Stock Up, Stock Down for the Cleveland Indians' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11
The Cleveland Indians farm system received a big shake-up over the last few weeks following the 2014 MLB draft. The Indians' selections in this year's draft resulted in two new faces to this week's edition of stock up, stock down, although only one of them has appeared in a professional game.
The rest of the group is slightly different as well, as you'll see numerous players in different positions.
But the model remains the same, though, and we'll look at each of the Indians' top 10 prospects and how his stock has changed in the past week of play.
Let's get started.
10. Francisco Mejia, C, Low-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, .227/.370/.273, 0 HR, 0 3B, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 4 R, 5/3 K/BB, 0 SB
After working through extended spring training, Francisco Mejia finally got an assignment to short-season ball with Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League.
Mejia is a gifted young player, but he's a long way from reaching his full-potential as a an All-Star-caliber catcher, hence his No. 10 ranking here. In any event, Mejia has had a fantastic 10-game start to just his second year of professional ball.
This week, Mejia appeared in six games and worked to a .227/.370/.273 slash line with a double, three RBI, four runs scored and a 5-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The 18-year-old backstop has one of the highest ceilings of any player in the club's farm system, and his performance over the remainder of this season could go a long way toward deciding his future with the club, as it will help determine whether the team elects to challenge him next season with an early assignment to full-season ball.
2014 Stats: 10 G, .263/.349/.316, 0 HR, 0 3B, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 5 R, 7/5 K/BB, 0 SB
9. Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Triple-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, .167/.259/.208, 0 HR, 0 3B, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R, 8/3 K/BB, 0 SB
After six-plus seasons of professional ball, Jesus Aguilar finally received a call-up to the big leagues. Although it seems like he's spent an eternity in the minors, Aguilar is still just 23 years old and has the opportunity to make an impact as a right-handed power hitter at the big league level.
Aguilar is looking to earn himself a shot at a full-time spot as a bench bat for the 2015 season—assuming Jason Giambi finally retires—and although he's done a great job of that to this point in his 2014 campaign, he experienced a tiny setback in Week 11.
Over six games, the young first baseman logged a .167/.259/.208 slash line with one double, two RBI, four runs scored and an 8-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Aguilar's week was an abnormality in what has otherwise been an outstanding season.
2014 Stats: 65 G, .269/.367/.475, 11 HR, 0 3B, 13 2B, 38 RBI, 32 R, 60/33 K/BB, 0 SB
8. Dorssys Paulino, SS, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 4 G, .063/.118/.250, 1 HR, 0 3B, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R, 5/0 K/BB, 0 SB
Dorssys Paulino's stock is dropping like a rock. The 19-year-old ranked inside Baseball America's Top 100 prior to the 2013 season, but he's looked like anything but an elite prospect since the beginning of last year.
In that time, the young middle infielder has posted a combined .240/.297/.341 slash line with 51 extra-base hits and a 142-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 687 at-bats.
This year, Paulino has seen further reductions in his batting average and slugging percentage despite the fact that he hasn't advanced beyond the same Single-A level he competed at last year as an 18-year-old.
This week, Paulino saw his stock drop yet again, slashing .063/.118/.250 over 16 at-bats. Paulino did log his first home run of the season, however, but it's not enough to make up for the continuing downward trend in his play.
2014 Stats: 55 G, .227/.297/.322, 1 HR, 3 3B, 11 2B, 16 RBI, 23 R, 51/19 K/BB, 2 SB
7. Justus Sheffield, Pick No. 31, Round 1
Last Week's Stats: N/A
The Indians got great value out of their second first-round-pick—No. 31 overall—when they selected Justus Sheffield out of Tullahoma High School.
Sheffield has the potential to be a No. 1 or No. 2 starter, but his likely ceiling is that of a No. 3. The 18-year-old has a durable 6'2", 195-pound frame, and the fact that he's already pretty well filled-out makes projecting his growth that much easier.
Sheffield's fastball grades out as an average offering with above-average potential, sitting in the low 90s. His slider, curveball and changeup all have the potential to surpass his fastball, and it's likely that at least two of them—most likely his slider and changeup—will do so.
2014 Stats: N/A
6. Jose Ramirez, 2B, Triple-A
Last Week's Stats: N/A
Aside from a disappointing 11-game showing at the big league level, Jose Ramirez has had a pretty successful season here in 2014.
The 21-year-old boasts a strong .284/.338/.412 slash line with 14 extra-base hits, 27 RBI, 27 runs scored and a near-even strikeout-to-walk ratio. Ramirez has shown his speed as well, logging 11 stolen bases in 20 chances.
Ramirez was inactive for the entire week we're looking at and hasn't played a game since June 12. When he does return, Ramirez will rejoin the club's Triple-A affiliate and is a shoo-in for a September call-up if he doesn't receive one earlier.
2014 Stats: 50 G, .284/.338/.412, 5 HR, 1 3B, 8 2B, 27 RBI, 27 R, 23/18 K/BB, 11 SB
5. Cody Anderson, RHP, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 1 GS, 0-1 W-L, 3.0 IP, 12.00 ERA, 2.33 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, 9.0 BB/9, 0.67 K/BB
After starting off his professional career with three straight successful seasons, Cody Anderson has hit a bit of a roadblock in his 2014 campaign. Over 15 starts, the 23-year-old owns a 5.21 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP in 74.1 innings pitched.
Anderson's 3.6 walk rate represents the highest full-season mark of his career, while his 5.6 strikeout rate would be his lowest full-season total.
Anderson's struggles continued here in Week 11. Over his lone start, Anderson allowed four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two. Anderson needed 69 pitches to get through the third inning, and this most recent start marked his third straight of 4.2 or less innings pitched.
2014 Stats: 15 GS, 2-6 W-L, 74.1 IP, 5.21 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 1.53 K/BB
4. Tyler Naquin, CF, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 6 G, .250/.333/.250, 0 HR, 0 3B, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 3 R, 6/3 K/BB, 0 SB
Though it doesn't show in his most recent week of play, Tyler Naquin is having a fabulous season with Double-A Akron. The 23-year-old boasts a .310/.366/.424 slash line with 20 extra-base hits, 27 RBI, 53 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.
This week, Naquin struggled to get things going. Over six games played—27 plate appearances—the Texas A&M product managed just a .250/.333/.250 slash line with one RBI, three runs scored and a 6-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Naquin struck out at a 22.2 percent clip last week, and while that's equal to the mark he posted last season, it seemed to catch up with him here in Week 11, as he was only able to connect for just six hits on the week.
2014 Stats: 73 G, .314/.371/.427, 4 HR, 5 3B, 11 2B, 28 RBI, 54 R, 67/28 K/BB, 14 SB
3. Bradley Zimmer, Low-A
Last Week's Stats: 1 G, .250/.400/.250, 0 HR, 0 3B, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 0 R, 2:0 K/BB, 0 SB
The Cleveland Indians got a gift from the baseball gods when Bradley Zimmer slipped to them at No. 21 overall in the 2014 MLB draft. The 21-year-old is one of the best pure hitters in his class and figures to be a quick mover through the team's farm system.
In his time at the University of San Francisco, Zimmer displayed an above-average and potentially plus hit tool with moderate power and above-average speed.
At this point in time, Zimmer's power is the only major concern in his game. If he sticks as a center fielder, then it's a nonissue. However, if he's forced to shift to a corner outfield position, he'll need his power production to come along, as he'll be expected to pop 15-plus home runs per season.
Despite concerns surrounding his power potential, Zimmer has a high ceiling and earned himself a pro-player comparison of Paul O'Neill in the predraft scouting reports of Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum.
Zimmer appeared in just one game during the week in question, but he was able to log his first professional hit, and RBI. The young outfielder has enormous potential as a hitter, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to professional baseball over the remainder of the 2014 season.
2014 Stats: 1 G, .250/.400/.250, 0 HR, 0 3B, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 0 R, 2:0 K/BB, 0 SB
2. Clint Frazier, CF, Single-A
Last Week's Stats: 4 G, .250/.294/.313, 0 HR, 0 3B, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 3/1 K/BB, 0 SB
Clint Frazier hasn't had the 2014 campaign that the organization may have hoped for when it selected him fifth overall in the 2013 MLB draft. After 59 games, the 19-year-old boasts a .248/.327/.366 slash line with four home runs, four triples, eight doubles, 20 RBI and 30 runs scored.
Frazier's peripheral stats are solid, as evidenced by his 16 extra-base hits over just 238 at-bats. However, he's struggled to make consistent contact at the plate, and his 28.6 percent strikeout rate is a cause for concern.
Frazier's most recent week brought around a reduction in his player stock. Over four games, Frazier logged 17 plate appearances with a .250/.294/.313 slash line, one double, one RBI, one run scored and a 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Frazier hasn't been awful, and in just his first full season of professional ball, we should expect to see some growing pains. However, it would be nice to see him showcase some additional power and plate discipline over the remainder of the season.
2014 Stats: 59 G, .248/.327/.366, 4 HR, 4 3B, 8 2B, 20 RBI, 30 R, 77/28 K/BB, 7 SB
1. Francisco Lindor, SS, Double-A
Last Week's Stats: 5 G, .286/.273/.714, 2 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 6 RBI, 3 R, 6/0 K/BB, 0 SB
Francisco Lindor might be the least talked-about top prospect in all of baseball. The 20-year-old shortstop is the best fielder in his class and boasts a hit tool that's an above-average asset.
This week, the Florida prep product continued to swing the bat well, posting a .286/.273/.714 slash line with two home runs, a triple, a double, six RBI and three runs scored. Though he posted just a .292 OBP with a 6-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Lindor turned in another solid week with the bat.
Lindor is knocking on the door for a promotion, and should the Indians finally do what they should have done prior to the 2013 season and trade Asdrubal Cabrera, he could be here as soon as the July trade deadline.
2014 Stats: 71 G, .281/.360/.403, 6 HR, 4 3B, 8 2B, 43 RBI, 47 R, 51/35 K/BB, 19 SB
All stats are current through play on June 24, 2014, and come courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Week 11, the week in question, ran from June 18 through June 24.