Welcome to our 2022 team top prospect rankings series. Leading up to Minor League Opening Day, Eric Cross and Chris Clegg will go through all 30 Major League organizations, continuing today with their Cleveland Guardians Top Prospects for dynasty leagues. In each installment of this series, you’ll find the top-20 rankings from both Eric Cross (AVG) and Chris Clegg (OBP) along with one prospect each that they’re targeting heavily in dynasty leagues right now. Hopefully, these rankings will help you in your dynasty leagues, and maybe give you some new trade targets to consider.
The Cleveland Guardians might have a new name, but the same strong farm system remains. This has been one of the best player development organizations over the last several years and that continues to be reflected in both Chris and Eric’s prospect rankings. All of the names below are inside each ranker’s respective top-260 overall and there’s plenty of depth beyond that as well.
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Cleveland Guardians Top Prospects
|Eric Cross (AVG)||Rank||Chris Clegg (OBP)|
|Daniel Espino (RHP)||1||George Valera (OF)|
|Brayan Rocchio (2B/SS)||2||Brayan Rocchio (2B/SS)|
|Jhonkensy Noel (1B/3B)||3||Daniel Espino (RHP)|
|George Valera (OF)||4||Jhonkensy Noel (1B/3B)|
|Peyton Battenfield (RHP)||5||Tyler Freeman (SS)|
|Tyler Freeman (SS)||6||Gavin Williams (RHP)|
|Gavin Williams (RHP)||7||Peyton Battenfield (RHP)|
|Cody Morris (RHP)||8||Isaiah Greene (OF)|
|Logan T. Allen (LHP)||9||Tanner Burns (RHP)|
|Jose Tena (2B/SS/3B)||10||Steven Kwan (OF)|
|Richie Palacios (2B/OF)||11||Richie Palacios (2B/OF)|
|Isaiah Greene (OF)||12||Jose Tena (2B/SS/3B)|
|Gabriel Arias (SS)||13||Cody Morris (RHP)|
|Steven Kwan (OF)||14||Logan T. Allen (LHP)|
|Nolan Jones (3B)||15||Nolan Jones (3B)|
|Ethan Hankins (RHP)||16||Gabriel Arias (SS)|
|Angel Martinez (INF)||17||Angel Martinez (INF)|
|Xzavion Curry (RHP)||18||Xzavion Curry (RHP)|
|Tanner Burns (RHP)||19||Ethan Hankins (RHP)|
|Carson Tucker (SS)||20||Carson Tucker (SS)|
Cross’ Prospect to Target: Payton Battenfield
When you think of organizations that develop pitching talent better than the rest, Cleveland comes to mind along with Tampa Bay and the Dodgers. We see many examples of this currently in the Cleveland rotation with plenty more on the way, including Peyton Battenfield. In my most recent update, I slotted Battenfield inside my top-100 overall but you can likely acquire him for less than that in dynasty leagues.
After serving mostly as a reliever in 2019 when in the Houston organization, Battenfield was moved into the rotation last season by Tampa Bay where he flourished before and after a mid-season trade to Cleveland. Overall, Battenfield recorded a 2.53 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and a 32.9% walk rate across 103 innings in Hi-A and Double-A. Battenfield has displayed plus command and control of his four-pitch mix and that showed up in his minuscule 3.3% walk rate this past season. I’m not sure I would project any of Battenfield’s four offerings as plus, but his low to mid-90’s fastball, changeup, curveball, and should all be average to above-average Major League offerings.
The ceiling isn’t as high as others in this system, but we also said that about Shane Bieber when he was coming up. That is NOT a direct comp, but don’t be surprised if Battenfield continues to exceed expectations moving forward. He’s one of my favorite pitching prospects to target in dynasty leagues right now.
Clegg’s Prospect to Target: Cody Morris
There are just an endless amount of names that I could talk about to target in this Cleveland system. For what it’s worth, the entire top-20 in this system all rank 261 or higher in my over OBP prospect rankings. That is a pretty impressive feat.
If I have to choose just one player to target that player is Cody Morris. Morris is heavily undervalued, but I have loved him since his days at the University of South Carolina. He has a solid four-pitch mix and throws plenty of strikes. The biggest concern with Morris is his injury history and the lack of being able to go deep into games.
Morris features a changeup that is one of the better changeups in the minor leagues. He throws a slider/cutter combo that devastates hitters, while Morris’s fastball sits in the mid-90s. On top of a great pitch mix, Morris is ready for the Major Leagues and will make an impact sooner than later. His fantasy ceiling is fairly high for the factors I listed, plus a great pitching development organization. Buy Cody Morris before his stock soars.
Media Credit: Joe Bojc
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