3 minor league prospects for the Cleveland Indians who have surprised in 2021
The minor league season is beginning to wind down and with that we’re seeing the final products of this year’s prospects. The Cleveland Indians have had more than a handful of players debut and just as many do well, as expected, in the minors. However, there are just as many players that have done well and done a bit unnoticed.
Whether it be because they are playing at lower levels or just have been over shadowed by other prospects, these three players have had strong seasons that have flown under the radar. That might not be immediate contributors in Cleveland in 2022, but what they’ve been able to do in 2021 shows promise for what could come from them down the road.
All three played at multiple levels this year and were able to relatively sustain their production at each level. If that can carry through the offseason, they should be on track to appear in the big leagues in the near future.
Logan T. Allen
The Cleveland Indians saw one Logan Allen pitch this year and he didn’t always play well. However, the other Logan Allen in the organization, Logan T. Allen, put together a strong 2021 campaign that is showing promise for the 23-year old left-handed starter.
Cleveland selected Allen in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft, so this season is the first sample he’s been able to provide since the draft. He started out with High-A Lake County, starting nine games for the Captains. Over that span Allen retained an ERA of 1.58, averaging 11.7 strikeouts per nine. He also walked just 13 batters over 51.1 innings and kept his WHIP below 1.000 at 0.974.
Once called up to Double-A Akron, Allen continued doing the same things. Over 10 appearances with Akron, nine starts, his ERA is a bit higher at 2.52 over 50 innings pitched. However, the other stats have sustained. Allen’s strikeouts per nine in Akron are still at 11.0 and he’s walked just 12 batters to lower his WHIP to 0.880.
The early return from Allen is very promising. Being that he played college ball, he could be on a fast track to the majors and these stats are showing that his timeline might be accelerated.
A fifth round pick by the Cleveland Indians in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Oregon State, Steven Kwan had been lost in the fold a bit. In 2019 he only played as high as High-A and with the 2020 minor league season lost, he didn’t really have a chance to show what he could do and how he could progress.
Kwan had played well prior to this season, but what he’s been able to do in 2021 was a bit unexpected. Over 51 games with Double-A Akron, Kwan slashed .337/.411/.539. The extra base hits weren’t exactly plentiful with 12 doubles, three triples and seven home runs, but the high average was promising.
Recently called up to Triple-A Columbus, Kwan has been able to sustain his production, albeit over a short period of time. In 30 at-bats with the Clippers, Kwan is slashing .467/.529/.767 with three doubles and two home runs.
Kwan has the potential to challenge for a major league roster spot in Spring Training next year. It will be an uphill climb given his lack of Triple-A experience, but what he’s exhibiting in his game fits what Cleveland needs in the outfield.
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Like Kwan, Richie Palacios was lost in the fold, but even more so. Palacios had a strong 2018 season across three levels, but an injury caused him to miss all of 2019 before COVID knocked out the 2020 season. Having not played in three years, Palacios had lost momentum heading into 2021, but he quickly regained it.
Playing 66 games with Double-A Akron, Palacios showcased a steady bat with a .299/.389/.496 slash line. He added an impressive 24 doubles along with three triples and six home runs. Those numbers fell off a bit in Triple-A Columbus, dropping to .254/.382/.397 with six doubles and one home runs over 21 games.
Given the mass amount of middle infield prospects in Cleveland’s system, Palacios won’t be rushed to Cleveland. He’ll have time to sort out his regression in Columbus and could still be a solid contributor down the road at the major league level.