The 2018 season is just about to wrap up for the Indians minor league affiliates, so we take a look at where these teams stand and how their seasons went.
Minor league baseball is known fondly for its gimmick jerseys, giveaway nights, and interesting team names. But for the major league clubs like the Cleveland Indians, minor league baseball is a big deal.
While Class-A Lake County looks to be out of the playoff push, A few Indians affiliates have a shot at the playoffs. Their Class-A Short Season affiliate Mahoning Vally Scrappers lead the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division by 2.5 with just six games left on the schedule.
The Indians Class-A Advanced affiliate Lynchburg Hillcats also hold a four game lead in their division for a chance to clinch the playoffs by winning the second half of the season. That gives the Indians contenders at two levels in their farm system, but it doesn’t stop there.
The Double-A Akron Rubberducks sit 7.5 games ahead for second place in the Eastern League West (confusing, I know) for a chance to clinch the final playoff spot. The Rubberducks are led by the Indians top prospect: pitcher Triston McKenzie. McKenzie missed a portion of the year due to injury but his year in Akron has been impressive with a 2.87 ERA. Number 16 prospect and pitcher Aaron Civale is also on the Akron pitching staff.
That takes us to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Columbus is in a tight race with the Indianapolis Indians for the International League West title. Columbus boasts a roster with a few big name prospects for the Indians. To name a few, infielders Bobby Bradley and Yu-Cheng Chang have had themselves impressive seasons. Outfielder Brandon Barnes also had himself an All-Star season with the Clippers. Eric Haase, the team’s top catching prospect also had himself a nice season with 18 homers.
The Clippers have seven games left before the IL playoffs begin, all of which will be played at home. With any luck, the Cleveland Indians won’t be the only playoff team for fans to follow within this organization.