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Gavin Williams is our No. 8 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 9?

Williams has yet to make his pro debut, but that hasn’t stopped the hype train

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 02 Div 1 Championship Greenville Regional - East Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With 22% of the vote, Cleveland’s No. 1 selection from the 2021 MLB Draft, Gavin Williams, is our No. 8 prospect for 2022.

It’s difficult to showcase Williams because he hasn’t actually competed at the professional level yet. Cleveland held him back in 2021 because he participated in the College World Series, although he did apparently get some work in during fall instructs alongside some of his fellow 2021 draft picks.

So let’s talk about what we do know about him.

Williams is a flamethrowing right-handed pitcher out of East Carolina University. His 2021 season at the college level was extremely impressive. In 12 starts (plus three relief appearances) spanning 81.1 innings, Williams torched opposing hitters to the tune of a 1.88 ERA while striking out 130 and walking just 21.

The final start of his college career was one of his most impressive, dueling Vanderbilt stud Kumar Rocker in the College World Series and striking out 13 batters and walking two over 7.1 innings, losing 2-0.

Standing 6-foot-6, Williams possesses an upper 90s fastball and a wipeout slider, while also throwing a curveball and changeup to keep opposing hitters honest. If he buys into the Cleveland pitching factory, watch out.


Tanner Burns, RHP (Age 23)
2021 (A+): 75.2 IP, 18 GS, 28.9 K%, 9.2 BB%, 3.57 ERA, 4.35 FIP

A second-round pick in 2019 who put up a rock-solid season at High-A in 2021 with above average strikeout totals and a reasonable walk rate. Burns was a workhorse last year.

Petey Halpin, OF (Age 19)
2021 (A): 246 PA, .294/.363/.425, 1 HR, 11 SB, 8.5 BB%, 20.3 K%, 117 wRC+

The 2020 third-round pick made his pro debut in full-season ball in the back half of the 2021 season, where he impressed with a 117 wRC+ despite being one of the youngest players at the level.

Steven Kwan, OF (Age 24)
2021 (AA): 221 PA, .337/.411/.539, 7 HR, 4 SB, 10.0 BB%, 10.4 K%, 159 wRC+
2021 (AAA): 120 PA, .311/.398/.505, 5 HR, 2 SB, 11.7 BB%, 6.7 K%, 144 wRC+

Former fifth-round pick who has emerged as a legitimate hitting prospect after the missed 2020 season. Posted 12 home runs in 2021 after hitting three in his first two professional seasons.

Bryan Lavastida, C (Age 23)
2021 (A+): 198 PA, .303/.399/.467, 5 HR, 14 SB, 13.1 BB%, 15.2 K%, 136 wRC+
2021 (AA): 119 PA, .291/.373/.466, 3 HR, 2 SB, 10.1 BB%, 23.5 K%, 130 wRC+
2021 (AAA): 21 PA, .158/.238/.316, 1 HR, 0 SB, 9.5 BB%, 47.6 K%, 47 wRC+

Transitioned from infielder to catcher in college and has continued to blossom at the position ever since. Fifteenth-round selection in the 2018, hit a career-high nine home runs in 2021.

Cody Morris, RHP (Age 25)
2021 (AA): 20.0 IP, 5 GS, 36.3 K%, 8.8 BB%, 1.35 ERA, 3.14 FIP
2021 (AAA): 36.2 IP, 9 GS, 36.1 K%, 8.3 BB%, 1.72 ERA, 3.06 FIP

Maybe the most MLB-ready pitcher in the Guardians system. Missed the start of 2021 due to a shoulder injury, but quickly made the jump from Double-A to Triple-A upon his return and looks poised to make his MLB debut early in 2022.

Bo Naylor, C (Age 22)
2021 (AA): 356 PA, .188/.280/.332, 10 HR, 10 SB, 10.4 BB%, 31.5 K%, 69 wRC+

Offense took a step back in 2021, but has earned good marks for his defense and framing behind the plate. One of the youngest players in Double-A last season.

Jhonkensy Noel, 1B/3B (Age 20)
2021 (A): 162 PA, .393/.426/.693, 11 HR, 2 SB, 4.3 BB%, 16.7 K%, 189 wRC+
2021 (A+): 111 PA, .280/.351/.550, 8 HR, 3 SB, 8.1 BB%, 27.9 K%, 135 wRC+

Dominated Single-A as a 20-year-old before getting the bump to High-A and continuing a vendetta against baseballs. Lack of walks could be a concern, but capable of obliterating baseballs.

Richie Palacios, 2B/OF (Age 24)
2021 (AA): 283 PA, .299/.389/.496, 6 HR, 10 SB, 11.7 BB%, 14.8 K%, 142 wRC+
2021 (AAA): 113 PA, .292/.434/.416, 1 HR, 10 SB, 17.2 BB%, 19.3 K%, 139 wRC+

Returned from over 2.5 years between games and didn’t miss a beat, putting up extraordinary numbers at Double-A and Triple-A while playing four different positions. Added to 40-man roster in November.

Jose Tena, SS (Age 20)
2021 (A+): 447 PA, .281/.331/.467, 16 HR, 10 SB, 6.0 BB%, 26.2 K%, 115 wRC+

An under-the-radar middle infield prospect who made his presence widely known when he dominated the 2021 Arizona Fall League despite being one of the youngest players participating.

Poll

Who should be the No. 9 Guardians prospect for 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Tanner Burns
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Petey Halpin
    (3 votes)
  • 11%
    Steven Kwan
    (31 votes)
  • 3%
    Bryan Lavastida
    (10 votes)
  • 19%
    Cody Morris
    (52 votes)
  • 7%
    Bo Naylor
    (21 votes)
  • 18%
    Jhonkensy Noel
    (51 votes)
  • 26%
    Richie Palacios
    (70 votes)
  • 9%
    Jose Tena
    (25 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now