Cleveland Guardians of the Galaxy Starting Nine

Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians of the Galaxy Starting Nine

The Cleveland Indians announced Friday morning that, beginning in 2022, they will be known as the Cleveland Guardians. Reactions are definitely going to be mixed. This author’s initial reaction was to think of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy characters. This quickly raised the question of what the lineup of the Cleveland Guardians of the Galaxy would look like.

The point of this was to have fun. Some liberty was necessary to fill out a full nine. This author is well aware that these nine were never all members of the Guardians of the Galaxy at the same time. He is also aware that he is doing some crossover between the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) versions and the original comic books. Just roll with it. The point is to have fun.

Without further ado, the starting lineup (and batting order) for the Cleveland Guardians of the Galaxy!

CF Rocket Raccoon
2B Gamora
RF Adam Warlock
1B Groot
C Drax the Destroyer
3B Star-Lord
LF Yondu
SS Nebula
P Mantis


Cleveland Guardians of the Galaxy Batting Order

Rocket Raccoon (CF)

Rocket Raccoon has a small strike zone and would probably draw a lot of walks. His personality is such that he could quickly get into an opponent’s head — a great skill for a leadoff hitter. Once the ball is in play, his speed would be a tremendous weapon. Defensively, he’d cover a lot of ground in center. Perfect leadoff hitter and center fielder. Move over, Juan Pierre and Brett Butler.

Gamora (2B)

Gamora is an excellent swordswoman, so it stands to reason that she’d handle the bat well. She also has quick reflexes and tremendous speed. That will help her both when putting the ball in play as well as while playing middle infield. Her superhuman agility will make her an elite middle infielder, translating into excellent footwork and smooth hands while fielding grounders and turning double plays.

Adam Warlock (RF)

Given that he was a genetically engineered superhuman and nicknamed the Savior of Worlds, it seemed fitting to put Adam Warlock in right field. His arm has to be incredible, as does his strength and footspeed. Someone that strong who runs that well is also an excellent candidate to bat third.

Groot (1B)

An anthropomorphic tree playing first base only makes sense. His stretch to catch balls and pick balls out of the dirt will have no equal. He will also swing a big, loud bat. When asked for comment, he simply replied, “I am Groot.”

Drax the Destroyer (C)

This chiseled behemoth belongs behind the plate. Drax can take a lot of abuse from foul balls and such. Someone as strong as Drax is bound to have a cannon for an arm, keeping would-be basestealers in check. And back when plate collisions still happened — only a fool would even attempt it against this bowling ball. Batting-wise, Drax is someone who belongs in the middle of the order. Since third and fourth were already filled, he became the fifth hitter by default.

Star-Lord (3B)

Toyed back and forth between third and shortstop for Star-Lord, settling on third. He’s going to have a good arm, yes. But one of the two deciding factors was the fact that the third baseman is supposed to field every ball he can get to, since he’s going toward the bag at first and consequently has an easier throw. Someone as hard-nosed as Star-Lord will have no trouble following those orders. He is batting sixth because he is not one of the faster members of the squad yet still has the strength to hit the ball hard.

Yondu (LF)

If Drax weren’t the catcher, Yondu would be. With Drax catching, Yondu gets bumped to left field. He is going to be cannon-armed, given how strong he is. His range, however, will not be as wide as Rocket Raccoon or Adam Warlock, so left field is the best outfield fit for him. His strength will also translate into lots of hard-hit balls, but his speed will be similar (or slower) to that of Star-Lord or Drax. Seventh felt like the best place to put him.

Nebula (SS)

Agile and fleet-footed, Nebula has the traits of the high-range defensive shortstops of yesteryear — Luis Aparicio, Mark Belanger, and Ozzie Smith, among others. Given her relationship with Gamora, they will communicate as well as any well-known double-play combo. Her cybernetic components will give her a great arm — both in strength and accuracy. As an added bonus, her ability to generate an electrical field would deter runners from takeout slides. Her speed makes her a good candidate to bat eighth in the role of a “second leadoff hitter.”

Mantis (P)

As far as Mantis knows, she grew up as an orphan on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. That, combined with her martial arts training, gives her the bulldog mentality of a successful pitcher. Furthermore, she can sense the emotions of others, making hitters putty in her hands. Her physical skills will make her such a good hitter that the manager will forgo use of the designated hitter.

Print Source for Character Bios

DeFalco, T., Sanderson, P., Brevoort, T., Teitelbaum, M., Wallace, D., Darling, A., & Forbeck, M. (2015). Marvel encyclopedia: the definitive guide to the characters of the Marvel universe. DK Publishing.

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

Players mentioned:

Juan Pierre, Brett Butler, Luis Aparicio, Mark Belanger, Ozzie Smith