Cleveland Indians No. 11 Prospect: Lenny Torres, RHP
Like middle infielders, the Cleveland Indians have plenty of pitchers on their current Top 30 prospect list and that doesn’t include any of the 19 they just selected in the 2021 MLB Draft. In total, the club has nine pitchers on the list, so why is Lenny Torres the one included on this list?
Of the nine pitchers, Torres is the fourth listed. The first one is Daniel Espino, a first round pick by the Tribe in 2019. It seems a little early to deal a 2019 first rounder, so Espino is probably safe. Next up is Ethan Hankins. Hankins has a projected ETA in Cleveland for 2022 and given the current state of the rotation it wouldn’t make sense to move a piece that could help that soon.
That brings us to Josh Wolf on the list. Wolf is a potential trade piece, but since he arrived to the Tribe in the Lindor trade the team hasn’t been able to really explore his potential. For that reason, Torres ends up as the most likely to be moved of the bunch.
A first round pick by the Tribe in the 2018 MLB Draft, albeit the 41st overall selection, Torres is currently with Lynchburg, Class-A. There he has totaled 38.1 innings with an ERA of 5.17. He’s also walked 25 while striking out just 38. Those aren’t great stats, so why would a team want him?
Well, just 20-years old Torres has already shown potential. In 2018 he maintained an ERA 1.76 in rookie ball while logging 12.9 strikeouts per nine. Unfortunately, he had to have Tommy John in May of 2019 which could be the cause of the inflated stats.
However, if there’s a team that likes his potential and thinks that he can return to his 98-mph fastball with time, then Cleveland has the flexibility and depth to move him.