Oscar Mercado: A+
Our first perfect grade! Mercado stepped in as a rookie and ended up being one of the better players on the team. He is an asset in center field and the Indians have a clear guy set in that role for years to come. 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases also shows off Mercado’s dynamic abilities on offense.
Jake Bauers: D
The other young outfielder didn’t do as well in 2019. Bauers now goes down as the guy traded for Yandy Diaz, whether that is fair or not. He struck out 115 times in 117 games and was demoted for part of the season. He is going to need to forget about his -0.6 WAR and just focus on overall offensive improvement this offseason. The Indians wanted him from Tampa Bay so he should still be in the long-term plans.
Tyler Naquin: Incomplete
Naquin was finally having a bounceback year after struggling in both 2017 and 2018. He was a regular in the outfield before his season ended due to injury at the end of August. This came after missing time in May due to a calf injury. Naquin stands out as one of the key injuries during the year and hopefully he is able to return healthy in 2020 to improve upon what he started in 2019.
Leonys Martin: D-
Martin was a great story coming into 2019. Unfortunately, his play was not great and the team moved on after 65 games.
Greg Allen: C+
Allen had some flashes of success in 89 games this season. It just may take more regular playing time for him to truly shine, if that is indeed a possibility. His 0.5 WAR was a nice start.
Jordan Luplow: B+
What a pleasant surprise! Luplow came over quietly in the offseason and became a reliable member of the offense in 2019. An August injury slowed down his pace in what was still a 1.7 WAR season. His speciality was mashing left-handed pitching, yet I would like to see him get more playing time against all pitchers. How aggressive the Indians are in the offseason will determine if that is possible in 2020.
Yasiel Puig: Incomplete
It is tough to give Puig a grade after his time in Cleveland. He only appeared in 49 games and while he put up respectable numbers, I’d love to see a full season of him in Cleveland. Let’s hope the two sides can make something work for a return in 2020.
Carlos Gonzalez: Incomplete
Remember when the Indians went with CarGo over some other potential options in camp? Yeah, I do too. He only appeared in 30 games before the Indians cut him loose. Now he is the answer to a trivia question about how the 2019 Indians lineup looked back in March and April.