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Chase DeLauter is our No. 1 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 2?

DeLauter has the look of a star outfielder if he can keep putting up big numbers.

Peoria Javelinas v. Mesa Solar Sox Photo by Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The readers have spoken, and after a breakout season in 2023, the No. 1 Cleveland Guardians prospect is Chase DeLauter, who pulled in a whopping (43%) of the vote totals, defeating Kyle Manzardo, who had 15 fewer votes at (39%).

DeLauter was the Guardians’ first pick in the 2022 MLB Draft (16th overall) after a spectacular college career at James Madison University and a strong performance in the Cape Cod League.

A nagging foot injury prevented DeLauter from debuting the year he was drafted, and offseason surgery on said foot delayed the start to his 2023 season, but once he started, he never stopped hitting.

DeLauter went absolutely ballistic at High-A Lake County, slashing .366/.403/.549 over 42 games with 18 doubles and four home runs. He eventually earned a late season promotion to Double-A Akron, where his walk rate leaped from 5.7% to 17.9% and he kept on hitting, slashing .364/.464/.409 in a small sample size.

DeLauter then made up for lost time by getting an invite to the Arizona Fall League, where he was one of the best performers, leading the league in RBIs with 28 and crushing five home runs while maintaining elite walk and strikeout rates. While he had a tremendous regular season, it was the AFL performance that really put DeLauter on the map in regards to prospect status.

The Guardians usually take it a bit slow with prospects, so don’t be surprised to see DeLauter begin the 2024 season at Double-A, but if he continues to mash, he won’t be there for very long. Depending on if he can stay healthy and continue to rake, he could even be in Cleveland by the end of 2024 if the need for outfield help continues to be dire.


Juan Brito, SS (Age 22)

2023 (AAA w/ TB) 313 PA, .238/.342/.442, 11 HR, 1 SB, 13.4 BB%, 20.8 K%, 95 wRC+

2023 (A+): 161 PA, .265/.379/.424, 4 HR, 3 SB, 14.9 BB%, 13.0 K%, 129 wRC+
2023 (AA): 374 PA, .276/.373/.444, 10 HR, 3 SB, 12.8 BB%, 16.8 K%, 125 wRC+
2023 (AAA): 20 PA, .214/.450/.286, 6 HR, 1 SB, 30.0 BB% 20.0 K%, 115 wRC+

Acquired from Colorado in the Nolan Jones trade, Brito led Spring Training in walks, then proceeded to soar through three levels of Cleveland’s MiLB system in 2023.

Daniel Espino, RHP (Age 23)

2023: ____

When healthy, he’s been compared to Gavin Cole and Jacob Degrom, but he missed the entire 2023 season due to shoulder surgery. Expects to be back on the mound by March.

Kyle Manzardo, 1B (Age 23)

2023 (AAA w/ TB) 313 PA, .238/.342/.442, 11 HR, 1 SB, 13.4 BB%, 20.8 K%, 95 wRC+

2023 (AAA w/ CLE): 92 PA, .256/.348/.590, 6 HR, 0 SB, 13.0 BB%, 15.2 K%, 123 wRC+
2023 (AFL): 103 PA, .272/.340/.565, 6 HR, 0 SB, 8.7 BB% 21.1 K%

Acquired from Tampa Bay in the Aaron Civale trade, instantly became one of the best hitters in the Guardians system. Impressed in the Arizona Fall League.
Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 23)

2023 (AAA): 537 PA, .280/.367/.421, 7 HR, 25 SB, 11.2 BB%, 12.3 K%, 101 wRC+

2022 (MLB): 86 PA, .247/.279/.321, 0 HR, 0 SB, 4.7 BB%, 31.4 K%, 65 wRC+

Had a career-high walk rate at AAA, but struggled a bit with the bright lights of MLB in his first cup of coffee with the club. Is in contention for the starting shortstop position.

George Valera, OF (Age 23)

2023 (AAA): 312 PA, .211/.343/.375, 10 HR, 1 SB, 16.0 BB%, 27.2 K%, 84 wRC+

A sky-high ceiling only limited by injuries and sometimes failing to get out of his own way. Barring another huge injury or suspension, will debut with Cleveland this season.

Poll

Who should be the No. 2 Cleveland Guardians prospect for 2024?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Juan Brito
    (27 votes)
  • 11%
    Daniel Espino
    (47 votes)
  • 66%
    Kyle Manzardo
    (276 votes)
  • 13%
    Brayan Roccho
    (56 votes)
  • 1%
    George Valera
    (8 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now