ESPN writer Keith Law recently updated his list of the top 25 prospects in baseball, and not a single Cleveland Indians prospect was to be found. No Bradley Zimmer, no Clint Frazier, no Brady Aiken, and no Sicnarf Loopstok just to finally give his name the recognition it truly deserves. So, what gives?
It may not be the answer Tribe fans want to hear, but he may be right.
Law's top-25 list was topped by the likes of Lucas Giolito, a right-handed pitcher in the Washington Nationals' system, and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford who recently earned a promotion to Triple-A. I do not think even the most enthusiastic Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier fan had either of them as a top five overall prospect, but let's look at the tail end of the list.
Left-handed pitcher Cody Reed and New York Yankees shortstop/second baseman Jorge Mateo rounded out the 24th and 25th positions on Law's newest list, two prospects who are currently dominating their current levels in the minors.
Bradley Zimmer did not start the season exactly hitting the cover off the ball, only getting his offense into gear in the last month or so. Conversely, Clint Frazier came into the season as the Indians' near-consensus No. 2 overall prospect (unless you are Baseball America), but he has been the more exciting prospect right out of the gate throughout the young season. Frazier currently leads the Eastern League in doubles (17), batting average (.313), and on-base plus slugging (.944). He has also brought his strikeout rate down to 19.1 percent, which would be a career-low if it holds out through the entire season.
As exciting as Frazier has been, the idea of him pulling ahead of Zimmer because of a great month-and-a-half is little on the crazy side. And I do not feel uncomfortable at all at the idea of Keith Law keeping either of them out of his top-25 list. It is fun to get excited about Indians prospects, but perspective is important. Most scouting reports on Zimmer and Frazier have them as competent, very good, everyday outfielders. Which, looking at the current Indians outfield situation is fantastic.
For what it's worth, Bradley Zimmer made Keith Law's pre-season top-25 list at No. 21 overall, meaning his stock has likely dropped a bit in his eyes, which is reasonable. Law had Frazier at No. 72 in his preseason list, and I would have to imagine he is a bit higher now.