Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer and Francisco Lindor among top-20 MLB prospects

Following a season wherein the Cleveland Indians farm system was fairly barren, it should be refreshing for Tribe fans to see that shortstop Francisco Lindor and starting pitcher Trevor Bauer are named among the top-20 prospects in all of baseball per MLB.com.

Lindor, 14th overall, slots in right behind the games’ top prospect, Texas’ Jurickson Profar, at the shortstop position. Still multiple years from seeing the big leagues, the 19-year-old Lindor is coming off of a season with the Lake County Captains that featured 24 doubles, 27 stolen bases and 83 runs scored — exceeding expectations at the plate — to go with superb glove work that continues to make the team’s front office salivate.

“His ability speaks for itself,” Atkins told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. “I think the fact that he dealt with some of the ebb and flow of a natural season the first time [was good]. The most games he’d ever played before last year was in the 40s, and last year he played close to 200 if you count the two instructional leagues. It’s really unbelievable.”

Bauer, listed 17th, is likely to crack the big league lineup from Day One, the target of the big offseason trade that involved long-time right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. He went 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, but had subpar results though his four outings with the Diamondbacks. Earlier this month, Bauer told WFNY that he does not expect to be handed anything in terms of a spot in the starting rotation and that he hopes to capitalize on the opportunity provided.

[Related: Trevor Bauer: Eccentric or just smarter than the rest of us?]

  • JacobWFNY

    Personally, “exceeding expectations at the plate” seems like a bit of a stretch for Lindor.

    Yes, he was only 18 years old last season and playing his first full season. But the numbers, especially as the season wore on, weren’t that impressive.

    Season stats: 122 games, .257/.352/.355, 61 BB, 78 K, 27/39 SB, 18 errors
    First 35 games through 5/17: .327/.372/.490, 11 BB, 22 K, 11/15 SB, 4 errors
    Next 87 games starting 5/18: .226/.343/.294, 50 BB, 56 K, 16/24 SB, 14 errors

    The fact he continued to walk at a very high rate even when his slugging percentage dropped by nearly 200 points is quite impressive. And yeah, he’s still incredibly young and will be playing in only High-A this year at 19 years old. But just noteworthy about his poor hitting — and fielding/baserunning — numbers in the latter four-fifths of last season.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I saw Lindor play a few games for Lake County and even so young he was clearly one of if not the best player on the team. I saw a few of the fielding/baserunning gaffes but honestly they looked more like a player trying to do to much in particular the baserunning. Lets hope as he learns and matures he improves. Personally I’ve never been in favor of drafting high schoolers.

  • nj0

    Look, if his defense is as good as they say then he’d still be a valuable player even with a line of .226/.343/.294.

    At that age his plate discipline is more important than his power.

    As for his last 4/5th of the season, that’s one month of baseball. I wouldn’t want to draw any conclusions about any players from that kind of sample size.

  • http://twitter.com/PEngle39 Phil Smith

    Remember, he last played HS ball and the season lasted roughly 25 games; so the pro season is a little bit longer, which explains the dip in offensive numbers. However, it’s more impressive that he didn’t change his approach while slumping.

    Lookout for Dorsyss Paulino as the next Indians top-20 prospect, he’s already a consensus #3 prospect in the organization and there’s some debate whether he should be ahead of Lindor. He’s at SS now but will shift to 3B or LF in the future but he can absolutely HAMMER the ball. He’s big time in every sense….

    Also, if you look at Bauer’s numbers in the minors, he’s ranked incredibly low by MLB.com. I’m sure they used his struggles in the majors to justify the low ranking. He’s a top 5-10 prospect for sure.

  • mgbode

    I thought they dropped Bauer in the typical “drop any Indian 5-10 slot” adjustment :)

  • Steve

    18 year old hitters in the Midwest League – Lindor. The end. There were two in the SAL. The age is more important than anything else right now. As Lindor progresses from teenager to man, he’ll start hitting with more authority.