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Mike Clevinger was dominant, and is a starting rotation option for the Cleveland Indians

How high up the rotation pecking order can Mike Clevinger climb in 2016?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Clevinger's route to the Clevelnad Indians was a pretty circuitous one.  The Jacksonville, FL native attended the Citadel as a freshman and then transferred to the Seminole State College for his sophomore season in 2011. That is when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim used their fourth round pick on him. He only made three appearances for Orem of the Pioneer League (Rookie) that year.

In 2012, he made just eight appearances on the year before succumbing to Tommy John surgery. But those limited appearances (and the depletion of the Angels minor league system) enabled him to open as the #4 prospect in their system in 2013.  He returned late in the year to make three appearances.

He opened 2014 with the Burlington Bees (A) in Iowa before moving quickly to the Inland Empire 66ers (A+) of the California League. The Indians likely noticed him after five shutout innings against Lake County before the A+ promotion. Because of after just 27 games in just over three seasons, the Tribe landed him as the return for Vinnie Pestano when they were clearing a 40-man roster spot at the trade deadline.

His numbers at Carolina (A+) were not great, but covered just 20.1 innings. He spent the entire 2015 season with Akron (AA) and appeared to have fully recovered from the surgery. He made 26 starts and finished the season a strong 22.7 K%, 6.3 BB%, 1.06 WHIP and a low 0.46 HR/9.

After the RubberDucks season concluded, he was added to the Columbus Clippers playoff roster and was absolutely brilliant. He made two starts, pitched 15.1 scoreless innings with just five hits, three walks and 17 strikeouts. He won the clinching game with 7.2 shutout frames.

After the season he was named as the #17 prospect in Baseball America for the Eastern League. The MLB Pipeline page has him as the #15 prospect in Cleveland's system.

He will start 2016 in Columbus, and if he keeps up the numbers he had at Akron, he could be one of the first calls to Cleveland. He also could be used as a trade chip too, but I believe the front office likes his stuff enough to deal one of the top seven starters this offseason.










Akron (AA)