Guardians will pick right Gaddis Hunter to make his major league debut tomorrow, manager Terry Francona told reporters (including Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon-Journal). Kirk McCarty was chosen for Triple-A Columbus to clear a spot on the active roster, while the team will announce a corresponding 40-man roster change tomorrow.
Gaddis, 24, was Cleveland’s fifth-round draft pick from Georgia State in 2019. The 6’6″ right-hander has posted an incredible number of strikeouts virtually since the day he joined the ranks professionals. He’s whipped up 32.6 percent of opposing hitters throughout his minor league career, including a nearly identical clip between Double-A Akron and Columbus this season. The bulk of his work came in Akron, where he threw a 4.24 ERA in 76 1/3 innings with a 32.7 percent strikeout rate and a decent 8.3 walk percentage. %. He was promoted to Triple-A a few weeks ago and only made two starts there before getting his major league debut.
Baseball America recently ranked Gaddis the No. 19 prospect in a strong Guardians farm system. The outlet cited his four-pitch mix, including a ’90s fastball and a pair of quality secondary offerings in his slider and shifter. He generally displayed solid control throughout his time in the minors, although his incredibly low rushing ball rates led to homerun issues.
Gaddis would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason had he not been added to the 40-man roster. Cleveland will give him a spot on the roster a few months early and plug him right into the fire, starting a game against the Astros while the Guards are just one game behind the Twins in AL Central. With Aaron Civale starting a rehab assignment in Columbus tomorrow, it’s possible Gaddis’ first stint will be a simple departure. The fact that he is now on the 40-man roster firmly cements him as a viable rotational depth for the big league club over time.