Cleveland Indians: 4 takeaways from the 60-man roster

Cleveland Indians Chris Antonetti (Photo by David J. Becker/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Chris Antonetti (Photo by David J. Becker/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians Ethan Hankins (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images) /

2. The Pipeline lives

Player development is huge for the Cleveland Indians, a small-market club that won’t sign any big-item free agents.

It took some time…pretty much the first decade of this century, but the Tribe has had much more success drafting and developing their own players, with Francisco Lindor as the crown jewel.

Well, just because the minor league season appears to be scrapped, the Tribe isn’t giving up on their youngsters, based off the final roster submitted by the front office.

At Classic Park, Daniel Espino (2019 first rounder) and Ethan Hankins (2018 first rounder) will get some work on the bump in Lake County. These were high school pitchers who are still years away from helping the big league club. It’s true that players now-a-days do a ton of training on their own, but there’s something to be said about nurturing Youngers in the organizational sphere.

The same is true for catching prospect Bo Naylor and George Valera. These guys have virtually no shot of actually playing at The Corner this year, but they made the 60-man player pool.

Some executives view this as a smart thing to do, as prospects will continue to get work, while there are some who worry about young players being rushed into action should the coronavirus spread throughout a team.

Just before Spring Training, released its prospect rankings and Naylor was third, Valera, fifth and Espino, sixth, respectively.

In addition to the the younger prospects, players such as Triston McKenzie just need to play. McKenzie missed all of 2019 with injury and was supposed to make his first start in Goodyear just before COVID shut it all down.

With the glut of pitching the Tribe already possesses, it’s unlikely Mckenzie will be on the big-league bump this season, but the future will be now very soon for the right-hander.