5 best performing prospects in the Cleveland Guardians minor leagues

Akron RubberDucks centerfielder Will Brennan (17) loses his helmet as he sprints to third on a hit by Akron RubberDucks first baseman Marcos Gonzalez (2) during the sixth inning of an MiLB baseball game against the Altoona Curve at Canal Park on Wednesday.Duckscurve 8
Akron RubberDucks centerfielder Will Brennan (17) loses his helmet as he sprints to third on a hit by Akron RubberDucks first baseman Marcos Gonzalez (2) during the sixth inning of an MiLB baseball game against the Altoona Curve at Canal Park on Wednesday.Duckscurve 8 /

The Cleveland Guardians’ five-best performing prospects.

The Cleveland Guardians are flushed with talent in the minor leagues. Considering just how many rookies the team has on its roster right now in major roles, this isn’t surprising to find out that the team is deep like the Grand Canyon. Yet, who are the five most impressive players going right now?

Well, a few weeks ago there’s a good chance that a bunch of our Major Leaguers would be on this list, but they all got called up. We just posted a round-up of the best performing minor leaguers through July, but now we’re going even deeper and talking about the five that could very well be All-Stars on the next level.

To be clear, we’re not talking about scouting reports, and scouts’ opinions. We’re only looking at the hard evidence. The hard evidence is a much better projection of future success as opposed to talent scouts talking about “attributes”.

Miss me with a club’s minor league prospect rankings, as they really don’t mean anything. Four of the six minor leaguers I talked about in this very article last year ended up on the Majors this year. Of those, Oscar Gonzalez was ranked 49th and Steven Kwan was unranked.

Yet, they are two of the better performing rookies. So you should probably put a bit of stock into these names because it’s a good chance they’ll be called up soon and impress.

The top five best-performing prospects in the Cleveland Guardians minor league system

RF George Valera – Double-A

319 AB, 15 HR, 59 RBI, 63 Runs, 48 Walks, .263/.363/.473, .836 OBS

We talked about George Valera in June, and since then his batting average has fallen by about 20 points, but he’s also hit 20 more RBIs and 19 more walks, so it kind of balances out. Valera has struggled at the plate early on, hitting just .217 in Single-A in 2019. Since then, however, he’s .260 in 2021 and now .263 in 2022. He’s 20 points down from June, sure, but he’s also 10 points up on his career average. He’s improving and with his power and ability to draw walks, he could be a very good player for the Guardians.

SP Gavin Williams – Double-A

1.69 ERA, 17 Starts, 79.2 IP, 106 Strikeouts, 0.95 WHIP

Names like Corey Kluber came out of nowhere. Kluber spent most of seven years in the minors and had a career ERA of 4.45. Other names, like Shane Bieber, were predicted to do well. Expect to hear Gavin Williams’ name a lot. Williams was the Guardians’ first pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and despite this only being his first year in the minors, has already leaped to Double-A Akron, where he’s got a 2.08 ERA in eight starts. In Single-A Lake County, he had a 1.40 ERA. This cat is a future Ace and I can’t wait to see how he develops.

OF Will Brennan – Triple-A

365 AB, 9 HR, 83 RBI, 49 Runs, 40 Walks, 16 SB, .324/.386/.484, .870 OPS

This is Will Brennan’s fourth year with the Guardians minor league and third overall. In the first three years, his splits have gone from .266/.354/.369/.723 OPS, to .286/.369/.410/.779 OPS, to .324/.386/.484/.870 OPS.

In fewer at-bats, Brennan has nearly doubled his RBI output from 2021 (50) to 2022 (83). He still has 23 games left to top 100 RBIs for the year. This is phenomenal hitting, considering Brennan’s doing this as a non-traditional power hitter. He’s not a home run guy. He only has 16 for his career, but he has 27 doubles for the season. He’s finding holes in defenses and he’s making opposing pitchers pay. The 24-year-old may see the Majors before the end of the year.

RP Andrew Misiaszek – Triple-A

1.61 ERa, 28 Games, 2 Starts, 44.2 IP, 69 Strikeouts, 1.10 WIHP

Having a reliever show steady progress like Andrew Misaszek has done over the last three seasons is what the Guardians are hoping for. Minor leagues are the lifeblood of small market teams like Cleveland and seeing Misiaszek go from a 4.28 ERA in 2019, to a 3.47 ERA in 2021 and now a 1.61 ERA in 2022 is making me giddy. Like with Brennan, I wouldn’t bet against seeing Misiaszek in 2022.

SP Logan Allen – Triple-A

4.34 ERA, 17 Starts, 87 IP, 127 Strikeouts, 1.28 WHIP

Don’t expect Logan Allen in the Majors in 2022, and no, this isn’t *that* Logan Allen. That Logan Allen plays for the Orioles Triple-A affiliate. Our Allen is the top-rated pitcher prospect who has slashed his way through the minors to start his career. He’s only in his second season and has already jumped from Single-A Lake County in 2021 to Triple-A Columbus in less than a year. He had a solid go in Double-A Akron, posting an ERA of 3.33 with 104 strikeouts in just 73 innings pitched, but he’s slowed down with Triple-A Columbus, which isn’t shocking. He’s hit a plateau in his development, that’s all. He’s given up a few bad home runs that have affected his stats negatively, but for the most part, he’s every bit the player you want still.

Next. Cleveland Guardians stand out minor leaguers heading into August. dark