Guardians will choose right Hunter Gaddis for his major tournament debut tomorrow, coach Terry Francona told reporters (including Ryan Lewis of Akron Beacon-Journal). Kirk McCarty have been selected as Triple-A Columbus to clear a spot on the active roster, while the group will announce their respective 40-man roster tomorrow.
Gaddis, 24, was Cleveland’s fifth-round pick from Georgia State in 2019. The 6’6 ″ player has posted incredible success numbers almost since the day he entered the pro ranks. He’s fanned 32.6% of protest players throughout his minor league career, including a near-identical clip between Double-A Akron and Columbus this season. Much of his work is in Akron, where he throws a 4.24 ERA through 76 1/3 innings with a 32.7% hit rate and 8.3% walk rate. He was promoted to Triple-A a few weeks ago and started only two games there before getting his first major league debut.
American Baseball recently ranked Gaddis as the #19 prospect in the powerful Guardians farm system. This shop cites his four-court mix, including a mid-90s quickball and a pair of quality secondary offerings in his slider and shifter. Overall, he also displayed solid control during his underage game, although his extremely low tackle rate at ground has led to some concerns about run home.
Gaddis will qualify for Draft Rule 5 this season if not added to the 40-man roster. Cleveland will give him a spot on the roster a few months early and put him on fire, starting the game against the Astros while the Guardsmen are just one Twins back game in the AL Center. With Aaron Civale starting his rehab mission in Columbus tomorrow, maybe Gaddis’ initial time is just a start in place. However, the fact that he is currently over 40 men certainly strengthens him as a viable rotational depth for major league clubs in the long run.