Nearing the end of our 2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 prospect by position rankings is the most non-pitching stacked area of the farm system with middle infielders. Because a lot of these players move back and forth between second and third, and some third base too, it made more sense to combine them because truthfully all of these players have a chance to stay up the middle, whether it is second or short.

As has been the case, Justin Lada, Willie Hood and Joe Coblitz ranked these players 1-10 with 10 points for the top spot, nine for the second, eight for third, etc. Then the points are tallied up to show the ranked you see here.

See more from this series:

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 relief pitching prospects

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 catching prospects

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 right handed pitching prospects

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 left handed starting pitching prospects

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 centerfield prospects

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 corner infield prospects

1Brayan Rocchio29
2Tyler Freeman28
3Gabriel Arias24
4Jose Tena21
5Aaron Bracho14
6Angel Martinez14
7Milan Tolentino9
8Carson Tucker9
9Jake Fox8
10Dayan Frias6
Jose Fermin3

1 SS Brayan Rocchio

Age: 21
B/T: S/R
Level: Double- Akron
Outlook: Another one of the prize international signings in recent years, Rocchio is renowned for his high baseball aptitude. He shows advanced bat-to-ball skills, excellent glove work, and plus speed. The switch-hitter has the potential to one day take over the shortstop position for the Guardians. Rocchio should continue to grow stronger, helping him to drive the ball more frequently.

2 SS/2B Tyler Freeman

Age: 23
B/T: R/R
Level: Triple-A Columbus
Outlook: Signed in 2017 as part of the 2017 MLB Draft class, Freeman advanced to Akron last season. The California native excelled in 2021 before his second labrum injury to his non-throwing shoulder. The right-handed-hitting infielder shows plus bat-to-ball skills and a keen eye at the plate. His bat-to-ball ability can be a double-edged sword as it reduces the number of walks he takes. Freeman needs to stay healthy and show more power. Defensively, he has the skills and arm to handle shortstop but could bump over to second base.

3 SS Gabriel Arias

Age: 22
B/T: R/R
Level: Triple-A Columbus
Outlook: Acquired as part of the package for former Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger, Arias is an intriguing shortstop. The right-handed-hitting Arias impressed at the plate showing growth in his contact skills while striking out at a high rate. Defensively, he can handle all the positions left of first base. Arias’ powerful throwing arm is one of the best in minor league baseball.

4 SS/2B Jose Tena

Age: 20
Level: Double-A Akron
Outlook: After not having any experience out of the complex league’s prior to 2021, but that didn’t stop him from hitting .281/.331/.467 with 16 homers and 10 steals at age 20 in High-A. That was after no playing time in 2020 and he got up to Double-A Akron for their championship series. Tena also won a minor league gold glove at shortstop. His approach is aggressive and it might catch up with him when he is exposed to advanced pitcher over the course of a full season, but he has bat to ball skills and plays excellent defense, so there’s a really valuable middle infielder package there, even if he doesn’t walk much.

5 2B Aaron Bracho

Age: 21
B/T: S/R
Level: High-A Lake County
Outlook: Signed as part of the 2017 International free agent period, Bracho has dealt with a few injuries that have slowed his progression. Last season was no different for the native of Venezuela. The young middle infielder scuffled at the dish last season but he has shown a capable bat and average to a tick above power. He’s a bat-first type player with an uncertain future at second base due to organizational depth. Bracho will have to show some of the skills he has flashed in the past to re-establish himself as a prospect or risk being bypassed by a series of younger players.

6 SS/2B Angel Martinez

Age: 20
B/T: B/R
Level: High-A Lake County
Outlook: Martinez originally signed as an international free agent like his prospect peers George Valera and Aaron Bracho. The son of Nationals GM Sandy Martinez, he benefits from growing up around the game, giving him advanced knowledge with his skill set. The switch-hitting shortstop has the arm to handle the middle infield and third base. He’s an advanced bat with doubles power and the willingness to take a walk.

7 SS/2B/3B Milan Tolentino

Age: 20
Low-A Lynchburg
After being drafted in 2020, Tolentino immediately took off in Arizona, earning a rare mid-season promotion to Lynchburg. After hitting six home runs and four doubles in 32 ACL games, he didn’t show quite as much power with the Hillcats, but was definitely turning things around in September. This success may have been enough to earn him a 2022 start in Lake County, although the incredible depth of talent at the position could keep him down. His ability to play second and third as well should help him continue to get constant playing time, but he has the ability to stay at short.

8 SS Carson Tucker

Age: 20
B/T: R/R
Level: Low-A Lynchburg
Outlook: Drafted in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Tucker received a $2 million signing bonus to forego his college commitment to the University of Texas. Tucker blossomed in the spring of 2020 causing the young middle infielder’s stock to soar before the draft. The younger brother of Pirates infielder Cole Tucker, Carson has only appeared in six minor league games after missing most of 2021 with a hand injury. The Arizona native has the tools to develop into an everyday shortstop if he can stay healthy and continue to make adjustments along the way.

9 2B/SS Jake Fox

Age: 18
B/T: L/R
Level: ACL
Outlook: Fox made his Cleveland debut in 2022 following his third round selection that year. In his limited 13 games, he played solid, but not flashy defense at second, third and short. In addition to being error free on the field, he was a perfect seven for seven in stolen base attempts and hit .405/.469/.429. While this is a small sample size, he showed a maturity worthy of quick advancement within the system.

10 SS/2B Dayan Frias

Age: 19
To the surprise of many, the diminutive Frias was the top hitter for the 2021 ACL Indians, largely due to his high walk rate and a combination of decent speed and a line drive stroke that lead to many doubles. He should get an opportunity to have a full season in 2022 for the first time where we could see how real his second season success was.

Best of the rest

INF Jose Fermin
INF Raynel Delgado
2B Christian Cairo
SS Angel Genao
SS Fran Alduey
INF Jose Pastrano
INF Yordys Valdez
INF Jesus Lara
INF Angel Contreras


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