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Player Reports

  1. 1. Nolan Jones | 3B
    Nolan Jones
    Born: May 7, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted: HS--Bensalem, Pa., 2016 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.
    Minors: .274/.412/.447 | 16 HR | 7 SB | 438 AB

    Track Record: Jones was regarded as one of the best prep hitters in the 2016 draft class and while he slipped to the second round on draft day, he's lived up to his amateur reputation in pro ball. After leading the New York-Penn League in OPS (.912) in 2017, he followed that up with a strong year at two Class A stops in his first taste of full-season ball, ending the year in high Class A Lynchburg.

    Scouting Report: Jones has an easy lefthanded swing and uses the whole field to hit. He is a patient hitter who led all Indians minor leaguers in walks (89), though his patience also means plenty of deep counts. He will always strike out fairly often as a result. He has plus raw power and in 2018 began to turn what had previously been doubles pop into over-the-fence strength. Jones fits the third base profile, but he will need to improve defensively to stay at the hot corner. He has a plus arm but needs to improve his glove work and infield actions, especially when ranging to his right. If he did need to move, his athleticism and average speed should play in the outfield, though some believe he is destined for first base.

    The Future: Jones has established himself as the system's top position player prospect and has the potential to be an impact bat in the future. He's impressed the Indians with his all-around offensive game and work ethic. He likely will return to high Class A Lynchburg to begin 2019.

  2. 2. Triston McKenzie | RHP
    Triston McKenzie
    Born: Aug 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 165
    Drafted: HS--Royal Palm Beach, Fla., 2015 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Juan Alvarez.

    Track Record: In the spring of 2015, McKenzie presented scouts with a difficult assignment. He had an excellent amateur track record and impressive present stuff, but he was listed at a rail-thin 6-foot-5, 165 pounds. While some questioned how much weight his frame would ever carry, the Indians drafted McKenzie 42nd overall and have been rewarded for the decision. He has built an impressive track record of success in pro ball. In 2017 alone, he pitched in the Futures Game, was named Carolina League pitcher of the year and ranked second in the minors with 186 strikeouts. He was slowed by forearm soreness in 2018 that the Indians took a very conservative approach with, delaying his debut until June. Still, he was pitching in Double-A Akron as a 20-year-old and put together a strong summer. The concerns about his thin frame remain today, but his track record and stuff are such that they have been lessened.

    Scouting Report: McKenzie's fastball can get up to 95 mph and in each of the last two years it averaged about 92 mph. He held that velocity throughout the season and while it would dip during starts, he also showed the ability to reach back for more and finish strong. His plus fastball plays up and gets swings and misses thanks to the extension in his delivery and the high spin rate he generates. He also has a good feel for spinning his plus curveball and gets good depth on the offering. McKenzie's changeup continues to develop and has the potential to be an above-average offering. He is starting to learn how to sequence and attack hitters with his full arsenal. He commands the ball well and earns praise for his makeup and understanding of his craft. McKenzie's biggest area for development remains improving his physique to allow him to manage a starter's workload.

    The Future: McKenzie will pitch nearly all of 2019 as a 21-year-old and is speeding toward the big leagues, where he has the upside to be a frontline starter. To this point he hasn't been challenged much and he has a chance to earn a spot in the big leagues in 2019. But with Cleveland's crowded big league rotation, the Indians can afford to let McKenzie force the issue with a strong showing in the upper levels of the minors.

  3. 3. Tyler Freeman | SS
    Tyler Freeman
    Born: May 21, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: HS--Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 2017 (2nd round supp).
    Signed By: Mike Bradford.
    Minors: .305/.367/.408 | 3 HR | 19 SB | 502 AB

    Track Record: Freeman this summer starred for short-season Mahoning Valley in his first full professional season. He led the New York-Penn League in batting (.352), slugging (.511), runs (49), hits (95) and doubles (29), while playing the whole summer as a 19-year-old.

    Scouting Report: Freeman stands out most for his hitting and excellent feel for the barrel. He has a very aggressive approach at the plate and rarely walks as a result, but when he swings he makes contact. Thanks to his ability to consistently square balls up, he produces plenty of doubles--he hit the most doubles in the New York-Penn League since 1999--and he may be able to develop fringe-average power as he physically matures. Freeman was drafted as a shortstop and the Indians are developing him there, though he's also gotten time at second base in each of the last two years. He's already improved his hands, infield actions and instincts but he's still an average runner with average arm strength, which may mean a move to second base is still in his future.

    The Future: Regardless of where Freeman ends up defensively, his bat will be the main attraction. He'll advance to full-season ball in 2019 with low Class A Lake County in 2019 and look to continue his impressive performance at the plate.

  4. 4. Logan Allen | LHP
    Logan Allen
    Born: May 23, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted: HS--Bradenton, Fla., 2015 (8th round).
    Signed By: Stephen Hargett (Red Sox).
    Minors: 5-5 | 6.35 ERA | 85 SO | 35 BB | 83.7 IP

    Track Record: The Padres targeted Allen in the 2015 draft and got him in a trade five months later, acquiring him from the Red Sox as one of four prospects for Craig Kimbrel. After a slow burn his first two seasons with the Padres, Allen catapulted in 2018. He logged a 2.54 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A as a 21-year-old, winning Texas League pitcher of the year and leading the system in wins (14) and strikeouts (154).

    Scouting Report: Though not as flashy as others, the steady Allen is more accomplished than any pitcher in the Padres system. All four of his pitches are competitive major league offerings, and he possesses a warrior mentality with an advanced feel for attacking hitters. Allen comes right at opponents with a 90-93 mph fastball, commanding it to both sides of the plate. His changeup is a plus pitch that dives late for swings and misses over the top. Allen's third pitch is an average slider that has some cut action, and when it's not working he can flip in an effective curveball. Allen throws everything for strikes and became more durable as he improved his pitch efficiency, completing six innings in 16 of 19 starts in 2018.

    The Future: Allen's four-pitch mix and durability have him set to log innings at the back of a rotation at the very least. His ML debut should come in 2019.

  5. 5. George Valera | OF
    George Valera
    Born: Nov 13, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 160
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba/ Domingo Toribio.
    Minors: .211/.329/.389 | 8 HR | 6 SB | 185 AB

    Track Record: The Indians in 2017 took advantage of their recently revamped international scouting department and the rule changes in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement to make a splash on the international market. Valera, the fifth-ranked player in the 2017 international singing class, headlined the Indians' big haul, inking a deal worth $1.3 million. He was born in New York and lived there until his family moved to the Dominican Republic when he was 13. He made his professional debut in 2018 in the Rookie-level Arizona League as a 17-year-old, but he was limited to just six games before a broken hamate ended his season.

    Scouting Report: Valera has a loose, compact swing and keeps his bat in the hitting zone for a long time. His feel for the barrel, bat-to-ball skills, pitch recognition and discipline all help him make consistent, hard contact and give him the kind of hitting ability the Indians covet. He has above-average raw power and gets to it in games well, though he has more of a hit-over-power profile. Valera profiles as a corner outfielder with average speed and arm strength.

    The Future: Valera as an amateur drew comparisons with the Nationals' Juan Soto, and while he's unlikely to mimic Soto's meteoric rise through the minor leagues, he is advanced enough that an assignment to low Class A Lake County is possible in 2019.

  6. 6. Brayan Rocchio | SS
    Brayan Rocchio
    Born: Jan 13, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 150
    Drafted: Signed: Venezuela.
    Signed By: Jhonathan Leyba.
    Minors: .252/.309/.378 | 5 HR | 14 SB | 278 AB

    Track Record: Rocchio joined George Valera and Aaron Bracho in the Indians' deep 2017 international signing class, who both ranked among the top 20 prospects in the class. They were sidelined by injuries in 2018, but Rocchio advanced to the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2018, where he ranked third in batting (.343).

    Scouting Report: Rocchio doesn't stand out physically but was quickly nicknamed "The Professor"because of his high baseball IQ and game awareness. A switch-hitter, he has a smooth, consistent swing from both sides of the plate and excellent pitch recognition. He's an aggressive hitter and consistently barrels the ball. His size means power isn't a part of his game now, but as he physically matures he'll start sending some of his line drives over the fence. He likely will always be a hit-over-power player, however. While there were questions when he signed about his ability to stick at shortstop, Rocchio did his best to show he can play the position in 2018. He's a plus runner, and his hands and arm are good enough for the position, especially because his instincts and baseball IQ help his tools play up.

    The Future: Rocchio has already put himself on an accelerated track with his impressive professional debut. The Indians have a logjam of lower-level middle infielders reminiscent of half a dozen years ago when Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Erik Gonzalez were beginning their careers. But it will be hard to slow Rocchio down now, and he will likely go to short-season Mahoning Valley in 2019 , where he'll be one of the youngest players in the New York-Penn League.

  7. 7. Bo Naylor | C
    Bo Naylor
    Born: Feb 21, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: HS--Mississauga, Ont., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.
    Minors: .243/.313/.417 | 11 HR | 7 SB | 403 AB

    Track Record: Naylor, the younger brother of Padres' prospect Josh Naylor, starred on the showcase circuit and with the Canadian Junior National Team, compiling a long track record of success. The Indians drafted him 29th overall and sent him to the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he had a solid summer.

    Scouting Report: Naylor, like his older brother, stands out for his offensive skills, but he's a different kind of hitter. He's a plus hitter with average power. There were some scouts who believed Naylor had the best hit tool among all prep hitters in his draft class thanks to his smooth swing, pitch recognition and approach. His power hasn't always played in games, but he makes consistent hard contact and has the ability to drive the ball. Naylor is an above-average runner and his athleticism plays well behind the plate, as does his plus arm. Like all high school catchers, he'll need to refine his catching skills. He also played a lot of third base as an amateur and he profiles well at the hot corner, but the Indians are committed to him catching.

    The Future: The Indians in recent years have taken a conservative approach with their highly drafted prep bats. That means Naylor probably will head to short-season Mahoning Valley as a 19-year-old.

  8. 8. Bobby Bradley | 1B
    Bobby Bradley
    Born: May 29, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 225
    Drafted: HS--Gulfport, Miss., 2014 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Mike Bradford.
    Minors: .263/.345/.572 | 33 HR | 0 SB | 395 AB

    Track Record: Bradley has been one of the most productive players in the Indians' farm system since they drafted him in 2014. He won the Rookie-level Arizona League triple crown that summer by hitting .361 with eight home runs and 50 RBIs. He led the Midwest League with 27 home runs in 2015 and the Carolina League with 29 home runs in 2016, while also collecting MVP honors. He has hit 50 homers over the last two years and in 2018 reached Triple-A Columbus as a 22-year-old.

    Scouting Report: Bradley's raw power is the best in the system and he has shown he is adept at getting to it in games. He has a strong, physical frame and creates excellent bat speed that allows him to drive the ball out to all fields. That power comes with a lot of swing and miss, and he has struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances at Double-A and Triple-A. Bradley is a well-below average runner with an average arm, limiting him to first base.

    The Future: After reaching Triple-A Columbus in the second half of 2018, Bradley will return there to start 2019. While the Indians in December traded away Yonder Alonso and Edwin Encarnacion, they also acquired Jake Bauers and Carlos Santana, who both figure to see time at first base. Still, Bradley's opportunity in Cleveland is fast approaching.

  9. 9. Ethan Hankins | RHP
    Ethan Hankins
    Born: May 23, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 200
    Drafted: HS-- Gainesville, Ga., 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: C.T. Bradford.
    Minors: 0-3 | 2.55 ERA | 71 SO | 30 BB | 60.0 IP

    Track Record: Following Hankins' performance on the showcase circuit during the summer and a stellar showing for USA Baseball in the 18U World Cup, Hankins was considered the best prep player in the 2018 draft class. But he suffered a shoulder injury in February and while he returned to the mound before the draft, his stuff was not as crisp as it had been. That led Hankins to slide to the last pick of the first round.

    Scouting Report: Hankins has a long, lean frame and uncommon athleticism for a pitcher of his size. At his best, he runs his fastball up to 97 mph and typically sits in the mid-90s with plus life. He has the makings of quality secondary pitches, but they'll need to become more consistent offerings. His slider and changeup both have the ability to be above-average, and he also throws a bigger curveball, though it lags behind his other pitches. Hankins controls his arsenal well, but it will be important for him to maintain his delivery as he grows into his large frame.

    The Future: The Indians are confident Hankins' shoulder issues are behind him. If he's able to get back to the level he showed in 2017, he has high-end upside. He'll likely start 2019 with short-season Mahoning Valley.

  10. 10. Daniel Espino | RHP
    Daniel Espino
    Born: Jan 5, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Minors: 0-3 | 3.80 ERA | 34 SO | 10 BB | 23.7 IP

    No pitcher—high school or college—has as much upside as Georgia righthander Daniel Espino in the 2019 draft. His pure stuff is the loudest of any arm in the class thanks to a fastball that is routinely in the upper 90s and has touched 99-100 mph several times throughout the summer and spring. But it isn’t just elite velocity that makes Espino’s fastball tick, as the pitch, at times, has riding life to his arm side and cutting action to his glove side. After his fastball, Espino has two seperate breaking balls that look like plus pitches. His curveball sits in the mid-70s, and his slider is thrown in the low 80s. Both have sharp, late-breaking action and are legitimate swing-and-miss offerings when combined with his 80-grade fastball. Espino also throws a firm, upper-80s changeup that has some potential and flashes the look of a solid-average offering, but the pitch will need further refinement. Just grading out the tools, there are only a handful of players who would make sense to be listed above Espino in any draft ranking, but teams are split on the prep righthander because of an unconventional arm action, reliever risk and the recent poor track record of high school pitchers who throw as hard as Espino does at such a young age. Espino’s arm action is long, and while his control is solid, scouts believe that he’ll need to refine his command at the next level, where hitters won’t be as likely to chase secondaries out of the strike zone. Scouts have also noted that Espino’s stuff and control are both better when he pitches on longer rest and question how he will perform when he is throwing on a pro schedule. For those who don’t knock Espino quite as hard for his arm action, it’s easy to point to his elite lower-half strength and mechanics to show why he’ll be able to hold up in the future and avoid unnecessary stress on both his elbow and shoulder. The Panamanian-born pitcher gets off the rubber with tremendous force and has solid athleticism and body control, keeping his upper and lower half synced up. Those high on Espino will point to him having the best stuff in the country and the upside of a front-of-the-rotation starter, while those lower on him will see a 6-foot high school righthander with an unconventional arm action and significant risk to end up in the bullpen. Those factors lead to a wide range of potential landing spots in the draft for the Louisiana State commit.

  11. 11. Luis Oviedo | RHP
    Luis Oviedo
    Born: May 15, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Signed: Venezuela, 2015.
    Signed By: Koby Perez/Luis Camacho.
    Minors: 6-6 | 5.38 ERA | 72 SO | 40 BB | 87.0 IP

    Track Record: Oviedo, the top pitcher in the Indians' 2015 international signing class, stood out in 2017 for his tools despite his unsightly 7.14 ERA during his U.S. debut in the Rookie level Arizona League. The next year at short-season Mahoning Valley, Oviedo's considerable talent and his stats began to line up and he earned a late promotion to low Class A Lake County.

    Scouting Report: Oviedo has filled out his big frame and refined his body since signing, and his velocity has grown as a result. His fastball now sits 94-98 mph with sinking action, up from the upper-80s when he signed. He got back to throwing his big curveball this year, which, along with his slider, gives him two distinct breaking balls that can induce swings and misses. He also has good feel for his changeup, which is advanced for his age. In the end, Oviedo could have four average or better offerings. He did a good job refining his delivery to get it to be more controllable and allow him to throw strikes more consistently.

    The Future: With his power stuff, Oviedo has considerable upside. He'll return to the Midwest League in 2019 and look to show that he can handle the workload of a full season.

  12. 12. Sam Hentges | LHP
    Sam Hentges
    Born: Jul 18, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'8" Wt.: 245
    Drafted: HS--Arden Hills, Minn., 2014 (4th round).
    Signed By: Les Pajari.
    Minors: 2-13 | 5.11 ERA | 126 SO | 64 BB | 128.7 IP

    Track Record: Hentges was raw even for a prep player from Minnesota when the Indians drafted him in 2014. He was one of the youngest players in the 2014 draft class and didn't pitch much until late in his junior year of high school. He started his pro career slowly, in part because he needed Tommy John surgery in 2016. Back to full health in 2018, he took a big step forward with high Class A Lynchburg, where he ranked third in the Carolina League in strikeouts (122).

    Scouting Report: Hentges has a big, physical frame that he has grown into since signing and he has the powerful fastball to match. His fastball averages about 93 mph and he can run it up to 97. Because his fastball is so good, he can overpower lower-level hitters with it, but as he advances, he'll have to refine his secondary offerings. The good news is he has the makings of three good offspeed pitches. His curveball flashes plus--he just needs to throw it more consistently. This year he added a cutter to give him another weapon and he also mixes in a promising changeup. Like many big, young pitchers, Hentges needs to improve his control and take better advantage of his height to pitch down in the zone.

    The Future: Having shown he can handle a full-season's workload, Hentges can now focus on refining some of the more detailed areas of his game. He has mid-rotation potential and will likely begin the 2019 season with Double-A Akron.

  13. 13. Gabriel Rodriguez | LHP
    Gabriel Rodriguez
    Born: Apr 9, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 193
    Drafted: Signed: Venezuela, 2018.
    Signed By: Hernan Albornoz.

    Track Record: Rodriguez was the shortstop on Venezuela's 15U national team at the 2016 Pan American Championships and established himself as one of the best hitters in the 2018 international signing class. He was the eighth-ranked player in the class and headlined the Indians' international signings over the summer.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez stands out for his consistency and all-around tools. He has a short, simple swing and an advanced approach at the plate. As he physically matures, he figures to develop average power and he has already shown the ability to drive balls to all fields. Rodriguez has a bigger frame and he may eventually outgrow shortstop. He has a strong arm and smooth actions that will allow him to stay in the infield, likely at third base, if he needs to move.

    The Future: The Indians have shown a willingness to be aggressive with their top international signings and if Rodriguez follows that path, he'll likely make his professional debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

  14. 14. Zach Plesac | RHP
    Zach Plesac
    Born: Jan 21, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 220
    Minors: 4-2 | 1.70 ERA | 65 SO | 9 BB | 63.7 IP
  15. 15. Yu Chang | SS
    Yu Chang
    Born: Aug 18, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Signed: Taiwan, 2013.
    Signed By: Allen Lin/Jayson Lynn.
    Minors: .250/.317/.425 | 9 HR | 4 SB | 252 AB

    Track Record: Chang was a prominent prep player in Taiwan and was one of the top amateur free agents to sign out of Asia in 2013. His profile has risen in the last few seasons as his power has developed and he has reportedly received heavy interest in trade talks.

    Scouting Report: Chang has solid all-around offensive tools, and while he didn't hit 24 home runs again in 2018 like he did the year before, he still had solid production as a 22-year-old in Triple-A. After getting pull-happy in 2017, he got back to using the whole field more effectively. He is a patient hitter, but his willingness to work deep in counts has led to strikeout rates in excess of 25 percent the last two years. Though Chang may not pass the eye test at shortstop, he can make all the plays at the position and is an average defender with average or better speed and arm strength. The Indians this year began to work to increase his versatility, giving him time at both second and third base, and in the Arizona Fall League he exclusively played those positions.

    The Future: Francisco Lindor is entrenched at shortstop in Cleveland and the Indians' next wave of exciting, athletic shortstops is likely to reach the big leagues by the time he reaches free agency. So, while Chang is a capable shortstop, he's unlikely to ever regularly play it in Cleveland. The Indians will have a spring training competition for at least their utility infielder job and possibly one everyday infield role and Chang will be in the mix.

  16. 16. Carlos Vargas | RHP
    Carlos Vargas
    Born: Oct 13, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2016.
    Signed By: Rafael Espinal.
    Minors: 6-4 | 4.52 ERA | 71 SO | 24 BB | 77.7 IP

    Track Record: The Indians' international department went through a transition in 2016 and their biggest signing in that class was Vargas, who signed for just $275,000. Though he wasn't a particularly high-profile prospect at the time, the Indians landed a premium arm. He made his professional debut in 2018 in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where his big arm stood out.

    Scouting Report: Vargas in 2016 had an ultra-projectable frame when he signed as a 17-year old throwing a fastball that reached 93 mph. The anticipated uptick in his velocity has come to pass and his fastball now reaches 100 mph and sits in the upper 90s. His slider sits around 90 mph and is a plus pitch at its best. Vargas has an electric arm and the next stage of his development will be about harnessing his stuff, consistently throwing strikes and developing a third pitch.

    The Future: Vargas is on a similar developmental path as Luis Oviedo, who has delivered positive early returns. If Vargas can harness his stuff, he has as much upside as nearly anyone in the system. He'll follow in 2019 in Oviedo's footsteps at short-season Mahoning Valley.

  17. 17. Yordys Valdes | SS
    Yordys Valdes
    Born: Aug 16, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Minors: .179/.251/.247 | 2 HR | 15 SB | 162 AB

    A pop-up shortstop in Florida, Valdez is a glove-first player with advanced actions and ability up the middle. He compares well with the best prep defenders in the 2019 class, and he has put himself in position to go on the first day of the draft as a switch-hitter who should stick at shortstop. As confident and flashy as Valdez is defensively, his bat has a long way to go. There is some contact ability, but he lacks the size and strength to drive the ball with impact on a regular basis.

  18. 18. Aaron Civale | RHP
    Aaron Civale
    Born: Jun 12, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 215
    Drafted: Northeastern, 2016 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.
    Minors: 7-1 | 2.48 ERA | 66 SO | 12 BB | 69.0 IP

    Track Record: Civale moved to the rotation as a junior at Northeastern and delivered phenomenal results in 2016, ranking in the top 15 nationally in ERA (1.73), strikeouts (121) and WHIP (0.93). He's taken off since that move and in 2018 reached Double-A Akron. He was sidelined in May for about a month due to a right lat strain but was able to get back on track down the stretch.

    Scouting Report: Civale's above-average control is his best tool, and he also mixes in solid stuff. His fastball sits in the low 90s and his feel for spin enables him to throw a cutter, slider and curveball. His curveball is the best of the group, but they all work well in concert to give the effect of an above-average breaking ball that changes angles and power and about half of his pitches are a breaking ball of some kind. Civale has worked to improve his changeup after not needing it as an amateur.

    The Future: Civale's stuff, size and makeup give him a chance to be a workhorse starter and the Indians have never been eager to return him to the bullpen. But breaking into their rotation is no easy task and the Tribe's need for bullpen help may mean his first chance in the big leagues comes as a reliever. Civale is likely to open the season in the rotation for Triple-A Columbus.

  19. 19. Daniel Johnson | OF
    Daniel Johnson
    Born: Jul 11, 1995
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 200
    Drafted: New Mexico State, 2016 (5th round).
    Signed By: Mitch Sokol (Nationals).
    Minors: .292/.363/.511 | 19 HR | 12 SB | 479 AB

    Track Record: Johnson has continued to refine his game every year since being drafted in the fifth round in 2016 out of New Mexico State. After a mediocre debut in the New York Penn League in 2016, Johnson had a strong offensive campaign in the South Atlantic and Carolina Leagues in 2017, hitting 22 home runs and stealing 22 bases. The toolsy outfielder had a slow March to start 2018, but began heating up in May and hit .327/.406/.451 during the month before his season was derailed by a broken hamate bone. After the season, the Indians acquired Johnson, Jefry Rodriguez and Andruw Monasterio from the Nationals for Yan Gomes.

    Scouting Report: A fringe-average hitter, Johnson was starting to come into his own offensively before his injury, and scouts believe he has at least above-average raw power thanks to his quick hands and natural strength. While he lost a month of valuable at-bats, the Nationals were excited about the progress that he made in 2018 defensively, improving his jumps, route-running and throwing accuracy. Johnson has 70-grade arm strength and is starting to take advantage of it with better decision making. His plus speed allows him to play every outfield position, though his arm strength makes right field the best fit--and that's where he played the majority of his innings in 2018.

    The Future: A full season of health in the upper minors will give a more clear picture of what sort of offensive player Johnson really is, and with his defensive strides he could wind up debuting at some point late in 2019.

  20. 20. Will Benson | OF
    Will Benson
    Born: Jun 16, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 225
    Drafted: HS--Atlanta, 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: C.T. Bradford.
    Minors: .232/.333/.457 | 23 HR | 27 SB | 444 AB

    Track Record: Benson was a highly-touted player in 2016 coming out of the Atlanta prep ranks and has long stood out for his big tools, especially his power. Both the good and bad in his game has been exposed in the minor leagues, most starkly in 2018 when he reached full-season ball for the first time.

    Scouting Report: Benson produces exceptional bat speed thanks to his strength and quick hands and turns that bat speed into tremendous lefthanded raw power, rivaling Bobby Bradley for the best in the system. That power helped Benson hit 22 home runs to lead the Midwest League. It also comes with a hefty amount of swing-and-miss, however, and he whiffed in 30 percent of his plate appearances. Benson has a patient, bordering on passive, approach at the plate. He ranked third in the league in walks (82) but he also often works deep in counts, contributing to his high strikeout rate. While he may just be on his way to becoming a three true outcome player, Benson's athleticism and peripheral numbers--especially a low BABIP and consistently high exit velocities--provide optimism if he can make necessary adjustments at the plate to become more consistent and hit more line drives. He profiles well in right field thanks to his plus arm and solid speed that plays better underway.

    The Future: Benson won't turn 21 until June but he is eventually going to have to demonstrate more hittability to reach his considerable ceiling. He'll try to take steps toward that in 2019 as he advances to high Class A Lynchburg.

  21. 21. Aaron Bracho | 2B
    Aaron Bracho
    Born: Apr 24, 2001
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Drafted: Signed: Venezuela, 2017.
    Signed By: Hernan Albornoz/Rafael Cariel.
    Minors: .281/.402/.570 | 8 HR | 4 SB | 135 AB

    Track Record: Bracho, the 17th ranked player in the overall class, joined George Valera in headlining the Indians' 2017 international signees. Like Valera, Bracho in 2018 was sidelined by injury, in his case a right arm injury.

    Scouting Report: Bracho stood out for his offensive performance in games before signing. He is a switch-hitter with a mature approach and a smooth, compact swing from both sides of the plate. He has good bat speed, helping him produce a surprising amount of power for his size that could develop into average pop. Bracho was signed as a shortstop and will get a chance to develop there, but many scouts are not convinced he will stay at the position. He is an above-average runner and has good hands, but his infield actions and arm strength will likely profile better at second base. The silver lining of his injury is that Bracho is throwing better since getting healthy.

    The Future: Being sidelined for a year also gave Bracho a chance to grow off the field, an important development for any teenager. He is in line to make his professional debut in 2019.

  22. 22. Jean Carlos Mejia | RHP
    Jean Carlos Mejia
    Born: Aug 26, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 240
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2013.
    Signed By: Rafael Espinal/Ramon Pena.
    Minors: 3-1 | 4.09 ERA | 36 SO | 9 BB | 33.0 IP

    Track Record: The Indians in 2013 signed Mejia as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. He started his professional career slowly, spending three years in the Dominican Summer League. He made his U.S. debut in 2017 and started to build some buzz before breaking out in 2018. His performance this year, mostly at low Class A Lake County, led him to be a popular name at the trade deadline and he was eventually added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

    Scouting Report: Mejia has a big, 6-foot-4 frame with a chance to develop into a solid starting pitcher. His fastball has been up to 96 mph and sits at 93. He has a good feel for spin and his curveball and slider both have plus potential. He also can generate swings-and-misses with his changeup. He pitches with above-average control. With a big frame and a solid four-pitch arsenal that he can throw for strikes, Mejia offers considerable upside. But he is also short on experience. Already 22, he has only started 17 games and thrown 241.1 innings in his career.

    The Future: In 2019 Mejia will look to build on his breakout performance with high Class A Lynchburg. If he does, he should start advancing more quickly and could soon establish himself as one of the Indians' top pitching prospects.

  23. 23. Andrew Velazquez | SS
    Andrew Velazquez
    Born: Jul 14, 1994
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'8" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: HS--Bronx, N.Y., 2012 (7th round).
    Signed By: Todd Donovan (Diamondbacks).
    Minors: .300/.352/.502 | 6 HR | 3 SB | 203 AB
  24. 24. Ernie Clement | SS
    Ernie Clement
    Born: Mar 22, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Virginia, 2017 (4th round).
    Signed By: Bob Mayer.
    Minors: .267/.320/.328 | 1 HR | 17 SB | 409 AB

    Track Record: Clement developed a reputation as a pure hitter during college. He was a career .306 hitter at Virginia, whiffed just 31 times in three seasons with the Cavaliers and in 2016 earned MVP honors in the Cape Cod League after leading the circuit in hits and stolen bases. His college success has translated to the professional ranks and Clement zipped through the lower levels of the minor leagues to reach Double-A Akron in his first full professional season.

    Scouting Report: Clement embodies the notion that good things happen when you put the ball in play. He has an aggressive approach and an uncanny knack for putting the bat on the ball. He doesn't walk much, but such is his bat control that this season he still walked more than he struck out (41 walks to 35 strikeouts). He has minimal power and instead sprays the ball all over the field and takes advantage of his plus speed to get on base. Clement was a versatile defender in college but in 2018 exclusively played shortstop. He has above-average instincts defensively and good hands. The biggest concern about his ability to stay at the position is his arm strength, which is fringy for a shortstop.

    The Future: The Indians have toolsier shortstops than Clement and his future in Cleveland is still likely as a super-utility player, where his speed, instincts and bat-to-ball skills would play well. The early returns indicate Clement may still be able to be an everyday player. He'll start 2019 back in Akron as the regular shortstop.

  25. 25. James Karinchak | RHP
    James Karinchak
    Born: Sep 22, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 230
    Minors: 1-1 | 2.87 ERA | 77 SO | 20 BB | 31.3 IP
  26. 26. Oscar Gonzalez | OF
    Oscar Gonzalez
    Born: Jan 10, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2014.
    Signed By: Ramon Pena/Felix Nivar.
    Minors: .289/.312/.409 | 9 HR | 7 SB | 499 AB

    Track Record: Gonzalez, the Indians' top target in the 2014 international class, made a resounding U.S. debut in 2016, when he won MVP honors in the Arizona League. He reached full-season ball in 2018 with low Class A Lake County, where he produced a solid season.

    Scouting Report: Gonzalez stands out most for his well above-average raw power, and he does a good job of getting to it in games. He is very aggressive at the plate and he'll need to improve his plate discipline as he advances, but his bat-to-ball skills are better than his strikeout rate (22.3 percent) indicates and he ranked fifth in the Midwest League in hits (135). Gonzalez is an average runner and has plus arm strength, giving him a chance to play right field, though he has mostly played left field since leaving the Dominican Summer League, partially in deference to Will Benson.

    The Future: Whatever outfield corner Gonzalez ends up in, it will be up to his bat to push him through the minor leagues. He will advance in 2019 to high Class A Lynchburg, where he and Benson will again be paired together.

  27. 27. Lenny Torres | RHP
    Lenny Torres
    Born: Oct 15, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted: HS--Beacon, N.Y., 2018 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Mike Kanen.

    Track Record: Torres, a New York City native, didn't pitch much growing up but after starting to focus on it in the last few years quickly showed big upside on the mound. The Indians made him the 41st overall pick the following June and he made a smooth transition to pro ball, excelling in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

    Scouting Report: Torres doesn't have a big frame at a listed 6-foot-1, but he has a quick arm and can run his fastball up to 97 mph. His fastball typically sits 94 mph and he pairs it with a slider that has plus potential. He is working to implement a changeup, which at its best has hard downer action, but is still a work in progress. His control is also an area of focus, though he surprised with his strike-throwing ability during his debut.

    The Future: Before the draft, Torres faced lots of questions about whether he could be a starter in pro ball because of his size and lack of a third pitch. The Indians are optimistic that he'll be able to take the necessary developmental steps to start thanks to his athleticism, youth and relative inexperience on the mound. The early returns were good, and Torres will look to build on them in 2019 as he advances to short-season Mahoning Valley.

  28. 28. Nick Sandlin | RHP
    Nick Sandlin
    Born: Jan 10, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Drafted: Southern Mississippi, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Chuck Bartlett.
    Minors: 1-0 | 2.30 ERA | 38 SO | 15 BB | 27.3 IP

    Track Record: In 2018, Sandlin moved from closing to the front of Southern Mississippi's rotation with great success and won the nation's ERA title (1.06). His All-American season sent him shooting up draft boards despite his unusual profile. His ascension continued in pro ball and he pitched at four levels after signing, finishing the season with Double-A Akron.

    Scouting Report: Listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, Sandlin is undersized and typically throws from a sidearm slot, though he'll also raise it to more of a three-quarters look. In 2018, he showed the ability to hold his stuff deep in games and proved effective against righties and lefties. His fastball sits in the low 90s with plenty of run and sink. He can manipulate his slider to make it a big, wipeout pitch or to land it for a strike. His changeup isn't as good as his sinker-slider combination, but it is a viable third offering. He has above-average command and stands out for his athleticism.

    The Future: Sandlin has tremendous feel for pitching and made a compelling case that he can be a starter, although he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen after signing, in part to limit his workload after he threw 102 innings for Southern Miss. As a reliever, he'll likely soon be in the big leagues. Even if he goes back to starting, his rise won't be dramatically slowed because he's already shown he can handle advanced competition.

  29. 29. Scott Moss | LHP
    Scott Moss
    Born: Oct 6, 1994
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 225
    Drafted: Florida, 2016 (4th round).
    Signed By: Greg Zunino.
    Minors: 10-6 | 2.96 ERA | 159 SO | 70 BB | 130.7 IP

    Track Record: After sitting out his first two years at Florida recovering from Tommy John surgery, Moss was dominating in his only year on the mound for the Gators. After posting a 1.57 ERA with only two extra-base hits allowed in 23 innings, Moss was nearly as effective with low Class A Dayton in 2017. The crafty lefty was still effective and durable but not nearly as dominating in the Florida State League.

    Scouting Report: Moss relies on feel for pitching, locating and messing with hitters' timing because he lacks a plus pitch. His 88-92 mph fastball is effective because he spots it well to the four corners of the strike zone. His slider flashes above-average and he mixes in a fringe-average changeup. Moss repeats his delivery well and throws consistent strikes, showing future average control and above-average command.

    The Future: After starting 25 games in the high Class A Florida State league, Moss will be ticketed Double-A Chattanooga in 2019. With more seasoning of his changeup, Moss could fit as a swingman.

  30. 30. Raynel Delgado | SS
    Raynel Delgado
    Born: Apr 4, 2000
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted: HS--Fort Lauderdale, 2018 (6th round).
    Signed By: Andrew Krause.
    Minors: .243/.301/.343 | 2 HR | 6 SB | 268 AB

    Track Record: Delgado was born in Cuba and came to the United States with his mother as a 7-year-old. He developed into one of the top infielders in the country and in 2017 played for USA Baseball's 18U national team that won the gold medal at the World Cup, beating the Cuban national team along the way. He slipped the next June to the sixth round, but the Indians signed him to an above-slot bonus of $900,000.

    Scouting Report: Delgado is more advanced from both sides than many young switch-hitters and he has a long track record of hitting against strong competition. He has a solid swing and a calm approach that served him well as he transitioned to pro ball. He has above-average power potential, especially as he fills out his 6-foot-2 frame. Delgado doesn't jump out as much defensively but is still solid in the infield. His advanced instincts help his tools play up and his hands and infield actions work well. He split time between shortstop, second and third base, and the development of his athleticism and arm strength will determine where he settles.

    The Future: The Indians have a crowded shortstop depth chart in the lower levels of their system and that may mean Delgado moves off the position sooner than later so that they can keep challenging him offensively. He'll advance in 2019 to short-season Mahoning Valley, where he'll probably continue moving around the infield.

View Players 11-30

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