We are approaching the All-Star break, which means it's time for all kinds of midseason lists, including those for top prospects. Baseball America released theirs Friday morning and it features seven Cleveland Indians prospects, up from the five that made it in their preseason list in February.
Here is a quick rundown of who made it and where they were in the preseason list:
|Player||Midseason Rank||Preseason Rank||Position||Current Level|
|Clint Frazier||21||44 (+23)||OF||AA|
|Bradley Zimmer||26||31 (+5)||OF||AA|
|Brady Aiken||59||71 (+12)||LHP||R|
|Bobby Bradley||64||93 (+29)||1B||A+|
|Justus Sheffield||69||81 (+12)||LHP||A+|
The biggest change is obviously Clint Frazier overtaking Bradley Zimmer as not only the top Indians prospect, but the only Indians prospect in the top 25. Frazier has been phenominal in Double-A this season, slashing .286/.368/.481 with a career-low 20.7 percent strikeout rate. He is on pace to blow by his previous high in home runs (16), with 11 balls hit out of the park before the midway point. Frazier is an easy candidate to peg for a potential late-season call-up to the Indians, or at the very least a chance to face Triple-A pitching before the minor league season ends.
Conversely, Bradley Zimmer has shown some flashes of potential this season -- and he even has more home runs than Frazier -- but prolonged slumps have diminished a bit of his top prospect sheen and lowered his batting average to .244. He is drawing a walk in 13.6 percent of his at-bats against Eastern League pitching, but his strikeout rate has jumped to 29.2 percent, up from 25.2 percent against High-A pitching last season.
Baseball American loves Brady Aiken, and they had him in the top 100 prospects before he even threw a professional pitch. Now with a few starts under his belt, and proof that his velocity is still around on paper, they bumped him up a full 12 spots just outside of being in the top-half of this newest top-100 list at 59.
Francisco Mejia and Mike Clevinger are the newcomers to Baseball America's top-100 list. Both players have had great seasons at their respective levels and even earned promotions during the course of the season. Clevinger looked like a rookie in his few starts at the major-league level, while Mejia has torn up pitching in both Class-A and High-A. As of this writing he is in the middle of a 32-game hit streak, the longest of any player in baseball this season.