Nick Sandlin closes out our 2020 LGT prospect rankings as our No. 20 Cleveland Indians prospect, dropping six places from his 2019 ranking.
Sandlin was a second round draft pick by the Indians in 2018 and he exploded through the Tribe system, advancing all the way to Double-A the year he was drafted thanks to strong strikeout numbers, excellent control and a funky sidearm delivery in the low to mid 90s.
The Southern Mississippi alum was expected to be the first player in the 2018 draft to make it to MLB, but injuries slowed down his progression in 2019.
Sandlin started the season two weeks late at Double-A, but was impressive. He struggled in Double-A in 2018 with a 10.38 ERA in five appearances, but Sandlin dominated in 15 games out of the bullpen for the RubberDucks in 2019, striking out 27 batters and walking eight in 17.1 innings while posting a 1.56 ERA and 2.70 FIP.
The sidearmer’s performance earned him a promotion to Triple-A Columbus, where he debuted June 5. Sandlin was not as effective with the Clippers, posting a 4.00 ERA while striking out 11 batters per nine innings, walking seven and allowing two home runs per nine innings in nine appearances.
Unfortunately, Sandlin’s season ended June 29 and he underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in August. He is expected to make a full recovery and start the 2020 season with no issues.
Sandlin should begin the season in Triple-A and as long as he performs well, will definitely make a push to help the Tribe bullpen in 2020.
Stay tuned for upcoming post-top 20 articles including a recap of the voting process and my “best of the rest” article for prospects who didn’t make the cut in the top 20 but deserve a mention. Previous “best of the rest” prospects included 2019 Indians contributors Zach Plesac, Greg Allen, James Karinchak and more.