Cleveland Indians: Three players to watch during Spring Training

Cleveland Indians prospect Gabriel Arias (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians prospect Gabriel Arias (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Spring Training, Gabriel Arias
Cleveland Indians prospect Gabriel Arias of San Diego Padres (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Gabriel Arias

One of the bigger names that came to the Cleveland Indians in the Mike Clevinger trade, Gabriel Arias has yet to suit up in a Tribe uniform. With no minor leagues in 2020, Indians fans don’t really know what to expect from Arias other than what the scouting reports and stats say that are available from his time in the Padres’ organization.

Listed as the No. 6 prospect in the Indians’ organization, we know that there are high expectations for Arias. The key for him this spring will be to find a spot where he can thrive in the near future. His highest level of play is High-A, so there’s still some time before he’s MLB-ready, but when he is where will he slot in?

Most of his playing time in the minors has been at shortstop, tallying 261 starts there. This is part of the reason why San Diego could part with him, thanks to the star in Fernando Tatis Jr., but Cleveland’s shortstop competition isn’t exactly wide open either.

Despite the trade talks, Francisco Lindor remains on Cleveland’s roster, but long-term someone else will play short. That doesn’t mean it will be Arias. While Arias is the No. 6 prospect, Tyler Freeman is the No. 2 and is also a shortstop. Both have limited experience at second base as well, so the future double-play tandem of the Cleveland Indians could be right here. The only catch is, who’s at shortstop?

That battle will be one to watch closely during Spring Training. There’s still time before a decision is made, but eventually one of them will emerge as the favorite while the other transitions to second base.