This series is based on a voting exercise from Justin Lada, Joe Coblitz and Willie Hood on the top 10 players at each position in the Cleveland Indians’ farm system. Each position rank is worth a point in voting (#1 rank is 10 points, #2 is 9, #3 is 8, etc.).

The positions covered in this series will breakdown this way: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, corner outfield, centerfield, right handed starting pitchers, left handed starting pitchers, and relievers.

Top 10 catchers

Top 10 first basemen

Top 10 second basemen

Top 10 third basemen

Top 10 shortstops

Top 10 corner outfielders

Top 10 centerfielders

Top 10 right handed starting pitchers

Top 10 left handed starting pitchers in Cleveland’s system

10. Francisco Perez (3 points)

Age: 23
Highest level reached (most games played): A Lake County

Perez makes a rehab start with the 2019 AZL Indians Reds. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Perez began his career showcasing a good fastball and great curve that helped him dominate every level through short season A. This didn’t translate to his 2018 season in Lake County, however, as command issues hurt him. At this point, he was still young for the level and it wouldn’t have been a big issue to repeat the level, but injuries cost him nearly all of 2019 with the exception of rehab assignments with the AZL Indians Red and Scrappers. He did look good in those assignments, but will need to jump straight to high A or AA in 2021 to catch back up to where he was before.

9. Matt Turner (6 points)

Age: 21
Highest level reached (most games played): Lake Coun

Turner makes a start for the Indians during 2019 extended spring training. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Matt Turner, 21, was drafted by the Tribe in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He received a $200,000 signing bonus to forego his commitment to Broward Community College. The 6’4, 180 lb left-hander sits comfortably in the upper 80’s and gets into the low-90’s. He has an average sweeping slider and effective changeup. There is potential for the young lefty to add velocity as he adds strength to his frame. Turner’s average offerings play up because of his above-average (with rare plus potential) control.

8. Raymond Burgos (13 points)

Age: 21
Highest level reached: A Lake County

Burgos warms up in the outfield prior to 2020 Indians MiLB spring training practice. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Since being drafted in 2016, Burgos has spent more time on the IL than the field, but he has shown sparks of brilliance when healthy. He has a good fastball/change combo with a great slider leading to 107 strike outs to 29 walks in 94.2 career innings. After a good, but shortened, season with Lake County in 2019, Burgos should start 2021 in Lynchburg. He doesn’t project as a top end starter, but should be able to remain a starter throughout his career.

7. Kirk McCarty (16 points)

Age: 25
Highest level reached: A+ Lynchburg

McCarty (pictured at top) missed much of 2019 with injury and, when he did pitch, it wasn’t comparable to his previous seasons. He then went to the Arizona Fall League and was very impressive, getting back to his old self. This likely would have been enough to get him to Akron in 2020, but having missed that opportunity, he will likely have to go straight to Columbus in 2021 due to his advanced age. McCarty is a solid command pitcher who throws to contact and fields his position well. This gives him a high floor, but low ceiling and it may be difficult for him to ever break into the Indians rotation given his age and the current competition.

6. Adam Scott (18 points)

Tiebreakers go by highest rank on two of three lists

Scott pitches during 2020 Indians MiLB spring training practice. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Age: 24
Highest level reached: Akron

Adam Scott was a fourth-round draft selection in the 2018 MLB Draft from Wofford. The lefty has a solid three-pitch mix featuring a low-90’s fastball that touches 94. His above-average control helps all of his pitches play up. Scott, 24, has back of rotation upside but could be forced to carve a path from the bullpen because of organizational depth.

5. Logan Allen (SD trade) (18 points)

Tiebreakers go by highest rank on two of three lists

Age: 23
Highest level reached: Cleveland

Logan Allen (SD) was acquired as part of the package the club received for Trevor Bauer. The Florida native added a slider to his repertoire while at the alternate training facility this summer. Displaying low-to-mid 90’s heat and occasionally touching 96, the lefty has now boasts a four-pitch mix. Allen’s best pitch is his “Vulcan” changeup, which has received plus scouting grades in the past. Now, paired with a slider and curveball, the lefty has an intriguing pitch mix, velocity, and youth (23) that make him a prospect to watch. Already on the 40-man roster with a pair of club options remaining, it seems likely the left-hander could spend more time in Triple-A to continue to refine his fringe-average control.  

4. Scott Moss (19 points)

Tiebreakers go by highest rank on two of three lists

Age: 26
Highest level reached: Columbu

Moss warms up in the outfield prior to 2020 Indians MLB spring training practice. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Scott Moss, 26, is another piece acquired in the Trevor Bauer trade. With a low-90’s fastball that touches 94 and an above-average slider. While his changeup lags behind those two pitches, it’s still a serviceable pitch. Moss uses his 6’6 frame well, and the natural extension creates deception from his ¾ delivery. Next season, the University of Miami (FL) product could be a back-end arm or make the transition to the bullpen where the club could utilize his left-handedness.

3. Sam Hentges (19 points)

Tiebreakers go by highest rank on two of three lists

Age: 24
Highest level reached: Double-A Akron (128.1 innings)

Hentges throws off the mound during 2020 Indians spring training practice in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Hentges is reportedly up to the upper 90s with his fastball now. In games in 2018 he was more around 92-94 t96. He was trying to add a cutter but the shape was inconsistent. He had some bad luck and issues pitching with runners on and under high stress situations. He’s still looking for a viable second and third pitch as a starter. Perhaps there’s a better fit as a reliever with his increased velo on what is a fastball without a lot of movement normally. But right now he still has upside as a big, hard throwing lefty that has flashed two above average secondaries. We’re just waiting on the whole package to come together to meet a mid-rotation profile. He should have a big league opportunity and role some time in the next two seasons.

2. Logan Allen (2020 draft pick) (20 points)

Age: 22
Highest level reached: Draft

Allen pitches in relief for the 2020 Indians instructional league team. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Logan Allen was drafted in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft. The lefty received a $1.125 million signing bonus. The 6’0, 180 lb left-hander from Florida Internation University (FIU) best pitch is an above-average circle changeup with plus potential. The left-hander’s fastball sits low-90’s with his slider getting average grades. Allen displays a repeatable athletic delivery. He is a polished college arm with above-average to plus control, which should quickly advance him through the minors.

1. Joey Cantillo (30 points)

Age: 20
Highest level reached: Low-A Fort Wayne (89 innings)

Cantillo pitches for the Indians during a 2020 instructional league game against Cincinnati. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Cantillo did make it to High-A Lake Elsinore in 2019 with the Padres after a successful run as a teenager in the Midwest League. With the potential for above average command of three pitches, two which have above average characteristics, there’s an exciting, very projectable ceiling for Cantillo. The curveball needs some work and there’s hope he’ll add 2-3 mph on his fastball. But his upside is no doubt the highest of any left handed arm in the system right now.

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