Indians' Top Prospects: No. 87

Bryce Stowell

For each of the past 15 years, Indians Ink Magazine has ranked the top prospects in the Cleveland farm system. It began as a top 10 list and turned into a top 50 early this decade. This is our third year ranking the top 100 Tribe minor-leaguers. The rankings consider a player's potential, accomplishments, how he's moved in the system, and project it to what he could bring to the major-league team.

No. 87 -- Bryce Stowell

The Bryce Stowell File
Born:
Sept. 23, 1986 in La Habra, CA
Position: Pitcher
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-2/205
Acquired: 22nd-round draft pick in 2008 from Cal Irvine.
Strengths: Muscular, aggressive with a nasty, sweeping slurve and fastball in 90-92 range. Skill set plays to either starting or relief work.
Weaknesses: Fastball is fairly straight, release point is erratic and changeup is poor. None of the problems are glaring, and Tribe officials believe a tip here or there may do wonders.
2009 Projection: Likely at Lake County.

Note: The Indians watched Stowell closely in the Cape Cod League the past two summers. They gave him a big signing bonus last August after watching him go 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA for the Bourne Braves. In 45 2-3 innings over nine games, he allowed only 32 hits and nine walks while striking out 58. He was the starting pitcher for the West team in the league All-Star Game.

Stowell intended to return to college last fall, but the Indians gave him a signing bonus of about $725,000 -- a sum generally reserved for a second-round pick. Scouts from other teams have said they thought it was a wise decision for both the player and organization.

The Indians really like Stowell's natural ability and believe that proper instruction can help him develop into a big-leaguer.

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