clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mike Papi is our No. 20 Cleveland Indians prospect for 2016

In the time it took me to write this post, Mike Papi drew three walks.

Hey look, we actually have a picture of a prospect!
Hey look, we actually have a picture of a prospect!
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The final player to make our top Cleveland Indians prospect list hails from the University of Virginia and spent the last two seasons in the lower levels of the Tribe's farm system. With 34 percent of the votes (53 total), Mike Papi beat out pitcher Ryan Merritt and Lynchburg Hillcats teammate Eric Haase to win the final spot in our list.

Papi, 23, continues to impress scouts with his approach at the plate and ability to draw walks (16.0% walk rate in 2015), so much so that he could one day find himself in the major leagues as a platoon partner or solid bench player. Baseball Prospectus, in particular, appears to be a big fan of Papi. They have him ranked as the Tribe’s 10th overall prospect, ahead of other top prospects such as Mike Clevinger, Yandy Diaz, and Tyler Naquin.

Although Papi struggled in the first few months of the 2015 season, he rebounded and ended up slashing .236/.362/.356 (117 wRC+), with his good eye at the plate saving him from a dismal season. His power still is not where it should be, but last season's .356 slugging percentage is leagues better than the .274 he had in 39 games in 2014.

There is no telling exactly what the future could hold, but as of now, Papi has a lot of competition in front of him on the way to the Indians roster. The outfield is arguably the club's deepest position in with the likes of Naquin, Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer ready to debut in the coming years. The landscape could change by the time Papi reaches the majors, however, or else he could be a valuable trade piece to a team looking for a fourth outfielder.


Being that this is the final slot in our top-20 list, there will obviously not be a vote for the next prospect. However, if you want to keep the discussion going in the comments -- or even post your own 20-30 prospects -- feel free. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this a fun, active, and informative couple weeks worth of voting.

A full recap of our top 20 list will be coming later this week.