Suddenly, the Guardians boast one of the most exciting farm systems in baseball.
Cleveland has been building a solid prospect foundation over the last few years. We’ve seen stellar young pitching reach the big leagues over the last few seasons, and 2022 showed us the quality hitters that were waiting for their Major League opportunity. Now, the team seems to be sitting pretty with both pitchers and position players all throughout the Minors.
With the unveiling of MLB Pipeline’s midseason prospect rankings, the Guardians have five players on the MLB Top 100 prospect list. The team's Top 30 list has added seven new names, including players drafted in July, international signings from the last two years and a former first round pick who has finally shown what he can bring to the table.
The excitement has been growing for Cleveland’s farm system. Now, it’s finally time to see whether the scouting department’s hard work can pay off. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the club’s new prospect rankings.
Here’s a look at the Guardians top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Tanner Bibee, RHP (Preseason: Not ranked | Midseason: No. 8) -- Talk about throwing yourself onto your team’s radar. Bibee was Cleveland’s fifth-round Draft pick in 2021 and has thrived in his first year of professional ball. He started the season with High-A Lake County, posting a 2.59 ERA in 12 starts with a whopping 86 strikeouts in just 59 innings pitched. Unsurprisingly, he was quickly promoted to Double-A Akron in July and has since pitched to a 1.43 ERA in seven starts with one complete game, 38 strikeouts and five walks in 37 2/3 innings.
Fall: Carson Tucker, SS (Preseason: No. 21 | Midseason: Not ranked) -- There was plenty of reason to be excited for Tucker, and there still is. But his professional journey hasn’t gotten off to the start he would have hoped for when he was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by Cleveland in 2020. He played just six games in Rookie ball in ’21 and went 3-for-20 (.150) with a homer and three RBIs. He returned this year at Class-A Lynchburg and has hit a mere .136 with a .468 OPS in 21 games. It didn’t help that he was sidelined for over a month with a forearm strain, but the former first round pick has now fallen off the Guardians’ Top 30 list.
New to the list
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
No. 7, Chase DeLauter, OF (Round 1 2022 Draft pick)
No. 14, Justin Campbell, RHP (Competitive Balance Round A 2022 Draft pick)
No. 24, Jaison Chourio, OF (International signing, January 2022)
No. 27, Parker Messick, LHP (Round 2 2022 Draft pick)
No. 30, Jacob Zibin, RHP (Round 10 2022 Draft pick)
Bo Naylor, C (No. 5, MLB No. 78)
After hitting just .188 with a 31.5 percent strikeout rate in 2021, Naylor has recaptured the offensive form that made him a first-rounder in 2018. He's batting .263/.406/.481 with 13 homers in 90 games between Double-A and Triple-A, has a much more dangerous bat than Guardians catcher Austin Hedges and provides solid defense behind the plate.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Tyler Freeman
Power: 60 -- Nolan Jones (Chase DeLauter, Jhonkensy Noel)
Run: 60 -- Petey Halpin (Chase DeLauter, Brayan Rocchio)
Arm: 75 -- Gabriel Arias
Defense: 60 -- Brayan Rocchio (Gabriel Arias, Milan Tolentino)
Fastball: 70 -- Daniel Espino (Gavin Williams)
Curveball: 55 -- Daniel Espino (Tanner Burns, Justin Campbell, Cody Morris, Doug Nikhazy, Gavin Williams)
Slider: 65 -- Daniel Espino
Changeup: 60 -- Parker Messick (Logan Allen, Joey Cantillo)
Control: 60 -- Tanner Bibee