Cleveland Guardians History

Believeland Ball’s Top 25 Players of 2018: Number 7

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

We continue our list of counting the Top 25 Cleveland Indians players of the 2018 season. Today we talk about yet another remarkable pitcher for the Tribe.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts that involve Mike Clevinger, you know just how much of a fan of his I am. Mike Clevinger had himself another phenomenal year with the Cleveland Indians and continues to build upon his success.

Since he was permanently called up in the middle of the 2017 season, Clevinger has continued to show us that he is an MLB-ready pitcher. Clev pitched exactly 200 innings this year and did so with some flair. He managed to lower his ERA to 3.02 despite being in a rut for a few months.

Not only did he manage to increase his strikeouts, but he had the ability to work deeper into games. He pitched the first complete-game shutout of his career and won 13 games.

Sunshine is slowly developing into a top pitcher in the league. He still has his youth about him, and we’ve seen him take some incredible strides to greatness in the last two years. He finished the year with a 5.4 WAR and 3.4 wins above average. Why? He’s an above average pitcher. He could easily be the one or two guy in another team’s rotation, but Cleveland has an embarrassment of riches in their rotation.

Still, that’s nothing to be upset about. Clevinger has made a living by being a deceptive pitcher with a remarkable fastball. I wrote plenty about that before and how his remarkable play did so much to help the Cleveland Indians this year. While Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco all missed time due to injury, Mike Clevinger held down the fort with his consistency and ability to stay healthy.

Next. Carlos Santana returns in a surprising trade. dark

It’s going to be interesting to see his role in the rotation in 2019. I know the Indians said that everyone is available to trade, but I couldn’t see the Indians giving Clevinger away. He’s an incredible young stud and a seriously underrated part of the Tribe rotation.