Our final Cleveland Guardians top 10 prospect rankings by position finishes at corner outfield, where the #1 prospect in our rankings overall is, George Valera. Palacios’ future looks to be in the outfield for now, so he’s also on this list. It’s not a great list, but it’s got more upside than it has in the past, although below Palacios, there’s a ton of risk on this list. So there’s talent, but a lot of risk.

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

2021 Cleveland Guardians top 10 middle infield prospects

RankPlayerPoints
1George Valera30
2Richard Palacios27
3Oscar Gonzalez22
4Will Benson20
5Alexfri Planez17
6Micah Pries15
7Jorge Burgos15
8Johnathan Rodriguez11
9Skeiling Rodriguez5
10Jaison Chourio4

1 George Valera

Age: 21
B/T:
L/L
Level:
Double-A
Outlook:
Finally healthy in 2021, save for a oblique issue that kept him out for a few weeks, Valera’s career finally took off. He hit for power and drew walks at High-A Lake County as a 20 year old busting through older competition. Teams finally stopped pitching to him and Cleveland promoted him. He backed up a little in Double-A but held his own. He’s on the 40 man roster and could be ready to compete at the big league level in 2022, but knowing Cleveland it will be more like 2023.

2 Richie Palacios

Age: 24
B/T:
L/R
Level:
Triple-A Columbus
Outlook:
Formerly a second baseman, Palacios’ use in 2021 between Akron and Scottsdale makes it appear that his future is as a corner outfielder. He had good range in the infield and a strong arm, so he should be a good defensive fit and the Guardians lack of depth will give him an easier path to the big leagues at this position. Playing in mixed level competition in the 2021 Arizona Fall League, he was one of the top offensive performers, continuing a long run of success at the plate since he joined the franchise in 2018.

3 Oscar Gonzalez

Age: 23
B/T: R/R
Level: Triple-A Columbus
Outlook: The Dominican Republic native had perhaps the best season of his career with the organization. He was unselected in the 2020 Rule 5 draft and will be eligible again. Gonzalez, 23,  possesses big raw power and strikes out at a high rate. The right-handed-hitting slugger seldom takes a walk- something that will need continued work, but he has made some gains in that department. Defensively, he’s a marginal left-fielder with a strong right-field capable arm. His future is possibly a slugging bench-type left-fielder/designated hitter

4 Will Benson

Age: 23
B/T: L/L
Level: Triple-A Columbus
Outlook: Drafted 14th overall in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Benson was considered a long-term high-upside selection at that time. He’s lived up to that billing to this point. The left-handed-hitting outfielder has a strong arm and suitable speed (despite his 6’5, 230 lb frame). Still young enough to develop, Benson offers a toolsy (power, speed, glove) platoon bat floor.

5 Alexfri Planez

Age: 20
B/T: R/R
Level: Low-A Lynchburg
Outlook: Signed as an international free agent in 2017, Planez performed admirably after a slow start. The right-handed-hitting, Planez has plus-plus power potential, with it high K-rates typical of young power hitters. The young outfielder projects as a right-fielder with a strong arm. He is bigger than listed (6’2, 180), and will likely slow as he matures.

6 Micah Pries

Age: 24
B/T: L/R
Level: Double-A Akron
Outlook: Drafted in the thirteen round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Pries made his long-awaited minor league debut in 2021. The California native is experienced around the outfield and at first. Pries shows quality bat-to-ball skills and fringe-average to average pop. His ceiling is likely a 4/5th outfielder as he develops.

7 Jorge Burgos

Age: 20
B/T:
L/L
Level:
Low-A Lynchburg
Outlook:
Burgos had a massively surprising season in 2021 with the ACL Indians and was thusly the first hitter promoted to Lynchburg in August. He immediately took off there as well, hitting .333/.388/.511 over his first 11 games, although he slowed down a bit after that. He should start 2022 back in Lynchburg, although he could see another quick promotion if he takes off again. He brings out great speed and decent power without a high strikeout rate.

8 Johnathan Rodriguez

Age: 21
B/T: R/R
Level: High-A Lake County
Outlook: One of the youngest players available in the 2017 draft class, Rodriguez had a long developmental path ahead of him, he still does. Defensively, Rodriguez has an arm suitable for play in right field and good speed despite his lack of stolen bases. The right-handed-hitting outfielder will need to increase his power output while reducing his strikeouts and increasing his walks. That’s a hard task for any 21-year-old. However, his youth, tools, and athleticism offer intrigue as does his ability to make contact at an above-average rate. 

9 Skeiling Rodriguez

Age: 20
B/T:
L/R
Level:
ACL
Outlook:
After two years in the DSL and a year off, Rodriguez hit very well in 2021 with the ACL Indians. This could be a function of an increase in maturity and size during the 2020 vacated season, or taking advantage of playing against younger talent. Hopefully he will start 2022 in Lynchburg so we can find out.

10 Jaison Chourio

Age: 16
B/T: S/R
Level: 2021 International Free Agent
Outlook: The native of Venezuela is expected to receive a signing bonus just north of $1 million on January 15th when his addition to the organization becomes official. He is the brother of Brewers’ prospect Jackson Chourio. Already 6’2, 165 lbs the sixteen-year-old could continue to add to his wiry frame as he matures. He currently plays center and has an arm capable of handling right, Chourio is reportedly an above-average runner. It’s a tweener outfield profile right now, with possibilities of a move to right in the future. Chourio is Ranked 20th at both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.

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