With trades surrounding prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz coupled with the promotions of key players like Carlos Santana, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis, the Cleveland Indians’ farm system has been “gutted,” per ESPN’s Keith Law, who ranks the Tribe’s developmental system 29th in all of Major League Baseball.
Entering what many believe to be their contention window in 2012, the team can no longer rely on a system of prospects who can be called up to fill in at a high level. Certainly, they have made trades or acquired multiple free agents who will likely litter the Columbus Clippers’ roster, but as it stands today, drafted and developed talent is at a relative low beyond that of the A-ball level.
Topping only the Chicago White Sox, Law states that, despite their current status, “one of the Indians’ better drafts in years last June should help.”
Presently, pitcher Dillon Howard and shortstop Francisco Lindor (last season’s second- and first-round picks, respectively) top most lists surrounding the franchise’s top prospects. Howard is 19-years old with Lindor being over a full year younger. Neither are anticipated to be nearing the big league level for several years.