Cleveland Guardians see new guy at No. 1 in top 30 prospect rankings

MLB released its updated list preseason top prospects for each team, and there's a new name at the top for the Cleveland Guardians.
Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians
Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians / Norm Hall/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians have a new top prospect in their system, as came out with their annual prospect rankings this week for each team. Earlier this offseason, The Athletic ranked the Guardians’ system as No. 22 in Major League Baseball, with the consensus standing that Cleveland’s system is somewhat middle of the pack, if not falling into the bottom tier of farm systems. The knock is that the overall system falls off drastically outside the top guys, many of whom are already kicking down the MLB door and will be lifted off the prospect list this season. 

So, following an interesting 2023 season where Cleveland acquired Kyle Manzardo and Kahlil Watson, and in many ways still played a waiting game with most of their top guys, here is a look at Cleveland’s Top 30 prospect list heading into the 2024 season.

2024 Cleveland Guardians Top Prospects: New Man on Top

If there’s one man who is going to save the Guardians’ outfield power vacuum, it’s probably going to be Chase DeLauter, the Guardians’ top selection in the 2022 draft who scorched through three minor levels last season.

He went down with an injury almost immediately after inking his first contract with the squad, but since then has slashed an eye-popping .355/.417/.528 with 22 doubles, five home runs and 39 RBI while striking out just 30 times in 214 plate appearances. He’s got a 60 power grade with a 55 field grade. Dubbed by as someone with “a tantalizing combination of size, athleticism, performance and plate discipline,” DeLauter has a serious shot at making Cleveland’s roster toward the end of this season, if not starting next season with the club. 

2024 Cleveland Guardians Top Prospects: The Rest of the Top 10

2. Kyle Manzardo 

3. Brayan Rocchio 

4. Daniel Espino 

5. Ralphy Velazquez 

6. Jaison Chourio 

7. Juan Brito 

8. George Valera 

9. Alex Clemmey 

10. Angel Martinez 

Rocchio fell two spots partly due to his middling season at the major-league level amidst a season full of trying to make adjustments to up his batting average. MLB guys still love Espino’s potential even though he’s hardly played over the last two seasons. Valera finally got up to Triple-A last year and looked like he might crack the 2024 Opening Day roster. Then he kept getting injured and suspended. Now on the injured list once again, the shine of his once incredible prospect stardom is starting to wane. 

 Who’s 11 through 30? 

11. LHP Joey Cantillo 

12. SS/3B Angel Genao 

13: SS Welbyn Francisca 

14: LHP Jackson Humphries 

15. 3B/1B Deyvison De Los Santos 

16: SS/2B Kahlil Watson 

17: OF Petey Halpin 

18: OF Johnathan Rodriguez 

19: OF Robert Arias 

20. OF Jake Fox 

21: SS/3B Jose Devers 

22: SS Alex Mooney 

23: LHP Parker Messick 

24: SS Jose Tena 

25: SS Rafael Ramirez Jr. 

26: RHP Cade Smith 

27: RHP Andrew Walters 

28: LHP Will Dion 

29: OF/1B/3B Jhonkensy Noel 

30: RHP Franco Aleman