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Brady Aiken named Cleveland Indians top pitching prospect for 2016 by Baseball America

But Bradley Zimmer is No. 1 overall, obviously.

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Baseball America has released their Top 10 Cleveland Indians prospect list for 2016 and it features quite a few surprises. Not in the top two overall prospects, mind you -- those are still Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier of course – but the rest of the list is filled with some names higher and lower than you might have expected.

Rank Player Age Position
1 Bradley Zimmer 23 OF
2 Clint Frazier 21 OF
3 Brady Aiken 19 LHP
4 Justus Sheffield 19 LHP
5 Bobby Bradley 19 1B
6 Tyler Naquin 24 OF
7 Mike Clevinger 25 RHP
8 Triston McKenzie 18 RHP
9 Rob Kaminsky 21 LHP
10 Francisco Mejia 20 C

If you could not guess by the subtle headline, Baseball America has Brady Aiken ranked third overall in the Indians organization, and the team’s top pitching prospect. Aiken, a first-round pick in the 2015 amateur draft, did not pitch in 2015 and will likely not see action in the minors until after the 2016 season starts as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Another 2015 first-round pick, Triston McKenzie, cracked Baseball America’s Top 10 list at No. 8, despite a lack of meaningful playing time in 2015. Similar to Aiken, McKenzie’s physical profile and high ceiling are enough to warrant him being on a top prospect list right now.

Tyler Naquin, who many Indians fan are already writing off at this point, just barely missed the top five, coming in at No. 6 on the list behind the 19-year-old power sensation Bobby Bradley. Naquin has a shot at making the major leagues this year, as does No. 7 overall prospect Mike Clevinger.

As for my own opinion on the list, I would have Mike Clevinger a bit higher. I get the feeling that Baseball America is weighing a player’s ceiling a bit heavier than I would be comfortable doing, especially with pitching prospects. I would still probably have Aiken in my top 10, just lower on the list. I think two pitchers ahead of Bobby Bradley sounds about right, but for me, it would be Clevinger and Justus Sheffield.

It is also interesting to Francisco Mejia in the top 10, which is a good thing considering he is really the only future catching option for the Indians past Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez. However, given Baseball America's love of high-ceiling pitchers, I am a bit surprised Mejia made it on the list over 2015 second-round pick Juan Hillman, who is on many analysts' top 10 lists.