As we lead up to both the start of the 2008 season and our “Diamond Cutter” top 100 prospects list, I will be taking a look at the top five prospects from every single Major League team. Each team will have its top five prospects along with a brief scouting report on each player that I have pulled from my scouting notes. Today we continue with the American League Central with the pitcher and hot corner deep Cleveland Indians Minor League organization. As always, let me know how you feel about the rankings in the comments section below or via email.
1.) Adam Miller, RHP: Despite having to battle back from a couple of different injuries, Adam Miller continues to be the Indians top prospect. Miller’s arsenal includes a mid to upper-90’s four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, change-up, and a great power slider with late break on it. He also has a great make-up and good command of his pitches. As of now he is projected as being a front line starter but that could change depending on how he returns from his injuries. If he doesn’t bounce back he could slip down to be a middle or back of the rotation guy or even to the bullpen.
2.) Beau Mills, 3B: Mills is a big, left-handed hitting third base prospect with a ton of upside. He has excellent hitting skills and has a chance to be a very good hitter as a professional. He does a great job adjusting to pitches and really makes pitchers pay when they make a mistake. Mills also has plus power with a solid line drive swing. He has some loft to his swing and will hit a lot of doubles and homers as a pro. Currently he’s a third baseman with average skills (range, arm, etc) and has many people saying he may end up at first base which I feel would be best for him.
3.) Chuck Lofgren, LHP: Lofgren is a polished lefty who has continued to improve his abilities on the mound. He has a low-90’s fastball and a fantastic change-up that many feel is one of the best in the Minors. Lofgren’s ability to get into the Indians’ starting rotation may run into a snag with how many players on currently on the list. He may find a spot in the bullpen in the meantime until someone falls off or gets injured.
4.) Wes Hodges, 3B: Hodges is a good overall athlete with a solid bat. His bat has great potential to hit for average as he makes good contact, has strong hands, has great bat speed, and a consistent eye at the plate. Hodges has improved his ability to drive the ball which as he does this more will continue to improve his power numbers. With Beau Mills most likely moving to first, Hodges has a shot to be Cleveland’s future third baseman.
5.) Aaron Laffey, LHP: Laffey is only two outs away from losing his prospect eligibility so he technically qualifies for this list. Laffey is an incredible ground ball pitcher which pro coaches love to see. He has good command of his fastball that sits in the upper-80’s with good sink but isn’t his best pitch. His best pitches are his change-up and slurvy breaking ball that generates a lot of grounders. Look for him to be part of the Indians rotation heading into 2008.
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