We are in that season where prospect lists are coming out, so for what it's worth, here's mine. A fair amount of thought and deliberation of the numbers has gone into this, most of which I'm going to leave out there. As most of you know I spend way too much time looking at the Indians minor league box scores, but I would love feedback on this list.
1. Matt Laporta - Huff and Santana probably had better 2008 seasons, but both had significant questions about 2007, which Laporta didn't. I still think he's a real deal power prospect, although I'm increasingly trying to not be nervous about that.
2. David Huff - His 2008 was absolutely stellar. I don't buy this "he's only a #3 guy", nor do i know what that means.
3. Carlos Santana - If his 2008 was legit and he sticks at catcher, he's the best prospect we have.
Could-be excellent prospects:
4. Nick Weglarz - I think Wegz is going to be a stud, so he's just a breakout away from being an excellent prospect.
5. Adam Miller - If he stays healthy, he's a stud.
6. Beau Mills - I just have this really good feeling about what Mills is going to do in 2009....
7. Hector Rondon - I like him. I'll be interested to see how he handles the promotion to Akron.
8. Michael Brantley - I've gone back and forth on Brantley, but I think i've settled on being a big fan. He seems like a guy who will do a lot of good things.
9. Carlos Rivero - Bigger, badder (and just slightly older), Peralta v2.0
(this is a big group of guys who might turn into really good players...)
Good, but with questions
10. Scott Lewis - can he throw all strikes, give up tons of fly balls, and still avoid HRs (also our pitcher who probably benefits the most from having Gutz and Grady in the OF)
11. Lonnie Chisenhall - put together a great rookie campaign, but still way too far away to know what he is (really hope they keep him at SS)
12. Kelvin De La Cruz - needs to show his talents above the low-A level
13/14/15. Jeff Stevens, Jon Meloan, Tony Sipp - order these three however you like. They're all rack up Ks and are pretty decent at avoiding BBs and HRs. They're also all ready to see if they are more Jensen Lewis/Raffy Perez, or more Mujica/Mastny.
Potential Useful parts:
16: Wes Hodges - Hodges is good, not great. He's got two more advancements to make to show he can maintain his "good" performance against tougher competition. If he can, I think he could be a 3B version of Garko for a few years (pre-arb starter w/average performance).
17/18. Wyatt Toregas/Chris Gimenez - If they both stick at catcher, one will be our 3rd catcher. Gimenez has an interesting bat and defensive versatility
19. Josh Rodriguez - possible utility infielder with some offensive skills
20. Trevor Crowe - 4th outfielder with decent on-base skills and speed...I wouldn't be surprised if he spends a considerable amount of time in Cleveland this season and/or next
Jeanmar Gomez - should be on this list in the 15-20 range given his age/level. Hasn't quite put together the performance numbers yet.
Joey Mahalic - i think a legit sleeper. Put up Aaron Laffey like numbers in Lake County as a 19-year old last year.
John Gaub - sleeper relief guy. led the Indians system in K% last season (37%!)
Josh Tomlin/Jonathan Holt - older minor league relievers, but put up 6.6 and 8.9 K/BB, respectively (top two in the organization)
Cord Phelps, Tim Fedroff, Eric Berger - 2008 draftees that had good, if brief, debuts, and don't get the top pick bump like the Chisl. Need at least 2009 to get a grasp on them.
Abner Abrea/Kelvin Diaz - mythical dominicans rule
Niuman Romero - sleeper utility infielder candidate
Chris Archer/Ryan Morris - two more interesting 2008 Lake County starters
What's everyone think?