The vote for our No. 5 prospect was purely a two-man race between Bo Naylor (31% of the vote) and the winner, Brayan Rocchio (42%). He may have dropped a bit in our community rankings, down from No. 2 last season, but I think that speaks more to the potential of the Guardians’ Big 3 pitchers than something negative about Rocchio.
You’ve probably heard it enough already at this point, but Rocchio is, by all measurements, the ideal Cleveland Guardians prospect. He’s an undersized, aggressive, switch-hitting, middle infielder who plays good defense and has outperformed his age at every level. He just turned 22 on Friday, meaning he spent the entirety of the 2022 season as a 21-year-old.
During that time, Rocchio played well enough to earn a promotion from Double-A to Triple-A, where the average age for hitters was 24.2 years and 26.6 years old, respectively. So while, yes, his play dipped a little bit this past season compared to his breakout 2021 campaign, he was still playing well enough as someone in their first year of the drinking age against a bunch of grown-ass men. It’s still pretty impressive.
Ironically enough, FanGraphs dinged his power potential a bit before the season because of his over-aggressiveness, but he came out in 2022 with more walks, fewer strikeouts, and more power. His walk rate was a career-high 9.7% in Double-A and even in Triple-A, he walked at a 7.9% clip — the second-highest of his career. Most importantly, his strikeout rate dropped to 18.8% in Double-A and 13.8% in Triple-A.
Rocchio’s Double-A season concluded with a .265/.349/.432 slash and 13 home runs before getting the call to Triple-A. Combined with the five homers he hit in Columbus, it was a career-high power output for The Professor. This plays right into the idea of his ceiling of a double-digit home run guy with great defense and a lot of balls in play.
The results weren’t quite as good in Triple-A (.234/.298/.387 slash, 81 wRC+), but again — 21-year-old playing against people in their mid-20s. He also might have suffered from some old-fashioned bad luck with a career-low .241 BABIP.
All told, Rocchio finished the season third in the Guardians organization in hits (131), tied for fourth in doubles (27), and sixth in home runs (18).
The 2023 season will be pivotal for Rocchio, not only to prove that he can keep up his refined approach and continue to play multiple defensive positions, but he was also one of the 40-man roster additions ahead of the Rule 5 draft. The clock is now ticking to get him to the majors or start burning options.
Logan Allen, LHP (Age 24)
2022 (AA): 73.0 IP, 13 GS, 35.6 K%, 7.5 BB%, 3.33 ERA, 3.15 FIP
2022 (AAA): 59.2 IP, 14 GS, 27.0 K%, 10.7 BB%, 6.49 ERA, 4.36 FIP
One of the more consistent arms in Cleveland’s system, Allen struggled in his initial promotion to Triple-A before settling in over his final eight starts.
Gabriel Arias, SS (Age 22)
2022 (AAA): 323 PA, .240/.310/.406, 13 HR, 5 SB, 7.7 BB%, 24.1 K%, 89 wRC+
2022 (MLB): 57 PA, .191/.321/.319, 1 HR, 1 SB, 14.0 BB%, 28.1 K%, 90 wRC+
After struggling in his first two promotions, Arias seemed to settle in his third time being called to the big leagues in 2022, posting a 158 wRC+ from September on.
Will Brennan, OF (Age 24)
2022 (AA): 157 PA, .311/.382/.504, 4 HR, 5 SB, 10.8 BB%, 10.2 K%, 139 wRC+
2022 (AAA): 433 PA, .316/.367/.471, 9 HR, 15 SB, 7.6 BB%, 12.2 K%, 122 wRC+
2022 (MLB): 45 PA, .357/.400/.500, 1 HR, 2 SB, 4.4 BB%, 8.9 K%, 155 wRC+
Started hot in Double-A in 2022 and literally never stopped raking, even after being promoted to Cleveland and making the playoff roster.
Chase DeLauter, OF (Age 21)
2022 (NCAA): 118 PA, .437/.576/.828, 8 HR, 10 SB, 23.7 BB%, 17.8 K%
One of the most impressive college hitters out of unheralded James Madison University, DeLauter will make his pro debut this season with high expectations.
Angel Martinez, SS (Age 20)
2022 (A+): 331 PA, .288.384.477, 10 HR, 10 SB, 12.1 BB%, 17.5 K%, 139 wRC+
2022 (AA): 103 PA, .244.356.451, 3 HR, 2 SB, 11.7 BB%, 17.5 K%, 120 wRC+
Another blossoming middle infield prospect who didn’t slow down after being promoted to Double-A at 20 years old. Added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster in November.
Cody Morris, RHP (Age 26)
2022 (AAA): 15.1 IP, 3 GS, 51.7 K%, 10.3 BB%, 2.35 ERA, 2.46 FIP
2022 (MLB): 23.2 IP, 5 GS, 23.0 K%, 12.0 BB%, 2.28 ERA, 4.34 FIP
An early shoulder injury likely prevented him from earning a permanent spot in Cleveland’s starting rotation in 2022. Morris impressed in limited appearances at the MLB level.
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.
Who should be the No. 6 Cleveland Guardians prospect for 2023?
This poll is closed