Tuesday, March 5, 2024
AL CentralAmerican LeagueAnalysisCleveland IndiansMLB

Indians Breakout Candidates for 2020- Part 2.

Credit: @MiLB/Twitter

If you haven’t read part one, check it out here


Around three weeks ago, I put out a list of 4 potential breakout candidates for the upcoming season. With Spring Training coming up, let’s look at some more players to watch out for in 2020.

James Karinchak-RP

Going into this season, Karinchak ranks as the Indians’ 21st best prospect in the system. While he only pitched 5 games in the big leagues last year, fans could get an idea of what he’s capable of. As seen in the tweet above, Karinchak ranks at the top of the league in the stuff metric, above nasty pitchers like teammate Emmanuel Clase and Chaz Roe. While it can be hard to tell how he’ll due in the majors due to his lack of playing time, Karinchak posted a -0.64 xFIP in 10 games in AA and a 1.66 xFIP in 17 games in AAA.

Karinchak has the ability to make hitters look silly with his curveball, and also has a 98 mph fastball to go with it. The back end of Karinchak-Clase-Hand will one to watch out for next season.

Daniel Johnson– OF

While it’s not certain Johnson will make the big league roster come opening day, he could very well make it in with a solid spring training. Acquired in the Yan Gomes trade, Johnson has impressed in the minors, slashing .290/.361/.507 in the minors last year with 19 home runs. While he has not had an at bat in the big leagues, his .906 OPS against righties could lock him into a platoon with Jordan Luplow in right field.

Triston McKenzie– SP

McKenzie did not pitch all of last year due to an injury suffered in spring training and is looking to bounce back. He played in the Futures Game in 2017, the year he posted a 3.03 FIP in Single A. While his tenure in the AA wasn’t as impressive, he still put up a respectable 3.62 FIP in 16 starts. The front office may think he’ll need more time to prove himself in the minors, but he’ll compete for an opening day rotation spot due to the injury of Mike Clevinger. While he’ll likely miss out in spring due to the steep competition, it’s very likely we’ll see him at some point in the season. Going into spring training it seems as if Zach Plesac has the 5th spot in the rotation under control. Due to his past and projected numbers, it’s easy to assume that Plesac will not perform, leading to a potential opening for McKenzie in the rotation.

The youth takeover of the Indians roster started last season and looks to grow even more this year. Most of these guys are legit talent, and will be exciting to watch blossom.