Cleveland Indians 2016 Top 30 Prospects Review – No. 24 to 19

Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

#20 Shawn Armstrong, RHP

One of the few prospects on our list that had big league experience, Armstrong came in at number 20 in March. An absolutely electric arm, Armstrong struggled at times in 2016, spending most of the season at Triple-A Columbus. In 47 games (49 innings), he did post an impressive 1.84 ERA and 2.19 FIP for the Clippers. He also struck out over 13 per nine innings or 35.3% of hitters he faced. However, he also walked over five per nine or 14.2% of all hitters he faced. Despite that, he held hitters to a .157 batting average against, keeping his WHIP at just 1.14. He also saw action with the big league club on multiple occasions and is currently in the pen as a September call-up. To date, he’s appeared in 10 games for the Indians posting a 2.53 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 5.9 K/9, and 4.2 BB/9.

Future Outlook: There’s no denying that Armstrong has stuff one wants to see in a big league pen. He can rear back and get a strikeout when needed and his stuff moves enough that it’s hard for hitters to square him up. However, until he improves his command he is likely to be stuck on the I-71 shuttle between Columbus and Cleveland. He’ll enter 2017 with one more minor league option left but could impress enough in Spring Training to stick with the club. Either way, 2017 could be Armstrong’s last chance to stick with the Indians. He’s got the stuff for it…

#19 Mark Mathias, 2B/3B

Coming in at number 19, Mathias, like Krieger, enjoyed a solid offensive season the year after being drafted by the Indians. Taken in the 3rd Round of the 2015 draft, the right-handed hitting second baseman began his season at Advanced-A Lynchburg where he hit .282/.382/.408 in 115 games. He got a late call up to Akron but only appeared in five regular season games there. A college second baseman out of Cal Poly, he played his first shortstop and third base as a pro this year with the Hillcats, appearing 26 games at third and 19 at short in addition to 69 at his natural second base. He only hit five home runs on the season but did hit an impressive 40 doubles between Lynchburg and Akron.

Future Outlook: Mathias is similar to Krieger in that a bulk of his offensive value comes from his ability to get on base. Also like Krieger, he has yet to show much power in the way of home runs but the extra base hits were there. It would not be a surprise to see both Mathias and Krieger at Akron next season though how their time will be split is something to watch for. Mathias is a bit stretched at shortstop and the power isn’t an ideal fit at third base though he’s capable of playing there. Mathias is another guy who doesn’t have the physical tools but knows how to get on base and is a prospect that is on the rise as well.

Next: Indians 2016 Prospects Review – No. 30 to 25

We are now one-third of the way through reviewing our preseason top prospect list. Several prospects impressed while a few dropped off the map. Be sure to check back for our continued reviews of the Cleveland Indians’ 2016 top prospects and don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the Tribe’s system.