The election commission of the Let’s Go Tribe Prospect Rankings of America finished recounting the ballots, and the results are clear: Mitch Longo is the 15th best prospect, according to Let’s Go Tribe readers.
Mitch hails from Mayfield, OH, not far from the glorious grass of Progressive Field. He attended Ohio University, where he hit .360/.438/.467 during his junior year before being drafted in the 14th round by Cleveland.
After a decent showing in 2016 in the New York-Penn league, Longo tortured pitchers in 2017 in Lake County. Even at Single-A, .361/.431/.530 turns a few heads. Add that to a decent K/BB ratio (1.52) and and 18 steals in 19 attempts, and suddenly this 14th rounder has the attention of the system.
He’ll start this season in Lynchburg, where he finished up 2017 by playing five games. The sample size is so small that I won’t share his numbers other than to say that his OPS was Bondsian.
In a Baseball America chat, writer Teddy Cahill was quick to point out that Longo needs to keep up this torrid hitting pace in order to continue his organizational climb. He’s a corner outfielder that is already seeing some time at DH. He doesn’t project to add a ton of power, though his 20 doubles at multiple levels of Single-A last year is promising.
I hope Longo continues to impress, if only because he’s an Ohio native, and it gives me one more reason to yell, “It’s time for some MACtion!”
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.
Brady Aiken, LHP (Age 21)
2017 (A): 27 G, 132 IP, 14.9 K%, 16.9% BB%, 4.77 ERA, 5.76 FIP
It’s probable that no prospect will far as fall on this and other Indians’ prospect lists. In his first full season of baseball after Tommy John surgery Aiken struggled. All the tools remain, but the path back from a torn UCL is never easy.
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.
Who should be the Indians’ No. 15 prospect?
This poll is closed