The Indians have a pretty solid farm system, and the future is definitely bright. We saw the debuts of Jose Ramirez, Trevor Bauer, and Danny Salazar. Salazar dazzled in his few starts in the big league. One start included our first home playoff game since 2007. Here are my 2014 Top 5 prospects. I have included where I think they will start the year off at.
1. Francisco Lindor- Shortstop
Lindor has been ranked high on everyone’s prospect list since he was drafted 8th overall in the 2011 Draft. In 2013, Lindor really picked up his hitting. In his split time between high-A Carolina and AA Akron, he hit .303, up from .257 last year in Lake County. I expect him to start the year in Akron, and quickly get promoted to Columbus.
2. Clint Frazier- Outfield
Coming out of Loganville High School in Georgia, Frazier was drafted 5th overall in the 2013 Draft. In his short 2013 season, he played for the AZL Indians in the Arizona League. He made only two errors this past year. Frazier impressed when he hit a homerun during his first professional at bat. He hit .297 with 5 home runs and 28 RBI. I expect him to spend the 2014 season in Low-A Lake County.
3. Tyler Naquin- Outfield
Drafted 15th overall in the 2012 Draft, Naquin has shown he is a great all-around player. His specialty is definitely in the field, where he hardly makes any errors. In the 121 games he played during the 2013 season, he only made 4 errors. Naquin spent the majority of the year in Carolina, but was promoted to Akron in September. I expect Tyler Naquin to start 2014 in Akron.
4. Cody Anderson- Pitcher
A 2013 Carolina League All-Star, Anderson was drafted in the 14th round of the 2011 Draft. Like Naquin, Anderson played most of 2013 in Carolina, and got called up to Akron late in the year. He throws a fastball in the mid 90s. In 123.1 innings pitched in Carolina, Anderson had an ERA of just 2.34 and a WHIP of 1.103. I expect him to start the year in Akron.
5. Dorssys Paulino- Shortstop
Son of former pitcher Jesus Sanchez, Paulino was signed as a free agent in 2011. He hit great in 2012 with Mahoning Valley and AZL Indians. Paulino had 7 home runs and 38 RBI over 56 games. Heading into 2013 with Lake County, he had big expectations. After a disappointing first half with many errors at shortstop and only 1 homer, he heated up a bit during the second half. I expect him to start 2014 at Lake County again.
-Ryan Hite, find me on Twitter @CST_ryanhite
Image credit to cleveland.com