With the regular season concluding, we've decided to take a look at each team's future -- not by using a crystal ball or other psychic abilities, but by evaluating their farm systems. Below you'll find our ranking of the top five prospects in the organization -- sorted by perceived future potential -- as well as five other players who fit various categories. Those categories are:

  • 2020 contributor: A player who is likely to play a role for the big-league team next season.

  • Analyst's pick: A player who is a strong statistical performer and/or whose underlying measures are better than the scouting reports suggest.

  • Riser: A player on the way up.

  • Faller: A player on the way down.

  • One to watch: An interesting player to keep in mind (for whatever reason).

These rankings were compiled after talking with various industry sources about the systems (and players) in question. It should be acknowledged that this process is more art than science, and that there are limits to ordinal rankings. Still, it's an intuitive system, and our hope is that the write-ups will answer any questions by providing additional context and analysis of each player -- such as their pluses and minuses; the risk factors involved; and their estimated arrival date.

One last word on eligibility: we're following MLB's rookie guidelines by disqualifying any player with more than 130 big-league at-bats or 50 innings pitched.

The top of Cleveland's system is young in nature, but could produce a number of quality big-league hitters in due time.

1. Nolan Jones, 3B

If any player on this list is going to help Cleveland in 2020, it's going to be Nolan Jones, the 21-year-old third baseman who split the season between High- and Double-A -- and fared well at both levels.

Jones is a large fella (he's listed at 6-foot-2, and north of 180 pounds) who may end up having to move off the position in due time as he continues to grow into his frame. Even so, his bat ought to allow him to be an asset for years to come.

Jones has posted prolific walk rates throughout the minors, including over 20 percent during his time in High-A. Even in Double-A, he was still taking a free pass in around 15 percent of his plate appearances. Oftentimes, there's concern that players who walk that much are allowing hittable pitches to pass. But Jones has consistently hit for average and posted a .213 ISO in 49 Double-A games, suggesting he just has a disciplined approach at the dish.

Because of Jones's size and his willingness to work counts, he's probably always going to strike out a fair amount. There's some risk of those contact woes getting out of hand. But until that happens it's okay to envision him being part of Cleveland's lineup late in 2020.

2. Bo Naylor, C

The younger brother of Padres outfielder Josh Naylor, Bo was the 29th pick in the 2018 draft -- or, the first of their three top-50 picks that summer.

Whereas Josh's game is predicated almost entirely on his offensive potential, this Naylor is a good athlete with other things going for him in addition to his middle-of-the-order upside. In fact, he was an above-average hitter in the Midwest League despite being a teenage catcher who was a few years young for the level. (He did strike out nearly a quarter of the time, but that's probably forgivable under the circumstances.) If everything develops according to plan, he could provide ample on-base and slugging percentages. 

In addition to Naylor's potential at the plate, he may become an asset behind the plate thanks to a strong arm and a good head on his shoulders. He's regarded as an intelligent player, and at least one organization already considers him an above-average framer -- that despite him needing to further refine the nuanced aspects of the catcher position. 

Teenage catchers are about as fickle as teenage pitchers, so there's no telling if Naylor will ascend as desired. But there's a lofty ceiling here if he does.

3. Brayan Rocchio, SS

Switch-hitting shortstop Brayan Rocchio will remain 18 years old until January, but it's clear he could top this list within a year or two.

Rocchio has all the innate characteristics to remain at the position, with a strong arm, good quickness, and soft hands. He isn't an offensive zero, either. Rocchio doesn't project to have big-time power, but he shows a willingness to walk and a contact-orientated approach.

Rocchio is years away from reaching the Show, but there's enough to like here to keep him in mind as a long-term solution at the position as Francisco Lindor's time in Cleveland winds down.

4. George Valera, OF

Another youngster worth keeping in mind, teenage outfielder George Valera won't turn 19 until mid-November. Yet he more than held his own in Low-A while competing against players who were on average three years older. 

Valera, who originally signed for more than $1 million, has the potential to be a well-rounded player, with four or five average or better tools. His bat is the most promising part of the package, as he could grow into an above-average hitter who pitches in across the triple-slash board: hitting for average and power and taking a healthy amount of walks.

Like Rocchio, Valera is worth watching while being years away from full maturity.

5. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B

The internal favorite (at present) to succeed Francisco Lindor at shortstop, Tyler Freeman has high-grade makeup and has continued to perform despite playing against older competition with some obvious holes in his profile.

Defensively, Freeman profiles as an average glove -- a sign of his hard work, since he seemed destined for the keystone on draft day. Indeed, the real question marks with his game at this point are reserved for the offensive end. 

Freeman didn't walk much during his 62-game stint in High-A (about three percent of the time) and isn't likely to feature a ton of power. Yet he's consistently hit for a high average, and he fanned in less than 10 percent of his plate appearances. There's risk that his hit tool won't translate against better competition, leaving his bat too light to project as a starter. 

Still, Freeman's intangibles should help him max out his physical abilities, giving him a shot to be at least a reserve at the highest level.

2020 contributor: Logan Allen, LHP

One of the pieces Cleveland gained in the Yasiel Puig-Trevor Bauer three-team trade, Logan Allen is a physical southpaw with an uptempo delivery who has already pitched in the majors. Allen has a deep if not particularly outstanding arsenal, beginning with a low-90s sinker and extending to a good changeup, a slider, and a get-me-over curveball. He profiles as a mid-rotation type and should receive ample opportunity as soon as springtime.

Analyst's pick: Scott Moss, LHP

Cleveland also acquired Scott Moss as part of the Puig-Bauer three-way swap. Moss is a sturdy left-hander who finished the season strong in Triple-A and should reach the majors early in 2020. He doesn't have great stuff -- "average" might be kind -- but he throws strikes with some deception and Cleveland always seems to get the most out of this profile. 

Riser: Daniel Johnson, OF

Part of the Yan Gomes return, the book on Daniel Johnson was that he always had more tools than output. That changed in 2019, as he performed well across Double- and Triple-A, positioning himself to debut next spring. Johnson can run and throw, and has more raw power than his listed height (5-foot-10) suggests. He's struggled with left-handers in the past, so there's a chance he's just a platoon outfielder. But, perhaps, a solid one.

Faller: Triston McKenzie, RHP

A healthy Triston McKenzie would likely be at the top of the list (or perhaps ineligible after spending sufficient time in the majors). Unfortunately, McKenzie didn't throw a regular-season pitch due to back woes. This after being limited to 90 innings in 2018. McKenzie has quality stuff and above-average potential, but he has to stay on the mound.

One to watch: Daniel Espino, RHP

The 24th pick in June's draft, Daniel Espino shows the potential for multiple plus offerings, including a fastball he's touched triple digits with before. He's a teenager, so there's substantive risk here -- and it doesn't help that he has a slender frame and long arm action. But he receives high marks for makeup, and he shows an impressive amount of athleticism -- especially as it pertains to flexibility -- which could help him stick in the rotation.