From Photobucket, by Tony Lastoria

Cleveland Indians 2013 Top Prospects No. 8: LeVon Washington

In case you haven’t already noticed, those featured prominently on my 2012 top prospects list didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. The most disheartening of those is LeVon Washington.

I love Washington. Anyone who has read me semi-regularly should know that by now. I would name my child LeVon if that weren’t a weird name for a son of an undersized white kid from suburban New Jersey.

Washington was a steal as a second-round pick in 2010. He dissed the Rays when he opted to go to community college instead of signing with them as their first-round selection in 2009. When he reentered the draft the next year and signed with the Tribe, I was ecstatic.

Washington has plenty of speed to spare, and he has the plate discipline to be the perfect leadoff man Cleveland had lacked for awhile before signing Michael Bourn. But he just keeps making me look bad again and again.

It started in 2011. It was Washington’s first full year and he hit a meager .218/.331/.315. Despite the poor slashline, I still pegged Washington for a rebound year and named him my number four Indians prospect. I pointed to the .331 OBP to show that he remained patient at the plate despite his overall struggles, showing great maturity for a 19-year-old. Last year was supposed to be the year that I look like a genius, and then Washington injured his hip and played only 13 games.

So will 2013 be different? Washington was able to return and sneak in a few plate appearances at the end of 2012, showing that he should be fully healthy entering this season. Not all hope is lost, he’s still only 21 and possesses a ton of natural talent.

I won’t make predictions for Washington this year, as it would probably just jinx him. So I’ll hope and pray for a rebound year, and if that occurs expect him to catapult up prospect lists and be sure to remember that I said it would happen first.

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