A few weeks ago, we ranked the Indians best position of prospects – outfielders.
The case for the Cleveland Indians second best position of prospects right now is right-handed pitching.
A nice mix of mostly college arms and some high school arms have given the system some nice pitching to bring along in the coming years.
1. Mitch Brown
2. Austin Adams
3. Dylan Baker
5. Adam Plutko
7. Grant Hockin
8. Casey Shane
9. Dace Kime
10. Ben Heller
Brown really settled in last year for the first time in his pro career. He’s one of the three high school arms on this list. His command really improved last year as well as continuing to improve his curve and changeup. His three pitch mix and hopefully continuing improvement in command still give him a nice ceiling, possibly a mid-rotation starter or maybe a number two.
Adams can hit triple digits with his fastball and still has a great slider to boot. A few years out from shoulder surgery now and he has a shot to be a really good high leverage reliever.
Baker missed some time with a fractured leg, despite throwing five no-hit innings on it in his first start of the season in 2014. His changeup has come a long way in the last two years. If his command improves, he could be another mid-rotation guy. If not, he can still help in the bullpen with a good fastball/slider mix…I’m still higher on Anderson more than most. He struggled in his first full go-around in Double-A last season but given his relative inexperience to pitching and starting, I think his ceiling is still unknown.
Plutko has had a surprisingly better strikeout rate as a pro than he did in college. Still he’s known for his command and his fastball has seen a slight uptick in velocity in pro ball. Given his smooth mechanics and control, he could actually be close to ready for ‘The Show’ next season…Armstrong is higher on this list than some guys with more potential because of his 96 mph fastball and chance to be a solid back-end reliever soon.
The Indians lured Hockin,the grandson of Harmon Killebrew, away from UCLA. Should be ticketed for Lake County..Shane is a big bodied, arm from Texas with a good fastball and good feel already for his secondary stuff. Should also find his way to Lake County this year.
Kime was up and down in 2014 but still has a really nice curveball. Should still be moved to Lynchburg. Heller struck out 81 in 53 innings at Lake County before a promotion to Carolina. Could be another fast-moving right-handed reliever.
Sleeper: Joe Colon is a sinker/slider type pitcher who improved his fastball last year. If he stays healthy he can give himself a chance to be an extreme groundball type pitcher in a rotation someday maybe.
Breakout candidate: Mike Clevinger 6-foot-4 right hander is 24 but struck out 100 in 100 innings last year. Came to the Indians in the Vinnie Pestano trade. If the Indians pitching coaches can iron out some things in his delivery, he can still show the promise that made him a fourth round pick.
Last chance: It’s hard to say Bryan Price would be on his last chance considering he’s hardly had one. I could have put Trey Haley here, but I think he is done. Price is the last piece of the Victor Martinez trade and has had solid numbers in Triple-A but doesn’t have room to make the bullpen now and has a lot of other arms ahead of him.