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Kyle Manzardo is our No. 2 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 3?

Manzardo has the makings of Cleveland’s 1B of the future. Will his strong hit tools play at The Show?

He may be new to the system, but the Covering the Corner readers turned out in droves to select Kyle Manzardo as the No. 2 prospect in the Cleveland Guardians system. Manzardo raked in a whopping 67% of the vote, crushing everyone else by over 50 percentage points.

A first baseman, Manzardo was acquired from Tampa Bay in the Aaron Civale trade.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2021 MLB draft out of Washington State University. He didn’t waste much time in Tampa’s system, putting up massive numbers in his first full season in 2022 by slashing .329/.436/.636 with 17 home runs at High-A, then maintaining those elite numbers after a promotion to Double-A by slashing .323/.402/.576.

He began the 2023 season at Triple-A in just his second full season as a pro and he struggled at first. With a nagging shoulder injury and some personal issues with family at home, he came out of the gate slowly, sporting a 95 wRC+ over 313 at bats.

After being acquired by Cleveland, however, Manzardo’s numbers perked up, slashing .256/.348/.590, good for a .123 wRC+.

Like No. 1 prospect Chase DeLauter, he spent some time in the Arizona Fall League, where he also impressed with six home runs in 103 plate appearances, good for second in the league while becoming “bash brothers” with DeLauter.

Manzardo has an excellent eye at the plate, huge exit velocities and the potential for elite power to all fields. Most of his exit velocity thus far has translated into line drives to the gaps, but if he can add a couple degrees to his launch angle, he’ll turn from a guy who hits 15-20 home runs into someone who could hit 30-40 of them.

Manzardo also has an excellent eye at the plate and good control of the strike zone. Depending how Cleveland decided to utilize its roster, he could begin 2024 on the Guardians roster immediately or he will begin the season at Triple-A, but his bat is ready to play right now if called upon.


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.

Joey Cantillo, LHP (Age 24)

2023 (AA): 24.1 IP, 6 GS, 36.1 K%, 14.4 BB%, 1.85 ERA, 3.50 FIP
2023 (AAA): 195.0 IP, 20 GS, 26.1 K%, 12.9 BB%, 4.64 ERA, 5.29 FIP

Has transformed himself from crafty soft-tosser to flamethrowing southpaw. Had his first healthy season with Cleveland in 2023 and made the Futures Game.

Jaison Chourio, OF (Age 18)

2023 (CPX): 189 PA, .349/.476/.463, 1 HR, 19 SB, 20.1 BB%, 19.6 K%, 147 wRC+
2023 (A): 42 PA, .200/.310/.229, 0 HR, 1 SB, 14.3 BB%, 35.7 K%, 65 wRC+

Younger brother of top 3 overall prospect Jaxon, has showcased elite eye, speed and contact as he advanced to full season in his age-18 season

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.

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.

Ralphy Velasquez, C (Age 18)

2023 (CPX): 28 PA, .348/.393/.739, 2 HR, 1 SB, 10.7 BB%, 17.9 K%, 151 wRC+

Cleveland’s No. 1 draft pick in 2023. Velasquez has strong hit and power tools and showcased them in a limited sample size at the complex league.

Poll

Who should be the No. 3 Cleveland Guardians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Juan Brito
    (57 votes)
  • 3%
    Joey Cantillo
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Jaison Chourio
    (8 votes)
  • 27%
    Daniel Espino
    (100 votes)
  • 43%
    Brayan Rocchio
    (156 votes)
  • 4%
    George Valera
    (18 votes)
  • 2%
    Ralphy Velasquez
    (10 votes)
362 votes total Vote Now