Looking at the Top Prospects for the 2017 Cleveland Indians

For the Cleveland Indians, 2016 was a great year with 94 regular season game wins, making their first appearance in the World Series since 1997. Vegas has the team winning about the same this year and winning the AL Central according to BoydsBets.  And when you look at the top prospects for 2017 the Cleveland Indians have coming from the minors you can see why. I see players like Greg Allen, Francisco Mejia, and Bradley Zimmer as standouts. See my top 5 picks below:

1) Greg Allen – Outfielder
Greg Allen, a 23 year old American from San Diego State State University. In the 2016 season Allen had 78 strikeouts in 491 at-bats, 77 walks, 45 steals, and a slash line of .295/.416/.413. Allen’s talent is well rounded as he excels in both offensive and defensive performance. Highlighted by being one of nine players in minor league baseball to win the Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016 for defensive excellence. He was also named Player of the Week in the Arizona Fall League and made MLB.com Columnist Jonathan Mayo’s Top 10 breakout prospects from Arizona Fall League.

2) Francisco Mejia – Catcher
Francisco Mejia, the name many have come to know in 2016 due to a 50 game hitting streak. This 50 game streak is the fourth longest hitting streak in the history of Minor League Baseball. Mejia, a 21 year old catcher from the Dominican Republic had 63 strikeouts in 407 at-bats, 28 walks 11 homers, and a slash line of .342/.382/.514 in the 2016 season.

3) Bradley Zimmer – Outfielder
Bradley Zimmer is a 24 year old American player with above average speed from California. Zimmer is a baseball legacy; his father Eric Zimmer pitched and played the outfield at UC San Diego and his brother Kyle Zimmer is a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Zimmer is full of potential with raw power and a nice throwing arm. Zimmer had 77 walks, 38 steals, 15 homers and a slash line of .250/.365/.425 in the 2016 season. In 2016, Zimmer claimed the title in the fourth annual Bowman Hitting Challenge on opening day of the Arizona Fall league.

4) Erik Gonzalez – Shortstop
Erik Gonzalez, an aggressive 25 year old from the Dominican Republic, could make a good choice for utility player. Gonzalez had 88 strikeouts in 429 at-bats, 19 walks, 12 steals, 11 homers, 31 doubles and a slash line of .296/.329/.450 in the 2016 season. He boast an excellent throwing arm and above-average speeds.

5) Yu-Cheng Chang – Shortstop
Yu-Cheng Chang, a 21 year old from Taiwan, is back after multiple injuries. Chang had 110 strikeouts in 41 at-bats, 45 walks, 30 doubles, 13 homers, and a slash line of .259/.332/.463 in the 2016 season. Not only was Cheng invited to participate in the 2016 Arizona Fall league, he was named by MLB.com Columnist Jonathan Mayo as one of the Arizona Fall league’s Top 10 breakout prospects.

There’s so much talent out there for the Cleveland Indians in terms of 2017 prospects coming from the minor league. With such a large talent pool some of you may have a different top 5 prospect list for 2017. What are some of your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comment section.

Top 5 Cleveland Indians of All-Time

Baseball, a sport that has become not only America’s favorite pastime since the beginning but one that has seen many records made and broken. In addition to the solidity of what the game of baseball has meant to the fabric of the American culture several outstanding players have made a name for themselves and, as a result, have (at one time or another) become big house names for the major league ball clubs in which they played for. This article will briefly discuss the best all-time pitchers of the Cleveland Indians.

5) Early Wynn 1949-57, 1963
Armed with a rough and gruff personality, Wynn was not only known for his ability to master the curveball under the direction of Mel Harder during his first years as the Indian’s hurler. While there were a lot of accumulated walks that were tallied on his pitching record, Wynn had an average ERA that never went above 3.5. While his major league career included stops in Washington and Chicago his glory years were spent with the Indians where he won his 300th win at age 43.

4) Stan Coveleski 1916 – 24
Although he and his older brother Harry pitched for separate ball clubs young Stan turned out to be an ace by his own right. While the most common pitch used by the young hurler was the spitball (a pitch that is no longer legal) Coveleski was given permission to continue using the pitch after it was all but eliminated from the game. As a result, Coveleski not only won well over 20+ games three of four years running. In addition to that Coveleski won the ERA crown in 1923 for his 2.76 ERA performance but also had several career 24 game winning seasons.

3) Addie Joss 1902 – 10
Prior to a tragic death at the tender age of 31, Joss had thrived as a pitcher earning his stripes in the deadball era. While one great accomplishment was his 1.78 ERA that placed him behind Ed Walsh for second all-time Joss threw a no-hitter in his first Cleveland game in 1902. In addition to his early success Joss won 20+ games four years in a row and even had a 1.16 ERA during the last 20+ win season. After collapsing prior to an exhibition game in 1911 Joss died of tubercular meningitis.

2) Bob Lemon 1941 – 42, 1946 – 58
Teamed up with the likes of Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, and others to form the greatest pitching rotation of all-time Lemon was best known as a position player that was converted to the ways of the mound. Lemon won 10 games in his first year as a pitcher before going on to win 20+ games in 7 of 8 seasons; this included a no-hitter, 10 shutouts, and many other accomplished feats. Considered to be the top ace of all pitchers in number one slot in a given rotation, Joss’s fielding skills were at its zenith as a result of his early career field position.

1) Bob Feller 1936 – 41, 1945 – 56
The only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter on Opening Day, by the time Feller reached age 20 he had his first 20+ game winning season under his belt and just two short years later a total of 100 wins overall. While both these accomplishments were records it was predicted that had it not been for his enlistment into WWII he could have very well had a 300+ game winning career. His most common pitch velocity was over 100 mph and led the AL in strikeouts as well as walks. The hurler, nicknamed “Rapid Robert”, later on would need to rely on finesse as he longer possessed the speed that he had during the early portion of his career.

In conclusion, although the above stated Cleveland Indian greats are all pitchers from decades before the modernization of the game of baseball this list can stand as proof that there are many amazing feats and accomplishments that have unfolded over the years since the game began well over 100 years ago.