clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gavin Williams is our No. 2 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 3?

The lanky righthander has one of the most electric fastballs in the system and the physical tools to remain a starter

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

In another blowout, Gavin Williams captured 47% of the vote, outpacing George Valera (22%) for the No. 2 spot on our 2023 prospect ranking list.

Cleveland’s first-round draft pick out of East Carolina University in 2021, Williams had high expectations heading into his pro debut for the 2022 season and he lived up to all of them.

He started the season at High-A Lake County, where he mowed down hitters to the tune of a 39,9% strikeout rate while maintaining a minuscule 1.40 ERA and 1.64 FIP over 45 innings with the Captains, which earned him a pretty early promotion to Double-A.

Williams didn’t miss a beat at Double-A. Of course, his numbers weren’t quite as amazing, with a 29.1% strikeout rate, 9.2% walk rate, 2.31 ERA, and 4.03 FIP over 75 innings, but he was still sensational and was an anchor of a starting rotation that was one of the best in minor league baseball.

Williams was described as a polished arm with an effortless delivery that can touch triple digits and easily sit mid-90s with his fastball.

While some other Cleveland pitching prospects have concerns due to variables like lack of size, that’s not an issue for Williams, who stands 6-foot-6 and possesses a wipeout slider to pair with his heat.

Williams could begin the 2023 season either repeating at Double-A or, depending on how highly the Cleveland brass thinks of him, he could start the year at Triple-A. Regardless, he’ll be fighting for an opportunity to make his 2023 MLB debut by the end of the season at the worst as long as he stays healthy.

Tanner Bibee, RHP (Age 23)
2022 (A+): 59.0 IP, 12 GS, 37.2 K%, 5.6 BB%, 2.59 ERA, 3.04 FIP
2022 (AA): 73.2 IP, 13 GS, 28.4 K%, 4.9 BB%, 1.83 ERA, 2.61 FIP

Fifth-round pick in 2021 who quickly established himself in High-A and added velocity throughout the season.

Chase DeLauter, OF (Age 21)
2022 first-round MLB draft pick

One of the most impressive college hitters out of unheralded James Madison University, DeLauter will make his pro debut this season with high expectations.

Bo Naylor, C (Age 23)

2022 (AA): 220 PA, .271/.427/.471, 6 HR, 11 SB, 20.5 BB%, 20.9 K%, 151 wRC+
2022 (AAA): 290 PA, .257/.366/.514, 15 HR, 9 SB, 12.8 BB%, 25.9 K%, 131 wRC+
2022 (MLB): 8 PA, .000/.000/.000, 0 HR, 0 SB, 0 BB%, 62.5 K%, -100 wRC+

Offense roared back with a vengeance in 2022 with a rare 20/20 season for a catcher, culminating with a cup of coffee in the big leagues.

Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 22)
2022 (AA): 432 PA, .265/.349/.432, 13 HR, 12 SB, 9.7 BB%, 18.8 K%, 114 wRC+
2022 (AAA): 152 PA, .234/.298/.387, 5 HR, 2 SB, 7.9 BB%, 13.8 K%, 81 wRC+

Has the contact, speed, and defense the Guardians love, along with an 80-grade nickname of “The Professor”.

George Valera, OF (Age 22)
2022 (AA): 387 PA, .264/.367/.470, 15 HR, 2 SB, 13.4 BB%, 25.8 K%, 129 wRC+
2022 (AAA): 179 PA, .221/.324/.448, 9 HR, 0 SB, 12.3 BB%, 25.1 K%, 103 wRC+

A sky-high ceiling only limited by his strikeout potential. Average at Triple-A last season, but has historically adjusted quickly after reaching a new level in the minors.


Who should be the No. 3 Cleveland Guardians prospect for 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Tanner Bibee
    (114 votes)
  • 1%
    Chase DeLauter
    (9 votes)
  • 17%
    Bo Naylor
    (80 votes)
  • 16%
    Brayan Rocchio
    (73 votes)
  • 38%
    George Valera
    (175 votes)
451 votes total Vote Now