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  1. #391
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    Default Re: Minor League Thread

    TOP TEN
    PROSPECTS
    1. Francisco Lindor, ss
    2. Dorssys Paulino, ss
    3. Tyler Naquin, of
    4. Cody Allen, rhp
    5. Mitch Brown, rhp
    6. Danny Salazar, rhp
    7. Luigi Rodriguez, of
    8. Ronny Rodriguez, ss/2b
    9. Jesus Aguilar, 1b
    10. Chen Lee, rhp


    BEST
    TOOLS
    Best Hitter for Average Dorssys Paulino
    Best Power Hitter Jesus Aguilar
    Best Strike Zone Discipline Francisco Lindor
    Fastest Baserunner Luigi Rodriguez
    Best Athlete D'vone McClure
    Best Fastball Trey Haley
    Best Curveball Cody Allen
    Best Slider Shawn Armstrong
    Best Changeup Danny Salazar
    Best Control T.J. McFarland
    Best Defensive Catcher Roberto Perez
    Best Defensive Infielder Francisco Lindor
    Best Infield Arm Giovanny Urshela
    Best Defensive OF Tyler Holt
    Best Outfield Arm Tyler Naquin


    As their 68-94 season drew to a close, the Indians fired manager Manny Acta, then quickly replaced him with former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona.

    While Francona puts a fresh face in the dugout, there's little Acta could have done given the players at his disposal. Cleveland ranked 22nd in baseball in runs scored, but the pitching was worse as only the Rockies allowed more runs.

    The Indians have struggled to add talent in recent years, most notably through the market for amateur players. While Jason Kipnis has proven to be an excellent use of a second-round pick in 2009, the draft continues to be an area that has provided little help.

    Vinnie Pestano (20th round, 2006) and Tony Sipp (45th round, 2004) have been useful relievers and Cody Allen (23rd round, 2011) made a rapid rise to join them in the big league bullpen, but years of missing on first-round picks and getting little from the later rounds have hampered Cleveland. Further development from 2008 first-rounder Lonnie Chisenhall would represent a major draft breakthrough, but he has hit .260/.295/.421 and played substandard defense in the majors the last two years.

    The international market also has been a dry spot. Former Latin American director Rene Gayo (now with the Pirates) helped the team add Roberto Hernandez, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta, among others. The Indians' more recent forays into international waters have yet to deliver any impact players.

    Other than Hernandez and Rafael Perez, the only other international free agent Cleveland signed and had on its 2012 team was nondescript Jeanmar Gomez. The Indians hope that Chen Lee perhaps can offer some relief help in 2013 after losing 2012 to Tommy John surgery.

    Former GM and current club president Mark Shapiro helped build his reputation on trades that landed such players as Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo, Travis Hafner, Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Carlos Santana and Grady Sizemore. But Shapiro received little in return when he traded C.C. Sabathia in 2008 and Lee in 2009, a major reason why the team hasn't had a winning season since blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2007 American League Championship Series. Matt LaPorta, the centerpiece of the Sabathia trade, has been a bust, though Michael Brantley did emerge as a solid regular in 2012. Carlos Carrasco, who missed 2012 after Tommy John surgery. is the last hope to salvage much value from the Lee deal.

    Making the opposite move, trading prospects in exchange for a supposed ace, also has turned sour. With the Indians contending in mid-2011, GM Chris Antonetti traded his two best young arms to the Rockies as part of a four-player package for Ubaldo Jimenez. Neither Drew Pomeranz and Alex White has done much in Colorado yet, but Jimenez has gone 13-21, 5.32 in 42 starts for Cleveland.

    The Indians did get value when they traded Austin Kearns in 2010, getting Zach McAllister from the Yankees. He had a 4.24 ERA in 22 major league starts in 2012.

    If the Indians are counting on help from the minors, impact talent is still at least a couple of years away. Francisco Lindor is a potential all-star and fellow shortstop Dorssys Paulino may be the best international player they've signed since Peralta in 1999. But neither has played above low Class A, nor has 2012 first-rounder Tyler Naquin, and beyond them the system is thin.
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today...3/2614318.html
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

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  3. #392
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    Default Re: Minor League Thread

    Indians' Draft Struggles Come Back To Haunt Them

    By Ben Badler
    November 15, 2012

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    When the 2012 season began, few things seemed more likely than the Orioles missing the playoffs. Yet after 14 straight losing seasons, Baltimore won 93 games and a wild card playoff spot.

    The Athletics weren't supposed to make the playoffs either, but they won 94 games and captured the American League West.

    After a 68-94 season—their fifth straight without breaking .500—the Indians will hope they can deliver a similar surprise turnaround in 2013. They do have building blocks in the lineup. Between catcher Carlos Santana, center fielder Michael Brantley and a middle infield of Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, the Indians have a group of quality players in their mid-20s who should be entering their primes, in addition to right fielder Shin-Soo Choo.

    "We think we have a very good nucleus around which to build," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "A lot of that is up-the-middle talent. It's catcher, second base, shortstop, center field, which is a good starting point for building a very good major league team. Now we need to complement those guys with the right players around them. Obviously Choo's been a very productive right fielder, we think Lonnie Chisenhall at third base has a chance to be a very good player, but at some of the other corner positions, we need to identify some guys and improve in those areas, because I think those are the areas where we fell short of our own expectations."

    While the front office remains largely intact, the markers of future success are pointing in the wrong direction. The team ranked 29th in the majors in runs allowed in 2012, thanks largely to a disaster of a rotation. Among the seven pitchers who made the most starts for the Indians, Ubaldo Jimenez, Derek Lowe, Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez and Corey Kluber all had ERAs north of 5.00. Justin Masterson went backward and nearly joined them (4.93). Zach McAllister, who profiles best as a back-end starter, led the staff at 4.24.

    There's little immediate help on the way from the farm system, which ranked 29th in baseball last year and again is among the worst in the game. The Orioles and A's might provide hope, but the Indians' inability to identify and acquire talent—particularly among amateur talent and starting pitchers—means the organization could just as well be set up for several more years of losing.

    Little Production

    The Indians selected righthander Jeremy Guthrie out of Stanford with their first-round pick in the 2002 draft. Guthrie should be a success story, but his career is emblematic of Cleveland's poor track record of identifying and developing pitching over the last decade. They let Guthrie go to the Orioles on a waiver claim before the 2007 season, only to see him blossom in Baltimore.

    Though they misjudged Guthrie while he was in their organization, he has been by far the best pitcher the Indians have drafted since C.C. Sabathia in 1998. Chris Archer, their fifth-round pick in 2006, might eventually challenge Guthrie, but it won't be for the Indians, who included him in a trade to the Cubs after the 2008 season to get Mark DeRosa. Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp and now Cody Allen have provided quality bullpen arms from the late rounds, but the franchise's inability to draft and develop even a mid-rotation starter has been a glaring weakness.

    The Indians have received little production from their drafts from 2002-2007, both from pitchers and position players. Michael Aubrey, Brad Snyder, Jeremy Sowers, Trevor Crowe and Beau Mills were all first-round busts. The later rounds delivered useful role players like Pestano, Sipp, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Ryan Garko—but no building blocks.

    "To some extent, some of our drafts in the past, we didn't balance them like we have over the past four to five years," said scouting director Brad Grant, who has been running Cleveland's drafts since 2008. "Where it was maybe more college-heavy in the past at times, now it's making sure that we balance out the draft. So we're still making sure we're balancing at the beginning of the draft the risk/reward that comes with it, but at the same time opening it up and taking upside, athletic type players later in the draft."

    More recent first-rounders Chisenhall and Francisco Lindor should improve the Indians' first-round track record. And the scouting and player development staffs both deserve credit for Kipnis, an outfielder at Arizona State who has quickly become a capable defender at second base with an above-average bat for the position.

    Though Lindor may one day surpass him, the fact that Kipnis might be the best player the Indians have drafted and signed since Guthrie shows part of the reason why they've had so little recent success at the major league level.

    "It's been an evolution in how we've done things," Antonetti said. "We've continued to try to learn both from our successes and also from our mistakes, and grow and evolve as an organization. We've made some of those adjustments, but it's unlike in the NFL or the NBA, where if you make some of those adjustments the returns are evident the following year because those guys emerge right at the highest level. In baseball it takes three, four, five, six, seven years to see the fruits of that labor. I think as we start to look forward, we're going to begin to see some of those talented guys work their way through the system and be contributing major league players for us."

    In Latin America, the Indians used to be a force. They signed Victor Martinez out of Venezuela in 1996, and when Rene Gayo ran their international program, the Indians signed Jhonny Peralta, Roberto Hernandez, Willy Taveras, Rafael Perez and Edward Mujica as amateurs. Perez was the most expensive of the group at $50,000.

    Since Gayo left to join the Pirates in 2004, Cleveland's Latin American pipeline has started to run dry. Other than Hernandez and Perez, the only other international player on the 2012 major league roster originally signed by the team was Gomez, a fringy righthander. The Indians may have found a future star in Dorssys Paulino, a $1.1 million signing from 2011, but he has yet to play in a full-season league. That was not the case when they paid $575,000 to a 16-year-old Dominican shortstop named Jose Ozoria in 2008, only to find out he was really a 19-year-old named Wuali Bryan. He played one season in the Dominican Summer League before he was released.

    Dwindling Returns

    When the Indians were a competitive team not so long ago, much of their core talent came through the trade market. They famously grabbed Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips as Expos minor leaguers in exchange for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew in 2002. Travis Hafner, Cabrera and Choo all joined the Indians in trades as well.

    Cleveland's track record in the trade market the last five years has been more of a mixed bag. The biggest win has been getting Carlos Santana from the Dodgers in the Casey Blake deal in 2008. Trading DeRosa to the Cardinals in 2009 to get Chris Perez has been a success, as was getting McAllister from the Yankees in August 2011 for Austin Kearns. The 2009 trade of Victor Martinez to Boston brought Masterson, who emerged as a quality starter in 2011, then regressed last season.

    But the Indians have little to show for trading away a pair of aces. The centerpiece of the 2008 Sabathia deal was supposed to be LaPorta, but so far he's been a bust. The best player from the trade has been Brantley, a solid center fielder who could become more intriguing if he can add power. The only hope to salvage value from trading Lee to the Phillies in 2009 rests on Carlos Carrasco, who missed the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery.

    It's true that trades for star players don't usually turn into blockbuster hauls like the Colon deal, yet when the Indians tried to trade away prospects for major league pitching, they've also gotten burned. Drew Pomeranz and Alex White haven't done anything noteworthy in the big leagues yet, but Jimenez, acquired from the Rockies in 2011 already in the midst of a decline, has been awful. Trading away Archer may also end up biting them.

    "I think when you look at the portfolio of trades that we've made, we feel comfortable with the returns we've gotten," Antonetti said. "We'd always like to do better, and certainly when you look at any individual trade you can find opportunities where you may have been able to select a different player or gone in a different direction, but on balance, I think organizationally we've done a good job when we've made those decisions."

    As the Orioles and A's showed, with a few good moves and some good fortune, a team can turn around in a hurry. Maybe the Indians could turn out like the 2012 Orioles. Or maybe they turn out like the 2003 Orioles—five mediocre seasons in, with a long road of losing ahead.


    BUILDING THROUGH THE DRAFT

    Every team talks about being committed to scouting and player development, but the Giants have demonstrated how to go out and build the core of a World Series champion through the draft, while the Indians have struggled to extract value from the draft. Using Baseball-Reference.com's Wins Above Replacement (WAR), the Giants' draft production from 2002-2008 has greatly exceeded that of the Indians, even with two fewer first-round picks (and no pick until the fourth round in 2005). The disparity is even more significant given that Guthrie provided no value to the Indians and players like Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner and Posey are likely to add value to the Giants for years to come. The only player with a chance to add value to the Indians from those drafts is Chisenhall. Players who accumulated a negative career WAR number have been counted toward the total, because it doesn't make sense to penalize a player for reaching the major leagues.

    Every team talks about being committed to scouting and player development, but the Giants have demonstrated how to go out and build the core of a World Series champion through the draft, while the Indians have struggled to extract value from the draft. Using Baseball-Reference.com's Wins Above Replacement (WAR), the Giants' draft production from 2002-2008 has greatly exceeded that of the Indians, even with two fewer first-round picks (and no pick until the fourth round in 2005). The disparity is even more significant given that Guthrie provided no value to the Indians and players like Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner and Posey are likely to add value to the Giants for years to come. The only player with a chance to add value to the Indians from those drafts is Chisenhall. Players who accumulated a negative career WAR number have been counted toward the total, because it doesn't make sense to penalize a player for reaching the major leagues.
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today...2/2614320.html
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

  4. #393
    Rising Star Nom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minor League Thread

    It's great to read these articles - but I'm not sure how many more pieces need to talk about how the Indians' drafts haven't produced enough MLB players and how the CC and Lee trades set them back. It's getting redundant. I'd love for a few people to take on how they should move forward - there is a very real argument to be made about trading off everything and starting over or trying to deal 1-2 pieces, make a couple of signings and try to compete next year. As of yet, I haven't seen any national writers take this on.

  5. #394
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    Default Re: Minor League Thread

    Cleveland Indians Top 20 Prospects for 2013

    By John Sickels on Dec 14, 11:01a 62

    Cleveland Indians Top 20 Prospects for 2013

    The list and grades are a blending of present performance and long-term potential. Comments are welcome, but in the end all analysis and responsibility is mine. Full reports on all of players can be found in the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book. We are now taking pre-orders. Order early and order often!

    QUICK PRIMER ON GRADE MEANINGS:

    Grade A prospects are the elite. They have a reasonable chance of becoming stars or superstars. Almost all Grade A prospects develop into major league regulars, if injuries or other problems don't intervene. Note that is a major "if" in some cases.

    Grade B prospects have a good chance to enjoy successful careers. Some will develop into stars, some will not. Most end up spending several years in the majors, at the very least in a marginal role.

    Grade C prospects are the most common type. These are guys who have something positive going for them, but who may have a question mark or three, or who are just too far away from the majors to get an accurate feel for. A few Grade C guys, especially at the lower levels, do develop into stars. Some end up as role players or bench guys. Many don't make it at all.

    Also note that there is diversity within each category. I'm a tough grader; Grade C+ is actually good praise, and some C+ prospects (especially at lower levels) turn out very well indeed.

    Finally, keep in mind that all grades are shorthand. You have to read the full comment in the book for my full opinion about a player, the letter grade only tells you so much. A Grade C prospect in rookie ball could end up being very impressive, while a Grade C prospect in Triple-A is likely just a future role player.

    ALL GRADES ARE PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE. No grade is final until January 5th, 2013

    1) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Grade A-: He needs to improve his control, thus the slight ding in his grade from last year, but I still see him as an elite prospect who can be a number one starter. He has little left to prove in the minors, and my thinking is that he's bright and motivated enough to outgrow any personality conflicts.

    2) Francisco Lindor, SS, Grade A-: Outstanding defensive shortstop with solid on-base abilities. If his bat develops further, he'll end up a straight A.

    3) Dorssys Paulino, SS, Grade B: You can make a B+ case and his ceiling is very high. Turned out to have more power than expected, hitting well at age 17 in rookie ball, though long-term position is in question with Lindor around.

    4) Mitch Brown, RHP, Grade B-: One of my favorite high school pitchers from the 2012 draft, strong-bodied kid from Minnesota with good velocity, wide assortment of secondary pitches, good makeup. Mid-rotation starter projection, but want to see more innings before raising grade past B-.

    5) Tyler Naquin, OF, Grade B-: Borderline C+. Saw him play for Texas A&M. Good swing, gets on base, nice line drive bat, very strong throwing arm, good glove, but I don't think he's going to show much power. If he can hit .300+ he can be a regular, if not he'll be a fourth outfielder.

    6) Cody Allen, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline C+. Ranking relief prospects is always tough, but he showed he could get big-league hitters out when his command is on and he could close eventually. Amazing rise for a 23rd round pick, to the majors in one year.

    7) Ronny Rodriguez, SS-2B, Grade C+: Positives are power, speed, throwing arm. Negatives are plate discipline, contact, and lack of defensive reliability. Has been pushed fast and will play Double-A at age 21, which could make or break him given the infield depth in this organization.

    8) Tony Wolters, 2B-SS, Grade C+: Doesn't have RR's tools, but he was solid enough last year as his double play partner and is actually a month younger. Skipped Low-A, got off to slow start in High-A but raked in second half (.291/.344/.474). Does that presage a breakout?

    9) Jose Ramirez, 2B, Grade C+: Other sources do not rank him this highly, but I don't care. He's undersized and scouts worry about that, but he just hits the shit out of the ball, including .354/.403/.462 this year in 67 games in Low-A. Controls the strike zone, makes contact, runs well, excellent defensively at second base, has hit everywhere he's played, same age bracket as RR, LR, and TW. A year from now, this may look too low if he goes Altuve on us.

    10) Luigi Rodriguez, OF, Grade C+: Another young toolsy product of Latin American program, has leadoff potential with speed and fairly good plate discipline, but strikes out too much and needs polish in all phases of the game.

    11) Danny Salazar, RHP, Grade C+: One of several hard-throwing right-handers with a chance to help in the bullpen in the next year or two. You can make a case to rank him higher than this, but secondaries need more polish and has checkered health history.

    12) Scott Barnes, LHP, Grade C+: I've liked him since he was in college. Seems like a solid bullpen contributor and ready to help now. Might he get a chance to start again?

    13) Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Grade C+: Younger than first base competitors Mike McDade and Chris McGuiness. I don't think Aguilar hits quite enough to be a long-term solution, but he has enough pop to be a useful role player.

    14) Chen Lee, RHP, Grade C+: I like him as a middle relief option with his combination of whiffs and grounders, but we need to see how he recovers from Tommy John.

    15) Kieran Lovegrove, RHP, Grade C+: Another projectable high school arm from 2012 draft, third round. Will probably need more development time than Mitch Brown, but also has mid-rotation potential.

    16) Giovanni Soto, LHP, Grade C+: Borderline C. Doesn't have terrific stuff, but effective in Double-A at age 20/21 and is having a great winter in Puerto Rico. Could be a surprise contributor in 2013.

    17) Elvis Araujo, LHP, Grade C: One of the best pure arms in the system, but struggled with mechanical and control problems in Low-A.

    18) Dillon Howard, RHP, Grade C: Second round pick from 2011 draft as massively disappointing after coming to camp out of shape. Velocity was down, though he still got a good number of ground balls and it is too soon to give up given his pedigree.

    19) Anthony Santander, OF, Grade C: Young switch-hitter (17) from Venezuela hit very well in Arizona Rookie League, although scouts aren't sure his swing will work at higher levels without adjustments. Bears close watching as he moves up.

    20) Chris McGuiness, 1B, Grade C: Rule 5 pick from Rangers could win playing time at first base. Solid Double-A season with good power production and hit well in Arizona Fall League, though scouting reports aren't especially enthusiastic.


    OTHERS: Austin Adams, RHP; Shawn Armstrong, RHP; Dylan Baker, RHP; Rob Bryson, RHP; Chun Chen, 1B-C; Tim Fedroff, OF: Trey Haley, RHP; T.J. House, LHP; Matt Langwell, RHP; Jacob Lee, RHP; Jorge Martinez, 3B; D'vone McClure, OF; Mike McDade, 1B; Alex Monsalve, C; Mason Radeke, RHP; Nelson Rodriguez, 1B; Jake Sisco, RHP; Jordan Smith, OF; Felix Sterling, RHP; Bryce Stowell, RHP; Giovany Urhsela, 3B; LeVon Washington, OF.
    Minorleagueball.com
    Manziel's reps also insist it's a hoax -- and he's never made a penis video on "It's a Small World" or any other Disney ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by CavsFanLA View Post
    a skill that probably fits well in the world of PR where you want to listen tothe opinion of someone who thinks they know more than you

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  7. #395
    Rising Star BMAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minor League Thread

    Jonathon Mayo came out with his Top 100 prospects. Two Indians made it in the list (top 20). Francisco Lindor at number 14 and Trevor Bauer at 17.

    http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/mlb...s/watch/y2013/

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