American League Central Top 20 under 26: No. 10-No. 6
10. Aaron Civale, SP, Cleveland Indians
2020 Stats: 5 G, 5 GS, 34 IP, 3-2, 2.91 ERA, 32-3 K-BB, 1.1 WAR
Career Stats: 15 G, 15 GS, 91.2 IP, 14-14, 2.55 ERA, 78-19 K-BB, 2.6 WAR
Aaron Civale is similar to Zach Plesac in that they both pitch for Cleveland and they both have been excellent in their first two years. Civale however, has been even better, as he has a higher K/9, a lower BB/9, lower ERA, and lower FIP.
He is masterful in using the zone and working his pitches to the right spots, and he is the only pitcher in baseball to toss a complete game in 2020. He has all the tools to be one of the best No. 2 or No. 3 starters in the league (behind Mike Clevinger and someone else on this list).
No. 9: Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
2020 Stats: 28 G, .229/.253/.555, 10 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 6 SB, 29 TB, -0.5 WAR
Career Stats: 277 G, .246/.278/.680, 135 R, 26 HR, 117 RBI, 95 SB, 393 TB, 3.1 WAR
The only player with a World Series Ring on this list, Adalberto Mondesi is a speedster with some decent power for a shortstop, despite his rough start to 2020. Mondesi’s average stat line over 162 games would be that disappointing .246/.278/.680 line, but it would also include 15 HR, 68 RBI, and 56 steals. That’s incredible.
Mondesi looked to be improving in hitting for average before his rough year this year, but I still fully believe that Mondesi will become a regular hitter. He just turned 25, and with 277 games under his belt, there’s a lot to like for the best young player on the rebuilding Royals.
No. 8: Franmil Reyes, OF/DH, Cleveland Indians
2020 Stats: 26 G, .305/.362/.888, 15 R, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB, 50 TB, 0.3 WAR
Career Stats: 264 G, .263/.324/.821, 120 R, 59 HR, 130 RBI, 0 SB, 433 TB, 2.2 WAR
I actually had Franmil Reyes lower on my ranking of top young players in the division, and he was lower on the list because of his inability to hit for average and struggled in Cleveland. That’s no longer an issue.
In 2020, Reyes has hit over .300 and is on pace for a 40 homer season (if it was a full 162 game year). That’s one of the best marks of any hitter in the division, and his 18 RBI only help his cause. He won’t be a megastar, because he is a DH, but a Nelson Cruz ceiling comparison still seems pretty accurate.
No. 7: Luis Arraez, 2B, Minnesota Twins
2020 Stats: 20 G, .275/.346/.651, 8 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 21 TB, 0.4 WAR
Career Stats: 112 G, .324/.390/.805, 8 R, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 2 SB, 164 TB, 2.3 WAR
No, Luis Arraez has not competed for a batting title this year like Minnesota Twins fans wanted him to, but he’s still very valuable. Arraez provides very strong defense while hitting well for average and running smartly on the base paths.
Arraez may not hit .300 this year, but his veteran approach at the age of 23 will allow him to get back to that mark again (and probably pretty soon). The Minnesota Twins have found themselves a very reliable hitter and defender who should be in the team’s lineup for years to come.
No. 6: Randy Dobnak, SP, Minnesota Twins
2020 Stats: 6 G, 6 GS, 30.1 IP, 5-1, 1.78 ERA, 16-7 K-BB, 1.0 WAR
Career Stats: 15 G, 11 GS, 58.2 IP, 7-2, 1 SV, 1.69 ERA, 39-12 K-BB, 1.7 WAR
The third and highest ranked Minnesota Twins player on this list is the mustached-marvel, Randy Dobnak. While his stats don’t jump off the page, Dobnak gets a lot of wins, allows very few runs, and allows very few walks.
His 1.8 BB/9 career number is excellent, and his eleven earned runs over 58.2 innings is an incredibly good stat. Randy Dobnak isn’t a true ace or star, which will hold him back to sixth here, but he is undoubtedly one of the best young arms the Minnesota Twins have.