In the most heavily contested vote thus far, Lenny Torres squeaked through with just 18% of the vote to earn LGT’s No. 18 prospect ranking, dropping one spot from last year. He also was previously ranked No. 11 in 2019.
Torres missed the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and just as he was preparing to make his return to the mound, a global pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season.
Needless to say, it’s been well over two years since he’s appeared on a minor league mound.
After being selected with Cleveland’s first-round competitive balance pick (No. 41 overall) in the 2018 MLB draft, Torres impressed scouts as possibly the best pitching prospect in the AZL in 2018 at just 17 years old.
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 the 2018 MLB draft and also hails from a cold-weather state in New York, so there is still some projection in his physical tools.
For those concerned about how his recovery from Tommy John surgery has gone, here’s a brief vid of Torres back on the mound for a live bullpen session, where he reportedly hit 97 mph.
#Indians RHP prospect Lenny Torres this past Saturday throwing during a live BP session. He faced 4 batters & threw 17 pitches w/ his fastball sitting 94-95 & topped out at 97 mph. Torres fastball velo is great news as he missed all 2019 w/ TJ surgery.@LennyTorresJr02 #Future pic.twitter.com/BLpXiz30UL— Indians Prospective (@indiansPro) October 13, 2020
Torres will likely start the 2021 season with the (now) Single-A Lynchburg Hillcats, where he’ll get a chance to pitch a full season, although that depends how much of a leash the Cleveland brass are willing to give him given his history. If he can return to form, he could easily rocket back into top 10 status with a strong showing this 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.
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.
Petey Halpin, OF (Age 18)
Cleveland 2020 third round MLB draft pick
Wiry left-handed hitting outfielder with sneaky pop, good speed, arm and solid contact skills that could develop into more.
Sam Hentges, LHP (Age 24)
2019 (AA): 26 GS, 128.2 IP, 21.4 K%, 10.9 BB%, 5.11 ERA, 3.84 FIP
After an underwhelming 2019 season in Double-A as a starting pitcher, Hentges opened eyes by hitting 100 mph in intersquad games in 2020, which could turn the southpaw into a huge weapon out of the bullpen in 2021.
Scott Moss, LHP (Age 26)
2019 (AA): 22 GS, 112.0 IP, 28.7 K%, 13.1 BB%, 3.13 ERA, 3.41 FIP
2019 (AAA): 4 GS, 18.2 IP, 30.3 K%, 10.5 BB%, 1.93 ERA, 3.14 FIP
Posted career-best strikeout numbers in 2019 and finished the season in Triple-A. Was one of the minor league starters Cleveland higher-ups considered before ultimately giving Triston McKenzie his shot in the rotation.
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.
Nick Sandlin, RHP (Age 24)
2019 (AA): 17.1 IP, 36 K%, 10.7 BB%, 1.56 ERA, 3.46 FIP
2019 (AAA): 9.0 IP, 29.7 K%, 18.9 BB%, 6.40 ERA, 6.40 FIP
Sandlin hopped aboard the Cody Allen Express after being drafted in 2018. He rocketed to Double-A that year, then picked back up there and finished in Columbus with some hard learning. If not for the pandemic I’m fairly convinced we’d be talking about him along with Wittgren et al.
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.
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. 19 prospect?
This poll is closed