Top 100 Prospects: Nos. 81-85

Ranking the Top 100 minor-leaguers has been a fun project for more than 15 years at Indians Ink. Our current issue available at newsstands or by ordering online from this site, takes a look at players headed towards helping the Indians in Cleveland in the future. We'll share them here in the coming weeks, five at a time. This quintet includes a famous name, new to the organization for 2011.

Nick Bartolone
Oct. 22, 1990, in San Ramon, CA
Position: Shortstop
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 5-11/170
Acquired: Eighth-round pick in 2010 Draft from Chabot (CA) JC.
Strengths: Tremendous heart, determination, desire and scrappiness. Lots of savvy and intensity. Good instincts. Excellent speed. Quick feet. Fairly strong arm. Enjoys being the captain of the infield.
Weaknesses: Is not strong offensively. Is strictly a singles and doubles hitter. Needs to spend a lot of time in the strength and conditioning program. At this point is strictly a bottom-of-the-order hitter.
2011 Projection: Should be ready to play at full-season Lake County.

Brett Brach
March 29, 1988, in Freehold, NJ
Position: Pitcher
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-3/185
Acquired: 10th-round pick in 2009 Draft from Monmouth (NJ) University.
Strengths: Locate all of his pitches very well. Is a strike-thrower. Has quick arm action. Fastball has steadily improved. Was a workhorse in Lake County's rotation in 2010, working 119 2/3 innings while striking out 90 and walking just 28.
Weaknesses: Is still working to improve his second pitches. Fastball is not overpowering. Opposing batters hit .266 against him last year.
2011 Projection: Should be in the Kinston rotation; might eventually be moved to bullpen.

Cole Cook
Oct. 18, 1988, in Pacific Palisades, CA
Position: Starting pitcher
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-6/200
Acquired: Fifth-round pick in 2010 Draft from Pepperdine.
Strengths: Good leverage from tall frame. Has fastball in low 90s, a sweeping curve/slider and changeup in low 80s.
Weaknesses: Must stay closed in delivery, not jump out. When he tries to stay back, he sometimes curls arm behind him; not good, either. Velocity dips second time through order. Either he gain stamina, or moves to relief.
2011 Projection: Depending on spring performance, in rotation at Mahoning Valley or Lake County.

Preston Mattingly
Aug. 28, 1987, in Evansville, IN
Position: Outfielder
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-2/209
Acquired: From Los Angeles Dodgers in trade Sept. 26, 2010, for OF Roman Pena.
Strengths: First round pick (No. 31 overall) in 2006 is athletic. Moved from middle infield in 2009, he's become a reliable outfielder. Son of former All-Star Don Mattingly has love of game and flashes talent on occasion.
Weaknesses: Has struggled to live up to dad's name. Strikeouts have mounted; contact has dwindled. Former top prospect has been frustrated and confused last two years.
2011 Projection: Perhaps a new start at Kinston, far from dad's image in L.A., can get him on track.

Andrew Shive
Nov. 5, 1985, in Bakersfield, CA
Position: Pitcher
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-6/260
Acquired: From New York Yankees with 3B Matt Cusick, 10/21/10, to complete trade for RHP Kerry Wood on 7/31/10.
Strengths: Huge body intimidates. So did fastball – before missing all of 2009 (9-2, 1.96 ERA out of bullpen in 2008).
Weaknesses: Reconstructing career after reconstructive elbow surgery. Though he pitched 23 innings in Low A ball in 2010, it's back to square one, which means working on mechanics, adding a breaking ball, etc. There's work to be done.
2011 Projection: Lake County bullpen.

Indians Baseball Insider Top Stories