Francisco Lindor: B+
The young shortstop appeared in his fourth consecutive All-Star Game and launched over 30 home runs for the third time in his career. His expectations are just so high to where a year at .284/.335/.854 is good but not great. He also continues to struggle in big spots. Hopefully that will improve with age.
Carlos Santana: A-
Santana should have never been allowed to leave in the first place. He provided consistency all season long and was by far the most patient hitter, walking 108 times in 2019. His 34 home runs led the way, as did his 93 RBI. His .911 OPS was also the best among qualified hitters as the veteran made his first All-Star Game.
Jose Ramirez: C
2019 was not Jose’s year. He still did launch 23 home runs and drive in 83, but he had some major slumps and was unable to get in a rhythm late after having surgery on his hand. Just like Lindor, Ramirez enters every year with MVP expectations. That was not the reality in 2019.
Jason Kipnis: B
Not a great year. Not a terrible one. Kipnis played close to but still below most of his career averages. Yet he wasn’t a liability. His WAR of 0.5 was nowhere near worth what his contract stated, which is why the only way he returns is on a minuscule deal. It’s a shame he didn’t get a proper sendoff but so it goes in the business of baseball.
His WAR of 3.9 ranked third among position players as Perez had the best year of his career. Yan Gomes being traded allowed Perez to play in a full-time role and he responded with career highs in nearly every offensive category. Yet the real strength was his defense. Perez not winning the Gold Glove will be shocking and would just not make much sense.
Mike Freeman: B-
Freeman actually finished with a 1.3 WAR in his first semi-full season in the majors. The journeyman was solid in 75 games, slashing .277/.362/.390. The problem was that it may have been much wiser to give all of his playing time to a younger player. Oh well, that’s Tito.
It is tough to be too harsh on a backup catcher. Plawecki did his job in 59 appearances after coming over from the New York Mets. He did hit three home runs so at least there was some excitement for him in 2019.
Franmil Reyes: C+
Reyes is listed as an outfielder but of course he was somewhat banned from playing out there by Terry Francona. The young player struggled after coming over from San Diego. The strikeouts piled up and it became clear he is a long-term project. Indians fans should be happy he is here and not base expectations on how he struggled in two months of action. His 0.1 WAR should only go up in future years.