Cleveland Guardians Prospects inside Top 100

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50. Daniel Espino

22-year-old right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Espino finds himself 50th on the list. This is a fairly impressive feat considering Espino has just 33 minor league appearances to his name since 2019 and only 24 since the beginning of the 2021 season.

It has never been a question of stuff when it comes to Espino. The problem has been injuries. Espino is yet to pitch in 2023 and only made four starts in 2022 before being shut down. That season saw Espino deal with a knee and shoulder issue, and his attempt to return in 2023 ended after undergoing shoulder surgery in May that should keep him out for at least a year.

When Espino has pitched, he has been very impressive. Compiling a 3.57 ERA, 1.062 WHIP, and 14.9 strikeouts per nine, Espino has shown he has the stuff to be a professional pitcher. Espino's four games in 2022 were some of his best, striking out 35 batters in 18.1 innings while allowing just five runs.

The concern for Espino is the volume and severity of injuries in such a short period. This can take a toll and ultimately shorten the lifespan of a pitcher at the major league level, should he reach it. Espino still has a chance to make an impact for the Guardians in the future, but his window of opportunity appears to be narrowing as time goes on.