With April almost behind us, it's time to take a look at the Indians Triple-A affiliate to see how the next line of Indians players are doing. There have been some ups and downs so far, but a few key players have looked promising.
Oscar Mercado: Maybe the most intriguing of Indians prospects so far this season. Mercado is currently listed as the 9th best prospect in the Indians farm system. Currently batting .342, Mercado has shown a ton of promise with the bat as well as in the field. Though he hasn't been playing outfield for too long (as he was originally a shortstop) Mercado has shown that he is able to cover a lot of ground out in center field and could move to one of the corners if needed. Given that he can play both infield and outfield, the Indians should consider bringing him up as a utility player, somewhat like how Tito used Mike Aviles a few years ago. The biggest problem the Indians have right now is hitting, and Mercado can bring that with him if called upon as well as provide depth for any field position.
Jordan Luplow: After being sent down by the Indians earlier this year, Luplow's bat came to life in Columbus. Jordan has been hitting at a .353 clip and also hit a monstrous homerun off of the building in left field at Huntington Park on Friday night, which is roughly 440 feet from home plate. Luplow was just rough back up to the Indians roster, and if he can continue to swing the bat like he did in Columbus, he will likely remain on the team.
Jake Paulson: Maybe the most intriguing of the current prospects, Jake Paulson started his first Triple-A game on Friday for the Clippers. Paulson, a 27 year old who was cut by the Reds organization in 2017, has a massive frame for a pitcher, coming in at 6'7" and weighing 225 pounds. If he is able to put it all together, Paulson could be a serviceable reliever for the Indians. On Friday, Paulson was able to keep the Durham Bulls scoreless until the 6th inning when he gave up a 3 run homerun. Though he did work himself into several jams, Paulson was able to get out of all of them until the 6th inning. Should Paulson continue to develop, he could be on the Indians roster in a few years.
Cody Anderson: It should be starting to become clear that I'm pretty high on Cody Anderson. After missing two full seasons, Cody looks as if he is starting to get back into form. So far, Anderson has pitched 6 scoreless innings for the Clippers, and have a brief stint on the major league roster. If the troubles with the Indians bullpen start to get out of hand or if someone is injured, Cody Anderson could play himself onto the Major League roster for good.
Other notes: Last week, the Indians traded away Clippers outfielder Carlos Maybin to the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations. Maybin was brought in at the end of Spring Training in order to add some depth, but was unable to make the Indians roster. Clearing Maybin from the roster allows for some of the younger guys to get more playing time in the outfield in hopes of getting them ready for the pros.