Remember when Lonnie Chisenhall was a top-flight, can’t-miss prospect?
Well, if you don’t, let me remind you. Chisenhall was the 1st-round pick of the Indians in the 2008 Draft, and ever since that point, he has shown up on prospect lists from every corner of the country. He possesses power (or at least the rumor of power), plate discipline capabilities, and solid defense at the hot corner, but frankly, things haven’t gone well in the Majors for the left-handed bat.
Chisenhall was demoted from the big league club on May 13th, and with good reason, as he hit for just a .213/.253/.351 slash line in 26 games (99 plate appearances). In a vacuum, that isn’t an absolute disaster, but when you factor in Cleveland’s supposed playoff aspirations and a career MLB slash line of .250/.286/.406, it is easy to see why the Indians chose to jettison the 3rd baseman.
However, the 24-year-old absolutely mashed in AAA Columbus, hitting .390/.456/.676 with 6 home runs in 125 PA’s, and it seems that the organization is confident that he has sorted things out. Obviously, a spurt like this is encouraging, but it also brings about the speculation that Chisenhall is the classic “quad-A” player who absolutely destroys minor league pitching, but can’t handle the bat at the MLB level.
With a wild lack of options in Cleveland, Chisenhall will have every opportunity to produce, but if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see the Indians bail on him altogether. “Prospects” are some of the most dangerous commodities in baseball, and for now, that is all that Chisenhall has shown himself to be.