Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (29) | 2011 (7) | 2010 (3) | 2009 (7) | 2008 (19)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB:  [68-94] AL Central
AAA:  [75-69] International League — Columbus
AA:  [82-59] Eastern League — Akron
A+:  [63-77] Carolina League — Carolina
A:  [71-68] Midwest League — Lake County
A(ss):  [30-45] New York-Penn League — Mahoning Valley

Arizona Fall League PlayersScottsdale Scorpions
Shawn Armstrong (RHP); Trey Haley (RHP); T.J. House (LHP); Matt Packer (LHP); Alex Monsalve (C); Ronnie Rodriguez (SS); Tyler Holt (OF); Carlos Moncrief (OF)

Graduated Prospects of Note
Zach McAllister (RHP), Nick Hagadone (LHP)

The Run Down
If you’re here looking for soon-to-be-fantasy-relevant guys, I’m sorry.  Cleveland cannot help in this regard.  Take solace in the fact that this system graduated (or traded) a wave of useful fantasy talent just two seasons ago in 2011.  What’s left of the Indians’ farm — what’s worth noting, at least — is young and raw and risky.  Youthful systems are volatile.  I don’t care how many 17-year-old five-tool shortstops you sign out of Latin America, some of them are gonna bust.  Maybe all of ’em.  And that’s precisely what we’ve got here:  an iffy group of youngsters.  Good thing Terry Francona signed on for four years in Cleveland, because there’s no immediate help on the way — at least, not from the minors.   

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Francisco Lindor, SS:
  So, my “run down” may have failed to mention that the Indians have a top-ten overall prospect.  Sincerest apologies.  Anyway, Lindor is awesome:  a pure shortstop with outstanding athleticism and makeup.  He hit .257/.352/.355 in his first year of full-season ball at Low-A Lake County, which isn’t quite spectacular, but consider that he’s just 18 years old and also that scouting reports from all parties are glowing, and the outlook brightens up considerably.  Lindor projects to go 15/30, but he has a chance to blossom into a 20/20 type as he matures.  ETA:  2015

2.  Dorssys Paulino, SS:  In his first year of pro ball, Paulino hit .333/.380/.558 in 250 PA between rookie-ball and short-season A.  The 17-year-old has impressed at the plate, but few believe he’ll be able to stick at shortstop defensively.  Shouldn’t be a problem for the Indians, though.  The dude above him on this list will fill that role nicely.  ETA:  2016

3.  Tyler Naquin, OF:  The Indians drafted Naquin 15th overall back in June, and many thought they were reaching.  In reality, they were probably just saving some dough, but that doesn’t mean Naquin isn’t good.  The 21-year-old out of Texas A&M was regarded as one of the best hitters in college baseball, and he looked the part in his pro debut:  .270/.279/.380 through 161 PA in the New York-Penn League.  The concern is whether or not he can fit in defensively in the bigs.  Hitting ability typically shines through, though.  I’m confident that the Indians will find a spot for Naquin’s bat when the time comes.  ETA:  Late 2014

4.  Luigi Rodriguez, OF:  Rodriguez hit .268/.338/.406 in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, stealing 24 bags and collecting 11 homers on the year.  The 19-year-old is physically raw, but he handles the bat well and he projects to be great in center.  ETA:  2015

5.  Tony Wolters, SS/2B:  Wolters transitioned from SS to 2B in 2012 at High-A, spending roughly half his time on the right side of the infield.  Projecting to post nice marks in both AVG and OBP, the 20-year-old could find himself at the top of Cleveland’s lineup once he surfaces.  ETA:  Late 2014

6.  Jesus Aguilar, 1B:  At 6-3, 255, Aguilar is a big boy and he can certainly hit, but he is limited defensively.  The 22-year-old posted a .833 OPS in 514 PA between High-A and Double-A.  The Tribe will surely make room for him if he continues to hit.  ETA:  2014

7.  Mitch Brown, RHP:  A pitcher! Brown was Cleveland’s 2nd-round selection this past June, and the 18-year-old was impressive in his pro debut:  3.58 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 8.5 K/9 in 27.2 IP.  At 6-1, 195, he’s not your prototype ace, but he’s praised for his makeup and for his repertoire, which features a mid-90s FB, a plus curve, and a solid changeup.  ETA:  2016

8. Dillon Howard, RHP:  Another high school arm taken in the 2nd round (2011), Howard has a big frame (6-4, 210) and brings outstanding fastball offerings.  The downside here is his secondary stuff, which requires significant refinement. But at just 20 years old, there’s ample time for that.  ETA:  2016

9.  Ronny Rodriguez, SS:  Rodriguez spent the year in High-A, where he hit .264/.300/.452.  Scouting reports have always been positive on this 20-year-old, five-tool shortstop, but the Indians were certainly hoping that his ability at the plate would have come a bit further by now.  ETA:  Late 2014

10.  Austin Adams, RHP:  Adams missed all of 2012 to injury, but prior to being shelved, he was impressive at big league camp and was on the verge of breaking through.  Although he’s undersized, he generates upper-90s velocity and could certainly find himself in a high-leverage relief role before long.  ETA:  2014

  1. YourMomsBoyfriend says:

    Keep hearing that Paulino is a future 3B. Meaning that he’s probably going to be starting in 2015 with Lindor for a pretty dynamite left side of the infield in Cleveland.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      @YourMomsBoyfriend, Yea, it’d be nice if the Indians were aggressive with Paulino this next year & got him on track for a 2015 arrival — and yes, 3B seems to be a likely landing spot for him. Could be a lot of excitement around the Tribe if a few of these guys pan out.

  2. If only Omar Minaya was running the Nationals and willing to trade 3 top prospects for Chris Perez…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      @Rudy Gamble, Ha! Good ol’ Omar…

      • Grey

        Grey says:

        Omar comin’ yo!

  3. Seth says:

    I wonder where Paulino will end up defensively. Kipnis and Chisenhall seem to be the future at 2B and 3B and of course Lindor at SS.

    I would probably have Ronny Rodriguez a bit higher. He actually had a pretty nice year for his age as a SS at A+. He needs to walk more but with solid D at SS and pop he has some potential. There are some similarities to Asdrubal Cabrera minus the switch hitting.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      @Seth, I dunno that Chisenhall has necessarily solidified his spot as Cleveland’s 3B of the future, but assuming he’s at third & Kipnis at second, Paulino will either move to 1B or to a corner outfield post… perhaps he’ll do both.

      Fair point on Rodriguez — he is just 20 y.o. But I worry about his bat as he reaches the upper levels.

  4. Vacation says:

    Scott, give me your projected stats for Profar in 2013.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      @Vacation, Profar’s 2013 opportunity isn’t so clear just yet, but for projection purposes, let’s assume he gets 400 PA… 250/300/400, 8 HR, 15 SB.

      Obviously he’s gifted enough to break out & blow that projection away, but I don’t see Profar putting up 20/20 type numbers in his rookie campaign. Look for much bigger production from him in years 2, 3, 4 & so on.

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