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Brayan Rocchio is our No. 3 Guardians prospect. Who should be No. 4?

“The Professor” finally made his big-league debut in 2023 and has a chance to win the starting shortstop job for 2024

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Top middle infield prospect Brayan “The Professor” Rocchio is our No. 3 prospect, earning 43% of the vote yesterday and beating out Daniel Espino, who had 28%, by over 50 votes.

Unlike Friday’s winner Kyle Manzardo, Rocchio has been in Cleveland’s system for quite a while. He was originally signed out of Venezuela as part of Cleveland’s vaunted 2017 international draft class.

Rocchio quickly left a good first impression, sporting a 137 wRC+ in the Dominican League and earning a rare mid-season promotion to the United States, where he continued performing with a career-best 140 wRC+ in Arizona.

Due to the COVID pandemic and the lost 2020 MiLB season, Rocchio didn’t make his full-season debut until 2021, which he split between High-A and Double-A in his age-20 season, where he continued to be above average with wRC+ of 110 and then an impressive 135 after being promoted.

He began 2022 at Double-A, but earned a promotion to Triple-A after slashing .265/.349/432 through 99 games with 13 home runs.

Rocchio set a career high in 2023 with 25 stolen bases at Triple-A Columbus. He also had a career-best 11.2% walk rate through 116 games played there, his first time ever reaching double digits in that department. On the negative side, his power shrunk, hitting just seven home runs after topping out at 18 the previous season.

A switch hitter, Rocchio has above average contact skills and a decent eye at the plate. He also plays elite defense at all three major infield positions, although shortstop is his best role. Along with Gabriel Arias, Jose Tena and Tyler Freeman, he’ll be vying for the starting shortstop position in Cleveland to begin the 2024 season.

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.

Alex Clemmey, LHP (Age 18)

2023: Second round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.

Standing 6-foot-6 with a 99 mph fastball and a filthy curveball, Clemmey had one of the most electric arms of all high school prep prospects for 2023, but lacks command.

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.

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.


Who should be the No. 4 Cleveland Guardians prospect?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Juan Brito
    (83 votes)
  • 5%
    Joey Cantillo
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    Jaison Chourio
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Alex Clemmey
    (4 votes)
  • 51%
    Daniel Espino
    (146 votes)
  • 9%
    George Valera
    (26 votes)
  • 2%
    Ralphy Velasquez
    (7 votes)
286 votes total Vote Now