Drafted in the fifth round in 2021, 23-year-old right-hander Tanner Bibee did not make his professional debut until 2022. However, he took the minors by storm, posting a 2-1 record with a 2.59 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 59 innings at the High-A level before being promoted to Double-A. After his promotion Bibee was even better, going 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 73.2 IP. His dominance earned him the recognition of being named Cleveland Baseball Insider’s Pitcher of the Year for 2022, as well as being recognized as Cleveland’s #6 prospect, and #99 overall in baseball by MLB.com.
Despite just one year of pro experience, Bibee has everything in place to reach Cleveland this year. Being drafted out of college, and having thrown 132.2 innings last year, his innings limit will not be an immediate factor. He has a four-pitch mix, with a mid-90s fastball that touches 99 mph, a plus slider and a curveball and changeup that will keep hitters off-balance. He has excellent control, and projects as at least a mid-rotation starter. The only question is how much more time he needs to develop before arriving in Cleveland.