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.