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Triston McKenzie is our No. 2 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 3?

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The most hyped Indians pitching prospect since CC Sabathia has impressed at every level.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Well all know the saying, there is no such thing as a pitching prospect (TINSTAPP), but boy, Triston McKenzie is a player worth getting excited about.

McKenzie cruised to an easy victory in Thursday’s prospect voting, raking in 75 percent of the votes to claim the title of No. 2 prospect in the Cleveland Indians farm system.

If one looks at the statistics on McKenzie, the result of yesterday’s vote is not a surprise whatsoever.

Standing 6 foot 5 and weighing 165 pounds, the lanky right-hander led all of minor league baseball in strikeouts in 2017 with 186 whiffs in 143 innings pitched, good for a nasty 11.7 K/9 ratio that is usually reserved for top-end closers. He has three pitches, a fastball, curveball and change-up and all are labeled plus, with his curveball now ranked as the best in the Indians farm system by Baseball America.

McKenzie spent the entire 2017 season with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, and while there were multiple opportunities for him to be promoted to Double-A, the Indians chose to be patient with him, instead having the then-19-year-old make adjustments as he repeated starts against hitters in the Carolina League, eventually leading the Hillcats to a championship.

McKenzie calmed concerns about his frame and durability by not missing a start in 2017, averaging 5.7 innings per start in 25 starts in just his first full season. His longest start was 7.0 innings, a distance he reached eight times. He had six starts with 10 or more strikeouts as well.

The former first round supplemental pick was named to the Carolina League All-Star Team, was a member of Team USA in the Futures Game and was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year.

He is expected to begin the 2018 season in Double-A Akron, which is typically considered the most difficult transition for minor league players.


WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 3 PROSPECT FOR 2018?

Greg Allen, CF (Age 24)

2017 (AA) 303 PA, .264/.344/.357, 2 HR, 21 SB, 7.3 BB%, 18.2 K%, 96 wRC+
2017 (MLB) 39 PA, .229/.282/.343, 1 HR, 1 SB, 5.1 BB%, 20.5 K%, 63 wRC+

Missed half of 2017 with a broken hamate bone, but was able to impact the Indians during September call-ups with great defense and baserunning.

Bobby Bradley, 1B (Age 21)

2017 (AA): 532 PA, .251/.331/.465, 23 HR, 3 SB, 10.3 BB%, 22.9 K%, 116 wRC+

A powerful bat that has leaned toward being a Three True Outcome player in the past. Saw his walk rate and strikeout rate both drop in 2018.

Willi Castro, SS (Age 20)

2017 (A+): 510 PA, .290/.337/.424, 11 HR, 19 SB, 5.5 BB%, 17.6 K%, 115 wRC+

One of the younger players at his level each season. Hit more home runs last year (11) than his first three professional seasons (10).

Yu-Cheng Chang, SS (Age 22)

2017 (AA): 508 PA, .220/.312/.461, 24 HR, 11 SB, 10.2 BB%, 26.4 K%, 110 wRC+

Displayed a significant power surge in 2017 in his Double-A debut, but at the cost of increased strikeouts and a major drop in batting average.

Nolan Jones, 3B (Age 19)

2017 (A-): 265 PA, .317/.430/.482, 4 HR, 1 SB, 16.2 BB%, 22.6 K%

Took a leap in his Low-A debut showcasing improved power, an elite eye at the plate and reduced strikeout percentage. Defense at third base needs work.

Poll

Who should be the No. 3 Indians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Greg Allen
    (75 votes)
  • 50%
    Bobby Bradley
    (163 votes)
  • 9%
    Willi Castro
    (30 votes)
  • 5%
    Yu-Cheng Chang
    (18 votes)
  • 12%
    Nolan Jones
    (39 votes)
325 votes total Vote Now