The Cleveland Guardians have a new crop of trending prospects to look out for
The Cleveland Guardians have made several big moves this offseason, signing Josh Bell and Mike Zunino and trading away Owen Miller, but if you think those are all the big moves the team is making, just wait. The Guardians are going to have several big names called up from the minors league this year but the question of who is always the guess for fans.
Last year I had Steve Kwan as a name to look out for, and that one looked good. This year, a lot of people expect Bo Naylor to be called up, and while that’s a possibility, he hasn’t looked great in Triple-A Columbus and you really don’t want to call someone up until they have a grasp of the level they’re at.
It’s usually true that if they struggle in higher-A clubs, they’ll struggle in the Majors. So there’s no point in rushing Naylor. Right now the two names that are at the top of most people’s lists are Gavin Williams and Daniel Espino.
Both men are right-handed starters but neither has even made it to Triple-A Columbus yet. They may be mid-season call-ups, assuming they get to Columbus out of Spring Training but otherwise they’re another year off. However, if either jumps to the majors, don’t be surprised. They have oodles of talent.
Other names like George Valera, and Brayan Rocchio need more seasoning but are making waves as well with high ceilings. They just haven’t proven it yet at their current level. Logan Allen and Jhonkensy Noel could break camp with the Guardos if they have a good spring training, but both men did struggle in Triple-A when they were called up.
So they’ll likely break camp with the Clippers and be called up once they show they can compete at that level.
The players to really watch have already been seen
By June, the players above may have proven to be ready to get a look but none of them should realistically debut with the Guardians in 2023, at least at this rate. In actuality, the three names you’ll see on the club at some point in 2023 have already made their technical big-league debuts.
Those three names are Will Brennan, Will Benson, and the aforementioned Bo Naylor.
Benson played 28 games with the Guards, so he’s had decent exposure, but he didn’t play well. So you’ll likely see his best foot forward in 2023. Naylor only hit .257 in Columbus, but the Guardians seem pretty deadset on calling him up for good this upcoming season, even if he’s not completely ready yet, so prepare for that. He may end up playing very well for the team, so don’t discount that possibility.
As for the biggest name, that’s Brennan. He doesn’t have home run power but he’s a .300 hitter with very good defense. Discounting anything that wasn’t a college, minor league, or major league game, Brennan has an average .328 for his entire baseball playing career.
If Myles Straw struggles offensively, I’m not sure Brennan can match Straw for glove-for-glove but he can easily replace him in the lineup.