Slugging first baseman Bobby Bradley is our No. 7 Cleveland Indians prospect for 2019, dropping from his lofty No. 3 ranking last year.
A former third round pick in the 2014 MLB draft out of Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, Mississippi, Bradley has long been considered the top power-hitting prospect in the Indians farm system.
After winning the rookie league triple crown in 2014, Bradley skipped Low-A and went straight to Single-A Lake County, where he promptly bashed 27 homers and drove in 92 runs in 108 games. He earned Carolina League MVP honors in 2016 after mashing 29 home runs and knocking in 102 runs.
Bradley focused a bit more on his batting average for his Double-A debut in 2017, improving 16 points and dropping his strikeout totals by nearly 50 despite playing in the same 131 games, but it came at the cost of power as he hit a career low 23 homers. He repeated at Double-A Akron in 2018 when the Tribe signed Mike Napoli to a minor league contract and got off to a putrid start in the first month and a half, but finished strong with an OPS of .892, .840 and .888 in the final three months of the season and that included getting promoted to Triple-A for the first time.
Bradley has sported a strong double digit walk-rate over the course of his career, which typically has made him a three-outcome player, but he also came into training camp last year in the best shape of his life, having dropped a significant amount of weight, which improved his ability to get extra base hits. Bradley isn’t a threat on the basepaths, but his defense is better than he gets credit for (look at the stretch he makes on this play). He also has put up wRC+ of 109 or better at every level he’s played despite being three or more years younger on average than his peers.
The addition of left-handed first baseman Jake Bauers makes Bradley’s future uncertain, but it’s definitely possible the youngster spends time in Cleveland at some point this year and gets an opportunity to show off his prodigious power.
WHO SHOULD BE THE NO. 8 PROSPECT FOR 2019?
Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 18)
2018 (DSL): 111 PA, .323/.391/.434, 1 HR, 8 SB, 4.5 BB%, 12.6 K%, 140 wRC+
2018 (R): 158 PA, .343/.389/.448, 1 HR, 14 SB, 6.3 BB%, 10.8 K%, 137 wRC+
Venezuelan signed in 2017, same class as Valera, destroyed the DSL and was promoted to the AZL quickly. Many scouts said he was the best player in the AZL last year, exploding up Tribe prospect rankings as a result.
Bo Naylor, C (Age 18)
2018 (R): 139 PA, .274/.381/.402, 2 HR, 5 SB, 15.1 BB%, 20.1 K%, 126 wRC+
2018 first round pick, Naylor brings an advanced plate approach and plus hitting to the catcher position. His prospect value will stay high as long as he can stay behind the plate.
Luis Oviedo, RHP (Age 19)
2018 (A-): 9 GS, 48.0 IP, 32.5 K%, 5.3 BB%, 1.88 ERA, 2.44 FIP
2018 (A): 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 16.7 K%, 19.4 BB%, 3.00, 4.48 FIP
The Venezuelan broke out in 2018, winning back-to-back-to-back Pitcher of the Week awards in his Low-A debut for Mahoning Valley. He’s a sinkerballer with nasty swing and miss stuff in the mid 90s.
Lenny Torres, RHP (Age 18)
2018 (R): 5 GS, 15.1 IP, 34.9 K%, 6.4 BB%, 1.76 ERA, 2.38 FIP
Indians 2018 first round competitive balance pick was completely unfazed in pro debut, pounding the strike zone and missing bats with a mid to upper 90s fastball and a potentially wicked slider.
Sam Hentges, LHP (Age 22)
2018 (A+): 23 GS, 118.1 IP, 24.2 K%, 10.5 BB%, 3.27 ERA, 3.21 FIP
The six-foot-six southpaw didn’t miss a beat in his first full season since 2016 Tommy John surgery and Indians showed faith in him by adding him to the 40-man roster to avoid the Rule 5 draft.
Who should be the No. 8 Indians prospect?
This poll is closed