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Steven Kwan is our No. 11 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 12?

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Steven Kwan isn’t the flashiest prospect of the bunch, but [phenomenal tease, everyone is shocked]

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Steven Kwan stole the 11th spot in our prospect countdown by a single vote.

Yes, your vote matters here at Covering the Corner. I can’t believe it either.

What I can believe in — slick-fielding outfielders with a knack for contact and an aversion to making outs. Kwan’s career minor league slash line is .301/.380/.438. That includes .328/.407/.527 between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He did not slow down much when he hit Columbus.

I’m going to say this exactly once: stop complaining about the Guardians failing to re-sign Michael Brantley if you cannot celebrate a prospect with a nearly identical skill set. We have become completely obsessed with power in the modern game and it is beginning to kill the sport.

This is the oldest, shambliest soapbox I’ve ever leapt onto. There are many ways to contribute to a baseball team. Home runs are one of them, and they are much more valuable if people ahead of you get on base. People like Steven Kwan. Coincidentally, Kwan is a better minor league hitter than Brantley. I am not even sure that the age difference is a huge concern here; Brantley appeared in Cleveland briefly before taking over full time at the age of 24 — the same age that Kwan is, now.

We cannot simply sit here and say that, because Kwan is a similar type of player with better defensive chops and advanced minor league numbers, he will take the league by storm or ever approach the kind of production that Michael Brantley had. But, what I will underline is that you can understand a franchise letting an eight-figure contract walk when a kid like Kwan is your 11th ranked prospect. Are you kidding me?

I can’t wait to see Kwan get an opportunity to shine. Some of the best baseball players in history don’t have elite tools; they have elite consistency. So far, I’ve seen nothing but that from Kwan. In a league where power, walks, and strikeouts still rein supreme, I think a guy who doesn’t make outs and offers gap power can carve out a niche.

Especially in this outfield. Good heavens.


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.

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. 12 prospect for 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Peyton Battenfield
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Tanner Burns
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Xzavion Curry
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    Petey Halpin
    (8 votes)
  • 10%
    Bryan Lavastida
    (23 votes)
  • 2%
    Angel Martinez
    (5 votes)
  • 42%
    Cody Morris
    (95 votes)
  • 12%
    Bo Naylor
    (28 votes)
  • 18%
    Jose Tena
    (41 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now