1/23/2014 10:00 P.M. ET
Lindor, Frazier, Bauer on Top 100 Prospects list
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- There were plenty of highlight moments for Clint Frazier last summer.
Of course, there was Draft day, when the Indians nabbed the young outfielder with the fifth overall selection. Then, there was his trip to Progressive Field later in June, when an assortment of Cleveland's big leaguers donned bright red wigs in honor of the mop of red hair atop Frazier's head.
Topping it off was Frazier's first game as a professional ballplayer. First at-bat: home run. Second at-bat: triple. With two swings, the prospect flashed his blend of power and speed, which has the Tribe dreaming about the type of player the outfielder can be down the road.
"He's got a great story to tell his grandkids some day," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said at the time. "It's hard to script it any better."
On Thursday night, Frazier (No. 48) joined shortstop Francisco Lindor (No. 10) and right-hander Trevor Bauer (No. 73) as Cleveland's representatives on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list. Lindor will be in camp with the Tribe this spring as a non-roster invitee and Bauer will be competing with a handful of others for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis , who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch , only includes players with rookie status in 2014.
Frazier still has a few years to go before he will be knocking on the Majors' door.
Cleveland knows Frazier will do all he can to speed up the process.
"He's got a confidence to him that's special," Brad Grant, the Indians' director of amateur scouting, said after taking Frazier in the First-Year Player Draft in June. "It's what he lives for. This is what he wants to do: play baseball."
The 19-year-old Frazier made that clear at Loganville High School (Ga.) during his senior season, when he hit .485 with 17 homers, 22 stolen bases and 45 RBIs. He did not slow down after suiting up for the Indians' Rookie League team, which saw him post a .297/.362/.506 slash line with five homers, 11 doubles, five triples, 28 RBIs and 32 runs in 44 games.
"I have a lot of expectations for myself," Frazier said after signing with the Indians, "and I know being one of the highest selections comes with a lot of expectations."
Lindor's place within baseball's top 10 prospects comes as no surprise, considering he is viewed as the future for the Indians at shortstop. At his position, only Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (No. 2), Cubs shortstop Javier Baez (No. 7) and Astros shortstop Carlos Corea (No. 8) were ranked higher than the 22-year-old Lindor.
Last season, Lindor split his time between high Class A Carolina and Double-A Akron and appeared in the All-Star Futures Game for the second straight year. In 104 Minor League games, the switch-hitting shortstop posted a .303/.380/.407 slash line to go along with two homers, 22 doubles, seven triples, 25 stolen bases, 34 RBIs and 65 runs.
Lindor (taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 Draft) could reach the Majors later this season, but he has no Triple-A at-bats at the moment and appears more realistically positioned for a 2015 arrival to the big leagues.
"He's an extraordinarily motivated guy," Antonetti said earlier this offseason. "He's a great person with a great work ethic, and I think it's just natural to want to compete against the best players. I think that's, in the end, one of the things that will make Francisco such a good Major League player. But there's also a process to go through developmentally."
The 23-year-old Bauer -- selected by the D-backs with the third overall pick in the '11 Draft -- was acquired by the Indians via trade last offseason, when the right-hander was going through changes to his delivery. The alterations took a toll on Bauer's showing in 2013, when he went 6-7 with a 4.15 ERA and 106 strikeouts against 76 walks in 121 1/3 innings at Triple-A.
Bauer also had an underwhelming four-start tour (5.29 ERA and 16 walks in 17 innings) with the Indians, giving him a 5.67 ERA in eight Major League outings between his time with Arizona and Cleveland.
During a meeting with local reporters on Wednesday, Indians manager Terry Francona said the reports of Bauer's progress this winter have been encouraging.
"It seems like at least he's coming into camp this year closer to being the pitcher that he wants to be," Francona said. "I think last year was a lot of experimenting and trying to get comfortable in his delivery. It was tough for him at times. He's very open with us on everything. He's tried very hard this winter to get to the point where he's comfortable.
"He's been great about sending video to [pitching coach Mickey Callaway] and to the guys in baseball [operations]. We're really encouraged. Whether he makes the team or not, we're really excited to watch him pitch. This kid's got a really bright future."