BA League Rankings: Naquin #16 in NYPL, Lindor #3 in Midwest

One Cleveland prospect apiece made Baseball America's league rankings in the New York-Penn League and the Midwest League.

The Indians' last two first round picks made the top 20 prospects in their respective leagues.

New York-Penn League

This league usually sports college draft picks from that year's drafts, along with promotions from the AZL or Dominican Summer League. Because the signing deadline this year was much sooner than in previous years, many of the top selections got a couple months' worth of minor-league games under their belts, and Cleveland's first round pick was no exception.

#16 Tyler Naquin (21 Years Old)

How Acquired: 2012 Draft, 1st Round ($2.25M Bonus)

Naquin played right field in college, but if he's going to make it at the major-league level, he's going to have to play center field, as he doesn't project to have that much home run power. He made the transition to center relatively well in Mahoning Valley, but missed a large chunk of August with a back injury. He did return in time to play with Lake County in the playoffs, and he'll likely return to Eastlake to begin 2013. Naquin's professional debut was underwhelming, though thanks to the injury he only appeared in 36 games.

Naquin's offensive strength is his line drive stroke, which could play as a center fielder, but as with all college picks, the clock is already ticking. For reference, Michael Brantley played in AA in his Age 21 season, and made it to the majors in his Age 22 season.

Because the Indians didn't draft many college players with in the first 10 rounds, there weren't that many prospects in Mahoning Valley this season. Luis DeJesus, who was drafted in the 11th round in the 2011 draft, had a good season with the Scrappers, and could turn into a viable starter prospect. Dorssys Paulino made a stop in Mahoning Valley towards the end of the season, but played most of 2012 in Arizona. Joseph Wendle had the best hitting line; the 6th round selection in 2012 hit .327/.375/.469, but he's already 22 and profiles more as a utility guy. He split his time between second and third this season.


Midwest League

The Captains probably had the highest concentration of prospects in the organization, starting of course with Francisco Lindor.

#3 Francisco Lindor (18 Years Old)

How Acquired: 2011 Draft, 1st Round ($2.9M Bonus)

What gets everyone excited about Lindor is his defense, but he also wasn't overwhelmed at the plate, either. At age 18, Lindor was one of the youngest players in the Midwest League, and started to wear down at the plate in the second half of the season. But there's still plenty of upside on the offensive side, and his defense has gotten raves from just about anyone who's seen him. He's likely to rank in the top 20-25 in most prospect lists this winter.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 17 Mahoning Valley NYPL A- CLE 5 20 4 6 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 5 .316 .350 .316 .666
2012 18 Lake County MIDW A CLE 122 568 83 126 24 3 6 42 27 12 61 78 .257 .352 .355 .707
2 Seasons 127 588 87 132 24 3 6 44 28 12 62 83 .259 .352 .354 .705
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/11/2012.

No other Indian made the list, but there's 16 teams in the Midwest League. The Indians were very strong up the middle in Lake County, with three legitimate prospects: Lindor at short, Jose Ramirez at second, and Luigi Rodriguez in center. In the rotation, Elvis Araujo and Felix Sterling probably have the biggest upside, but neither performed very well in 2012.

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