30 Teams in 30 Days: Cleveland Indians Top 10 Prospects

Indians

1. Carlos Santana, C – One of the best catching prospect in baseball, and the Dodgers might be kicking themselves for dealing him for Casey Blake. The bat won’t be the question; can he handle the position? Many do think so, but time will tell this year.

2. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B – There were character questions when Chisenhall was drafted, but it appears that those are behind him. He’s moved over to third from short, so he should be able to handle the position. He’s still needing time to develop, so don’t expect him this year.

3. Nick Hagadone, P – He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery (in 2007), so don’t look for him in Cleveland anytime soon; Boston and Cleveland have been very careful with him. He’ll see an increased work load, but there is talk of using him out of the bullpen. It’d be a waste, as he’s got 3 solid pitches and can be a front of the rotation starter.

4. Alex White, P – White has the potential to be an ace, but the jury’s still out at this point. After this season, the Indians should know what they have here; there are questions as to his role – starter or reliver. If he’s successful, look for him at the end of 2011.

5. Hector Rondon, P – Rondon has an incredible fast ball. The question comes with the secondary pitches. If he can get those in line, he’ll be a quality starter. If not, he’ll be a solid set up man. He’ll see some time in Cleveland this year.

6. Carlos Carrasco, P – If Carrasco pitches to potential this year, he’ll be a force in Cleveland’s rotation. That’s a big if. He’s had a Jekyll and Hyde career and he’ll need to over come that.

7. Michael Brantley, OF – There are many questions about Brantley sticking as a starter. He makes contact, is patient, and has great speed. He lacks power of a true corner outfielder. Some scouts see him as a 4th outfielder; some see him as a starter. If the Indians trade Russ Branyan, he’ll get his shot.

8. Nick Weglarz, OF – Weglarz can be a better outfielder than Brantley, if he’s healthy. That’s been the one thing holding him back in the minors. If he can make it through this season with out missing much time, he’ll be on the road to a solid career. He’s patient and has good power.

9. Jason Knapp, P – Knapp has the stuff to match up with any of these pitchers, but he’s got questionable mechanics. If he can get straightened out without losing anything, he could move to a front of the rotation starter; at this point, he’s a reliever.

10. Lou Marson, C – Marson will have the first opportunity to catch for the Tribe. He’s a contact hitter that is a stellar receiver. He won’t be able to hold off Santana, but he’ll have value until he’s ready.

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