Richard Palacios Continues To Hit
When the Indians drafted Richard Palacios in the third round out of Towson in 2018, they knew they were getting a hitter.
In his pro debut that summer, the second baseman hit his way to Low-A for 20 games. All told, Palacios batted .361/.421/.538 with six home runs and seven stolen bases in 45 games.
Palacios can hit. The question is, where does he fit? The Indians are still working that part out. But when a player’s No. 1 tool is his bat, teams will find a spot for him.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound lefthanded hitter began this season at Double-A Akron, where he hit .299/.389/.496 with six homers in 66 games. That earned him a promotion to Triple-A Columbus on July 31.
“Richie has excelled this season thanks to his ability to consistently make contact and swing at good pitches,” Indians vice president of player development James Harris said. “He is an advanced hitter and has had success at every level.”
The 24-year-old Palacios is primarily a second baseman but also plays all three outfield spots. Versatility and flexibility are valued traits in the organization.
Regardless of position or minor league level, Palacios has always hit. Not even a two-year interruption could set him back. He missed all of the 2019 season after having right shoulder surgery, and the pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season.
The long layoff hasn’t hurt Palacios’ swing. Whether his future is at second base, in the outfield, or in a utility role remains to be seen, but wherever he plays, his track record says indicates that he will hit.
— Righthander Nick Sandlin’s brilliant rookie season may have ended in mid August, when he was placed on the injured list with a right shoulder strain. A second-round pick out of Southern Mississippi in 2018, Sandlin flew under the radar this season, but was the Indians’ most consistent reliever. In 34 appearances he had a 2.94 ERA, with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings while holding opposing hitters to a .176 average. Lefthanded hitters hit just .146 against him.