If you’re a shortstop in the Indians’ organization, you probably aren’t thinking about making it to Cleveland in that capacity due to this guy:
Regardless, that doesn’t mean you stop trying to improve your game. Yu-Cheng Chang, in his AA debut in 2017, showed a power surge similar to his major league counterpart. Chang hit 24 home runs in 508 plate appearances after hitting just 13 during his time in A+ ball. This uptick in power came at a cost; his batting average and OBP both suffered significantly (84 and 49 points, respectively). His .220 batting average is concerning, but it was his first time in AA and he is still incredibly young for that level of competition. 2018 will be important for Chang to see if he can hit for a bit more average and get on base at a steadier clip.
Due to the logjam at the shortstop position in Cleveland, it wouldn’t be surprising if Chang garnered interest from other teams who are looking for the next young shortstop phenom. For instance, the Tigers may be looking at finding a young shortstop as they begin their long, cold descent into rebuild mode. Then again, do the Tigers have anyone worth trading to the Indians for?
Change did play a few games at third base in the AZL (back in 2014), so it’s possible that his bat could play at the corner and he could transition to the third base role for a future spot in the Cleveland lineup. But with top prospect Francisco Mejia’s future as a catcher uncertain and with him taking reps at third base, Chang could very well be blocked at every conceivable position. But that hasn’t stopped him from continuing through the Cleveland farm system and his work has landed him as our #8 prospect.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 9 PROSPECT FOR 2018?
Will Benson, OF (Age 19)
2017 (A-): 236 PA, .238/.347/.475, 10 HR, 7 SB, 13.1 BB%, 33.9 K%, 146 wRC+
Strikeouts are an early red flag, but patience at the plate and power make him an an exciting prospect at 19 years old.
Conner Capel, OF (Age 20)
2017 (A): 492 PA, .246/.316/.478, 22 HR, 15 SB, 8.7 BB%, 22.0 K%, 121 wRC+
Only Indians prep player from the 2016 draft to skip Low-A and he responded by blasting 22 home runs in his first taste of full-season ball. Huge upside if he can stay in center field.
Quentin Holmes, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 169 PA, .182/.220/.289, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.7 BB%, 36.1 K%, 39 wRC+
Holmes was the 2nd round pick in the Indians 2017 draft. He possesses, legitimately, 80-grade speed. The numbers aren’t great, but how many kids light up the Arizona League at age 17, anyway? Or, as Matt Lyons told me, “Everyone sucks in rookie ball.”
Aaron Civale, RHP (Age 22)
2017 (A): 10 GS, 57.0 IP, 22.5 K%, 2.1 BB%, 4.58 ERA, 2.51 FIP
2017 (A+): 17 GS, 107.2. IP, 21.1 K%, 2.2 BB%, 2.59 ERA, 3.40 FIP
Converted reliever impressed mightily after being promoted to High-A Lynchburg in 2017. Has the best slider in the Indians system, according to Baseball America.
George Valera, OF (Age 17)
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017 with the Tribe for $1.3 million. He has yet to debut professional in the Indians organization, but scouting reports are impressed with the lefty bat that could put up a high batting average and high OBP.
Who should be the No. 9 Indians prospect?
This poll is closed