You overwhelmingly chose Shawn Armstrong for the 16th spot in our community rankings.
The Indians selected Armstrong in the 18th round of the 2011 draft (which already is looking like an outstanding draft, with Cody Allen, Francisco Lindor, and Cody Anderson having already made meaningful contributions). Armstrong has taken longer to get to the majors than you'd expect for a college pitcher, having struggled for a couple of years at the AA level. His stuff has never been in doubt, but he's struggled to find the strike zone at times. That wildness may come with the territory, though, as everything he throws has movement on it. His two-pitch mix of mid-90s fastball and low-90s slider was extremely effective both at AAA and the majors in 2015; he struck out 91 batters in 59.2 innings between Columbus and Cleveland.
As mentioned above, Armstrong made his major-league debut last year, and should play a key role with the team this year. He may get very used to I-71, traveling between Cleveland and Columbus as a temporary fill-in, but I think he'll earn a permanent spot on the team by the end of the year, much like Austin Adams did in 2015.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 16 PROSPECT FOR 2016?
(ages listed are for 2016 season)
Mark Mathias, 2B (Age 21)
2015 (A-): 294 PA, 2 HR, 5SB, .282/.382/.408, 137 wRC+
Tore up Low-A ball in his first season since being drafted out of Cal Poly in the 2015 draft. Great plate approach but defense is still an unknown.
Mike Papi, OF (Age 23)
2015 (A+): 505 PA, 4 HR, 6 SB, .236/.362/.356, 117 wRC+
Supplemental pick of the 2014 draft who showed a great approach at the plate after a slow start in 2015.
James Ramsey, OF (Age 26)
2015 (AAA): 503 PA, 12 HR, 3 SB, .243/.327/.382, 107 wRC+
Once a promising future outfield for the Indians (or at least a trade piece), but may be a dreaded "AAAA" player as he has struggled to make it out of Triple-A. Potential fourth outfielder who could debut as soon as 2016.
Erik Gonzalez, SS (Age 24)
2015 (AAA/AA): 588 PA, 9 HR, 18 SB, .255/.292/.373, wRC+ 70/106
Can do a lot of things on both offense and defense, and as a result may be a perfect fit for a utility role. Already on the 40-man roster.
Ryan Merritt, LHP (Age 24)
2015 (AAA/AA): 171.0 IP, 4.05 ERA, 3.22 FIP, 15.6% SO, 2.8% BB
Has been a success at each level despite perceived limitations. May not be a top-of-the-rotation starter, but looking more and more like an MLB starter, and that's worth something, right?