Welcome to IBI’s midseason top 30 prospect rankings. Now that we are at the All-Star break and more than half of the way through the minor league season, I have re-ranked the top prospects in Cleveland’s system, including the risers, the fallers, those who stayed steady, and the newly drafted.
Before we get to the rankings, I want to note what I look for in a prospect. Given the way all prospects turn out to be lottery tickets — even the can’t miss ones — I value proximity to the majors and how little of a prospect’s value is tied to their projection. For example, Dorssys Paulino — a personal favorite — was highly rated until very recently; but after a year and a half of offensive struggles at Lake County, Paulino has fallen from the lofty top-three status he enjoyed prior to the 2012 season.
So players far away from the majors — like those in the Arizona League and Mahoning Valley — are not going to get as much of a bump as those in Akron and Columbus. Though, of course, a projected backup in Columbus will not be ranked ahead of a projected starter in Mahoning Valley. It is all a balancing act.
Additionally, I personally rate pitchers a little lower based on the frequency of their injuries (and how we have no way of preventing them yet) and relievers lower still, due to the limited number of innings they throw.
For part one of the rankings, click here. Otherwise, on to the second half of IBI’s midseason top 30 prospects.
All stats are through July 15. In-text photos from MiLB
#15 T.J. House, LHP, Cleveland/Columbus
Personally, I really value knowing that a prospect will be able to help at the major league level. Though no one mistakes House for a front-of-the-rotation option, the fact that the left-hander has already made him major league debut and pitched decently offers some level of certainty. Through 45.0 innings at the major league level (which leaves him just a few innings shy of losing his rookie and prospect eligibility), House had some issues with the long ball, allowing home runs on 28.0 percent of his fly balls. But the fact that home runs tend to regress toward the mean and House’s status as a sinkerball pitcher help his case going forward. The 24-year-old House has also been roughly league-average with his fastball — averaging around 91 miles per hour — and should be back in the major league rotation down the stretch auditioning for a permanent spot long term. Read More…
From Indians Baseball Insider, July 17, 2014