Cleveland Indians 2015 Midseason Top Prospects

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Urshela is the Tribe 3B next to Lindor for now, but could Diaz be there one day? Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley, McKenzie and Diaz Shouldn’t Be Ignored

As mentioned earlier, four prospects that only showed up on one of our lists, and I had three of them.  Bobby Bradley is a guy that I simply couldn’t have outside my top five.  He’s far from a perfect prospect as he’s a 1B-only type straight out of high school, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.  He also doesn’t have a ton of speed (though for a 1B he moves well), and his swing can lead to loads of strikeouts (currently at an alarming 33.2%). But that all said, his bat could be truly special.

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Bradley missed some time early in the year with an oblique though one would hardly know it given his 14 home runs for the Lake County Captains in 67 games.  He’s only hitting .248, but thanks to the power and a near 11% walk rate he has a 131 wRC+.  Not too shabby for a kid that turned 19 less than two months ago.  If he can overcome the strikeout issues, he’s a guy I can see sneaking into some top 100 prospect lists next year.

Triston McKenzie was one of the last Indians draft picks to sign this year and boy did he get paid. The Indians went well over slot to lure him away from a Vanderbilt commit.  While many may like Sheffield more since he’s a year older now and shown his abilities at the pro level, McKenzie may have even better stuff and a higher ceiling. Player A getting more than Player B in the draft doesn’t mean that Player A is clearly better but it should be noted that despite being drafted in similar areas in the draft, McKenzie got over $700K more.  Where Sheffield may project as only a #2/3, McKenzie is a guy that some see as a potential #1/2 guy down the line.  He’s got a ways to go though (as does Sheffield) but like Mejia, he’s a guy Tribe fans should take note of and follow as he progresses.

Yandy Diaz is a guy that just barely snuck into my top 10.  I debated several prospects there but ended up going Diaz as he’s simply been producing ever since joining the Indians back in January 2014 out of Cuba.  He a bit older than a lot of the prospects on my list as he turns 24 in a couple of weeks, but he’s also showing an advanced approach at the plate in Double-A with a 14.5% walk rate and just a 12.4% strikeout rate.  He hasn’t shown much power, which is a bit disappointing but has a nice swing that could play well anywhere even if the power only becomes average.

He’s currently at 3B though was a utility player in Cuba.  Baseball America named him the best defensive 3B in the Carolina League in 2014 and the Indians seem content to keep him there for now.  He’s very athletic though and has a strong arm, so a move to the OF could also happen.  His athleticism and versatility could also help him become a super utility guy at the next level, which is becoming a much more valuable commodity for teams as seen with guys like Ben Zobrist Tampa/Oakland and Mike Aviles in Cleveland.

Diaz may only have 724 plate appearances since coming to America, but he’s truly impressed me.  As Giovanni Urshela tries to lock down 3B after Chisenhall struggled, don’t discount Diaz as a sleeper option there in the future.  A utility role may be more likely but if he is able to show some power while improving his defense at the hot corner, he very likely could be even more.

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