To call Xzavion Curry’s debut season a smashing success would be an understatement. The 23-year-old former seventh-round pick went from Single-A to Double-A in the span of the minor-league season, dominating virtually every step of the way. His impressive showing in 2021, paired with his exciting future, has him as the No. 19 prospect on our list.
Curry was seeing real game action for the first time since he was drafted out of Georgia Tech in 20219 and he didn’t disappoint for the Lake County Captains and Lynchburg Hillcats in 2021. Not only did he come out of the gate with 15 scoreless innings to start his career, but he followed it up with 17 in High-A down the stretch.
That second streak was kicked off by an outstanding five innings of work in which he allowed just one hit and struck out 10 on Aug. 19.
Curry’s bread and butter has always been command, but he showed this season that he has wicked strikeout potential, too. He finished with 123 strikeouts and 16 walks in 97.2 innings pitched and the 12th highest strikeout-to-walk ratio (27.9%) among starters with at least 80 innings. He finished the season fifth in the Guardians’ system with 123 strikeouts, including double-digit strikeout games.
If you follow any kind of Twitter account that posts impressive pitching performances and/or prospect outings, you no doubt have already seen Curry’s name pop up more than once.
But just in case, here are some examples:
Xzavion Curry (CLE) has a fastball with a ton of riding action and a pair of nasty breaking balls. A super athletic pitcher, Curry repeats his mechanics well and pounds the zone.— The Call Up | An MLB Prospect Podcast (@The_CallUpPod) January 14, 2022
Take a look at this curve. pic.twitter.com/TsOvKKvvZ1
Xzavion Curry’s fastball— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) November 30, 2021
He’s one of 10 pitching prospects you should be paying attention to.
Here’s why: https://t.co/IQEsKDlJAb
RHP Xzavion Curry came back from not playing for 2 years to start his pro career after being drafted in 2019.— Guardians Baseball Insider (@Official_CGBI) October 24, 2021
Level: Low-A Lynchburg/High-A Lake County/Double-A Akron
Stats: 97.2 IP (20 GS) - 8-1 - 2.30 ERA/3.64 FIP - 123 K/16BB - 32 K%, 4.2 BB% pic.twitter.com/28UypoGKmN
#Indians 23yr old RHP prospect Xzavion Curry was outstanding tonight for (AA) Akron outdueling Orioles top prospect Grayson Rodriguez in Game 2 of the series vs Bowie!— Guardians Prospective (@CleGuardPro) September 23, 2021
Line - 5.0(IP) 2H 1R 1ER 2BB 8SO (79 Pitches 52 Strikes)@xzavioncurry1 @AkronRubberDuck #OurCLE pic.twitter.com/KpnFJybLZn
Needless to say, Curry will be a prospect to keep an eye on as he moves up the organization and our prospect lists in the future.
Jorge Burgos, OF (Age 20)
2021 (CPX): 123 PA, .353/.463/.461, 0 HR, 4 SB, 14.6 BB%, 21.1 K%, 153 wRC+
2021 (A): 100 PA, .293/.350/.446, 1 HR, 2 SB, 8.0 BB%, 19.0 K%, 116 wRC+
A 2019 international free agent signing, made an immediate impact upon his assignment to Single-A Lynchburg.
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. A workhorse last year.
Oscar Gonzalez, OF (Age 24)
2021 (AA): 188 PA, .330/.367/.601, 13 HR, 1 SB, 5.5 BB%, 18.1 K%, 159 wRC+
2021 (AAA): 290 PA, .269/.305/.503, 18 HR, 0 SB, 3.6 BB%, 24.9 K%, 111 wRC+
He doesn’t walk, he strikes out at a decent clip, but he mashes. Led all Cleveland position players in both hits and home runs in 2021.
Isaiah Greene, OF (Age 20)
2021 (CPX): 191 PA, .289/.421/.368, 1 HR, 5 SB, 18.3 BB%, 22.0 K%, 120 wRC+
Acquired as part of the Francisco Lindor trade last year, made his pro debut in the Guardians’ Florida complex.
Ethan Hankins, RHP (Age 21)
Underwent Tommy John surgery last May and is not expected to pitch again until sometime mid-season.
Tobias Myers, RHP (Age 23)
2021 (AA): 59.2 IP, 10 GS, 34.2 K%, 4.2 BB%, 3.32 ERA, 3.08 FIP
2021 (AAA): 58.0 IP, 12 GS, 26.9 K%, 7.4 BB%, 4.50 ERA, 4.57 FIP
Acquired from Tampa Bay as a 40-man roster crunch casualty, Myers already found success at Triple-A at an age where several of Cleveland’s most advanced pitchers were in Single-A.
Doug Nikhazy, LHP (Age 22)
2021: Drafted 58th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft
Lefty with a fastball-curveball-cutter-changeup mix with a higher floor, but perhaps a lower ceiling.
Lenny Torres, RHP (Age 21)
2021 (A): 68.2 IP, 19 GS, 22.3 K%, 14.7 BB%, 6.29 ERA, 5.33 FIP
Missed the start of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Features a fastball and slider with a work-in-progress changeup.
Carson Tucker, SS (Age 20)
2021 (CPX): 25 PA, .150/.320/.300, 1 HR, 1 SB, 20.0 BB%, 16.0 K%, 75 wRC+
Guardians’ 2020 first-round pick.
Who should be the No. 20 prospect for 2022?
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