Winter leagues update for Indians prospects

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A number of Cleveland Indians prospects are playing in various offseason leagues around the globe. Here's a look at their performances so far...


The Indians have a number of prospects playing baseball in offseason leagues in places ranging from Arizona to Australia. There's no Francisco Lindor or Clint Frazier, but there are a number of players likely to land in the top 10 on Indians prospect lists released later this winter. Here is a look at the numbers from each Tribe prospect who's had significant playing time thus far:

Pitchers (min. 10 IP):

Shawn Armstrong (Arizona) - The 23-year-old right-hander has a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings so far, spread over 9 relief appearances. He's struck out 15 already, but has also walked 9. He spent most of 2013 in Double-A Akron, and walks were also an issue for him there. His best pitch is a slider, and he'll likely land in the top 20 of Tribe prospect lists this offseason.

Paolo Espino (Venezuela) - The 26-year-old right-hander has an unsightly 6.75 ERA in 24 innings so far (6 starts), in large part because he's given up 5 home runs already. He's struck out 31 though, against just 8 walks, so he's at least somewhat intriguing. Espino split time between Akron and Triple-A Columbus this year, and finished the year on a strong run, with 38 strikeouts and only 3 walks over his final 5 starts. He's technically a minor league free agent now, so it remains to be seen if he's in Cleveland's system in 2014 or not.

Bryan Price (Venezuela) - The 26-year-old right-hander has a 2.63 ERA in 13.1 innings so far. He's made 1 start and 10 relief appearances, and has struck out 13 while walking 3 (and also hitting 2 batters). He's also picked up 3 saves, for what that's worth. He spent most of 2013 in Columbus, where he posted great strikeout (11.4 per 9) and walk (1.8 per 9) rates. He's a bit old as prospects go, but perhaps he'll be a bullpen option for the Indians eventually.

Will Roberts (Arizona) - The 23-year-old right-hander has a 7.71 ERA in 23.1 innings over 6 starts. He's struck out only 14, while walking 6. He's also allowed 6 home runs. Roberts was the Tribe's 5th round pick in 2011, and spent much of 2013 in Akron, but has never posted strong strikeouts numbers, and unless he develops something he hasn't shown yet, he does not seem like a serious prospect.

Position Players (min 30 PA):

Jesus Aguilar (Venezuela) - The 23-year-old right-handed first baseman has a .350/.405/.630 line in 100 AB and leads the Venezuelan League with 8 home run and 63 total bases. He posted solid (though not spectacular) numbers with Akron this season and will likely land among the top ten on Tribe prospect lists this winter, with perhaps the best power of any prospect in the system. Keep an eye on him.

Erik Gonzalez (Dominican) - The 22-year-old third baseman (mostly) had a .354/.373/.446 line in 65 AB. That batting average ranks 4th in the Dominican League. He spent most of 2013 (which was the best year of his modest professional career so far) with High-A Carolina, where he posted modest power (9 HR in 355 AB).

Tyler Naquin (Arizona) - The 22-year-old outfielder has a .353/.414/.422 line in 102 AB. That batting average ranks 5th in the AFL, the OBP ranks 10th, and he leads the league with 36 hits. He's also 4 of 5 on stolen base attempts. It would be nice to see a bit more power, but it's still very solid production overall. Naquin spent most of 2013 with High-A Carolina and will rank among the top ten on Tribe prospect lists.

Jose Ramirez (Dominican) - The 21-year-old shortstop has a .284/.314/.403 line in 67 AB. Included in his 19 hits are 6 doubles and a triple. Ramirez spent most of 2013 in Akron, where he showed little power, but drew a decent number of walks and stole 38 bases. He was also a September call-up for the Indians, starting one game and serving mostly as a pinch runner. He'll be in the top ten on many Tribe prospect lists this winter.

Joe Wendle (Arizona) - The 23-year-old second baseman has a .283/.344/.472 line in 53 AB. He's got 6 extra-base hits so far, a solid total. Wendle was the team's 6th round pick in 2012 and he spent his first full season in professional ball with Carolina, where he had a strong line of .295/.373/.513, leading the Mudcats in doubles (32), home runs (16), and OPS (.885). Wendle could shoot all the way into the top ten of Tribe prospect lists this offseason.

Tony Wolters (Arizona) - The 21-year-old transitioned from the middle infield to catching in 2013, and has a line of .200/.353/.225 in 40 AB. Those are ugly numbers, but he has drawn 8 walks already, which is good. Wolters' 2013 (spent at Carolina) was largely about the defensive adjustments he had to make, but he showed an improved eye at the plate, and will land in the top 20 of Tribe prospect lists.

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