Prospect Review – Michael Aubrey and Franklin Gutierrez

 

Moving onto Akron, where you’ll generally find the highest concentration of prospects. Since Sizemore’s promotion to Cleveland, these two are the #1 and #2 prospects in the organization, in no particular order.

 

1B Michael Aubrey

Age: 22 (Born 4-15-1982)

Roster Status: Off 40-Man Roster

Rule 5: Not Eligible (Drafted in 2003)

2004 Stats: (AA) 58 AB, .259/.357/.345, 2 2B, 1 HR

                  (A+) 218 AB, .339/.438/.550, 14 2B, 10 HR

 

The Indians got Aubrey with the 11th pick of the 2003 draft, and so far he looks like a steal. The Indians knew they were getting a polished hitter when they picked him, but his power production thus far has exceeded expectations. He walked (27) more times than he struck out (26) in Kinston. The fact that he slugged .550 on top of that is a real promising sign. Currently on the shelf because of a hamstring injury, which is the only thing to slow Aubrey down thus far. Depending on where you look, Aubrey will be the Indians’ #1 prospect next year, and could make a couple overall top 10 lists.

 

OF Franklin Gutierrez

Age: 21 (Born 2-21-1983)

Roster Status: Off 40-Man Roster

Rule 5: Eligible (Signed in 2001)

2004 Stats: (AA) 249 AB, .309/.377/.478, 23 2B, 5 HR

 

Gutierrez was the first player received in the Milton Bradley trade this April, and his ceiling is pretty high. That being said, he’s more of a projection type of prospect at this time, as evidenced by all his doubles (doubles generally turn into home runs as a prospect gets older). He’ll probably move a bit slower than Grady Sizemore did, mostly due to his strikeout totals (72 in 249 ABs). Still, some scouts have been whispering Juan Gonzalez’s name when talking about Gutierrez, and that would be more than OK with me. Baseball America might rate him in the top 20 or so when their prospect rankings come out this winter. I think Aubrey’s a more sure bet than Gutierrez, but a right-handed power bat who can play center field is something you can’t ignore. Unfortunately, Franklin is currently down with an injured elbow, which could sideline him for at least the next 3-4 weeks.

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