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Juan Brito is our No. 15 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 16?

The pure-hitting second baseman was the subject of one of the Guardians’ most interesting trades this offseason

Cleveland Guardians v. Cincinnati Reds Photo by Emilee Chinn/MLB Photos via Getty Images

If Jose Tena would have garnered just two more votes, we would have had our first vote off of the 2023 top prospect countdown. As it is, Juan Brito takes the No. 15 spot by the narrowest of margins.

For those of you who follow the Guardians during the regular season and not much else, Brito’s may not sound familiar as he was acquired from the Rockies in exchange for Nolan Jones in November.

The Guardians’ interest in Brito is simple — he hits. He’s a pure hitter with high marks for plate approach, which is of course what the organization loves. He begins his at-bats in an open stance with low hands and closes as he collects. Everything about his swing looks tuned to get to the ball and make contact; there’s a lot of poise for a kid who only reached the legal drinking age in September.

Even though he only has one full season under his belt, FanGraphs ranked him as Cleveland’s No. 12 prospect heading into 2023. With the Rockies organization last season, he slashed .286/.407/.470 with 11 home runs in Single-A as a 21-year-old (his young age for his level being another check in the Guardians’ interest).

The most interesting thing about Brito, right now, is his place within the Guardians organization. Due to the fact that he was signed as an international free agent as a 16-year-old in 2018, he was slated to be Rule 5 eligible in this offseason’s draft. So, when the Guardians acquired him from the Rockies ahead of the protection deadline, they immediately added him to the 40-man roster, meaning he will start burning through his options next season despite never seeing a pitch in Double-A.

It’s a gamble for the Guardians, especially if Jones takes off in the thin Rocky Mountain air, but if it pays off they could have yet another young, cost-controlled infielder to test out in the majors in a year or two. Given his performance in Single-A last year, I suspect he’ll start in Double-A and I wouldn’t even count out a trip to Triple-A sooner rather than later.


Justin Campbell, RHP (Age 21)
37th overall pick in 2022 MLB Draft

Two-way player in college who can touch the mid- to upper-90s on the mound.

Jaison Chourio, OF (Age 17)
2022 (DSL): 175 PA, .280/.446/.402, 1 HR, 14 SB, 22.9 BB%, 12.6 K%, 140 wRC+

The younger brother of consensus top 10 prospect in all of MLB Jackson Chourio, Jaison had a solid pro debut in the 2022 Dominican Summer League (higher wRC+ than Jackson in 2021) and the hype is building.

Xzavion Curry, RHP (Age 24)
2022 (AA): 69.0 IP, 11 GS, 28.4 K%, 6.7 BB%, 3.65 ERA, 3.75 FIP
2022 (AAA): 53.0 IP, 10 GS, 23.5 K%, 10.0 BB%, 4.58 ERA, 4.98 FIP
2022 (MLB): 9.1 IP, 2 GS, 6.4 K%, 12.8 BB%, 5.79 ERA, 6.11 FIP

Another Cleveland pitching factory success story. Curry exploded through the system in 2021, then advanced three more levels in 2022 to make two spot starts at the MLB level.

Welbyn Francisca, SS (Age 16)
2023 international free agent signing

One of the most highly regarded hitting prospects in the 2023 IFA class; a twitchy, athletic fielder at shortstop.

Jake Fox, 2B/OF (Age 19)
2022 (A): 470 PA, .247/.381/.374, 5 HR,21 SB, 15.7 BB%, 19.1 K%, 118 wRC+

A high school bat taken in the 3rd round in 2021, Fox has shown patience at the plate at the lower levels, but we’re still waiting for louder hit tools to arrive.

Angel Genao, SS (Age 18)
2022 (ACL): 171 PA, .322/.394/.416, 2 HR, 6 SB, 9.4 BB%, 23.4 K%, 127 wRC+
2022 (A): 33 PA, .179/.303/.214, 0 HR, 0 SB, 12.1 BB%, 15.2 K%, 60 wRC+

Another talented, switch-hitting international middle infield prospect, Genao graduated to full-season ball in the latter half of 2022 as an 18-year-old.

Petey Halpin, OF (Age 20)
2022 (A+): 434 PA, .262/.346/.385, 6 HR, 16 SB, 10.4 BB%, 21.2 K%, 107 wRC+

Despite being young for his level, posted his second straight season with an above-average wRC+ in full-season ball.

Parker Messick, LHP (Age 22)
54th overall pick in 2022 MLB Draft

Heavy strike-thrower with the potential for four quality pitches.

Jose Tena, SS (Age 21)
2022 (AA): 550 PA, .264/.299/.411, 13 HR, 8 SB, 4.5 BB%, 25.1 K%, 91 wRC+
2022 (AAA): 23 PA, .368/.478/.632, 1 HR, 0 SB, 17.4 BB%, 17.4 K%, 194 wRC+

An AFL darling who has shown glimpses of greatness in small sample sizes. We’re still waiting to see it over the course of a full season.

Poll

Who should be the No. 16 Guardians prospect for 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Justin Campbell
    (57 votes)
  • 11%
    Jaison Chrourio
    (29 votes)
  • 9%
    Xzavion Curry
    (25 votes)
  • 1%
    Welbyn Francisca
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Jake Fox
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Angel Genao
    (3 votes)
  • 16%
    Petey Halpin
    (44 votes)
  • 0%
    Parker Messick
    (1 vote)
  • 36%
    Jose Tena
    (95 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now