clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jhonkensy Noel is our No. 10 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 11?

New, comments

A slugging corner infielder who also hits for high average, what’s not to like?

Houston Astros vs Atlanta Braves, 2021 World Series Set Number: X163852 TK1

With 28% of the vote, 20-year-old corner infielder Jhonkensy Noel is our No. 10 Cleveland Guardians prospect.

It’s been a hot minute since Cleveland had such an exciting young first base prospect, likely the first couple years of Bobby Bradley’s emergence in the lower minors before prospect fatigue set in.

One of the youngest players signed in Cleveland’s vaunted 2017 international class, Noel made an immediate first impression with me when he slugged double-digit home runs with a 129 wRC+ as a 16-year-old in his debut with the Dominican Summer League in 2018.

In his United States debut in 2019, Noel slashed .287/.349/.455 at age 17, proving his success wasn’t a fluke.

But it wasn’t until last season that he really exploded on everyone’s radar. Noel absolutely tore up Single-A Lynchburg in his full-season debut, batting an absolutely ridiculous .393/.426/.693 over 38 games and 162 plate appearances. During that time period, he also slugged 11 home runs and 10 doubles with a 189 wRC+, earning a promotion to High-A Lake County.

After a slow start at Lake County, Noel settled in nicely, slashing .280/.351/.550 over 26 games with eight more home runs and posting a 136 wRC+.

Here’s a highlight of some of his work:

Of Noel’s 19 home runs hit in 2021, eight of them had exit velocities of over 110 miles per hour. This kid can flat-out hit. He doesn’t walk much, but pitchers are going to start pitching around him as he moves up the system and while his strikeout rate spiked after his promotion, he’s kept it low enough at every other level throughout his career that I expect that to level off as well.

Keep his seat warm, Bobby.


Peyton Battenfield, RHP (Age 24)
2021 (A+): 31.0 IP, 6 GS, 42.2 K%, 4.3 BB%, 1.45 ERA, 1.93 FIP
2021 (AA): 72.0 IP, 13 GS, 29.1 K%, 5.0 BB%, 3.00 ERA, 3.47 FIP

Acquired from Tampa Bay in the Jordan Luplow trade, Battenfield has elite strikeout-to-walk ratios and helped lead Akron to a Double-A championship in 2021.

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.

Xzavion Curry, RHP (Age 23)
2021 (A): 25.1 IP, 5 GS, 40.4 K%, 4.3 BB%, 1.07 ERA, 2.08 FIP
2021 (A+): 67.2 IP, 13 GS, 29.6 K%, 4.4 BB%, 2.66 ERA, 3.99 FIP
2021 (AA): 4.2 IP, 1 GS, 25.0 K%, 0.0 BB%, 3.86 ERA, 6.94 FIP

A 2019 seventh-round pick who made his pro debut in 2021, Curry soared through three levels of Cleveland’s system while posting elite strikeout to walk ratios along the way.

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.

Angel Martinez, INF (Age 20)
2021 (A): 424 PA, .241/.319/.382, 7 HR, 13 SB, 10.1 BB%, 20.8 K%, 92 wRC+

An advanced switch-hitting middle infielder who has the potential to be the best of Cleveland’s many advanced switch-hitting middle infielders down the road.

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.

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. 11 Cleveland Guardians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Peyton Battenfield
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Tanner Burns
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Xzavion Curry
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Petey Halpin
    (7 votes)
  • 29%
    Steven Kwan
    (72 votes)
  • 8%
    Bryan Lavastida
    (22 votes)
  • 1%
    Angel Martinez
    (3 votes)
  • 29%
    Cody Morris
    (74 votes)
  • 9%
    Bo Naylor
    (23 votes)
  • 12%
    Jose Tena
    (31 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now