Let's Go Tribe is putting together its own ranking of the top Indians prospects. Here are the previous entries in the series:
In this round of voting (for the first time), no one received a majority of the votes, but there was a still a pretty comfortable margin of victory:
- OF Tyler Naquin 11%
- LHP Justus Sheffield 6%
- C Francisco Mejia 29%
- 3B Giovanny Urshela 49%
- OF James Ramsey 5%
In addition to the great-looking power numbers, Urshela also posted his best walk rate since 32 games of rookie ball back in 2009. Urshela walked in 7.0% of his Triple-A plate appearances. That's still not a great figure, but it's more than double the figures he put up in the previous three seasons, and could be a sign that he's developing better pitch recognition, something he'll need if he's to succeed at the MLB level.
Urshela's year wasn't over though. After the American season ended, Urshela went to play in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he posted huge numbers. He hit .398/.424/.556 in 108 at bats before suffering a knee injury that ended his winter season. At first the injury was thought to require surgery, but ultimately the team's medical staff decided that wouldn't be necessary. He is expected to be fully operational by the time the 2015 season begins.
Urshela would not have survived another Rule 5 draft, so he was wisely added to the 40-man roster in December. Lonnie Chisenhall hit well enough in 2014 to merit the starting third base job for 2015, and if he can continue that production (while maybe evening it its distribution, rather than the extended hot and cold streaks he had last year) and play the kind of defense he did in the second half, he'll be a good player for the Tribe. If Urshela keeps doing what he did in 2014 too though, he could be a better option very soon.