clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ryan Merritt is our No. 14 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 15?

New, comments

The 2016 ALCS hero doesn’t have elite stuff, but gets batters out at the top level.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The people have spoken, and they voted Ryan Merritt into the LGT prospect rankings the first time he was made available.

Perhaps he would have been higher in our list if he’d been added earlier...oops.

Obviously, Merritt rose to fame for her role in game five of the 2016 American League Championship Series, pitching the Indians to the World Series.

A 16th round draft pick in 2011, Merritt rose to prominence through guile and above average command

The 25-year-old spent his 2017 season between Triple-A and the big league club, with positive results.

Merritt posted the second highest K/9 of his career in Columbus (6.59), and while that didn’t translate at the Major League level (3.05), he put up significantly better ERA (1.74) and FIP (3.06) numbers with the Indians than he did for the Clippers (3.03 and 4.78).

The southpaw doesn’t throw particularly hard, topping out in the upper 80s and occasionally hitting 90 mph, and he doesn’t have nasty swing-and-miss breaking pitches, but he can hit spots and get batters out.

Heading into the 2018 season, Merritt is number seven on the depth chart for the Cleveland rotation, but he’s also out of options so if he can’t stick with the big league club, he could end up elsewhere


WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 15 PROSPECT FOR 2018?

Aaron Bracho, SS (Age 16)

One of the top international prospects signed by the Indians in 2017. Earned the largest signing bonus of any Indian that year at $1.5 million. Could move to 2B due to lack of arm strength. Bat is his biggest strength, could hit for power and average as he develops.

Matt Esparza, RHP (Age 23)

2017 (AA): 17 GS, 94.2 IP, 17.8 K%, 8.9 BB%, 4.94 ERA, 5.14 FIP

2017 (A+): 9 GS, 47.0 IP, 20.3 K%, 5.6 BB%, 3.26 ERA, 4.25 FIP

Drafted in the 14th round from UC Irvine in 2015, Esparza struggled a bit in his jump to AA. Has managed to hold batters to a sub-.300 BABIP at all levels of play since single-A. Still fairly young for the AA level and is the subject of the #TeamEsparza hashtag across LGT.

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.

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.

Johnathan Rodriguez, OF (Age 18)

2017 (R): 119 PA, .250/.381/.333, 0 HR, 0 SB, 17.6 BB%, 19.3 K%, 108 wRC+

The youngest player in the 2017 MLB draft, has a good eye at the plate and a great throwing arm. Has a very projectable frame at 6-foot-3 with the potential to develop power although he doesn’t have any yet.

Poll

Who should be the No. 14 Indians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Aaron Bracho
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Matt Esparza
    (1 vote)
  • 26%
    Tyler Freeman
    (39 votes)
  • 10%
    Quentin Holmes
    (15 votes)
  • 33%
    Mitch Longo
    (49 votes)
  • 22%
    Julian Merryweather
    (34 votes)
  • 2%
    Johnathan Rodriguez
    (3 votes)
148 votes total Vote Now