Recovering right-handed pitcher Lenny Torres is our No. 17 Cleveland Indians prospect, dropping six spots from his No. 11 ranking last year.
The reason for Torres’ drop is obvious. He missed the entire 2019 season after going under the knife for Tommy John surgery.
Torres entered the 2019 season on a fresh wave of hype after he was a first round competitive balance pick (No. 41 overall) in the 2018 MLB draft and had impressed scouts as possibly the best pitching prospect in the AZL in 2018 at 17 years old.
Torres was expected to debut with Low-A Mahoning Valley in the 2019 season, but he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 15.
Now 19, Torres looks to have recovered relatively quickly and recently began throwing again in December.
When healthy, Torres has an electric arm. He sported a 1.76 ERA over six games and five starts in 15.1 innings in the AZL in 2018, striking out 22 and walking just four. He also closed the season with 4.0 shutout innings in an AZL playoff game.
Standing 6-foot-1, Torres already sat mid-90s with his fastball and has touched 98 miles per hour before his injury. He was one of the youngest players in 2018 MLB draft and also hails from a cold weather state in New York, so there is still some projection in his physical tools.
As long as he doesn’t experience any setbacks, Torres will likely start the 2019 season in Low-A Mahoning Valley as the Indians work him back into pitching shape. He has the talent to be a top 10 LGT pick in next year’s rankings, but if the injury bug strikes again, he also could drop out of the top 20 completely.
Will Benson, OF (Age 21)
2019 (A): 259 PA, .272/.371/.604, 18 HR, 18 SB, 14.3 BB%, 30.1 K%, 172 wRC+
2019 (A+): 255 PA, .189/.290/.304, 4 HR, 9 SB, 12.2 BB%, 28.6 K%, 75 wRC+
Former 1st round pick dominated in his repeat stint at Lake County in 2019, one of only two MiLB players in 2019 to have a 20 HR, 20 SB season (besides Luis Robert). Struggled after midseason promotion, but did post career-low K% at High-A.
Yu Chang, SS (Age 24)
2019 (AAA): 453 PA, .253/.322/.427, 9 HR, 0 SB, 9.2 BB%, 23.7 K%, 88 wRC+
2019 (MLB): 49 PA, .178/.286/.274, 1 HR, 0 SB, 13.1 BB%, 26.2 K%, 50 wRC+
Slowed by injuries in 2019, but made his MLB debut and showcased improved patience against MLB pitchers. Potential full-time utility candidate for the 2020 season with room to grow.
Jose Fermin, 2B (Age 20)
2019 (A): 456 PA, .293/.374/.379, 6 HR, 28 SB, 9.2 BB%, 8.8 K%, 123 wRC+
Former top Indians international signing in 2015 had his second straight year over 120 wRC. Walked more than he struck out in his full-season debut for Lake County.
Bryan Lavistada, C (Age 21)
2019 (A-): 240 PA, .335/.408/.483, 2 HR, 3 SB, 10.4 BB%, 11.3 K%, 165 wRC+
2019 (A-): 4 PA, .333/.500/.333, 0 HR, 0 SB, 25.0 BB%, 25.0 K%, 162 wRC+
Converted catcher drafted in the 15th round in 2018 has done nothing but impress both offensively and defensively since making his pro debut. Also threw out 35% of would-be basestealers in 2019.
Angel Martinez, SS (Age 17)
2019 (DSL): 261 PA, .306/.402/.428, 1 HR, 11 SB, 11.1 BB%, 11.1 K%, 134 wRC+
One of the top Indians international signings from 2018, Martinez was the top performer of Tribe DSL players in 2019, showcasing patience at the plate and speed on the basepaths.
Eli Morgan, RHP (Age 23)
2019 (A+): 6 GS, 33.2 IP, 32.8 K%, 4.1 BB%, 1.87 ERA, 2.70 FIP
2019 (AA): 18 GS, 102.0 IP, 24.1 K%, 7.26 BB%, 3.79 ERA, 3.75 FIP
2019 (AAA): 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 9.1 K%, 9.1 BB%, 5.40 ERA, 4.62 FIP
Morgan’s excellent control combined with the best changeup in the Tribe system allowed him to advance three levels in the 2019 season despite a lack of elite velocity. Morgan started extremely strong both in High-A and Double-A, but tailed off as the season wore on.
Luis Oviedo, RHP, (Age 20)
2019 (A): 19 GS, 87.0 IP, 19.0%, 10.5 BB%, 5.38 ERA, 4.41 FIP
Started a career-high 19 games in Single-A last season, but struggled with walks and a lowered strikeout rate. Features one of the best changeups in the Indians system.
Alexfri Planez, OF (Age 18)
2019 (R): 25 PA, .333/.360/.542, 1 HR, 0 SB, 4.0 BB%, 28.0 K%, 139 wRC+
Venezuelan gaining traction in prospect rankings due to size, age, athleticism and power potential. His 2019 season was cut short due to a hamate injury.
Nick Sandlin, RHP (Age 23)
2019 (AA): 15 G, 17.1 IP, 36.0 K%, 10.7 BB%, 1.56 ERA, 3.46 FIP
2019 (AAA): 9 G, 9.0 IP, 29.7 K%, 18.9 BB%, 4.00 ERA, 6.40 FIP
Sidearm-throwing reliever taken in the 2nd round of the 2018 MLB draft. Likely would have made it to the Indians if not for a pair of 2019 injuries, which slowed his ascent through the system.
Carlos Vargas, RHP (Age 20)
2019 (A-): 15 GS, 77.2. IP, 21.9 K%, 7.4 BB%, 4.52 ERA, 3.36 FIP
Flamethrowing right-handed starter who can approach triple digits with a low to mid-90s slider. Improved control in 2019 saw him get hit more, but showed flashes of brilliance, like final 2019 start with 7.0 scoreless innings.
Who should be the No. 18 Indians prospect?
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