Tribe spring has reached its halfway point, and Opening Day is just weeks away. Here is a rundown of how four Cleveland Indians prospects have been doing.
The Cleveland Indians are just 3-7 in Cactus League play but wins and losses in spring training matter as much as preseason wins and losses in the NFL. The real substance of these games is assessing where certain players are with their development, and getting the regulars ready for the next 162-plus.
Prospects that get invited to spring relish the opportunity to show their big league club what they have. Not all prospects get the opportunity, however, so those that do must seize it when it comes.
The Indians have quite a few minor league prospects in camp with them and some have played a bit over the first couple weeks of spring. Some of the prospects have fared very well in Goodyear while others have struggled to get off to a hot start.
Yu Chang – INF – Indians No. 11 prospect on 2019 MLB Top 30
Yu Chang has had a pedestrian spring so far, slashing .222/.263/.333 with just four hits in 18 at-bats.
Two of his four hits have been doubles and he has two RBIs to his credit as well. The alarming thing about Chang’s numbers is that they include seven strikeouts.
Chang spent a little time in Cleveland last season filling in for some injuries but he did not make a big splash, hitting just .178 in his 73 major league at-bats in 2019. His defense is the better part of his game as he projects with a solid arm and league-average defensive ability.
He is a shortstop now but could be a future utility man with ability to play short or third base and possibly second base. With experience, he could take on a Mike Freeman type role for the Indians in the future.
Bobby Bradley – 1B/DH – Indians No. 7 prospect on 2019 MLB Top 30
Bobby Bradley is off to a hot start in spring 2020. He has a .333/.375/.733 slash line in 15 at-bats. He has five hits, two home runs, four RBI, a walk, and two strikeouts in those at-bats.
Bradley was a big power prospect on the 2019 list and he showed why in his limited appearances in Cleveland and his recent stints in Akron and Columbus. Since being called up to Akron, he has hit 83 homers in 1,352 at-bats which comes out to a long ball once every 16.5 at bats the last three seasons.
His raw power is his best trait but that also comes with high strikeouts. His aggressive swing style is a double-edged sword and his strikeout rates are high.
Bradley could be back up in the big leagues in 2020 and help provide some left-handed power as a DH. He is a first basemen but as stated above, the majority of his game is power and run-producing offense.
Scott Moss – SP – Indians No. 17 prospect on 2019 MLB Top 30
Scott Moss was a piece in the three-team Yasiel Puig–Trevor Bauer deal between the Indians, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds in 2019. He was in the Reds’ top 15 prospects of 2019 before coming to the Indians farm system.
In his hectic 2019 minor league campaign, Moss combined across Double-A Akron and Chattanooga and Triple-A Columbus to post a 10-6 record with a 2.96 ERA in 26 combined starts. He also punched out 159 batters of the 550 he faced for a 11.0 K/9.
Moss has a scout grade of 50 across all his pitches as well as his control. He is not an overpowering pitcher but his command will help overcome his lack of big-time velocity.
This spring, he’s pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs with five strikeouts and four walks. His ERA comes out to 4.91 in that limited action.
With the injury to Mike Clevinger, the back end of the Indians rotation to begin the year is light and open for competition. Moss would need an extremely strong finish to spring to beat out the guys in front of him but, he could find his way to Cleveland at some point in 2020.
Logan Allen – SP – Indians No. 4 prospect on 2019 MLB Top 30
Allen’s spring hasn’t been the greatest but has been limited in opportunities so far. As of this writing, he has pitched 2 1/3 innings giving up four runs, two earned. He has also given up three hits and walked five batters.
Like with Moss, a strong spring for Allen could have seen him get consideration for starts while Clevinger recovers from his injury. He has a little time to make his mark still but, with opening day just 24 days away, he will need a strong finish. It’s likely he is called up to the majors at some point in 2020 anyway, regardless of whether he breaks camp with the team.
The Indians have more prospects that are playing a lot in these spring games but, these four are guys who could find themselves playing meaningful innings in Cleveland in 2020. The 2020 top prospects list is filled with other top guys like Nolan Jones and Triston McKenzie who are making their names known for the future.
The Indians have a solid farm system under the big league squad and can be confident in being able to restock the major league level in future seasons. Spring is almost over and soon these guys will all disperse to their respective minor league teams to continue their development with their eyes on the big league prize.