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Indians top prospects continue to develop

Indians top prospects continue to develop
September 15, 2014
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While it is looking like the Cleveland Indians will not make a return trip to the American League Wild Card playoff this season, tumbling to 66/1 longshots to win the World Series betting at, there are still plenty of reasons for Tribe fans to feel good about the direction the club is going in.

With the continued strong development of young players on the Indians’ roster like catcher Yan Gomes, pitcher Corey Kluber, and second baseman Jason Kipnis, the Tribe is building a strong young core that could keep the club competitive, if not contenders, for a number of years.

However, Cleveland also boasts a strong stable of young prospects whose continued development is crucial to the team’s ongoing success.

Indians’ Top Prospect Francisco Lindor

Topping that list is shortstop Francisco Lindor. The 20 year-old, who was taken by Cleveland in the first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, has been a standout at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season.

Lindor hit .278 with 48 RBI and 133 total bases in 88 games with Double-A Akron before being promoted to Triple-A Columbus in late July. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico didn’t miss a beat following his promotion, hitting .273 with 14 RBI and 64 total bases with the Clippers.

A few eyebrows were raised when the Indians elected not to make Lindor a September call up following the conclusion of the Clippers’ season. But, with the 21 year-old Jose Ramirez staking his claim between the bags with the big club, the decision was made not to rush Lindor.

Ramirez has not looked out of place, since becoming the Indians’ regular shortstop in late July. In 50 games this season, the youngster is batting .256 with seven doubles and 11 RBI, and with a fielding percentage of .983 has contributed defensively in the Cleveland infield.

Recent Draft Picks Making their Mark

Clint Frazier is also rapidly developing his star potential in the Indians’ farm system. Drafted fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft, Frazier spent 2014 playing Full-A ball with the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, where he batted .266 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 120 games.

Unlike his colleagues in Columbus, Frazier has gotten a taste of post-season baseball this year with the Captains, who are currently battling the Kane County Cougars for the Midwest League championship.

Frazier was recently joined on the Captains roster by outfielding prospect Bradley Zimmer. Selected 21st overall by the Indians at this year’s Draft, Zimmer made a mark in his Lake County debut, going yard twice in his first three games, and hitting .333 in the seven regular season and playoff games he has seen action in prior to the start of the Midwest League championship series.

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