There’s no real argument against it, Jordan Luplow has earned the right to be a full-time starter for the Cleveland Indians. Luplow had a down 2020, mostly due to the fact he had very little time to adjust to the game, coming off an injury during the beginning stages of the Coronavirus. He hit just .192 over 29 games and barely made an impact offensively.
In 2019, however, Luplow was great. He hit .276, with 15 home runs, 15 doubles, and 38 RBIs. In 2020 he’s averaging a home run every seven at-bats. If he only registers 225 at-bats like in 2019, Luplow will finish (at this rate) with 32 home runs on the year. It’s far likely that he doesn’t maintain the pace he’s on, but assuming he gets 300 at-bats, at least, it’s very likely Luplow can hit the 30 home run mark. After all, it’s not production that’s been the issue but opportunity.
Luplow can play center but he’s played far more games in left and right, so if you’re not sure if he can be your centerfielder, Josh Naylor seems to have the speed needed and exists as an option. This would allow Luplow to move into right field, and set the corner up as a long-term option.
Right now, he’s played eight games in center, three in right, and one in left, making him very versatile. Obviously, Ben Gamel wasn’t the answer and is now down in Triple-A Columbus. That still leaves the Indians with Amed Rosario, who isn’t just struggling at the plate, but in the field as well.
The Indians really don’t have much else behind those names. Sure, Naylor is a good option and he’ll continue to grow and mature, and of course, Eddie Rosario is a proven commodity.
Right now the only player who could be called up to play outfield is Nolan Jones, but the Indians aren’t interested in moving him up from Triple-A Columbus just yet. So right now, not only is Luplow the clear favorite to be the everyday starting centerfielder (or outfielder in general), but he’s the only option.
Luplow should be given every chance to succeed, because what’s the alternative, Bradley Zimmer?