|2010||Top Prospects||4||Position Players|
|1||The Injured||5||Pitchers 1|
|2||Fringe Position Players||5.5||Pitchers 2|
|3||Fringe Pitchers||6||Santana & Recap|
Finally, after going through a few preliminary exercises, we begin the real prospect list. These are offensive position players who are real prospects - guys who look like they should be parts of the Indians future. I intentionally say 'parts' because not all of these guys look like they might be stars, but they all look like they should (or could) play a role in Cleveland. So without further ado (as before, ages are as of 7/1/09)...
Michael Brantley (22.1, MLB) - I talked about this before, but there is reason to suspect Brantley very stealthily put up his best season. I continue to expect Brantley to begin 2010 in Cleveland because of the maturity the front office and coaching staff sees in him. He brings speed and superior contact ability and an awful lot of potential development with him if that is the case.
Matt LaPorta (24.5, MLB) - LaPorta also had a strong year. It would be nice to see him add some steady power to Cleveland in 2010 and beyond.
Nick Weglarz (21.5, AA) - I think we all hope/think that Weglarz has another level he is capable of, that sometime soon he is going to break out as one of the best power prospects in baseball with 40 HR potential. After a disappointing, injury and Olympic disrupted 2008, Weglarz had something of a bounce back season. His overall line was brought down by not likely to be repeated .249 BABIP, but his peripheral numbers were still solid across the board. But the breakout is still waiting...
Lonnie Chisenhall (20.7, AA)
A lot of people questioned the selection of Chisenhall in the 2008 draft. Not many are now. Chisenhall emerged this past season as one of the top corner infield prospects in the game. Scouts love his stroke, quants like his numbers. I would love to see him turn into a premier corner defender, but that might be asking too much. For now we can enjoy him making the transition from short-season ball to Akron successfully in a single season.
Carlos Rivero (21.1, AA) - There is a lot to like about Rivero. He's only a few months older than Chisenhall, has managed to stay at SS, and has a full season of AA under his belt. But he has yet to put together a really satisfying season. He also has the disturbing trend of underperforming what he "should have" done for three consecutive seasons. The last two years he has particularly struggled against RHP. These are things it would be nice to see change in 2010.
Lou Marson (23.0, MLB) - Did you know Marson is six years younger than Kelly Shoppach? I didn't. Marson struggled after coming over from Philadelphia last season, but he was coming off more than 2.5 years with an OBP over .370. Marson is not going to hit for much (if any) power, but if he can hit .300/.365/.385 in Cleveland while providing good plate skills, that is plenty valuable. And again, he was only 23 this season.
Wyatt Toregas (26.0, MLB) - OK, so Wyatt Toregas is never going to make an All-Star team. But he is a backup major league catcher now. And he costs the league minimum. There is a lot of value in that. How good of a backup Toregas is depends on how well his bat adjusts to the big league level. His minor league track record has been inconsistent, but has shown a fair amount of power when he adjusts to a given level. The Marson-Toregas combination should be a pretty good defensive backstop pairing as well.
Up Next: Interesting pitching prospects