home runs in 46 games as an 18-year-old in the New York-Penn League. Valera profiles as a corner outfielder with average speed and arm strength.

    THE FUTURE: Valera has proved advanced enough to handle challenging assignments. He has moved slower than anticipated between his injury and the canceled 2020 minor league season, but that could change in a hurry once 2021 begins.

  7. 7. Gabriel Arias | SS
    Gabriel Arias
    Born: Feb 27, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 201
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Luis Prieto/Yfrain Linares/Trevor Schumm (Padres).

    Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Running: 40. Fielding: 70. Arm: 70.

    TRACK RECORD: Arias was one of the top prospects in the 2016 international class and signed with the Padres for $1.9 million. He stood out defensively from the start and broke out offensively in the second half of 2019 at high Class A Lake Elsinore, finishing fourth in the California League in batting (.302). The Indians acquired him at the 2020 trade deadline in the deal that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Arias is a good athlete with a lot of raw ability. The righthanded hitter has a smooth swing, and his wiry strength and bat speed give him above-average raw power. His plate discipline is not as advanced. He improved his strikeout rate in 2019, but still whiffed in 25% of his plate appearances and his walk rate halved at the same time. Improving his pitch recognition and approach at the plate will be critical to maintain his offensive progress. Arias has few questions defensively. He has advanced infield actions, clean hands and plus-plus arm strength. Despite his below-average speed, he has plenty of range and makes all the plays.

    THE FUTURE: Arias will likely head to Double-A in 2021. He’ll need to prove his offensive breakout is sustainable outside of the Cal League.

  8. 8. Brayan Rocchio | SS
    Brayan Rocchio
    Born: Jan 13, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 150
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2017.
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 30. Running: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Aaron Bracho and George Valera were the headliners of the Indians’ 2017 international class, but Rocchio has proven a top signing as well. Signed for $125,000, Rocchio quickly moved to short-season Mahoning Valley in 2019 and held his own. He returned to Venezuela during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and was unable to return to the U.S. due to travel restrictions, but he continued playing in a makeshift league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rocchio doesn’t stand out physically but is nicknamed “The Professor” for his high baseball IQ and game awareness. A switch-hitter, he has a smooth, consistent swing from both sides of the plate and excellent pitch recognition. He’s an aggressive hitter and consistently barrels the ball. Rocchio is likely always going to hit for average over power, but as he physically matures his line drives may carry over the fence. Rocchio is a no-doubt shortstop defensively. He’s a plus runner and his hands and arm strength are good enough for the position, especially because his instincts and baseball IQ help his tools play up.

    THE FUTURE: Rocchio played his way to an accelerated track and even a lost 2020 season shouldn’t slow him much. Once he returns to the U.S., he’ll jump right back into the mix.

  9. 9. Daniel Espino | RHP
    Daniel Espino
    Born: Jan 5, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Statesboro, Ga., 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ethan Purser.

    Fastball: 70. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Curveball: 50. Control: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Espino was born in Panama before moving with his family to the U.S. when he was 15. He enrolled at Georgia Premier Academy and adopted a professional mindset that was readily apparent to the Indians after they selected him 24th overall in the 2019 draft. He became the first high school player the Indians promoted to short-season Mahoning Valley in his pro debut since Francisco Lindor in 2011, and he spent 2020 at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Espino is shorter than what most teams look for in a righthander, but his excellent athleticism, explosiveness and flexibility helps him access his lower half. The result is a plus-plus fastball that sits at 96 mph and reaches 99. Espino throws both a curveball and slider, with the slider earning better grades as a potential plus pitch. He also throws a firm changeup that needs refining but has a chance to give him a fourth at least average offering. Espino has a long arm action but typically pitches with average control. He’ll need to refine his command as he faces more advanced hitters who are less susceptible to chasing his offspeed stuff.

    THE FUTURE: Espino will be just 20 when the 2021 season begins. The Indians will likely take a cautious tack with him, but he may force their hand.

  10. 10. Ethan Hankins | RHP
    Ethan Hankins
    Born: May 23, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Gainesville, Ga., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: C.T. Bradford.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

    TRACK RECORD: Hankins was considered arguably the top high school player in the 2018 draft class before a shoulder injury cost him most of his senior season. The Indians drafted him with the final pick of the first round. After cautiously introducing him to pro ball, the Indians let him loose in 2019. He posted a 2.55 ERA in 60 innings between short-season Mahoning Valley and low Class A Lake County. He pitched at the alternate training site in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hankins has a long, lean, 6-foot-6 frame and uncommon athleticism for a pitcher his size. His fastball typically sits in the mid 90s and can run up to 97 mph with plus life. Hankins has the makings of quality secondary pitches, but they’ll need to become more consistent offerings. His slider and changeup both have the ability to be above-average offerings and he also throws a bigger curveball, though it lags behind his other pitches. Hankins controls his arsenal well, but it will be important for him to maintain his delivery as he grows into his large frame.

    THE FUTURE: Hankins’ impressive first season was a reminder of his enormous upside. He and Daniel Espino make for an impressive 1-2 punch the Indians hope will stick together all the way to the majors.

  11. 11. Aaron Bracho | 2B
    Aaron Bracho
    Born: Apr 24, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2017.
    Signed By: Hernan Albornoz/Rafael Cariel.

    Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Running: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.

    TRACK RECORD: The Indians went big on the 2017 international market and Bracho was a part of that, signing for $1.5 million out of Venezuela as a top 20 player in the class. He missed the 2018 season due to an arm injury, but made his pro debut in 2019 and hit .281/.402/.570 as he ascended to short-season Mahoning Valley. Like the rest of the Indians’ top prospects, Bracho spent 2020 at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: A switch-hitter, Bracho has a smooth, compact swing from both sides of the plate and produces good bat speed. He has an advanced approach and posted nearly as many walks (28) as strikeouts (29) in his pro debut. Listed at 5-foot-11, Bracho has more pop than his frame suggests and could end up hitting for at least average power. He hit eight home runs and slugged .570 in 38 games in his debut—big numbers for an teen middle infielder. Bracho was signed as a shortstop but has already moved to second base. His hands and range are good enough to keep him there, but he projects to be more of an offensive second baseman.

    THE FUTURE: It’s been apparent why Bracho had as much hype as he did as an amateur. Now that he’s healthy, he should be ready for his first taste of full-season ball in 2021.

  12. 12. Gabriel Rodriguez | SS
    Gabriel Rodriguez
    Born: Feb 22, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 174
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Hernan Albornoz.

    TRACK RECORD: The Indians' 2018 international signing class wasn't as big as the 2017 group that produced three of the club's Top 10 prospects, but Rodriguez gives it a true headliner. The Venezuelan was the eighth-ranked player overall in the 2018 class and had an impressive professional debut in 2019, earning a midseason promotion to the Rookie-level Arizona League. He stayed in Arizona in 2020, playing at instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Rodriguez stands out for his consistency and all-around tools. He has a short, simple swing and an advanced approach at the plate. As he physically matures, he figures to develop at least average power and he has already shown the ability to drive balls to all fields. He's still learning to get to that power potential, and part of that adjustment is learning how to take his power-packed batting practice swing into games. Rodriguez has a bigger frame and may eventually outgrow shortstop. His strong arm and instincts will allow him to stay in the infield, likely at third base, if he does need to move.

    THE FUTURE: Rodriguez is advanced enough to follow an aggressive developmental track, much like the premium players in the 2017 class. He'll be 19 when the 2021 season opens and should soon be ready for low Class A.

  13. 13. Carson Tucker | SS
    Carson Tucker
    Born: Jan 24, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Phoenix, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ryan Perry.

    TRACK RECORD: Tucker was a solid player on the showcase circuit in the summer of 2019, but he took a step forward during the offseason when he grew two inches and put on 10-15 pounds of muscle. Limited to just a few high school games due to the coronavirus pandemic, he showed enough to convince the Indians to draft him 23rd overall, bettering his older brother Cole Tucker, who went 24th overall in 2014 to the Pirates.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Tucker has solid all-around tools and stands out most for his feel for hitting and infield actions. He has a short, consistent swing and makes a lot of contact--a combination that should make him at least an average hitter. His swing is more geared to hitting line drives, but he can flash aboveaverage power and his offseason strength gains should help him get to it. He's at least a plus runner. Tucker has worked hard at his defense and has a good natural feel for the position. His actions, above-average arm and speed give him the tools to be an above-average defender.

    THE FUTURE: Tucker fits in with the growing stable of young shortstops in the organization and will make his professional debut in 2021.

  14. 14. Logan Allen | LHP
    Logan Allen
    Born: May 23, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Bradenton, Fla, 2015. (8th round).
    Signed By: Stephen Hargett (Red Sox).

    TRACK RECORD: Allen has been well traveled since the Red Sox drafted him in 2015 and signed him to an over-slot deal. He was traded that fall to the Padres as a part of the package for Craig Kimbrel and then reached San Diego in June 2019. A month later, he was traded to Cleveland as a part of the three-team deal that sent Trevor Bauer to the Reds. He spent most of 2020 at the alternate training site, but did get a couple stints in Cleveland out of the bullpen.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Allen has a strong frame and a solid four-pitch mix. His fastball velocity ticked up a bit in 2020, averaging 94 mph and regularly reaching 96. His above-average changeup and average slider are his main secondary offerings, and he also will occasionally mix in a fringe-average curveball. He can throw his full arsenal for strikes, but he still needs to refine his command to get the most out of his stuff.

    THE FUTURE: Allen's ability to pitch both in the bullpen and rotation is valuable, though he's still looking to establish himself in a role. He'll again be in the mix for a spot on the Indians' staff in 2021.

  15. 15. Emmanuel Clase | RHP
    Emmanuel Clase
    Born: Mar 18, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Chris Kemp/Emengildo Diaz (Padres).

    TRACK RECORD: Since signing with the Padres in 2015, Clase has been traded twice. He went to the Rangers in 2018 for Brett Nicholas, then to Cleveland in 2019 for Corey Kluber. In May 2020, Clase was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs. When MLB reduced the 2020 season to 60 games, it also reduced Clase's suspension to the full 2020 season.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Clase has an electric fastball that regularly reaches the upper 90s and has touched 101 mph. His slider took a step forward in 2019, becoming a more consistent pitch as he improved his arm speed when throwing it and started locating it better. The pitch is now at least an average offering and plays well with his fastball, which has excellent natural cutting action.

    THE FUTURE: Clase's suspension and the season's interruption obscured the fact that in late February he suffered a strained teres major muscle in his shoulder, which was projected to shut him down for a few months. He spent much of 2020 rehabbing in Arizona and will enter the 2021 season healthy and ready to pitch high-leverage innings.

  16. 16. Tanner Burns | RHP
    Tanner Burns
    Born: Dec 28, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: Auburn, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: C.T. Bradford.

    TRACK RECORD: Burns was the top-ranked player from the 2017 high school class to make it to college. He stepped into the rotation at Auburn and starred throughout his college career, learning alongside Casey Mize and under Tim Hudson. The Indians drafted him with the 36th overall pick in 2020, the highest they have drafted a college pitcher since Drew Pomeranz fifth overall in 2010.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Burns has solid all-around stuff and a good understanding of pitching. His fastball sits 93-94 mph and reaches 97. It's a plus pitch that plays up thanks to his ability to consistently locate it. He throws both a curveball and a slider and has worked to make them two distinct pitches. Both flash above-average potential, with his curve typically showing better. He also throws a changeup with good sinking action, though he didn't need it much in college. Burns earns praise for his dedication, makeup and desire to learn.

    THE FUTURE: There is a lot to like between Burns' stuff, aptitude and the Indians' track record of success developing college pitchers. He could move quickly in 2021.

  17. 17. Joey Cantillo | LHP
    Joey Cantillo
    Born: Dec 18, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Kailua, Hawaii, 2017 (16th round).
    Signed By: Justin Baughman (Padres).

    TRACK RECORD: Cantillo drew limited draft interest after sitting in the mid 80s in high school, but the Padres were intrigued when he touched 91 mph in a pre-draft workout. They selected him in the 16th round and went well over slot to sign him away from his Kentucky commitment. Cantillo broke out in 2019 and led the Padres organization in strikeouts (144). He was traded to Cleveland at the 2020 trade deadline as a part of the return for Mike Clevinger.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Cantillo has a projectable frame and has already seen his velocity tick up as he's physically matured, with more still potentially to come. He throws his fastball in the upper 80s and the high-spin rate he gets on the pitch helps it play better than its velocity. His changeup is a plus pitch and has the ability to miss bats. His curveball lags behind his other two offerings, but with added power could become an average pitch. He throws a lot of strikes and has a good understanding of how to attack hitters.

    THE FUTURE: Cantillo offers solid upside as a three-pitch starter if he grows into more velocity and refines his curveball. He may be ready for Double-A in 2021.

  18. 18. Carlos Vargas | RHP
    Carlos Vargas
    Born: Oct 13, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Rafael Espinal.

    TRACK RECORD: Vargas was the Indians' top signing in the 2016 international class, signing for $275,000. Though he wasn't a high-profile prospect at the time, the Indians landed a premium arm. Even though he has yet to advance past short-season, the Indians were impressed enough with his progress to add him to the 40-man roster in November.

    SCOUTING REPORT: When he signed as a 17-year-old in 2016, Vargas had an ultra-projectable frame and was already throwing 93 mph. His velocity has ticked up as expected and his fastball now reaches 100 mph and sits in the upper 90s. His slider sits around 90 mph and is a plus pitch at its best. His changeup can be an average pitch and gives him a viable third offering. He improved his strike-throwing in 2019, cutting his walk rate considerably. He still needs to refine his command and learn how to get the most out of his electric stuff.

    THE FUTURE: Vargas has considerable upside and has given plenty of reason for optimism at the outset of his career. He'll get his first taste of A ball in 2021.

  19. 19. Owen Miller | SS
    Owen Miller
    Born: Nov 15, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Illinois State, 2018 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Troy Hoerner (Padres).

    TRACK RECORD: Miller was a standout from the beginning at Illinois State, starting every game in his career and hitting .345 over three seasons. After an impressive professional debut, he spent 2019 in Double-A and led the Texas League with 147 hits. He was traded to the Indians in August as a part of the package for Mike Clevinger and spent the rest of the season at the alternate training site before finishing the year at instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Miller's standout tools are his hittability and defensive versatility. He has a balanced swing, consistently squares balls up and uses the whole field to hit. His swing is geared toward making contact, but he can drive the ball, especially to the pull side, and has fringe-average power. Miller is a consistent, reliable defender whose tools play up thanks to his feel for the game. He's mostly played shortstop, but he has experience all around the infield. His fringe-average arm and average range may ultimately push him to second base.

    THE FUTURE: Miller's tools don't measure up to some of the other infielders in the system, but he's a better player than the sum of his parts. His feel for hitting and defensive versatility are a valuable combination.

  20. 20. Scott Moss | LHP
    Scott Moss
    Born: Oct 6, 1994
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Florida, 2016 (4th round).
    Signed By: Greg Zunino (Reds).

    TRACK RECORD: Tommy John surgery sidelined Moss for his first two seasons at Florida but he broke out with a dominant start in the 2016 Southeastern Conference tournament, and the Reds drafted him in the fourth round. He's shown solid stuff in pro ball, and was included in the trade that sent Trevor Bauer to the Reds. He got to Triple-A after the trade and spent 2020 at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Moss has a big, strong frame and since getting into pro ball has proved to be dependable, throwing more than 130 innings from 2017-19. His fastball sits in the low 90s, gets up to 94 mph, and is capable of producing swings and misses. He combines it with a slider that can be plus and a changeup that makes for a quality third option. Moss pitched with average control early in his career but saw his walk rate balloon in 2019. The Indians have worked with him to get back to throwing more strikes since he joined the organization, but it's unlikely he'll ever have better than average command.

    THE FUTURE: Moss did not make his major league debut in 2020, but, given the circumstances of the season, only so much can be taken from that. He'll likely return to Triple-A and figures to be in the mix for a spot in the big leagues in 2021.

  21. 21. Logan Allen | LHP
    Logan Allen
    Born: Sep 5, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Florida International, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba.

    TRACK RECORD: Allen was the 2017 Florida Gatorade Player of the Year, then impressed at Florida International and for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team. The Indians drafted him in the second round in 2020, completing the pair of lefthanded Logan Allens from Florida after trading for Logan S. Allen a year prior.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Allen stands out for his feel and competitiveness on the mound, with the knocks on him long being his size and lack of a big arm. His fastball velocity ticked up during the brief 2020 college season, averaging 90 mph and touching 95, up from averaging 89 and touching 93. The pitch plays up thanks to some deception in his delivery and his ability to locate it. His best pitch is his changeup, which is a plus offering and a weapon he can use against both lefthanders and righthanders. He started exclusively throwing a slider in the fall of 2019 and it has the potential to be average. His control was among the best in the draft class and he's a good athlete. A two-way player at FIU, there is some hope that his stuff could improve now that he's solely focused on pitching.

    THE FUTURE: After nothing but success as an amateur, Allen will have to prove himself in pro ball. He'll begin that journey in 2021 and is advanced enough to handle an assignment to high Class A.

  22. 22. Bobby Bradley | 1B
    Bobby Bradley
    Born: May 29, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Gulfport, Miss., 2014 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Mike Bradford.

    TRACK RECORD: Bradley has been one of the most productive players in the system since being drafted in 2014, and in 2019 he made his major league debut. He hit at every level along the way to Cleveland, including hitting a career-high 33 home runs in 107 games at Triple-A in 2019. He did not appear in a game for the Indians in 2020 and spent the summer at the alternate training site.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Bradley's raw power is the best in the system, and he has shown he is adept at getting to it in games. He has a strong, physical frame and creates excellent bat speed that allows him to drive the ball out to all fields. That power comes with a lot of swing and miss, and in Triple-A he struck out in a third of his plate appearances. Bradley is a well below-average runner with an average arm, limiting him to first base.

    THE FUTURE: To get a true feel for what he can become, Bradley needs an extended run in the big leagues. The Indians have several more experienced options for first base and DH and breaking through that group won't be easy. Bradley is still just 24 but it feels like 2021 will be a crucial season for him.

  23. 23. Sam Hentges | LHP
    Sam Hentges
    Born: Jul 18, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 245
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Arden Hills, Minn., 2014 (4th round).
    Signed By: Les Pajari.

    TRACK RECORD: Hentges didn't pitch much until he was a junior in high school and was one of the youngest players in the 2014 draft class. He had Tommy John surgery in 2016, but had a breakout 2018 in high Class A. That breakout slowed in Double-A Akron in 2019, though he improved as the season went on and was added to the 40-man roster. He pitched well at the alternate training site in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Hentges has a big, physical frame that he has grown into since signing and he has the powerful fastball to match. His fastball averages about 93 mph and he can run it into the upper 90s. He overpowered hitters with it early in his career and now is learning to rely more on his secondary stuff. His three offspeed offerings have potential--his curveball flashes plus, his changeup has promise and his cutter gives him another option. Like many big, young pitchers, Hentges needs to improve his control and take better advantage of his height to pitch down in the zone. His arm action can be long, hurting his ability to repeat his delivery.

    THE FUTURE: Hentges is a 6-foot-8 lefthander with a big arm who is still just 24. He needs to refine some of the finer parts of his game, but the potential is still easy to see.

  24. 24. Ernie Clement | SS
    Ernie Clement
    Born: Mar 22, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: Virginia, 2017 (4th round).
    Signed By: Bob Mayer.

    TRACK RECORD: Clement's success at Virginia translated well to the professional ranks and he raced to Double-A Akron in 2018, his first full professional season. A right abductor strain slowed him in 2019, but he still played well enough to finish the season with Triple-A. He spent 2020 at the alternate training site and then instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Clement embodies the saying, "Good things happen when you put the ball in play." He has an aggressive approach and an uncanny knack for putting the bat on the ball. He has minimal power and instead sprays the ball all over the field and takes advantage of his plus speed to get on base. Clement has above-average instincts defensively and good hands. The biggest concern about his ability to stay at shortstop is his arm strength, which is fringy for the position. His versatility allows him to play anywhere on the infield and he also has experience as a center fielder.

    THE FUTURE: The Indians have toolsier shortstops than Clement, but he's proven to be capable of playing the position. He's fast approaching the major leagues and could debut in 2021 in a variety of roles.

  25. 25. Josh Wolf | RHP
    Josh Wolf
    Born: Sep 1, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Houston, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Harry Shelton.

    Fastball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 50.
    TRACK RECORD: Wolf blossomed as a high school senior in 2019 by showing a dramatic uptick in velocity and continuing to throw strikes at his newfound speed. The Mets drafted him in the second round that year and signed him for $2.15 million, nearly $800,000 over slot for the 53rd pick. Wolf made his pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2019, but had to work remotely until instructional league in 2020 after not being brought to the Mets’ alternate training site. The Indians acquired him after the season as one of four players for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Wolf has a chance to develop three average to above pitches with above-average control. Multiple scouts have likened his body type and athleticism to Walker Buehler when he was in high school. Wolf ranges from 91-96 mph with his fastball and throws strikes. He has potential to pitch in the mid 90s as he matures, with untapped physicality in his lean 6-foot-3 frame. Wolf shows an advanced feel for spin. He calls his breaking ball a curveball but its shape and late, abrupt break at 78-81 mph are more indicative of a slider or slurve. Given his ease of operation, Wolf should be able to pick up a usable changeup and continue throwing strikes.

    THE FUTURE: It will take time, but Wolf has mid-rotation upside and could blossom with a season of regular work. He should get his first taste of full-season ball in 2021.

  26. 26. Isaiah Greene | OF
    Isaiah Greene
    Born: Aug 29, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Corona, Calif., 2020 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Glenn Walker.

    TRACK RECORD: Greene first popped the summer after his junior year when he hit well versus USA Baseball's 18U National Team in scrimmages as a member of a scout team. He started slowly as a senior at Corona (Calif.) High in 2020 before the season shut down, but he showed enough previously for the Mets to draft him 69th overall with the supplemental second-round pick they received as compensation for losing free agent Zack Wheeler to the Phillies. Greene signed for an underslot $850,000 to pass up a Missouri commitment and made his organizational debut in instructional league. The Indians acquired him after the season as one of four players for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Greene showed the most advanced hitting approach among the Mets' young players at instructional league. He didn't blink at seeing pro velocity for the first time, hitting 13-for-28 (.464) with 11 walks and seven strikeouts. Greene stands out for his smooth lefthanded stroke, athletic build and frame that can support strength gains. His short, simple swing produces line drives and could translate to plus hitting ability. As he fills out, he should develop more power and could get to above-average if he learns to lift the ball. Greene is an average, effortless runner. His instincts in center field require fine-tuning, and unless he catches up to the speed of the game there, he probably settles in left field with a below-average arm.

    THE FUTURE: Greene plays with a quiet confidence that can be construed as lack of effort. If everything clicks, he could develop into a hit-over-power left fielder, a la fellow former Southern California prep Garret Anderson.

  27. 27. Lenny Torres | RHP
    Lenny Torres
    Born: Oct 15, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Beacon, N.Y., 2018 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.

    TRACK RECORD: Torres didn't pitch much growing up but quickly showed big upside on the mound after starting to focus on it late in his high school career. He made a smooth transition to pro ball and in 2018 excelled in the Rookie-level Arizona League. His progress was slowed in 2019, however, when he had Tommy John surgery in May and missed the whole season. He spent 2020 at the Indians' complex in Arizona and was back to full health in time for instructional league.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Torres doesn't have a big frame at a listed 6-foot-1, but he has a quick arm and can run his fastball up to 97 mph. The pitch typically sits 94 and he pairs it with a slider that has plus potential. He is working to implement a changeup, which at its best has hard downer action. His control is also an area of focus, though he surprised with his strike-throwing ability during his professional debut.

    THE FUTURE: Before the draft, Torres faced lots of questions about whether he could be a starter in pro ball because of his size and lack of a third pitch. His injury raised those concerns again, but the Indians are optimistic he'll be able to take the necessary steps in his development. He'll be ready for Class A in 2021.

  28. 28. Yordys Valdes | SS
    Yordys Valdes
    Born: Aug 16, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Hollywood, Fla., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba.

    TRACK RECORD: Valdes was born in Cuba, where his father played in the Serie Nacional, and moved with his family to Florida when he was 12. Though he was young for the 2019 draft class, he was one of the best prep defenders in the nation. He played at instructional league in 2020.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Valdes had a glove-over-bat profile as an amateur and that has continued to be the case since entering the Indians' system. The natural righthanded hitter began switch-hitting when he got to America and almost all of his high school plate appearances came from the left side. He's made strides as a lefthanded hitter but he's still clearly better from the right side. He has a wiry frame and should be able to add more impact offensively as he physically matures. Valdes shines defensively. He has a plus arm, can make all the throws from shortstop and gets rid of the ball quickly. He's an average runner, but that plays up on the bases and in the field thanks to his quickness and instincts.

    THE FUTURE: The Indians have a bevy of exciting shortstops, especially in the lower levels of the system, and Valdes fits right in with the group.

  29. 29. Angel Martinez | SS
    Angel Martinez
    Born: Jan 27, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 165
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba.

    TRACK RECORD: Martinez is the son of former big league catcher Sandy Martinez, who now is the Nationals' Dominican Summer League manager, and his older brother Sandy Martinez Jr. is a prospect in the D-backs system. As a result, Angel grew up around the diamond and has an advanced understanding of the game. He made his professional debut in 2019 in the DSL and impressed as a 17-year-old. He came to the Indians' complex in Arizona for instructional league in 2020

    SCOUTING REPORT: Martinez isn't the most toolsy of the Indians' lower-level infielders, but his baseball IQ and maturity make all his tools play up. The switch-hitter has a simple swing from both sides and can drive the ball to all fields. He has advanced plate discipline and walked as much as he struck out in the DSL--a rarity--and has good physicality that plays as doubles power. Martinez is an average runner, but still covers a lot of ground thanks to his instincts and makes sound decisions defensively. That, as well as his plus arm, gives him a chance to stay at shortstop.

    THE FUTURE: Martinez could make a jump in 2021 as he makes his U.S. debut.

  30. 30. Yu Chang | 3B/SS
    Yu Chang
    Born: Aug 18, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Taiwan, 2013.
    Signed By: Jason Lynn.

    TRACK RECORD: Chang was a prominent prep player in Taiwan and was one of the top amateur free agents to sign out of Asia in 2013. His prospect profile rose as his power developed in the minor leagues, especially upon reaching the upper levels. He made his major league debut in June 2019 and has seen action in each of the last two years.

    SCOUTING REPORT: Chang has solid all-around offensive tools and while his 24 home runs in 2017 now look more aberrational, he still has continued to produce. He is a patient hitter, but his willingness to work deep in counts leads to an elevated strikeout rate. Though Chang may not pass the eye test at shortstop, he can make all the plays at the position and is an average defender with average or better speed and arm strength. He's capable of playing anywhere on the infield--which he did in Cleveland in 2020--and has seen the majority of his big-league action at third base.

    THE FUTURE: Chang is 25 and the Indians have waves of dynamic infielders closing in on the big leagues. If he is to seize an everyday role, 2021 is a critical season for him.

View Players 11-30

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  

Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining