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Legends On Deck

LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Cleveland Indians #10-#6

Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings. 


#10 – C Bo Naylor

2019 Opening Day Age: 19           ETA: 2022         Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (Rookie): .274/.381/.402, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 5 SB

I almost listed Naylor’s top tool as his defense because I like his skillset behind the plate, but there is still some projectability with the gear on. However, what is there presently is raw power. I love a power bat behind the plate, but often times those guys don’t have what it takes to stick behind the dish at the upper levels. I don’t have those concerns over the young Canadian’s game, but he is still far off. If the defense continues to develop, he will be a consensus top catching prospect.


#9 – OF Oscar Mercado

2019 Opening Day Age: 24             ETA: 2019         Top Future Tool: Run

2018 Stats (Triple-A): .278/.349/.390, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 37 SB

A switch from shortstop to the outfield has gotten the former highly touted prospect back on the map for many. He’s a great athlete with an advanced defensive skill set and the ability to change a game on the base paths. The positional change hasn’t been the only difference in his game. The Florida native has really found his swing at the plate. Couple that with an approach that led to a 9% walk rate at Triple-A and you have a pretty intriguing prospect here.


#8 – INF Yu Chang

2019 Opening Day Age: 23              ETA: 2019          Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (Triple-A): .256/.330/.411, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 4 SB

Shortstops have become better power hitters, as has the entire league for that matter,  in recent years, but there is still something noteworthy when you see a big bat and solid defensive middle infield skills from a prospect. Chang is an exceptional defender with a strong arm that projects to stay at short, but the real excitement is around the 23 year old’s bat. He has a tailor made bat path to hit the long ball, especially with those big league balls.


#7 – OF Daniel Johnson

2019 Opening Day Age: 23               ETA: 2020           Top Future Tool: Arm

2018 Stats (Double-A): .267/.321/.410, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 21 SB

The Indians return from the Yan Gomes deal, Johnson has one of the highest ceilings in this system. He posses above average power, but there is still some swing and miss to his game. Defensively, he has a hose for a left arm and has the skills to play all three outfield positions. After battling some injury problems in 2018, Johnson got a shot at the AFL where he struggled to a .145/.260/.177 slash in 18 games. The results haven’t been great, but the tools are so projectabile that the New Mexico State product needs to be on this list.


#6 – OF Will Benson

2019 Opening Day Age: 20                  ETA: 2022             Top Future Tool: Power

2018 Stats (Single-A): .180/.324/.370, 22 HR, 58 RBI, 12 SB

I love when a top notch athlete also possesses above average power. At 6’5 220 with fast feet, Benson looks like he should be playing wide receiver in the NFL. He falls in line with some other guys in this system where the skillset hasn’t really turned into on field production. At just 20 years old, Benson has plenty of time to turn the raw ability into results.

Featured Image: Will Benson – Courtesy of Mathew Carper/Legends On Deck

Jake Berry
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Jake Berry

Contributing Writer at Legends On Deck®
Jake resides in Carrollton, GA and loves everything baseball. He is a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys traveling to watch their Minor League teams. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Management. Jake is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for fitness and weight lifting. You can find his personal site at berrysbaseball.com

You can also reach out to Jake at jberry@legendsondeck.com
Jake Berry
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