clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Triston McKenzie is our No. 3 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 4?

The slender starter is off to a great start in his minor league career. Can he keep up the pace in 2017?

A former 2014 first round competitive balance pick, McKenzie's 2016 campaign was the stuff of legends. The 19-year old right-handed starter absolutely blew away opposing hitters for both Low-A Mahoning Valley and Single-A Lake County.

Due to his lanky 6'5" frame and weighing just 165 pounds, McKenzie has earned the nickname "Sticks" from some of his teammates, but he's plenty imposing on the mound. McKenzie earned a promotion to Single-A after just nine starts for Mahoning Valley because he had an ERA of 0.55 and was striking out 10 batters per nine innings.

Perhaps most impressive was the fact that McKenzie's numbers actually improved after being promoted. He bumped his strikeout rate to 12 per nine innings while dropping his walk rate from 2.9 to 1.5 per nine and he's already being stretched out to six innings per start despite his young age.

McKenzie already can touch 95 with his fastball and he compliments it with a plus curveball and a decent change-up. He could easily add some more zip to his fastball as he fills out his frame.

Depending on how aggressive the Indians are with promoting him, McKenzie could potentially begin 2016 in High-A Lynchburg and the sky is the limit as long as he keeps completely overmatching the opposition.

* * *


Brady Aiken, LHP (Age 20)
2016 (R): 24.0 IP, 7.13 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 29.4 K%, 10.9 BB%
2016 (A-): 22.1 IP, 4.43 ERA, 4.26 FIP, 22.5 K%, 8.2 BB%

Stats do not mean much right now as he's working way back from 2015 Tommy John surgery. Expected to be full-strength for 2017, but no reason to rush. Very high ceiling.

Greg Allen, OF (Age 24)
2016 (A+): 432 PA, 4 HR, 38 SB, .298/.424/.402, 139 wRC+
2016 (AA): 174 PA, 3 HR, 7 SB, .290/.399/.441, 138 wRC+

Former sixth-round pick who could debut in late 2017. Led all of minor league baseball in runs in 2016 and won the minor league gold glove for center field.

Will Benson, OF (Age 18)
2016 (R): 184 PA, 6 HR, 10 SB, .209/.321/.424, 112 wRC+

The 2016 first round pick flashed solid power, speed and drew plenty of walks in his professional debut, although needs work on his strikeouts and contact rate.

Bobby Bradley, 1B (Age 20)
2016 (A+): 131 PA, 29 HR, 3 SB, .235/.344/.466, 121 wRC+

Twenty-seven or more home runs in first two full seasons in minors. Strikeout issues, but he's still only 20 in High-A and will begin 2017 in Double-A.

Yandy Diaz, 3B (Age 25)
2016 (AA): 110 PA, 2 HR, 6 SB, .286/.445/.381, 144 wRC+
2016 (AAA): 416 PA, 7 HR, 5 SB, .325/.399/.461, 149 wRC+

History of excellent plate approach, finally found power last season. Should debut early in 2017 at third base or outfield.