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Eli Morgan is our No. 19 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 20?

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A killer changeup from an unexpected source

The penultimate position on our annual top 20 Indians prospect list goes to 23-year-old Eli Morgan, a right-handed pitcher who pitched across three levels in 2019. He wins the No. 19 spot with 29% of the vote, narrowly edging reliever Nick Sandlin’s 17%.

Morgan, an eighth-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft, pitched 140.2 innings last season across High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. His hot start with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats (33.2 IP, 7 ER, 19 H, 40 K) got him green-lit to make a quick jump to Double-A, where he spent the bulk of the season and pitched well early before tailing off later on.

At 5-foor-10 and not exactly throwing gas, Morgan doesn’t have the typical markings of a future stud in the rotation, but his success at every level is impossible to ignore. Since the start of 2018, Morgan has the sixth most strikeouts in the minor leagues (302). All of that without a dominant single pitch outside of a particularly good changeup and not a lot of velocity.

Morgan could still use some time in Triple-A in 2020 (he only started one game there last season), but he figures to at least pique the curiosity of the Indians or a potential trade partner sometime in 2021 or beyond.

For now, he sits as one of our top prospects for 2020.


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.

Jean Carlos Mejia, RHP (Age 23)

2019 (A+): 8 GS, 33.0 IP, 26.9%, 6.7%, 4.09 ERA, 2.11 FIP

Converted to full-time starter in 2018, utilizes a mid-90’s sinker to maximize ground balls. Lingering abdominal injury limited him to eight starts in 2019.

Jhonkensy Noel, 1B/3B (Age 18)

2019 (R): 209 PA, .287/.349/.455/.804, 6 HR, 5 SB, 18.7 K%, 8.6 BB% 114 wRC+

One of the youngest and most powerful international sluggers in the Tribe system, has showcased an above average hit tool at both rookie levels thus far in his career.

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.

Poll

Who should be the No. 20 Indians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Yu Chang
    (31 votes)
  • 16%
    Jose Fermin
    (37 votes)
  • 10%
    Bryan Lavistada
    (25 votes)
  • 8%
    Angel Martinez
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    Jean Carlos Mejia
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    Jhonkensy Noel
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    Alexfri Planez
    (4 votes)
  • 30%
    Nick Sandlin
    (69 votes)
  • 9%
    Carlos Vargas
    (22 votes)
  • 2%
    Luis Oviedo
    (6 votes)
229 votes total Vote Now