2020 was a weird year for every prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization.
The minor league season was canceled and those not at the alternate training site had to stay in shape at home.
But 2021 has brought the return of minor league baseball and all the teams are getting underway Tuesday night.
Our particular focus is on the absolutely stacked lineup for the Columbus Clippers.
The entire group 1-9 could realistically show up in Cleveland at some point this year.
— Columbus Clippers (@CLBClippers) May 4, 2021
The first four batters in Tuesday’s lineup are hoping for a great start and a promotion at some point this summer.
Top Outfielders in the Organization
Ben Gamel is the one player in this lineup who already saw some time with the Indians in 2021.
He now gets a shot to prove his small sample size can be improved upon.
But is it possible for both?
Mercado seems to have the upper hand over the 28-year-old Zimmer.
The latter has only played in 63 games since 2018 and did nothing to stand out in limited action last season.
Getting live game action at the Triple-A level will finally allow for actual evaluation to take place once again.
Maybe the Indians can showcase these outfielders in potential trade packages as well.
The Slugger in Waiting
Bobby Bradley should be next in line for a call-up given the current state of the first base position.
Jake Bauers would have to have a spectacular month of May, or Bradley would have to be awful to delay what appears to be an inevitable move.
All Bradley has to do is just continuing putting in the work, while maybe getting his strikeout total down, and he should be up soon.
One player with a tougher route to the Indians in 2021 is Nolan Jones.
The infield is set and there is already a logjam of players in the outfield.
It would take an injury or several trades to free up a spot for Jones.
But he is turning 23 years old this week so there is no rush from the front office’s point of view.
MiLB Back to Some Sense of Normal
— City of Akron, Ohio (@AkronOhioMayor) May 4, 2021
It is just great to have a minor league season in 2021.
One interesting note is that all MiLB teams will play six-game series this year.
That could end up being a great switch as it allows for a six-man rotation.
Pitchers can throw once a week and get a full week of work in from one location.
It is also good for fans as they can pick and choose days of the week to consistently attend games.
Live baseball is back all over the country starting Tuesday and that is great news.
The talk about potential call-ups can now begin and rage on throughout the coming months.