This is the final piece of a four-part series looking at the Indians prospects playing fall and winter ball this offseason. I’ve already looked at the Arizona Fall League, the Dominican Republic winter league and the Venezuelan winter league.
Puerto Rico, started November 8
Rob Bryson, RHP, Criollos de Caguas – Bryson is one of the lesser-discussed participants in the 2008 CC Sabathia trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. He and Zach Jackson rounded out the foursome that came to Cleveland, in addition to Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley. The 24-year-old was originally drafted in the 31st round of the 2006 draft by the Brewers out of high school. Bryson spent the entire 2012 season with Akron, going 5-5 with a 2.62 ERA, and 1.347 WHIP in 65.1 innings pitched. He had a solid 2011 season as well, split between Lake County, Kinston, and Akron he went 2-1 with a 2.29 ERA, and 1.119 WHIP in 39.1 innings pitched.
Roberto Perez, catcher, Indios de Mayaguez – A native of Puerto Rico, the 23-year-old Perez was drafted by the Indians in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft (he was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 29th round of the 2006 draft, but did not sign). He spent his entire 2012 season with the Aeros, hitting .212./.336/.293 with one home run in 283 at-bats. Through four seasons in the minors he has averaged .234/.364/.336.
Matt Langwell, RHP, Gigantes de Carolina – Drafted by the Indians in the 11th round of the 2008 draft, the 26-year-old Langwell spent the entire 2012 season with the Columbus Clippers, where he went 4-0 with a 3.29 ERA and 1.299 WHIP in 54.2 innings pitched. These totals are very close to Langwell’s career averages across all levels in the minors – 3.06 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. It will be interesting to track Langwell’s performance this winter, and to get a look at him in spring training. He could help the Indians bullpen in the very near future.
Joseph Colon, RHP, Gigantes de Carolina – Like Perez, Colon is a native of Puerto Rico; the 22-year-old was drafted in the 12th round of the 2009 draft. He spent time with the Lake County Captains and the Carolina Mudcats in 2012, although most of his innings came with Lake County. With the Captains he went 8-8 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.182 WHIP in 111.2 innings pitched. When he shifted to Carolina, he went 1-2 with a 7.53 ERA and 1.953 WHIP in 14.1 innings pitched. His Lake County numbers are closer to his career averages – a 3.75 ERA and 1.366 WHIP.
Giovanni Soto, LHP, Gigantes de Carolina – Soto, also from Puerto Rico, was drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 draft by the Detroit Tigers (this was after he did not sign with the Philadelphia Phillies when they drafted him in the 46th round of the 2008 draft). He came to the Indians in 2010 when the Tribe traded Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers. If his name sounds familiar to you, it may be because it is very similar to Major League catcher Geovany Soto. It may also be due to the fact that Soto pitched a no-hitter with the Akron Aeros in July this past season, the first Aeros player to throw a no-hitter at Canal Park since it opened in 1997. Soto spent the entire 2012 season in Akron, where he went 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA and 1.319 WHIP in 121.1 innings pitched. His career averages are slightly better – 3.09 ERA and a 1.224 WHIP.