Sometimes it doesn’t take statistics to be a great prospect, because George Valera has yet to step on the baseball diamond professionally.
The 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic signed with the Indians in July of 2017 for $1.3 million.
Scouting reports are swooning over his left-handed swing, which has the potential to hit for high average and power as he continues to develop. He also has shown patience at the plate and should have a strong ability to get on base. Baseball America ranked Valera as the 5th best international prospect prior to the July 2nd, 2017 signing day.
#Indians 16yr old OF George Valera crushing a HR in off-season instructional league. Valera signed for $1.3MM on July 2nd 2017 out of Dominican Republic. One of top bats in all international signings this year. #Valera #Future #CanoSwingClone pic.twitter.com/tWVyNrpuPc— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) November 16, 2017
The major concern for Valera is the fact that he’s already been graded defensively as a corner outfielder with no real chance to play a premier defensive position. He’s going to have to hit at every level to prove himself.
It wouldn’t shock me to see Valera skip the Dominican Summer League completely and debut with the rookie league AZL Indians in Arizona. He has played in the United States before, living in New York briefly and playing in the Hank’s Yanks youth program. From what I’ve seen, he speaks decent English already so it wouldn’t be as much of a culture shock as expected for most Latin American players.
If Valera has success, he’ll join fellow recent top Indians international talent who made it to the big leagues like Jose Ramirez, Danny Salazar, Yandy Diaz and Francisco Mejia.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 11 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.
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.
Tyler Freeman, SS (Age 18)
2017 (R): 144 PA, .297/.364/.414, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.9 BB%, 8.3 K%, 116 wRC+
The second pick by the Indians in the 2017 draft, Freeman had the most success of any prep player that debuted in the system last season. Might have trouble sticking at shortstop.
Eric Haase, C (Age 25)
2017 (AAA): 8 PA, .333/.500/.833, 1 HR, 0 SB, 12.5 BB%, 25.0 K%, 262 wRC+
2017 (AA): 381 PA, .258/.349/.574, 26 HR, 4 SB, 11.5 BB%, 30.4 K%, 150 wRC+
Strikes out, but makes up for it with power due to elevated swing plane. Led Akron in home runs in 2017. Earned significant offensive reps despite being the back-up catcher to Francisco Mejia.
Quentin Holmes, OF (Age 18)
2017 (R): 169 PA, .182/.220/.289, 2 HR, 5 SB, 4.7 BB%, 36.1 K%, 39 wRC+
The first pick by the Indians in the 2017 draft. Holmes was the fastest player in the draft and possesses, legitimately, 80-grade speed. Plenty of room for development hailing from a northern climate in New York.
Mitch Longo, OF (Age 23)
2017 (A+): 20 PA, .563/.650/.688, 0 HR, 2 SB, 20.0 BB%, 10.0 K%, 283 wRC+
2017 (A): 232 PA, .361/.431/.530, 4 HR, 18 SB, 9.9 BB%, 15.1 K%, 170 wRC+
Despite missing the beginning of the season with an injury, had the most impressive offensive performance of any Indians prospect in 2017. Also stole 20 bases in 21 attempts.
Julian Merryweather, RHP (Age 26)
2017 (AAA): 16 GS, 78 IP, 21.3 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6.58 ERA, 3.89 FIP
2017 (AA): 9 GS, 50.2 IP, 25.5 K%, 4.9 BB%, 3.38 ERA, 3.10 FIP
Has the best-rated fastball in the Indians system, hitting the upper 90s. Struggled after being promoted to Triple-A in 2017 but has the command to succeed. Should make his MLB debut in 2018.
Who should be the No. 11 Indians prospect?
This poll is closed