Cleveland Indians: A discussion on the Tribe’s farm system

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The farm system of the Cleveland Indians is climbing among the league’s best. How could it shape the immediate and long-term future of the MLB club?

Jim Callis of wrote a thorough examination of the Cleveland Indians farm system as it stands heading into the winter of 2019-20. With promising talent at all levels of the minor leagues and the youngest average age among their top 30 prospects, the outlook on the Tribe’s farm can be summarized, in a word, as bright.

The group is headlined by top prospect Nolan Jones, a left-handed hitting third baseman who many optimistically believe will get a chance to play for the Indians in 2020. Where on the diamond he ultimately plays in the short term is a detail that will depend upon whether Jose Ramirez remains at third or transitions to second.

In other words, Jones’ immediate future could be directly impacted by how aggressive the Indians are this winter in adding a fourth infielder to replace Jason Kipnis. If Cleveland signs or trades for a stopgap, Jones remains a solid bet to get promoted sometime next summer. If the Indians take a run at someone like Mike Moustakas, finding a way to fit Jones into the lineup or defensive alignment will be more challenging.

Regarding the rest of the Indians’ farm system, what is known is that it will collectively have an impact on the Major League club in one way or another for the 2020 season and beyond. The question is, how? To expand on Callis’s report, let’s look at some of the more prominent takeaways from his examination and discuss how they could potentially affect the way the organization as a whole operates for the next few seasons.