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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Track Record: Mercado, a native of Colombia, moved to Florida with his family when he was 8 years old and eventually developed into one of the top shortstops in the country. He struggled at the outset of his professional career but got back on track following a full-time move to the outfield in 2017 at Double-A Springfield. He was putting together another solid season the following year when he was dealt to the Indians at the trade deadline in exchange for two minor league outfielders. Scouting Report: The Indians liked Mercado's all-around skill set and his ability to fill an organizational need for a righthanded center fielder, because nearly all their upper-level outfielders are lefthanded hitters. Mercado has wiry strength and produces good bat speed. After his strikeout rate spiked in 2017, he did a much better job in 2018 of controlling the strike zone. His average raw power mostly plays as doubles pop and he does a good job of using his plus speed on the bases. His speed also plays well in the outfield, where he covers ground well. He has average arm strength. The Future: The Indians entered the offseason with a muddled outfield picture due to potential free agent losses and injuries. No matter how the winter plays out, Mercado figures to compete for a big-league job in spring training, either as a regular or a fourth outfielder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Track Record: The Indians went over slot to sign Haase in 2011 but he looked to be more org player than prospect much of his professional career. He challenged that evaluation with a breakout 2017 season with Double-A Akron. In 2018, he hit 20 home runs with Triple-A Columbus and was rewarded with a September callup to make his big league debut at 25. Scouting Report: Haase had long shown strength in his swing but after the 2016 season made some changes to improve his launch angle. His power comes with a hefty amount of swing and miss, but his strikeout rate of 30 percent has remained steady. Haase caught a career-high 90 games in 2018 because he was able to stay healthy and was decoupled from Francisco Mejia, with whom he often shared catching duties. He earns praise for his receiving and has solid arm strength. The Future: The Indians in July traded Mejia, relieving their catching logjam in the upper levels. The trade of Yan Gomes to the Nationals gives Haase a better shot a playing time in Cleveland in 2019.
Track Record: Sanquintin grew up playing against older competition in his native Dominican Republic. Ranked No. 21 in the 2018 international class, he signed in July with the Indians. Scouting Report: Sanquintin is a switch-hitter who produces plenty of bat speed. The Indians bring their international free agents to Progressive Field, where they take batting practice and are honored. Sanquintin put on a show, consistently driving balls out to the opposite field from both sides of the plate. His above-average raw power comes with some swing-and-miss and he's an aggressive hitter. He has a good feel for the barrel and more hittability than his profile suggests. Sanquintin was signed as a shortstop but most evaluators expect he will move off the position sooner than later. If he can smooth out some rough edges defensively, he would profile at third base, though some believe he's destined for an outfield corner. The Future: Sanquintin will make his professional debut in 2018 and with his advanced offensive skills, he figures to advance to the Rookie-level Arizona League.
Track Record: Holmes starred on the showcase circuit in the summer of 2016, establishing himself as one of the best athletes in the draft class. But he fell to the back of the second round, where the Indians were happy to take a player with his upside. His professional career has started slowly and 2018 amounted to a lost summer due to a hamstring injury that sidelined him for all but seven games. Scouting Report: Holmes' game is geared around his top-of-the-scale speed. His feel for the barrel helps him shoot balls into the gaps before letting his speed take over. But he also generates good bat speed and can hit for power, especially when he turns on the ball. His speed helps him cover lots of ground in center field, where he could develop into a plus defender. The Future: Holmes was young for his class, which in some ways lessens the impact of his lost summer. He just needs to get game reps, which he'll likely do in 2019 with short-season Mahoning Valley.
Track Record: Palacios had a decorated college career at Towson. Drafted in the third round, he followed the footsteps of his uncle, Rey, and older brother, Joshua, into pro ball and had a solid debut. Scouting Report: Palacios has a good feel for the barrel and produces excellent bat speed. He worked this spring to cut down on his strikeouts and hit the ball the other way more often. He improved in both areas, while getting to his average power more frequently. He's a good athlete and a plus runner. Palacios has a high ceiling offensively, but questions remain about his defense. He played shortstop for Towson, but his infield actions and arm strength are not good enough to stay there. His athleticism and work ethic may help him stay in the infield at second base, but his speed would also play well in the outfield. The Future: Wherever Palacios ends up defensively, he'll likely always be bat over glove. He's advanced enough to handle an assignment to high Class A Lynchburg, where he'll continue to work on his defense.
Track Record: Rodriguez was one of the youngest players in the 2017 draft class. He is more of a long-term developmental bet, but adjusted faster to professional baseball than some had expected. Scouting Report: Rodriguez, a switch-hitter, has a smooth swing and showed he has some feel for the strike zone. He has plus raw power and projects to hit for power as he fills out his projectable frame. While his power hasn't translated into many home runs in pro ball, he has driven the ball well into gaps and played all season as an 18-year-old. Rodriguez has below-average speed, but his plus arm plays well in right field, where he can be a solid defender. The Future: Rodriguez's age has allowed the Indians to take a conservative approach in his development and he'll still reach short-season Mahoning Valley in 2019 as a 19-year-old. He is raw, but he has the tools and work ethic to, in time, develop into a prototypical right fielder.
Track Record: McCarty had a prolific high school career and went on to have a strong career at Southern Mississippi. The Indians drafted him in the seventh round in 2017. He had a breakout 2018 and led all Indians minor leaguers with 161 strikeouts. Scouting Report: At a listed 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, McCarty isn't imposing on the mound and was viewed more as a pitchability lefty coming out of college. The Indians helped him boost his fastball from the upper 80s into the low 90s with riding life by encouraging him to pitch more off his four-seamer. He has a refined four-pitch arsenal with a bigger curveball, a tight slider and a changeup that he disguises well. His secondary offerings are all solid and they play well off each other. He has above-average control and does a good job throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. The Future: McCarty has taken a step forward and opened some eyes with his performance in 2018. He'll face a challenge when he advances to Double-A Akron, but he has all the tools to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter.
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