ESPN’s Keith Law released his top 100 prospects list this week. There’s good and bad news for the Tribe.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 1.36.03 PMThe good news is that shortstop Francisco Lindor comes in at No. 6, and Law states that he could see him making his MLB debut this season. If the Tribe’s 2014 season doesn’t go as planned, trading Asdrubal Cabrera and giving Lindor a chance in August and September is a realistic possibility.

The bad news for the Tribe is that outfielder Clint Frazier (No. 45) is the only other farmhand to make an appearance on Law’s list.

More bad news comes in the form of Trevor Bauer, who has fallen off the list completely and is only fourth on Law’s list of the Tribe’s top 10 prospects. Law even goes so far as to call Bauer’s 2013 campaign a “dumpster fire.”

The most concerning note of all, however, is the fact that the Royals and Twins systems seem to be loaded with talent.

Not only do the Royals have a strong group of young players at the major league level, but they boast three top-50 prospects and have another at No. 81.

The Twins lack the Royals’ MLB-ready youngsters, but they have five top-100 prospects and two in the top 10, including Law’s No. 1 guy, Byron Buxton.

When you consider the state of the major league club and the farm system, you could argue that the Tribe’s overall organization is in one of the worst situations in all of baseball. Stuck in mediocrity at the major and minor league level is a tough place to be, especially for a club with a limited payroll.

The state of the farm system could certainly help push the front office to be sellers rather than buyers if they don’t appear to be realistic title contenders by mid-July.


  • adam says:

    The farm system being “mediocre” is WAY better than awful which it had been for about a decade. So it is getting better after wasted no1 pick after wasted no1 pick. But this team will not be a true contender until the minor system is top of he line. The other small market teams that do good (tampa Oakland etc) do so because of great minors. Also trading 2 cy young award winners FOR NOTHING! Has hurt the team for a very long time

  • Sean Porter says:

    The Indians HAVE to draft and develop well, and under Shapiro and Antonetti, an argument can easily be made that the Indians have done neither well.

    By the way, dumpster fires across the nation are highly offended by the comparison of them to Bauer’s 2013 season.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    Recent reports on Bauer are very positive.

    • Sean Porter says:

      I hate to pin the hopes and dreams of a team on the kid, but with Masterson’s future with the Tribe shaky, we need Bauer to produce like the prospect he was projected to be out of college. If he ends up being a top-of-the-rotation, he and Salazar could be a lethal 1-2 combo.

      If he flames out, it could be dicey for the Indians in the coming years. I like Kluber and McAllister, but the chances that both are consistent starters for years to come aren’t great. We really need for Bauer to realize his potential.

  • Dennis says:

    Correct me if imam wrong but this is the same organization that didn’t have Danny Salazar in the top 100 last year, with a few more starts he could have been Rookie of the Year

    • Ryan McCrystal says:

      You’re correct. But Law actually addressed why Salazar was left off the top 100 in his Indians write up last February. He had Salazar ranked 4th in the organization and labeled him the organizations sleeper. Here’s what he wrote:

      “Right-hander Danny Salazar came back from Tommy John, and gradually built up his velocity to where he was touching 99 mph and sitting 94-96 by year-end, with two average secondary pitches. He is not huge and needs to show he can pitch with that kind of raw stuff for a full season before I’d rank him as a top-100 guy.”

      … That seems like a fair explanation. And on top of that, Law actually had Salazar ranked higher than any of the major publications prior to the 2013 season, including Tony Lastoria, who exclusively covers Indians prospects.

  • Mike says:

    I didnt put much stock into this article. We (as in Tribe fans) know what Bauer was working on this past season. I was not at all surprised he dropped off the top 100. That doesn’t mean his potential went away. And Bauer more than anyone in recent memory has a unique understanding of his mechanics, and what it will take to succeed. And I have also heard that reports on his progress are very promising. The fact that he is being mentioned for the final spot in the rotation tells me the Tribe believes he is on the right path.

    Sean why do you think Kluber & McCallister won’t be consistent starters?
    I think they can be solid middle of the rotation starters. They both had the freak finger injury this past year, but other than that, they were 2 of the more reliable starters we had. They could guarantee you 6-7 innings 2-3 runs every time out. Those two guys give me more hope for our rotation than I have had since we had CC, Cliff Lee and Westbrook. In fact, they remind me alot of Westbrook. A solid mid-rotation starter. I hope they take another step forward this year in their development rather than regress.

  • Gvl Steve says:

    If healthy, Kluber and McAllister are solid mid-rotation starters. My only concern about them is that the finger problems could recur and prevent them from throwing their breaking balls. That would severely reduce their effectiveness.

    • Sean Porter says:

      I meant for the relative long-term on Kluber and McAllister… It would be great to trot out Salazar, Bauer, Kluber and McAllister for most of the rest of the decade, but the odds are against all four being consistent starting pitchers, due to injuries, the law of averages, etc…

      I like Kluber and McAllister (higher on Kluber).