Pitching prospect Plutko one of Tribe's NRIs

January 26th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- During the Indians' fall development program at the end of last season, pitching prospect Adam Plutko had to look no farther than the mound at Progressive Field to see just how quickly a player can reach the big leagues.

Cody Anderson -- a teammate of Plutko's briefly at Double-A Akron in May last season -- was pitching for the Indians during Plutko's September trip to Cleveland. Plutko, who was among the four internal non-roster invitees announced by the Tribe on Tuesday, can only hope to follow a similar Major League trajectory.

"Cody was really quick," Plutko said in September in Cleveland. "Cody did it this year -- everything you want to do as far as getting ahead of guys, putting guys away, striking guys out, not walking guys. "

The Indians will get a close look at Plutko, one of the team's 17 non-roster invitees, this spring in big league camp. Also joining the fold from Cleveland's system on Tuesday were infielder Todd Hankins, right-hander Will Roberts and shortstop Eric Stamets.

Plutko -- ranked by MLB.com as the Indians' No. 14 prospect -- enjoyed a strong showing in 2015. In his second professional season, the 24-year-old righty went 13-7 with a 2.39 ERA, which was the lowest ERA in the organization in '15. Plutko struck out 137, walked 28 and posted a 0.93 WHIP in 166 innings overall between Class A Advanced Lynchburg and Akron.

In 19 starts with Akron, Plutko turned in a 2.86 ERA and led Double-A with a 1.02 WHIP.

"I tried to be really consistent in my routines," Plutko said. "That's something you always hear about. Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, all those guys that are here and pitching in the big leagues -- that's something that all our coaches tell us, is they do a better job than everybody else around them. I try to get really in-depth with my routines and not try to change them too much, just try to do the same thing as much as I can."

Plutko, who was named the College World Series' Most Outstanding Player in 2013 after helping lead UCLA to the championship, has gone 20-17 with a 3.16 ERA in 315 2/3 innings in the Indians' organization.

Hankins, 25, hit .261 with six home runs, 31 extra-base hits, 36 RBIs, 31 walks, 56 runs and 21 stolen bases in 109 games at Double-A Akron last year. In 16 games with Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League, he hit .246 with a .408 on-base percentage. Hankins spent the bulk of his time at second base last year, but he also logged innings at shortstop and all three outfield spots. He manned center field in 12 games in the AFL.

The 25-year-old Roberts went 9-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 26 starts between Akron and Triple-A Columbus last season. In 156 2/3 innings total, the right-hander struck out 84 and walked only 23. Roberts made a dozen starts for Columbus, posting a 3.06 ERA to go along with a 1.15 WHIP in 70 2/3 innings.

Stamets was acquired from the Angels prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline last summer in exchange for outfielder David Murphy. The 24-year-old shortstop hit .230 in 95 games between Double-A Arkansas (Los Angeles) and Akron (Cleveland), but he dealt with a left shoulder issue in early April. Known best for his defensive ability, Stamets made no errors in 33 games (141 chances) after joining Akron.