Reviewing the Cleveland Indians 2016 Preseason Top Prospects – No. 24 to 19
Today, we continue our top prospect review with the next six players from our preseason list. Included are several advanced college bats, a reliever with big league experience, and a pair of players that were nearly dealt this summer.
#24 Tyler Krieger, 2B/SS
Coming in at number 24 on our preseason top prospect list, Krieger was making his Indians organizational debut in 2016. He was the Tribe’s 4th Round pick in 2015 but didn’t play due to a shoulder injury. He began the year at Class-A Lake County where he hit a stout .313/.385/.427 in 69 games. He added a trio of home runs, 13 doubles, four triples, and 15 stolen bases. He then played 59 games at Advanced-A Lynchburg after being promoted. He picked up mostly right where he left off with the Captains, hitting .282/.369/.405 with two home runs, 13 doubles, four triples, and six stolen bases. Drafted as a shortstop, he played exclusively second base in 2016 for both the Captains and Hillcats, totally 117 games at the position.
Future Outlook: Krieger was an advanced college player who came in and did exactly what one wants to see from guys like that, hit well at the lower levels. The 22-year-old switch hitter transitioned flawlessly to pro ball though will face a big test once he reaches Double-A, which could come very early in 2017 if not opening day, depending how aggressive the Indians want to be with him. Once thought to have the range to stick at shortstop, an arm injury his last year at Clemson may have permanently moved him to second base though he has potential to be an effective major leaguer there thanks to the bat. Power still could use some developing, but he showed good discipline at the plate walking over 10-percent of the time. It’s still way too early but he has a bit of that Jason Kipnis-vibe to him. Physical tools don’t jump out at you but a guy that knows how to play and should move up the list next year.
#23 Greg Allen, OF
Allen came in at number 23 on our preseason top prospect list and looked like he may not be around for 2017 after initially being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the failed Jonathan Lucroy deal. The 23-year-old switch-hitting outfielder enjoyed an impressive year with the Indians. He began the year at Advanced-A Lynchburg where he hit .298/.424/.402 in 92 games before earning a late season promotion to Double-A Akron where he continued to hit, batting .290/.399/.441. Overall Allen hit an impressive .295 with an amazing .416 on-base percentage. He also stole 45 bases between the two clubs and scored 119 runs. To top it off, he was named a minor league Gold Glove winner by Baseball America after the season.
Future Outlook: Allen is one of the best defensive outfielders in the organization. He played exclusively center field this season but has experience in right as well. Defensively he’s probably big league ready right now; however, he’ll likely start the season at Double-A Akron to finish developing his bat. He offers very little power (career .101 ISO), but the speed and on-base skills could make him a quality starter in centerfield. The Indians have a lot of outfield depth but Allen is starting to make a name for himself and it would not be a complete shock to see him in Cleveland at some point next year, even if it’s just in a backup role.