Cleveland Guardians Top 50 Predictions

Jeff Lang/USA Today Network

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Below is a breakdown of prospects in the Cleveland Guardians’ farm system. Scouting reports have been compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as my own observations. This is the third year that we’ve identified between two projected relief pitches, the abbreviations you’ll see in the “position” column below: MIRP for multi-inning relief pitchers, and SIRP for single-stroke relief pitchers. The ETAs listed generally correspond to the year a player must be added to the 40-man roster to avoid qualifying for the Rule 5 draft. Manual adjustments are made where they seem appropriate, but I use that as a rule of thumb.

A quick overview of what FV (Future Value) means can be found here. here. A much deeper overview can be found here.

All of the classified forecasts below also appear on The Board, a site-provided resource featuring screenable scouting information for each organization. It contains more detail (and updated TrackMan data from various sources) than this article and consolidates each team’s roster so readers can compare forecasts across farm systems. can be found here.

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Other prospects are noteworthy

Grouped by genre and listed in order of preference within each category.

Personalized Cheese Balls (Copyright baseball america)
Mika Breeze1b
Rodney BooneLHP
Jackson Humphreys, LHP
Kindeglys VirguezRHP
Joe Naranjo1b

None of this group fit into another bucket of honorable mentions but with the exception of Naranjo, they have all made the 35+ class around the same. The Pries possesses a representative baseball frame, as well as above-average strength and speed, but is only suited to first base and may not have the hitting tool to support that profile. Boone sits at 86 mph, but his fastball has a huge carry and his changeup is the best he has out of many of the minor staffers. Humphries, a high school eighth rounder from 2022, hit 95 in the fall and flashed his broken ball several times. Virguez, 18, sat 93-95 in DSL, Cleveland’s strongest hurler out there (I know). Naranjo is in the first only basic puzzle game similar to Pries, with plus board discipline rather than speed.

catching depth
Manuel Megiasc
David FryC / 1b / 3b
Robert Lopezc
Jose Cedenoc

Mejias, 18, is a stocky batsman with above-average bat speed and a solid track record in his early career. Frey, 27, picks up every now and then and plays a few other positions, making him an interesting candidate for the No. 26 man. Lopez looked good in the backcourts in 2021, but he slipped offensively in 2022 and wasn’t able to catch up. He is still young and has a great pedigree. Cedeno, born in 2005, barely swung and missed at all in 2022 DSL (93% z-contact, y’all), but that’s all I have for now.

The Fall of the Arms Association
Mason HickmanRHP
Hunter StanleyRHP
Lenny TorresRHP
Kid SmithRHP

Hickman and Stanley have sneaky, low-90s fastballs that play well with curveballs. Hickman averages 70-72 mph, but he’s still getting a lot of pitching in 2022. Stanley was injured in May and didn’t throw again until the fall, when he was 91-93 with a Grade II squashed 45½. Torres has been a notable amateur prospect whose fastball shape makes it difficult for him to survive 92-94 mph, even if his slider is still good. Smith’s hard, low 90s fastball has enabled him to hit opposing hitters at a K of nearly 40%, and he also struggles with walks.

Sleepers outside
Connor Coxfrom
Jonathan Rodriguezfrom
Jorge Burgosfrom
Christopher Espinolafrom
Lexar Sadoyfrom

Kokx, 22, can hit and run but has very little strength. He seemed to be rocking hard during the fall league. Rodriguez has a massive arm and power outage in his sixth pro season, hitting 26 homers in 2022. His hitting tool remains suspect. Burgos, Espinola and Sadui are all compact outfielders in their early twenties who have performed at lower levels.

fallen friends
Junior Sanquentine3b
Discovery PlanesRF
Josh WolfMIRP
Aaron Prashaw2b

This group has had a large profile at various points in the past. Sanquintin and Bracho were senior IFA signers who struck out early as professionals but have had their own hit or miss since then. Bracho’s decline was particularly stark and seemed to coincide with his injuries. Blanes is the closest of this group to the major leagues. He has extra club speed, but his swing trajectory and zone control aren’t great. Wolf was part of the Lindor trade and became a relief-only heavy prospect at 40½.

About the System

Cleveland finished the 2022 season as our third-ranked farm system, and although two of the top 100 players will fall out at the end of the year, which will cause the organization to slide a bit, there is so much depth here that this system is still probably in the five-to-range range. Seven across baseball. Developing the show was key to keeping it deep. It’s not like Guardians prospects are immune to breakups and downs, but they tend to have a couple players come out of nowhere and become real opportunities every season, including plenty of physically mature players with unexpected spikes in arm strength. They seem to be targeting shooters from college programs that don’t tend to max out their players’ stuff, and plenty of West Coast and Southwest colleges like Fullerton and Arizona State have other schools in the ballpark development space. The Guardians also tend to value the year leading up to a certain prospect draft year more than other clubs and end up with guys who had good sophomore years but bad junior years, as if they were taking a low buy opportunity. This is what got them Shane PepperDavis Sharpe, Trenton Denholm, and possibly Chase DeLotter.

As I’ve noticed ad nauseam over the past couple of years, Cleveland also has distinct amateur talent acquisition patterns related to age, size, and calling inclination. Many of the team’s international signers are short-handed switch hitters (I’m 5-foot-11 and towers over the entire coaching group), and the local high school recruits are always among the smallest in class. Again, this does not guarantee success (Rainel DelgadoAnd Christian CairoAnd Yordis Valdesetc.), but it’s part of what yielded the homegrown core that propelled the Guardians to the 2022 postseason finals and had them flocking to higher-level prospects in order to contribute to the big league cause.

Amed Rosario He’s a free agent after the 2023 season and Cleveland will likely replace him on the inside, but the team has plenty of candidates, and especially as the years of their options and roster flexibility seep away, it makes sense that at least a few of those players would have been traded to fix some offensive loopholes for the Guardians. Their lineup simply wasn’t as deep and dangerous as those of other playoff teams in 2022. Other clubs maintain that Cleveland are among the toughest and toughest to try to strike a deal, so although there may be opportunities to find balance in the roster with many Trading partners who need a young player, don’t expect Guardians to do a “fit” trade like Gabriel Moreno/Dalton Farshaw switch We saw a few weeks ago.

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