#28 Jesus Aguilar, 1B
Coming in at number 28, Aguilar was a guy that had seemingly been around forever. The big first baseman spent his third full season at Triple-A Columbus this year. He had a big year at the plate, though, setting a career high with 30 home runs, which lead all International League hitters in 2016 as did his 92 runs batted in. Overall he hit .247/.319/.472 for the Clippers. His .225 ISO (isolated power) was his highest since 2011 at Lake County (.252). Aguilar continued to be the prototypical slugging first baseman in the minors, which unfortunately for him was not a good thing. He was eventually added to the big league roster once the minor league season was over and rosters expanded. To date, he has appeared in seven games, mostly as a late innings replacement, amassing just six plate appearances and no hits or walks.
Future Outlook: Despite the bump in home runs/power, Aguilar failed to impress in many other aspects of his game. He holds his own at first base defensively but provided nothing in terms of speed and the bat looks too slow to play at the highest level. Aguilar will enter 2017 out of minor league options as well so could be a roster casualty over the winter. If he survives into Spring Training he could possibly compete for a DH/1B spot should the Indians not bring back Mike Napoli but his future with the club looks grim. At this stage the 26-year-old isn’t much of a prospect though could hang around in this same range again.
#27 Giovanni Soto, LHP
Soto came in at number 27 on our preseason list; however, he never pitched for the Indians organization in 2016 as he was designated for assignment at the end of spring training to make room for some Opening Day additions. The Chicago Cubs acquired Soto for cash considerations. He appeared in 33 games for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, throwing 49 innings with a 5.14 ERA. He did strike out over 10 per nine innings but also walked close to six per nine. The 25-year-old lefty did not appear in the big leagues this year.
Future Outlook: As seen by the huge strikeout numbers, Soto still has a very live arm and as a lefthander, could still find a niche in a big league pen. However, the control has to get better and he took a big step back in 2016. No longer with the Indians, he obviously won’t be on this list again next year and really isn’t a prospect at all anymore.