Written by Mark Firkins Photos by MiLB.com
Welcome to my newest segments here at Real McCoy Minors. Each piece will feature players and prospects from an organization playfully categorized by their position on the field. Featured articles will be titled:
Battery Mates – Pitcher/Catcher combos
Flashing the Leather – Shortstops and Second Basemen
Hot Corner – Third Basemen
7, 8, & 9 – Outfielders
Scoop and Stretch – First Basemen
Call to the Bullpen – Relief Pitchers
Tools of Ignorance – Blue chip prospect Catchers
These quick reads will provide plenty of information and statistics about some fine up and coming players from a variety of leagues and levels. Let’s get the game started with Battery Mates!
Logan Ice – Catcher (Cleveland Indians)
Logan was drafted out of Oregon State, in the second round (72nd overall) of the 2016 Draft. He played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (NY PENN League) in 2016 and the Lake County Captains (Midwest League) in 2017. He’s the textbook definition of a defensive backstop. Excellent at blocking balls in the dirt, a powerful and accurate arm throwing to second, and a hard worker, who’s perfecting his game calling skills and handling of the pitching staff.
Despite a .198 and .228 batting average, Ice is a player who knows it’s important to just get on base and score. He posted a respectable .329 and .320 OBP, featuring a stellar 15% walk rate. While not known for his power, Logan did hit 11 home runs, 10 doubles, with 42 RBI this past season for the Captains.
Logan could fit two different profiles of a catcher. He could be an excellent backup, maybe out of the Chris Gimenez mold. Or, perhaps he’s more of a Roberto Perez and could play a larger role for the big league club.
Triston McKenzie – Pitcher (Cleveland Indians)
A 1st round draft pick (42nd overall – competitive balance pick) by the Tribe in the 2015 draft. A tall and lanky right hander, Triston has some of the best stuff among starting pitcher prospects in the Indians farm system. His arsenal of pitches features a fastball in the mid 90’s, a curveball with tight spin that produces plenty of strikeouts, and a deceptive changeup.
Drafted out of high school, McKenzie has matured nicely and has ascended the Indians system, going from the Arizona Rookie League in 2015, Mahoning Valley (NY PENN League) and Lake County (Midwest League) in 2016, and Lynchburg (Carolina League) in 2017.
In 238 innings pitched, he has amassed the following impressive stat lines: 19-12 record, 2.68 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 307 strikeouts, and has kept opposing batters below the Mendoza line. With such remarkable numbers like that, it was a no-brainer for him to be awarded Carolina League Pitcher of the Year for 2017.
Currently the number two prospect in the Indians system, the potential is there for McKenzie to develop into a frontline starter. The Indians will challenge him this season, probably placing him at High A Lynchburg to start, but likely promoting him to AA Akron (Eastern League) and possibly AAA Columbus (International League) should he continue to meet and exceed the organization’s expectations.
Please follow Mark Firkins on Twitter @thefirkster for more MLB prospect news and updates. Thanks!