This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.
This is my third and final article on viable prospects for next season. Maybe they are ready to graduate to the big leagues.
Given a potential change in the MLB Basic Agreement regarding service time requirements to achieve free agency, player graduations to the big leagues might be in a state of confusion. However, that should sort out over the offseason.
Gabriel Arias, SS/2B, Cleveland Indians
Signed as an international free agent by the Padres from Venezuela in 2016 (when Arias was just 16)
I am very bullish on Arias. I think he has surprising power for a middle infielder from a frame that is strong and powerful. He should also hit for a decent batting average and steal a few bases.
Arias can play both shortstop and second base, and play them well. He has an incredibly strong arm and would be an upgrade on defense for Cleveland at either position. That's why I think he is knocking on the big-league door. And I think he is their future shortstop.
Because Arias can hit to all fields with good bat control, he could slot nicely at the top part of the batting order. He does need to work on shortening his swing a bit and becoming a bit less aggressive at the plate.