With 32% of the vote, Daniel Johnson is our No. 12 Cleveland prospect for 2021, dropping eight spots from his No. 4 ranking in 2020. He previously was ranked No. 13 in 2019.
Why the drop? It probably had something to do with his limited performance in 2020. Johnson made his MLB debut in 2020, racking up one hit and one walk in 13 plate appearances. The fact that he wasn’t given much of an opportunity despite how poorly Cleveland’s outfield performed over the course of the season said a lot.
Johnson joined the Cleveland system as part of the trade that sent Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals. His stock had dropped due to a hamate injury in 2018, but he bounced back strong in 2019.
Determined to not let the injury slow him down, Johnson came to Cleveland with a revamped swing, and it showed in the form of a .253/.337/.534 slash in Double-A with 10 home runs and a 9.6% walk rate. He was quickly promoted to Triple-A where he still maintained a .306/.371/.496 slash and nine home runs.
Johnson has produced at every level of the minor leagues, so it’s not a stretch to think he can produce at the big leagues, he just needs to get an opportunity. The big question is, will that opportunity be as an everyday player or in a platoon with Jordan Luplow?
Johnson’s best tool is his arm, which plays up in right field. It’s unlikely he’ll get regular time in center field with both Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer duking it out there in 2021 and Cleveland tries to hide lesser defensive outfielders in left field like Josh Naylor, Franmil Reyes, or perhaps a debuting Nolan Jones, who doesn’t have much experience in the grass.
With no free agents signed as of yet, 2021 will be the best chance Johnson will get to break into a regular role on the big league club.
Bobby Bradley, 1B (Age 24)
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 in 2019, but with 1B Carlos Santana and DH Franmil Reyes healthy in 2020, Bradley didn’t get a chance last year.
Tanner Burns, RHP (Age 22)
Cleveland 2020 1st round MLB draft competitive balance pick
A prototypical Cleveland college pitcher draft pick who possesses great strikeout ability combined with excellent control. Could be a quick mover in the system.
Joey Cantillo, LHP (Age 21)
2019 (A): 19 GS, 98.0 IP, 34.7 K%, 7.3 BB%, 1.93 ERA, 2.15 FIP
2019 (A+): 3 GS, 13.2 IP, 25.4 K%, 11.1 BB%, 4.61 ERA, 4.98 FIP
Former Padres 16th round pick has soared through their system. Possesses stellar control and an elite changeup, but doesn’t blow away the radar gun.
Isaiah Greene, OF (Age 19)
Mets 2020 second round MLB draft pick
An elite outfield defender with a cannon arm and power potential, Greene was a top 50 prospect in the 2020 MLB draft. Scouts believe he could be great if he improves his contact.
Angel Martinez, SS (Age 18)
2019 (DSL): 137 PA, .306/.402/.428, 1 HR, 11 SB, 11.1 BB%, 11.1 K%, 134 wRC+
Switch-hitting shortstop with excellent instincts and an already-mature approach at the plate. Opened eyes with his 2019 DSL performance as the top-performing Cleveland player.
Owen Miller, SS/2B (Age 24)
2019 (AA): 560 PA, .290/.355/.430, 13 HR, 5 SB, 8.2 BB%, 15.4 K%, 121 wRC+
Fast-moving college infielder with pop and excellent contact skills. Was a third round pick by the Padres in 2018 and was already in Double-A in his first full season. Could help Cleveland at the MLB level this year.
Gabriel Rodriguez, 3B (Age 18)
2019 (DSL): 170 PA, .238/.335/.406, 3 HR, 3 SB, 8.8 BB%, 15.9 K%, 106 wRC+
2019 (AZL): 73 PA, .215/.288/.262, 0 HR, 1 SB, 5.5 BB%, 30.1 K%, 59 wRC+
The top international signing by Cleveland in 2018, Rodriguez is already physically mature to the point where he had to be moved to third base. Has the potential to be a big-time home run hitter as an infielder.
Carson Tucker, SS (Age 18)
Cleveland 2020 1st round MLB draft pick
The younger brother of Pirates MLB player Cole Tucker, Carson possesses plus speed and sprays hits to all fields, but has yet to debut in the minor leagues.
Carlos Vargas, RHP (Age 21)
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 90s slider. Was added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Josh Wolf, RHP (Age 20)
2019 (R): 5 GS, 8.0 IP, 36.4 K%, 3.0 BB%, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 FIP, 58 strikes, 11 balls.
Because I gave OneTwoSeven a hard time I’m doing him a solid and tossing Josh Wolf onto the list. With a fastball and curveball that rate as plus pitches and rookie league velocity that touched 94 MPH, the recent trade acquisition looks right at home in the Cleveland system.
Who should be Cleveland’s No. 13 prospect?
This poll is closed