2020 MLB Power Rankings: 17. Cleveland Indians


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Brendan Murphy

The Cleveland Indians moved on from their best pitcher this offseason. Not only that, but they toyed with the idea of trading their superstar shortstop Fransisco Lindor. Considering the fact that they didn’t do anything to get better this offseason, I have them ranked at number 17 in my Major League Baseball (MLB) power rankings.

Corey Kluber is a big loss for the Indians and it is even worse that they got next to nothing in return for him. Emmanuel Clase may be able to help the bullpen, but Delino DeShields is really nothing more than a bench bat even though he’s projected to start in center field for the team.

The Indians pitching rotation is very good. In fact, it is one of the best in baseball. Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger are among the best one-two punches in baseball and Carlos Carrasco is a very solid number three starter. Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale are also capable options at the backend of the rotation.

The same cannot be said for the batting lineup however, which is good near the top, but gets significantly worse lower down the list. Lindor and Jose Ramirez have been outstanding for the Indians in the past few years and should continue to be one of the best left sides of the infield in all of baseball. Apart from them and Carlos Santana, who had a big year in his first year back with the club, the lineup is poor.

Franmil Reyes is a good power bat as a designated hitter, but that’s basically all of his value. He’s a home run or bust type of guy. The Indians really need to go out and get more batters if they want any chance of competing. The New York Mets have proven in recent years that you can’t win with good pitching unless you have a good hitting lineup and the same can be said for the Indians.

The Indians have the 19th best farm system in baseball according to Bleacher Report, but can be ranked a little higher. Nolan Jones is their top prospect and has the potential to be a great leadoff hitter in the big leagues; however, the one name everyone forgets about is Triston McKenzie. McKenzie missed all of 2019 due to back and pectoral injuries, but some seem to forget just how good he has been since he reached pro ball. He has a career 2.68 earned run average across five levels and has struck out 394 batters in just 329 innings of work. He is a name to watch for the Indians as he continues to develop.

Overall, I think the Indians will still compete this year. I don’t think the Indians will make the playoffs, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they did. They will have plenty of chances to win games in 2020 with this pitching staff as long as they trade for a batter or two at the trade deadline to improve their lineup.


Top Acquisition – Domingo Santana

Biggest loss – Corey Kluber

MVP – Fransisco Lindor

Projected Finish – 3rd in AL Central


Projected Lineup:

  1. Francisco Lindor, SS
  2. Oscar Mercado, LF
  3. Carlos Santana, 1B
  4. Franmil Reyes, DH
  5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
  6. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
  7. Domingo Santana, RF
  8. Roberto Perez, C
  9. Delino DeShields, CF

Projected Rotation:

  1. Shane Bieber
  2. *Mike Clevinger
  3. Carlos Carrasco
  4. Zach Plesac
  5. Aaron Civale

*Clevinger underwent surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his left knee and could miss opening day.

Contact the Writer: [email protected]


Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU