2024 Cleveland Guardians Top 15 prospects

Organization Grades

Hitting: B+ ... Pitching: D+ ... Top-end Talent: B ... Depth: B- ... Overall: B-


Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: Columbus (AAA East)
Double-A: Akron (AA Northeast)
High-A: Lake County (A+ Central)
Low-A: Lynchburg (A East)
Rookie: ACL Guardians (Arizona Complex League)
Rookie: DSL Guardians (Dominican Summer League)


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1. Chase DeLauter (OF) ... 6-4, 235 ... L/L ... 22 ... 2022 (1) James Madison

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2023ACL Indians (ACL)28.286/.447/.50022821.601/3
2023Lake County Captains (Midw2)164.366/.403/.5496870.454/3
2023Akron RubberDucks (East2)22.364/.464/.40919861.670/0

Comments: Do-it-all OF with fantastic pro debut after missing time with broken foot. Exhibits plus plate discipline and professional swing to make easy contact. Offers leverage and loft to project to plus power to all fields. Runs very well which adds to CF range and has strong arm. Obliterates RHP. Can lengthen swing at times and be too passive.

Development Path: After a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League, DeLauter could start 2024 in Double-A where he earned 22 AB in 2023. It is conceivable that he reaches the majors late in the season, particularly to add a little offensive juice to a moribund lineup. 

Fantasy Impact: He does a little bit of everything and a lot of a few things. He has already demonstrated plus raw power that could result in 25+ HR. Additionally, he'll be a solid BA hitter with OBP skills. That all-around talent should make him a focal point in many fantasy formats.

Upside Grade: 8A


2. Brayan Rocchio (SS) ... 5-10, 170 ... B/R ... 23 ... 2017 FA (VZ)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021Lake County (A1_Cent)257.265/.337/.4287750.319/14
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)373.265/.349/.43210780.5213/12
2022Columbus Clippers (IL2)137.234/.298/.3878850.575/2
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)468.280/.367/.42111860.917/25
2023Cleveland Guardians (AL)81.247/.279/.3215670.150/0

Comments: Natural-hitting INF who reached majors and led org in doubles. Better hitter from left side as he recognizes pitches and posts very low K rate. Ton of bat speed and offers at least average power potential. HR output dropped but may be a byproduct of seeing more spin. Very fast on base but too many CS. Sound defender with quickness.

Development Path: Rocchio could win the starting SS job with a strong spring training. He has 81 AB with the Guardians in 2023 and was up and down all year. 2024 could be the year he finds himself ensconced in the big league lineup. Regardless, there will be a focus on his power development.

Fantasy Impact: If he reaches his peak, Rocchio could hit .280+ with 15-20 HR and 20+ SB. That production would be very valuable as a shortstop regardless of fantasy format.

Upside Grade: 8C


3. Daniel Espino (RHP) ... 6-2, 205 ... 22 ... 2019 (1) HS (GA)

2019AZL Indians (Ariz)13.21.980.8803.310.53.2.146
2021Lynchburg (A2_East)42.23.371.3364.913.52.8.210
2021Lake County (A1_Cent)
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)18.12.450.7092.
2023Did Not Play (--) 

Comments: Hasn’t pitched in game action since April 2022. Surgery in May 2023 to repair shoulder and could return in mid-24. Few can compare with electric stuff, led by elite FB and incredible SL. Lots of movement with pitches and uses downhill plane effectively. Very athletic delivery with minimal effort though arm action is long. Misses ton of bats.

Development Path: Given the shoulder surgery in May 2023, he may not return until July or August. Even upon his return, he'd be treated cautiously. Therefore, don't expect much of an impact until 2025 when he'll be 23. He shouldn't need much time in the minors.

Fantasy Impact: If he can stay healthy (BIG 'if'), he has as much upside in fantasy potential as any pitcher in baseball. He could be a menace in strikeouts who contends for strikeout titles. 

Upside Grade: 9E


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4. Kyle Manzardo (1B) ... 6-1, 205 ... L/R ... 23 ... 2021 (2) Washington State

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2022Bowling Green Hot Rods (SAL2)225.329/.436/.63617800.9817/0
2022Montgomery Biscuits (Sou2)99.323/.402/.57612810.745/1
2023ACL Indians (ACL)8.000/.100/.00011881.000/0
2023Durham Bulls (IL2)265.238/.342/.44214750.6511/1
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)78.256/.348/.59013820.866/0

Comments: Offensive 1B who had big struggle in BA due to shoulder injury. Acquired from TAM in July, had issues with LHP. Still, combines disciplined approach with quick stroke to profile well with BA and power. Secondary skills are well below average. Has no foot speed and stuck at 1B with below average arm. Draws lot of walks and makes contact.

Development Path: spring training. It wouldn't seem likely he would make the team as a reserve given his lack of time in 2023. He is certainly the Guardians 1B of the future.

Fantasy Impact: There isn't much doubt that he'll hit for a high BA, possibly .300+. He'll get on base consistently so the big question is how much power will he develop. He hit 22 HR in 2022 but his swing is geared more towards line drives. Don't expect much speed.

Upside Grade: 7A


5. Alex Clemmey (LHP) ... 6-6, 205 ... 18 ... 2023 (2) HS (MA) 

2023Did Not Play (--) 

Comments: Tall, projectable LHP with lot of development time ahead. Commands FB well for age and uses height effectively with release. Lot of riding life to FB. Uses CB that flashes plus and may add SL to mix. Slows arm on CU and struggles to repeat mechanics and release point. Has requisite pitches and body to offer nice upside.

Development Path: He's yet to pitch as a pro and will likely stay in extended spring for some additional coaching and strength training. He could surface at a full-season affiliate late in the season. Clemmey has nice upside and will be on a long development plan.

Fantasy Impact: Given the projectable frame and stuff, he could become a solid #3 starter who eats innings. He should be a moderate to moderately-high strikeout artist who should fare well in ERA and WHIP.

Upside Grade: 8D


6. George Valera (OF) ... 6-0, 195 ... L/L ... 23 ... 2017 FA (NY)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021Lake County (A1_Cent)199.256/.430/.54822710.9516/10
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)330.264/.367/.47014700.5215/2
2022Columbus Clippers (IL2)154.221/.324/.44813710.499/0
2023ACL Indians (ACL)21.333/.423/.66716760.801/2
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)256.211/.343/.37516670.5910/1

Comments: Toolsy OF who missed time due to suspension and injuries. Spent all year in AAA and turning more into slugger than BA guy. Lot of pull power from vicious lefty stroke and produces high exit velo. Middling production against LHP and lot of swing and miss. Has good speed but not many SB and helps defense in LF. 

Development Path: The Guardians are in need of OF who can supply some production, particularly in the middle of the lineup. Valera could one day fit that bill, but 2024 may not be the opportune time for that. He only had 277 AB in 2023 and didn't play as well as hoped. 

Fantasy Impact: Unless he improves against LHP, Valera could be a platoon OF in the near-term. He has impressive tools, including power, but whether he'll get to hit for BA is a legitimate question. 

Upside Grade: 8D


7. Jaison Chourio (OF) ... 6-1, 162 ... B/R ... 18 ... 2022 FA (VZ)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2022Dominican Indians 2 (DSL)132.280/.446/.40223831.821/14
2023ACL Indians (ACL)149.349/.476/.46320751.031/19
2023Lynchburg Hillcats (Caro2)35.200/.310/.22915570.400/1

Comments: Advanced hitter who controls strike zone and puts ball in play. Swing may need adjustments as he hits fair amount of GB. Focuses on contact and using all fields. Some power projection but needs strength on very lean frame. Exhibits solid eye at plate and can recognize spin. Has above average speed and has chance for 20/20 seasons.

Development Path: Chourio appears destined to open 2024 in Low-A where he could be the best prospect on the team. He will be one to watch for the next few years to see how he revamps his swing mechanics. He should be able to stick long-term in CF but he needs more reps.

Fantasy Impact: Other than power, Chourio could be very valuable in a number of categories. Most notably, BA, OBP and SB should be his main contributions. His hit tool could get him to some .300 seasons. If he can tap into the raw power to produce 20+ HR, he could be a major building block.

Upside Grade: 8D


8. Angel Martínez (2B,3B,SS) ... 6-0, 165 ... B/R ... 22 ... 2018 FA (DR)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021Lynchburg (A2_East)377.241/.319/.38210770.497/13
2022Lake County Captains (Midw2)281.288/.384/.47712790.6910/10
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)82.244/.356/.45113780.673/2
2023Akron RubberDucks (East2)383.245/.321/.3929780.4511/10
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)142.268/.320/.4017750.283/1

Comments: Instinctual, quick INF who does everything well except hit for power. Has some pop in game, though makes easy contact from both sides with quick hands/wrists. Set high in HR but also expanded strike zone and raised K rate. Could stand to drive ball more. Possesses good speed and is solid defender at any INF spot.

Development Path: As there is no clear spot on the big league roster, Martinez will head to Triple-A and await an opporunity. He was better in Triple-A than Double-A in 2023 so he may not be long for the minors. He will continue to play multiple positions to enhance his versatility.

Fantasy Impact: He may not profile as a fantasy standout but he can do a number of things well. Outside of HR, Martinez should provide at least average production with BA, OBP and SB. Given he can play multiple positions, this could be valued in any format.

Upside Grade: 7B


9. Juan Brito (2B,3B) ... 5-11, 162 ... B/R ... 22 ... 2018 FA (DR)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021ACL Rockies (Rk_ACL)88.295/.406/.43215760.713/5
2022Fresno Grizzlies (Cal2)402.286/.407/.47016821.1011/17
2023Lake County Captains (Midw2)132.265/.379/.42415841.144/3
2023Akron RubberDucks (East2)315.276/.373/.44413800.7610/3
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)14.214/.450/.28630711.500/1

Comments: Versatile INF who played at 3 levels and finished 3rd in EL in BA and led org in BB. Has exceptional feel for strike zone and posts high OBP by drawing walks and making contact. Revised swing for more lift and more pop. Added strength helps. Hits better from left side. Passable defender with fringy speed and quickness. 

Development Path: Brito will return to Triple-A and form a potent infield filled with solid prospects. The Guardians would like to see him focus on the long ball but would prefer he not give up his walk rate. He should make it to the majors by late 2024 if not 2025.

Fantasy Impact: Most look at his walk rate and project a big fantasy impact. He has some work to do in order to hit for BA and average power. Some see 20+ HR whereas others see 15 at most. He doesn't run well so he'll have to hit to have fantasy value.

Upside Grade: 7B


10. Joey Cantillo (LHP) ... 6-4, 225 ... 18 ... 2017 (16) HS (HI) 

2021ACL Indians (Rk_ACL)
2021Akron (AA_NE)8.04.502.25011.313.51.2.250
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)60.21.931.0884.
2023Akron RubberDucks (East2)24.11.851.1515.
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)95.04.641.5165.

Comments: Consistent LHP who dominated AA before promotion to AAA. Only struggles as pro was in AAA. Led org in K despite lacking plus FB or breaking ball. CU is best pitch and falls off table with dramatic late tumbling action. Both SL and CB lack consistency though can play off one another. Adds deception to delivery and hides ball well.

Development Path: He should get to the majors in 2024, though he likely won't be a big opportunity right out of the gate. He could be a depth starter or long reliever depending on injuries and performance in the majors. 

Fantasy Impact: With not great upside, he still could provide value as a back-end starter. His strikeout numbers have been very strong but he doesn't project well there. He must reduce his walk rate to have an acceptasble WHIP.

Upside Grade: 7C


11. Ralphy Velazquez (C,1B) ... 6-3, 215 ... L/R ... 18 ... 2023 (1) HS (CA) 

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2023ACL Indians (ACL)23.348/.393/.73912780.602/1

Comments: Disciplined hitter with potential for high BA and plus pop. Uses all fields and has bat speed to catch up to velocity. Very strong swing with loft and has good eye for spin. Possesses strong arm behind plate, but lacks mobility and agility. Too soon to move off C but can go to 1B where bat would play. Offers little to no speed. 

Development Path: It is entirely possible that he gets assigned to Low-A to begin the 2024 campaign. If the Guardians are convinced he can stick at catcher, then his road to the majors could be long. If they transition him to 1B full-time, his arrival time would be quickened. He has the bat to move quickly.

Fantasy Impact: Depending on position, Velazquez could have as much fantasy upside as the top prospects in the organization. He should be able to hit for both BA and power with some seeing 25-30 HR at peak. As a catcher, this would make for a very valuable player.

Upside Grade: 8E


12. Deyvison De Los Santos (1B,3B) ... 6-1, 185 ... R/R ... 20 ... 2019 FA (DR)

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021ACL Diamondbacks (Rk_ACL)82.329/.421/.61014710.545/1
2022Visalia Rawhide (Cal2)316.329/.370/.5137730.2612/4
2022Hillsboro Hops (Nwst2)158.278/.307/.5064660.139/1
2022Amarillo Sod Poodles (Tex2)39.231/.333/.35911770.561/0
2023Amarillo Sod Poodles (Tex2)452.254/.297/.4315720.2020/4

Comments: Rule 5 pick from ARI. Corner prospect known for big power handled first extended AA run well. Big-time hyper-aggressive approach, particularly against zone pitches. Struggles with breaking balls but showing improvement picking up spin. Decent at 3B, shift to 1B feels imminent. Plate approach continues to hold back huge power. 

Development Path: After traipsing through the lower minors in 2022, De Los Santos spent all of 2023 at AA showing more of the same, both good and bad. If he proves he can make the adjustments to add patience and loft to his approach, he could be in the majors very soon.

Fantasy Impact: De Los Santos is looking like somewhat of a one-dimensional power fantasy asset. Speed doesn't project to be part of his game, and his aggressive approach puts his BA at risk. But with a necessary swing change he could become very valuable. 

Upside Grade: 8E


13. Johnathan Rodriguez (OF) ... 6-0, 224 ... R/R ... 24 ... 2017 (3) Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academ

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2021Lynchburg (A2_East)220.314/.363/.4507750.305/3
2022Lake County Captains (Midw2)295.292/.346/.5737690.2421/2
2022Akron RubberDucks (East2)107.206/.239/.4494600.125/0
2023Akron RubberDucks (East2)322.289/.364/.51210700.3518/3
2023Columbus Clippers (IL2)175.280/.376/.56013620.3811/0

Comments: Bat-only OF who was equally good at AA and AAA. Led org in hits, HR and RBI and has strong frame to continue to produce with bat. Makes good swing decisions but has holes that lead to Ks. Can be beaten upstairs and with good breaking balls. Fits profile of high HR, low BA guy. No speed in tool box and stuck in corner OF with poor range.

Development Path: Given the need for some offensive sock in the big league lineup, Rodriguez could contend for a roster spot if he has a solid spring training. He likely wouldn't win a starting job, but he could be a potent bench bat. Otherwise, he'll return to Triple-A and look to round out his game, particularly on the defensive side of things.

Fantasy Impact: He has the brute power to make a significant impact, but his lack of secondary skills means he may not win a starting job now or in the future. He could be a liability with BA/OBP and he won't steal bases.

Upside Grade: 7C


14. Kahlil Watson (2B,SS) ... 5-10, 178 ... L/R ... 20 ... 2021 (1) HS (VA) 

YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct%EyeHR/SB
2022FCL Marlins (FCL)11.273/.500/.72731551.001/0
2022Jupiter Hammerheads (FSL2)324.231/.296/.3958610.219/16
2023FCL Marlins (FCL)6.333/.333/1.3330830.002/0
2023Lake County Captains (Midw2)86.233/.306/.4429720.335/11
2023Beloit Sky Carp (Midw2)199.206/.337/.36215660.517/14

Comments: Toolsy athlete who was acquired from MIA at deadline. Few can match physical gifts and ability. Exhibits sweet, short stroke with plus bat speed and wiry strength. Has plus speed on base and ample quickness to be potential dynamo at SS. Big struggles against LHP and makes poor swing decisions to get himself out. Careless errors in field.

Development Path: The next logical step in his development is Double-A despite a lackluster performance in High-A in 2023. Watson will spend his first full year in the Guardians organization and they are stacked with sound infield prospects. The challenge could inspire him to produce more. 

Fantasy Impact: All of the natural tools are there for Watson to be valuable in fantasy world. Unfortunately, his struggles against LHP and erratic plate approach have resulted in low BA and average power at best. His speed would be even more valuable if he got on base more. 

Upside Grade: 8E


15. Justin Campbell (RHP) ... 6-7, 219 ... 23 ... 2022 (2) Oklahoma State

2023Did Not Play (--) 

Comments: Hasn’t yet pitched as pro due to elbow surgery in May 2022. Tall, strong-framed RHP with clean delivery and potential to add velocity to average FB. Repeats delivery and slot well for size. Best pitch is CU with lively action and deceptive arm speed. Fits more of a back-end profile without knockout breaking pitch. Soft SL lacks spin.

Development Path: Campbell should be healthy for spring training and he could be immediately challenged with an assignment to High-A. He will likely pitch shorter outings to start before getting stretched out later in the year. He could be on the fast track given his advanced pitchability.

Fantasy Impact: He projects as more of a back-end starter who could be a moderate contributor in all fantasy categories. He doesn't wow with swing-and-miss stuff, but he can control the strike zone well.

Upside Grade: 7C

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