Elite reliever Emmanuel Clase is our No. 8 Cleveland Indians prospect for 2020, making his debut appearance in the rankings after being acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Corey Kluber trade last month.
Standing 6-foot-2 and just over 200 pounds, Clase struggled as a starting pitching prospect out of the Dominican Republic, toiling in the San Diego Padres rookie leagues for three seasons.
But everything changed in 2018 after he was traded to the Texas Rangers. Clase was converted to the bullpen, where he sported a 0.64 ERA in 22 appearances with the Low-A Spokane Indians. He struck out 27 batters in 28.1 innings and walked just six.
Clase skipped regular Single-A entirely and began the 2019 season in High-A, and he didn’t stay there long. In six appearances spanning seven innings, Clase struck out 11 batters and walked one without allowing a run, earning a promotion to Double-A.
In 33 appearances at Double-A, Clase struck out 39 batters in 37.1 innings and walked eight. Clase impressively only allowed 0.24 home runs per nine innings, posting an elite 2.36 FIP with the Frisco Roughriders.
The Rangers thought enough of Clase to have him skip Triple-A entirely, advancing straight to the major leagues, where he made his MLB debut Aug. 4 last year.
While with the Rangers, Clase turned heads with a cutter occasionally thrown over 100 mph. FanGraphs grades Clase’s fastball as en elite 80 pitch, with above average marks for his slider and cutter.
Still just 21 years old, Clase has (knock on wood) never seen the injured list in his brief career thus far and he’s expected to begin the 2019 season as a staple of the Tribe’s back end of the bullpen, with future close potential.
Logan Allen, LHP (Age 22)
2019 (AAA): 18 GS, 80.0 IP, 22.3 K%, 9.3 BB%, 5.85 ERA, 5.57 FIP
2019 (MLB): 4 GS, 27.2 IP, 13.4 K%, 10.2 BB%, 6.18 ERA, 5.49 FIP
Headlining piece of the Trevor Bauer trade, Allen was a top 100 MLBPipeline prospect at the time of his acquisition. Allen had a great MLB debut (7.0 shutout innings vs Milwaukee), but struggled in many of his other 2019 appearances in both MLB and Triple-A.
Aaron Bracho, SS (Age 18)
2019 (R): 137 PA, .296/.416/.593, 6 HR, 4 SB, 16.8 BB%, 15.3 K%, 162 wRC+
2019 (A-): 32 PA, .222/.344/.481, 2 HR, 0 SB, 15.6 BB%, 25.0 K%, 141 wRC+
Injury kept him from debuting in 2018, but the DR native made up for it in 2019, rebuilding his hype by posting incredible numbers in the AZL and earning a promotion to Mahoning Valley.
Bobby Bradley, 1B (Age 23)
2019 (AAA): 453 PA, .264/.344/.567, 33 HR, 0 SB, 10.2 BB%, 33.8 K%, 125 wRC+
2019 (MLB): 49 PA, .178/.245/.356, 1 HR, 0 SB, 8.2 BB%, 40.8 K%, 51 wRC+
A career best 33 home runs at Triple-A earned the slugging first baseman his first cup of coffee with the Indians. He hit the hardest home run for the Tribe in the statcast era, but also whiffed in 40% of his at bats. Will need to cut down on the Ks if he wants to stay in the show.
Daniel Espino, RHP (Age 19)
2019 (R): 6 GS, 13.2 IP, 30.2 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.98 ERA, 4.20 FIP
2019 (A-): 3 GS, 10.0 IP, 40.0 K%, 11.1 BB%, 6.30 ERA, 2.60 FIP
2019 first-round pick struck out a third of the batters he faced in Rookie ball and only got more deadly in Low-A as a 19-year-old. Fastball sits in upper 90s, occasionally touching triple digits. He. Is. 19.
Ethan Hankins, RHP (Age 19)
2019 (A-): 8 GS, 38.2 IP, 27.9 K%, 11.7 BB%, 1.20 ERA, 3.22 FIP
2019 (A): 5 GS, 21.1 IP, 29.8 K%, 12.8 BB%, 4.64 ERA, 4.28 FIP
2018 first round comp. pick blew away hitters at short season ball and earned a late promotion to full season Lake County. His strikeout rate is impressive, but he’ll need to cut down on walks as he moves through the system.
Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 18)
2019 (A-): 295 PA, .250/.310/.373, 5 HR, 14 SB, 6.8 BB%, 13.6 K%, 107 wRC+
Venezuelan signed in 2017, held his own as one of the youngest players in the New York Penn League in 2019 while improving his walk rate and power.
Gabriel Rodriguez, SS (Age 17)
2019 (DSL): 170 PA, .238/.335/.406, 3 HR, 3 SB, 8.8 BB%, 15.9 K%, 106 wRC+
2019 (R): 73 PA, .215/.288/.262, 0 HR, 1 SB, 5.5 BB%, 30.1 K%, 51 wRC+
The top Indians international signing from 2018, Rodriguez performed admirably in his DSL debut at 17 years old, earning a late season promotion to the Arizona Rookie League.
Who should be the No. 9 Indians prospect?
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