I have been sick since Christmas...so, needless to say I have been bored out of my gourd! I have been looking at our farm system and our top ranked prospects...a little scary to say the least (at least short term). If you look at the Tribe's official website, they have the top 20 prospects (heading into 2013).
A little analysis of the list...
1. Trevor Bauer - RHP (22 years old when season begins) - cracked Arizona's ML roster midseason last year
2. Francisco Lindor - SS (19) - at least 2 years away from reaching Cleveland as he has not played above Low A ball thus far in his career
3. Dorssys Paulino - SS (18) - at least 2-3 years away from reaching Cleveland as he hasn't played above Low A ball thus far in his career
4. Tony Wolters - SS (20) - at least another year or two away from reaching ML roster, had fair success in Single A Carolina last year
5. Scott Barnes - LHP (25) - relief option this year at ML level...could translate to rotation at some point in his career
6. Ronny Rodriguez - SS (21) - at least another year or two from reaching Cleveland, never played above Single A Carolina...intriguing as he has some pop in his bat.
7. Tyler Naquin - OF (21) - at least 2 years away from reaching ML roster, showed little pop in first professional season at Mahoning Valley.
8. Dillon Howard - RHP (20) - at least 2-3 years away from making impact at Major League level...struggled mightily with the Arizona League Indians.
9. Mitch Brown - RHP (18) - at least 3 years away from making his way through the minors, pitched fairly well in Arizona during first professional season.
10. Alex Monsalve - C (20) - at least 2-3 years away, struggled with the bat during limited action at Single A Carolina.
11. LeVon Washington - OF (21) - burst onto the scene in 2010-11 with strong start to professional career, injuries hampered him last season...probably at least 2 years away barring any more injuries.
12. Jesus Aguilar - 1B (22) - at least another year away from ML roster...has shown some pop and ability to hit for average at both Single and Double A.
13. Luigi Rodriguez - OF (20) - another talent at least 2-3 years away from reaching relevance to Tribe fans...has shown decent pop and speed on the base paths.
14. Jorge Martinez - SS (19) - long ways away from Cleveland...showed promise in Arizona league but struggled mightily in Mahoning Valley.
15. Chun Chen - C/1B (24) - getting close to time for him to show what he has got, getting older...has shown ability to hit for average.
16. Chris McGuiness - 1B (24) - with solid Spring Training, should break camp with the team and could be DH/1B option. Has pop and a pretty solid eye at the plate
17. Jake Sisco - RHP (21) - at least 2-3 years away from ML roster, 5.03 ERA at Mahoning Valley leaves quite a bit to be desired.
18. Kieran Lovegrove - RHP (18) - 2012 3rd rounder, didn't get much work in first professional season...probably 3-4 years away.
19. D'vone McClure - OF (19) - 2012 4th rounder...who knows what he will turn into? At best 3 years away from making impact.
20. Jose Ramirez - 2B (20) - put up solid numbers at Low A Lake County, but still at least 2-3 years away from working his way through the minor league system.
Of the indians.com top 20, only 3 are, IMO, going to have anything to do with the ML roster this season. That means that the other 17 in the Top 20 are at least 2 years away, which means that we really don't know a whole lot about them...15 of the Top 20 are 21 or younger.
Other names (from indiansprospectinsider.com).
Nick Hagadone - LHP (25) - made an impact last year at ML level before flipping out when told he was being sent down and hurting himself. Needs to control emotions, but has solid upside out of the pen.
Chen-Chang Lee - RHP (26) - Tommy John in 2012, should be ready in 2014. Was the Tribe's Minor League pitcher of the year in 2011.
Elvis Araujo - LHP (21) - big lefthander has shown potential, needs to work on control...still a couple years away.
I haven't been too keen on the "shipping out the current ML talent for prospects" idea, but if we are going to compete, we may need to make another move or two in order to shore things up for the next year or two. Cabrera and Perez could be shipped elsewhere for a package of players that are closer to ML ready to those that we have on the farm...Mike Aviles wouldn't be the worst thing to run out there at SS for this season if it means that we get better talent with more team control.