The Indians were one of the twenty-nine teams who did not sign Shohei Ohtani this offseason in the international market. Instead, the Tribe looked to other players to sign with their $5.75 million dollar international signing pool. We’ve already seen one of those players, George Valera, in our list of prospects at #10. Now coming in at #18, Aaron Bracho enters the LGT top 20 prospect list heading into the 2018 season.
Listed at 5’11”, 175 lbs per MLB, Bracho is a young shortstop (who could eventually slide over to second base if his arm doesn’t hold up at short) signed out of Venezuela in July of 2017. The 16-year old was listed as the #17 international prospect by Baseball America last year and he signed with the Tribe for $1.5 million dollars. He’s been described as being incredibly athletic and a good defender in the field.
Bracho hits from both sides of the plate with power, which may remind you of another switch hitting young shortstop in the Indians organization. It’ll take Bracho a while to get to the same level as Francisco Lindor, but he has all of the tools required to become a marquee player for the Tribe years down the road.
Cleveland has had many notable international signings over the past decade, including Jose Ramirez, Danny Salazar, Francisco Mejia, and Yandy Diaz, among others. Bracho has a high ceiling; he should begin his professional career this year, so it will be interesting to see how he transitions into playing pro ball.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 17 PROSPECT FOR 2018?
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.
Ernie Clement, 25 2B-SS (Age 21)
2017 (A-): 187 PA, .280/.315./343, 0 HR, 6 SB, 3.2 BB%, 6.4K%, 99 wRC+
The Indians selected Clement in the 4th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He won a National Championship while playing at Virginia University and tallied a 21-game hit streak at Mahoning Valley last season.
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.
Mike Rivera, C (Age 22)
2017 (A-): 53 PA, .170/.231/.234, 0 HR, 0 SB, 22% K, 5.7% BB, wRC+ 43
Mike Rivera won the college World Series with Florida and was picked in the sixth round by the Indians in 2017. The offensive numbers look terrible because they are, but the glove is already MLB ready. He showed some pop in college, and if he develops into even a tolerable hitter the glove will earn him time in the Majors.
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.
Eric Stamets, SS (Age 26)
2017 (AAA): 380 PA, .251/.324/.455, 15 HR, 8 SB, 22.9% K, 7.9% BB, wRC+ 116
2017 (AA): 50 PA, .325/.429/.525, 1 HR, 2 SB, 26.0% K, 16.0% BB, wRC+ 163
Eric Stamets spent the bulk of 2017 in AAA with a brief reprise in AA. He had a bit of a power surge in Columbus with 15 home runs, the most he’s had at any point in a single season. Strikes out a bit too much and doesn’t walk enough, but still a solid offensive contributor.
Who should be the Indians No. 19 prospect?
This poll is closed