RHP Rob Bryson (Criollos de Caguas)
It’s been a pretty good calendar year for Bryson. He had a great campaign with Akron and seems to be ready to take the next step to Columbus. After winning a championship with Akron he is on to represent Puerto Rico in the Caribbean World Series, and he’s a big part of that championship team. In 15 games (15.1 innings), Bryson didn’t allow a single run, struck out 19 and walked just seven. There’s still a good chance that he can help the Indians get more out of the CC Sabathia trade.
LHP Giovanni Soto (Gigantes de Carolina)
It was good to see Soto get back in action after the Indians shut him down late in the season to monitor his innings. In a relief role, Soto excelled in a tough environment. Due to his slender build, some feel Soto will not hold up pitching a lot of innings as a starter. With his cut fastball and slider, Soto could wind up at the very least being Rafael Perez. Right now the Indians hope he can continue to build up arm strength to be a starter. He posted a 1-0 record with a 1.17 ERA with 19 strikeouts, eight walk in 15.1 innings of work out of the pen.
RHP Joe Colon (Cangrejeros de Santurce)
Colon went down with an elbow injury late in the 2012 season after a phenomenal first half with the Captains. He’s had a history of arm trouble early on in his career but he was able to get back on the mound this winter and work on some things. Colon is only 6’0, so he doesn’t have a typical pitchers build but his sinker-slider combination are interesting. He’s able to induce groundballs and has been able to miss some bats so far. The Indians 2010 12th round pick will turn 23 later in the month, so his performance this year goes a lot towards whether he has a shot as a backend starter, middle reliever or an organizational arm. He had a solid showing in Puerto Rico, against generally older, more experienced lineups. 2-4 record with a 3.46 ERA, 31 strikeouts 17 walks in 39 innings of work.
C Roberto Perez (Indios de Mayaguez)
Perez is a solid defensive catcher. Blocks balls well, calls a good game and has a pretty solid throwing arm. Every pitcher at Akron this year loved working with him behind the plate. He managed to hit .288/.400/.322 with an 11/11 K/BB ratio this winter in 59 at bats. While his plate discipline and contact rate are solid, Perez’s offensive upside just isn’t there. He remains a favorite in the organization because of his defensive abilities. He’ll be 25 at the end of the 2013 season and has seen his bat slow down significantly since his breakout 2009. He should have a spot in the organization as he has shown the ability to handle pitching staffs very well.
You can read more of Justin’s coverage of the Cleveland Indians and their minor league system at LakeCounty-Sentinel.com