7. Nolan Jones, 1B, Cleveland Guardians
This might be the most head scratching position for the front office this offseason. Bobby Bradley showed early potential, but it seemed as those opposing pitchers figured out how to pitch to him rather quickly. Josh Naylor could slot in here, but odds are against him being ready to start the season. With no other prospects at the position ready, Cleveland might have to get creative at first.
Luckily, one of the team’s top prospects is roadblocked at their natural position and could make a Jim Thome transition across the diamond. While Nolan Jones struggled at times during the 2021 season, the opportunity at first base could open the door for Jones to break into the big leagues early in the 2022 season.
Batting average hasn’t been a strength of Jones through his career, seeing his batting average drop as he climbed the ranks and hitting the lowest point of .238 in Triple-A this past season. Asking Jones to learn first base while also fixing his approach at the plate all in one offseason might be too much, but there’s the possibility that he shows up in Spring Training.
If we’re talking about a dream lineup, that should include Jones. The potential is there and flashes have been shown. The dream is that he finds consistency and a position. The one side note is the same as Arias, being playing time. Even if he doesn’t start the season in Cleveland, Jones will be a player to monitor throughout the year.