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TRACK RECORD: Jones was one of the players the Indians targeted with their first-round pick in 2016. The team instead selected Will Benson 14th overall and didn't expect to see Jones on the board when they next picked at No. 55. They didn't pass on Jones, one of the top prep hitters in his class, a second time. In 2017, he led the New York-Penn League in OPS (.912) as a 19-year old and has followed that up in full-season ball. He had a busy 2019, beginning the year with high Class A Lynchburg, where he played well enough in 79 games to be selected to the Carolina League all-star team. He also was selected for the Futures Game and the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game, and in July was promoted to Double-A Akron. His season came to an end in October when he re-aggravated an injury to his right thumb and had surgery to repair a ligament. SCOUTING REPORT: Jones has an easy lefthanded swing and uses the whole field to hit. He is a patient hitter and has led all Indians' minor leaguers in walks in back-to-back seasons (89 in 2018, 96 in 2019), though his patience also means that he often works in deep counts and will always strike out fairly often as a result. He has plus raw power and has started to turn that into in-game production. Jones fits the third-base profile but throughout his career has dealt with questions about his ability to stay at the position. He has plus arm strength and has worked hard to improve his defense and infield actions, especially when ranging to the right. He's improved his footwork and agility, giving him a strong chance to stay at the hot corner. While the Indians generally work to add versatility to all their position players, Jones has played exclusively third base since he was in Rookie ball. Still, his athleticism and speed should play in the outfield if required. THE FUTURE: After his impressive 2019 and stint in the AFL, Jones is nearing the big leagues and will likely open 2020 at Triple-A Columbus. He's a potential impact bat who also stands out for his work ethic. His impending big league debut and Jose Ramirez's versatility gives the Indians options over the next couple of years, but even if Ramirez stays in the hot corner, Jones' offensive ability is such that the team will find a way to get them both into the lineup.
TRACK RECORD: Freeman turned in a stellar first full pro season in 2018 that saw him lead the New York-Penn League in a host of offensive categories, including batting (.352) and slugging (.511), as a 19-year-old. He followed that with an impressive 2019, earning a promotion to high Class A Lynchburg in his first taste of full-season ball. Despite being one of the youngest players in the Carolina League, he more than held his own after his promotion to Lynchburg and is now a career .319/.379/.441 hitter. SCOUTING REPORT: Freeman stands out most for his hitting ability and excellent feel for the barrel. He has a very aggressive approach at the plate and rarely walks, but when he swings, he makes contact. Thanks to his ability to consistently square balls up, he has doubles pop now and may be able to add more power as he physically matures. Freeman was drafted as a shortstop and the Indians are developing him at that position. He's shown improvement with his hands, infield actions and instincts. He's still an average runner with average arm strength, however, which limits his range and might ultimately push him to second base, especially in a system with as many high-end defensive shortstops. Regardless of where he ends up defensively, his bat will stand out. THE FUTURE: Freeman is on the leading edge of the Indians' group of young middle infielders, meaning he can move quickly through the system. That probably means he's ready for Double-A Akron in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Naylor, the younger brother of Padres first baseman Josh Naylor, compiled a long track record of success as an amateur, especially facing premium competition with the Canadian Junior National Team. That helped ease his transition into his first year of pro ball, when he found success as a 19-year-old in the Midwest League. SCOUTING REPORT: Naylor, like his older brother, has standout offensive tools, but he's a different kind of hitter. He's more hit-over-power, though he has solid pop as well. He has an advanced hit tool thanks to his smooth swing, pitch recognition and approach. His power showed up more in 2019 than it had previously, and 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. He earns high grades for pitch-framing, and his strong arm helped him throw out 37 percent of basestealers, but teams were still very willing to test him, attempting 128 stolen bases in 85 games. Still, Naylor has proven himself enough defensively to largely quell any talk of him moving to third base, where he played a lot as an amateur. THE FUTURE: Naylor will continue to work on refining his defensive skills in 2020 at high Class A Lynchburg, when he will be just 20 years old.
TRACK RECORD: The Indians made a splash on the international market in 2017 and signed Valera, the fifth-ranked player in the class to a $1.3 million deal. He was born in New York and lived there until his family moved to the Dominican Republic when he was 13. After a broken hamate limited him to six games in 2018, he spent most of 2019 with short-season Mahoning Valley, where he was the youngest position player in the league, before a late-season promotion to low Class A Lake County. SCOUTING REPORT: Valera has a loose, compact swing and keeps his bat in the zone for a long time. His feel for the barrel, bat-to-ball skills, pitch recognition and discipline all help him to make consistent, hard contact and give him the kind of hittability the Indians covet. He has above-average raw power and gets to it in games well, hitting eight home runs in 46 games as an 18-year-old in the New York-Penn League. Valera profiles as a corner outfielder with average speed and arm strength. THE FUTURE: As an amateur, Valera drew comparisons to Juan Soto. He's not going to match Soto's meteoric rise to stardom, but he's proven to be advanced enough to handle challenging assignments. He'll likely return to Lake County to begin 2020 and another mid-season promotion could be in the cards.
TRACK RECORD: While the Indians made a big splash on the 2017 international market with the heralded signings of Aaron Bracho and George Valera, their move to ink Rocchio flew more under the radar. The Venezuelan native has quickly made his own mark, however. After a strong 2018 in Rookie Ball, he advanced to short-season Mahoning Valley, where he held his own as the third-youngest position player. SCOUTING REPORT: Rocchio doesn't stand out physically but was nicknamed “The Professor” because of his high baseball IQ and game awareness when he was in the Rookie-level Arizona League. 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 up the ball. He's likely always going hit be hit over power but as he physically matures he'll start sending some of his line drives over the fence. Rocchio has largely answered any questions about his ability to stick at shortstop. 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 is on an accelerated track and there's no reason to slow him down now. He'll head to low Class A Lake County for his first taste of full-season ball.
TRACK RECORD: Espino was born in Panama before moving to the United States when he was 15. He enrolled at Georgia Premier Academy, where he was able to continue his education while also adopting a close to professional mindset. That approach was apparent when he arrived at the Indians' complex in Arizona after they drafted him 24th overall. His performance and mentality allowed him to become first prep player the Indians have promoted to shortseason Mahoning Valley during his pro debut since Francisco Lindor in 2011. SCOUTING REPORT: Espino was one of the best prep pitchers in the draft class and has big overall upside. He's on the shorter end of what teams look for in a righthander, but his excellent athleticism, explosiveness and flexibility help him access his lower half in a way most pitchers his size cannot. That helps him produce elite velocity and his fastball reach 99 mph and sit at 96. He throws both a curveball and slider, with the slider earning better grades as a potential plus pitch. He also throws a firm changeup that needs refinement but has a chance to give him a fourth at least average offering. He has a long arm action but typically pitches with average control. He'll need to refine his command as he faces more advanced hitters who are less susceptible to chasing his offspeed stuff. THE FUTURE: Espino has put himself on an accelerated track already and he'll likely start his first full professional season with low Class A Lake County, where he and righthander Ethan Hankins will team up for a premium 1-2 punch the Indians hope will stick together all the way to Cleveland.
TRACK RECORD: McKenzie has ranked as the Indians' top prospect the last two years but that standing has slipped after an upper-back injury cost him all of 2019. The Indians have been very cautious with him throughout his career, partially due to his rail-thin frame. But he's always shown exceptional upside, and he pitched in the 2017 Futures Game and reached Double-A in 2018 as a 20-year-old. SCOUTING REPORT: There have long been questions about McKenzie's durability. He suffered from some forearm soreness early in 2018, but his 2019 injury might speak even more to his durability because it may stem from a lack of strength in his shoulder. If he can avoid similar issues going forward, however, he should be able to get back to the high-end upside he's also long shown. His fastball sits at 92 mph and can touch 95. It plays up thanks to long extension and high spin rate. He also has a good feel for his curveball, which can be an out pitch, and his changeup has the potential to be an above-average offering. He commands the ball well and earns praise for his makeup and understanding of his craft. THE FUTURE: After missing all of 2019, McKenzie needs to get back on the mound and show that he's ready to pitch a full season. He's still just 22 and hasn't been challenged much yet on the field. If he can get back to the level he was at a year ago, he'll soon again be in position to work himself into the mix for a spot in the big leagues.
TRACK RECORD: The Indians were thrilled to draft Hankins with the final pick of the first round in 2018. Following his performance the previous summer and fall, he had been considered the best prep player in the draft class but a minor shoulder injury in the spring caused him to slide on draft day. After introducing him to pro ball, the Indians eased back on the leash during his first full pro season and in August sent him to low Class A Lake County. SCOUTING REPORT: Hankins has a long, lean frame and uncommon athleticism for a pitcher of his size. At his best, he ran 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 offerings 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: Hankins' impressive first full season was a reminder of just how big his upside can be. He's set to start back with Lake Countym where he and Daniel Espino will make for an impressive 1-2 punch that the Indians hope will stick together all the way to the big leagues.
TRACK RECORD: The Indians spent big on the 2017 international market. Bracho, who was ranked as a top-20 player in the class, as well as outfielder George Valera and shortstop Brayan Rocchio were a part of that class and now rank as top-10 prospects for the club. Bracho was banged up at the outset of his career and missed 2018 due to an arm injury. He was back to full health in 2019 and made his professional debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League and earned a late-season bump to short-season Mahoning Valley, where he joined Valera and Rocchio. SCOUTING REPORT: A switch-hitter, Bracho has a smooth, compact swing from both sides of the plate and produces good bat speed. He has an advanced approach and walked more than he struck out in Arizona, a rarity for an 18-year-old with limited game experience. Listed at just 5-foot-11, he has more power than his frame suggests, and he could end up hitting for at least average power. Bracho was signed as a shortstop but he's already moved to second base. His hands and range are good enough to keep him there, but he's likely to be more of an offensive second baseman. THE FUTURE: After an impressive debut, it's easy to see why Bracho had as much hype as he did as an amateur. He's probably advanced enough to start 2020 with low Class A Lake County as Rocchio's double-play partner, but the Indians middle-infield depth and his minimal game experience may lead to him coming back to Mahoning Valley to start the summer.
TRACK RECORD: The Venezuelan native was the eighth-ranked player overall in the 2018 international class and lived up to the hype with an impressive pro debut in 2019, earning a midseason promotion to the Rookie-level Arizona League. 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 at least average power and he has already shown the ability to drive balls to all fields. He shows plenty of power potential during batting practice. The next step is to learn how to take it with him into games. His strong arm and instinctive actions will allow him to stay in the infield, likely at third base, if he does need to move. THE FUTURE: Rodriguez is advanced enough to follow an aggressive developmental track, much like the premium players in the 2017 class. That would likely mean he starts 2020 back in Arizona and will have a chance to advance to short-season Mahoning Valley later in the summer.
TRACK RECORD: Allen has been well traveled since the Red Sox drafted him in the eighth round in 2015 and signed him to an over-slot deal. He was traded that fall to the Padres as a part of the package for Craig Kimbrel and then climbed through the minor leagues to reach San Diego in June. He was traded a month later to Cleveland along with Franmil Reyes and Victor Nova a part of the three-team deal that sent Trevor Bauer to the Reds. SCOUTING REPORT: Allen has a strong frame and a solid four-pitch mix, and his overall package makes for a potential No. 3 or 4 starter. His fastball sits in the low 90s and can get up to 96 mph in short stints. His changeup is his best secondary offering and it earns plus grades. His slider is an average offering and he'll occasionally mix in a curveball as well. He has average control and can throw his full arsenal for strikes, but he still needs to refine his command at the big league level. THE FUTURE: He'll probably return to Columbus to start 2020 in the rotation and figures to be one of the first pitchers called up to Cleveland when a need arises.
TRACK RECORD: Bradley has been one of the most productive players in the Indians' farm system since they drafted him in 2014 and in June he made his Major League debut. 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 even in Triple-A he struck out in a third of his plate appearances. Bradley is a well-below average runner with an average arm, limiting him to first base. THE FUTURE: Bradley will begin the 2020 season as a 23-year-old who has already gotten a taste of the big leagues. But breaking through to Cleveland's lineup won't be easy. Carlos Santana is signed through 2020 (with an option for 2021), while Franmil Reyes and Jake Bauers are still under long-term team control. Bradley will likely start back in Triple-A and again be in line for a callup if an opportunity arises in Cleveland.
TRACK RECORD: Tommy John surgery sidelined Moss for his first two seasons at Florida but he broke out with a dominant start in the 2016 Southeastern Conference Tournament, and the Reds liked the big lefthander enough to draft him in the fourth round. He rewarded their faith, and was pitching well in Double-A this summer when he was dealt to the Indians as part of the trade that sent Trevor Bauer to the Reds. SCOUTING REPORT: Moss has a big, strong frame and since getting into pro ball has proved to be dependable. His fastball sits in the low 90s, getting up to 94 mph, and is capable of producing swings and misses. He combines it with a slider that can be a plus pitch and a changeup that makes for a quality third option thanks to its differentiation from his fastball. Moss pitched with average control early in his career but saw his walk rate balloon in 2019. The Indians helped him to throw more strikes down the stretch, but it's something he'll have continue to remain vigilant of and he'll likely never have better than average command. THE FUTURE: The Indians were thrilled with what they saw from Moss after the trade and added him to the 40-man roster in the offseason. He'll start 2020 back with Columbus and figures to be in the mix for a spot in the big leagues at some point during the season.
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. SCOUTING REPORT: When he signed as a 17-year-old in 2016, Vargas had an ultra-projectable frame and was already throwing 93 mph. His velocity has ticked up as expected 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. He still needs to refine his command and learn how to get the most out of his electric stuff. THE FUTURE: Vargas has considerable upside and has given plenty of reason for optimism at the outset of his career. He'll face another important test in 2020 as he advances to full-season ball with low Class A Lake County.
TRACK RECORD: Signed by the Padres for $125,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 and traded to the Rangers in 2018 for catcher Brett Nicholas, Clase never pitched in a full-season league before 2019. That changed when he advanced to Double-A Frisco in late April. In August he reached Texas and was one of the team's top relievers. In December, the Rangers traded him as the headliner for Corey Kluber. SCOUTING REPORT: Clase has an electric fastball that regularly registers in the upper 90s and hits 101 mph. He showed that same velocity in 2018, but his slider wasn't reliable. The pitch had good shape and depth, but it was inconsistent and he struggled to land it for strikes. That changed in 2019, as Clase made adjustments, throwing it with better arm speed to develop an average slider with improved ability to throw it for a strike or a chase pitch depending on the situation. Clase's fastball has natural cutting life. THE FUTURE: Clase has the stuff to pitch as a high-leverage reliever in Cleveland right away.
TRACK RECORD: Karinchak excelled during his first two seasons at Bryant before an injury slowed him as a junior in 2017 and he fell to the ninth round. He took off in pro ball, racing to Double-A Akron in his first full professional season. He pitched even better at the start of 2019, posting video game numbers to earn a promotion to Triple-A Columbus. A hamstring injury sidelined him for two months, but he came back strong and made his major league debut in September. SCOUTING REPORT: Karinchak's fastball averages 97 mph and is good enough to produce swings and misses. His breaking ball can be a plus pitch and has the shape of a curveball but, at 85 mph, the velocity of a slider. His control is fringy and his somewhat funky delivery hinders his strike-throwing, though it does help his stuff play up. THE FUTURE: Karinchak will head into 2020 competing for a spot in the Indians' bullpen. He has the stuff to pitch in high-leverage situations, though his control may need to improve to eventually become a closer or set-up man.
TRACK RECORD: Hentges didn't pitch much until he was a junior in high school and was one of the youngest players in the 2014 draft class. He started his professional career slowly, in part because he needed Tommy John surgery in 2016, but had a breakout 2018 with high Class A Lynchburg. He took a step back in 2019, though he improved as the season went on. SCOUTING REPORT: His fastball averages about 93 mph and he can run it up to 97 mph. The pitch was good enough to overpower lower-level hitters, but against Eastern League hitters he needed to use his secondary stuff more and the results weren't as good. His three offspeed offerings have potential – his curveball flashes plus, his changeup has promise and he added a cutter in 2018 that gives him another option. Like many big, young pitchers, Hentges needs to improve his control and take better advantage of his height to pitch down in the zone. His arm action can be long, hurting his ability to repeat pitches. THE FUTURE: Hentges needs to refine some of the finer parts of his game, but the potential is still easy to see. He'll likely return to Akron to start the season with a chance to get back on track.
TRACK RECORD: Oviedo was the top pitcher in the Indians' 2015 international class and has had some mixed results since signing but has stood out for his tools throughout his career. His performance didn't fully align with his tools in 2019 with low Class A Mahoning Valley and a lower back injury brought his season to an early end in mid-July. SCOUTING REPORT: Oviedo since signing has filled out his big frame and refined his body, and his velocity has grown as a result. His fastball now reaches 98 mph with sinking action, up from the upper 80s when he signed. He's gotten back to throwing his big curveball, which along with his slider gives him two distinct breaking balls that can create swings and misses. He also has good feel for his changeup, which is advanced for his age. He's worked to refine his delivery to get it to be more controllable and allow him to throw strikes more consistently, but he will have to cut down on his walks after issuing 40 in 2019. THE FUTURE: Oviedo has all the physical tools to develop into a workhorse starter but still has a lot of work to do. He'll head to high Class A Lynchburg for the next step of his development.
TRACK RECORD: Valdes was born in Cuba, where his father played in the Serie Nacional, and moved with his family to Florida when he was 12. Though he was young for the 2019 draft class, he was one of the best defenders in the nation and the best prep prospect in South Florida. SCOUTING REPORT: The natural righthanded hitter began switch-hitting when he got to America and almost all of his high school plate appearances came from the left side. He's made strides as a lefthanded hitter but he's still clearly better from the right side. He has a wiry frame and should be able to add more impact offensively as he physically matures. Defensively is where Valdes shines. He has a plus arm, can make all the throws from shortstop and gets rid of the ball quickly. He's an average runner, but that plays up on the bases and in the field thanks to his quickness and instincts. THE FUTURE: The Indians have a bevy of exciting shortstops, especially in the lower levels of the system, and Valdes fits right in with the group. His age and need for further development offensively could make him a two-year rookie-ball player.
TRACK RECORD: Martinez is the son of former big league catcher Sandy Martinez, and his older brother Sandy Martinez Jr. is a prospect in the D-backs system. As a result, Angel grew up around the diamond and has an advanced understanding of the game. SCOUTING REPORT: Martinez isn't the most tooled out of the Indians' lower-level infielders, but his baseball IQ and maturity make all his tools play up. The switch-hitter has a simple swing from both sides and can drive the ball to all fields. He has advanced plate discipline and walked as much as he struck out in the DSL – a rarity – and has good physicality that plays as doubles power. Martinez is an average runner, but still covers a lot of ground thanks to his instincts and makes sound decisions defensively. That, as well as his plus arm, gives him a chance to stay at shortstop. THE FUTURE: Gabriel Rodriguez is the most famous member of the Indians' 2018 international signing class and his impressive physical tools have him ranked higher on this list. But Martinez isn't far behind and has a chance to make a jump in 2020 as he makes his American debut in the Arizona League.
TRACK RECORD: During his three years at Virginia, Clement hit .306 and struck out just 31 times, earning him a reputation as a pure hitter. His college success translated well to the professional ranks and he raced to Double-A Akron in 2018, his first full professional season. A right abductor strain slowed him in 2019, but he still played well enough to finish the season with Triple-A Columbus and turned in a solid performance in the Arizona Fall League. SCOUTING REPORT: Clement has an aggressive approach and an uncanny knack for putting the bat on the ball. 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 has almost exclusively played shortstop in pro ball. 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. His versatility allows him to play anywhere on the infield and he also has experience as a center fielder, giving him the ability to move around the diamond as needed. THE FUTURE: Clement has proven to be capable of playing shortstop and—depending on how soon Francisco Lindor's tenure in Cleveland ends—he may get a chance to do so in Cleveland. He's fast approaching the major leagues and could put himself in position to debut as soon as 2020.
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 years as his power has developed and he reached the upper levels. He made his major league debut in June 2019 and saw a healthy amount of action down the stretch in Cleveland. SCOUTING REPORT: Chang has solid all-around offensive tools and he has produced well the last two years in Triple-A Columbus. He is a patient hitter, but his willingness to work deep in counts has led to strikeout rates in excess of 23 percent for three years in a row last two years. Though Chang may not pass the eye test at shortstop, he can play the position serviceably. He's an average runner with at least average arm strength. He's capable of playing anywhere on the infield—which he did in 2019—and he saw the majority of his big league action at third base. THE FUTURE: Chang is unlikely to regularly play shortstop in Cleveland, but he's already shown he can help the Indians at a variety of positions. He'll enter spring training competing for a job somewhere on the infield.
TRACK RECORD: Johnson made steady progress in his first two professional seasons as a member of the Nationals' system. The Indians acquired him as a part of the package for Yan Gomes in November 2018 and Johnson produced a strong season with his new organization the following year. He led the system in doubles (34) and ranked third in hits (140). SCOUTING REPORT: Johnson has quick hands at the plate and did a good job of barreling balls, especially against righthanded pitching. His strength and bat speed gives him above-average raw power, which he's done a good job of getting to in games. It does come with a fair amount of swing and miss, however. Johnson has plus speed and arm strength and can play all three outfield positions. He probably fits best in right field and that's where he has the most experience. THE FUTURE: The Indians had a mostly open outfield picture as the offseason began. They added Johnson to their 40-man roster in November and he'll get a chance to compete for a job in spring training. Even if he starts 2020 in Triple-A Columbus he should find a way to Cleveland at some point during the season.
TRACK RECORD: Torres didn't pitch much growing up but quickly showed big upside on the mound after starting to focus on it late in his high school career. He made a smooth transition to pro ball and in 2018 excelled in the Arizona League. His progress was slowed in 2019, however, when he required Tommy John surgery in May and missed the whole season. SCOUTING REPORT: Torres doesn't have a big frame, but he has a quick arm and, when healthy, can run his fastball up to 97 mph. He pairs the pitch 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 professional 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. Those concerns are elevated by his injury, but he'll pitch all of the 2020 season as a 19-year-old and the Indians are optimistic he'll be able to take the necessary steps in his development. He should be ready to get back in action at short-season Mahoning Valley.
TRACK RECORD: A heralded prep player coming out of the Atlanta prep ranks, Benson has long stood out for his athleticism and power. He started 2019 repeating low Class A Lake County as a 20-year-old and excelled. He was leading the Midwest League with 18 home runs in 61 games when he was promoted to high Class A Lynchburg, but his performance took a step back in the Carolina League. 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. Benson has a patient, bordering on passive, approach at the plate that helps him draw walks but also means he works deep in counts, contributing to his high strikeout rate. While he may just be on his way to becoming a three true outcomes player, Benson shows enough athleticism and tools to provide optimism that he can make necessary adjustments to become more consistent. He profiles well in right field thanks to his plus arm and solid speed, particularly once he is underway. THE FUTURE: Benson's ceiling remains considerable, but he'll turn 22 in June and needs to show more hittability sooner than later to reach it. He'll return to Lynchburg to get back on track in 2020.
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. After a strong start to the 2019 season with high Class A Lynchburg, he earned a late-summer promotion to Double-A Akron. SCOUTING REPORT: Gonzalez has good bat-to-ball skills and has ranked second in the system in hits in each of the last two years. But he's an ultra-aggressive hitter and has struggled with his plate discipline at times. He has above-average raw power and can get to it in games, but it more typically plays as doubles pop right now. 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. THE FUTURE: Whatever outfield corner Gonzalez ends up in, it will be up to his bat to push him through the minor leagues. Gonzalez will return to Double-A Akron to start 2020 and has the tools to eventually put himself in the big league picture.
TRACK RECORD: The Indians continued to be aggressive on the international market in 2019 and Pastrano, a Venezuelan native, was the club's biggest signing. His older brother, also named Jose Pastrano, plays in the Athletics' organization, but the younger Pastrano is viewed as the superior prospect. SCOUTING REPORT: Pastrano stands out for his athleticism and understanding of the game. A switchhitter, he has a short, direct swing and a good feel for the strike zone. He uses the whole field to hit and enough physical projection to see his doubles power increase in time, but he's likely to be hit-over-power in the long run. Pastrano has the defensive skills to stay at shortstop. He's a plus runner with quick hands, good infield actions and above-average arm strength. THE FUTURE: Pastrano joins the burgeoning group of talented middle infielders at the lower levels of the Indians system. He'll make his debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: The Indians' 2017 international signing class is fast turning into a blockbuster. It already features three players ranked among their top 10 prospects, and now Tena, a nephew of Juan Uribe, is making his own case. He stood out in the Arizona League for his offensive acumen and athleticism. SCOUTING REPORT: Tena has a loose, easy swing and good feel for the bat, allowing him to consistently square up balls. He's an aggressive hitter who rarely walks and will need to learn to control the strike zone better as he advances. He's a plus runner who likely won't ever hit for much power. Tena has an aboveaverage arm, good hands and solid range thanks to his speed and athleticism. He mostly played shortstop in Arizona and figures to be capable there, but he might end up as a plus defender at second base. THE FUTURE: Tena is a step behind his more heralded classmates, but his early performance has been very encouraging. He'll look to continue that in 2020 with short-season Mahoning Valley.
TRACK RECORD: As a junior at Southern Mississippi in 2018, Sandlin moved from closing to the front of the rotation and won the nation's ERA title (1.06). He shot up draft boards that spring and that momentum carried over into pro ball, as he finished the season in Double-A Akron. He started 2019 well and reached Triple-A Columbus in June, almost a year to the day after he was drafted, but he suffered a forearm strain that ended his season at the start of July. SCOUTING REPORT: Sandlin is undersized and typically throws from a sidearm slot, though he'll also raise it to more of a three-quarters look. He's effective against both righthanders and lefthanders, though he's especially tough on righthanded hitters. 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 a tremendous feel for pitching and has already shown he can be effective against upper-level competition. He will likely be ready to help the Indians bullpen in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Mejia 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—a performance that led him to be a popular name at the trade deadline and eventually added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He was unable to capitalize on that momentum in 2019, however, due to a hip injury that limited him to eight starts and ended his season in June. 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 is also short on experience. THE FUTURE: Mejia should be fully healthy for the start of the 2020 season and will look to make up for lost time. If he can get back to where he was before his injury, he should soon reach Double-A Akron.
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