Friday 5: Prospects to Watch in Cleveland Indians Spring Training

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Giovanny Urshela, third base

Mar 8, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman

Rougned Odor

(12) throws to first base after forcing out Cleveland Indians third baseman Giovanny Urshela (73) during to a spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tale of two seasons for Lonnie Chisenhall in 2014.

One of the best third basemen in baseball during the first half of the season, the wheels came off on Lonnie Baseball after the All-Star break. Despite finishing with a respectable .280 average with 14 homeruns, Chisenhall posted a putrid .218 / .277 / .315 slash line after the break. That is not going to cut it for a serious title contender.

Enter Giovanny Urshela.

Urshela was one of the most highly regarded prospects in Colombia when Cleveland signed him back in 2008 and, after steady progress through the farm system, Urshela finally looks ready to realize his potential and help the big league club.

The Tribe’s 23-year-old third base prospect hit .398 with three homeruns and 22 RBIs in winter ball before spraining a ligament in his knee. Urshela is not particularly advanced at the plate and, despite being a free swinger, he is remarkably difficult to strikeout.

He is far and away the most talented defensive third baseman in the system so, even while he works to adjust his offensive approach in the big leagues, he remains a valuable asset at the hot corner.

If Lonnie Baseball struggles with the glove and puts together a first half more reflective of his post-All-Star break numbers, Urshela is likely to get a look at the big leagues.

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