The season is far enough along to look at how some of our prospects have done so far. This list is focused largely on the guys that matter. Each player is valuated independently and the grade represents how they’ve performed relative to what expectations/hopes for them were at the beginning of the season. Feel free to disagree or add your own.
Jordan Brown: (.272/.329/.384)
Hope: Add power to his superior AVG/OBP skills
Reality: Has maintained a decent average until late, but BB-rate has declined and has not shown any improvements in power.
Josh Barfield: (.264/.305/.398)
Hope: Learn the value of a walk, improve defense
Reality: I haven’t heard any reports on his defense in Buffalo, but his BB%, while improving, is still not where it needs to be. He hasn’t been the total trainwreck he was last season, though, and I think there’s still reason for hope.
Michael Aubrey: (.301/.345/.449 minors)
Hope: Stay healthy, hit line drives, show he can still play the field
Reality: His offense has hardly been overwhelming, but he’s done most of the rest well enough to earn more than a week in Cleveland.
Jeremy Sowers: (60.2IP, 43K, 17BB, 2.08)
Hope: Re-establish himself as a middle of the rotation major league starter. Keep BBs and HRs down, bring K-rate over 6/IP
Reality: He’s done these things for the most part. Sowers margin of error remains small, so it would be nice to see his walks come down even further. It’d also be nice to see some of his Ks translate to the big league level.
Adam Miller: (28.2IP, 20K, 12BB, 1.88)
Hope: Stay healthy
Reality: Another injury
Buffalo/Akron Relievers: (Jeff Stevens, Reid Santos, Ed Mujica, Randy Newsom, et al.)
Reality: The bigger names of this group have had pretty disappointing early seasons. Some of the older guys have done better. The shuttle between Buffalo and Cleveland is in full effect.
Chris Gimenez: (.307/.473/.496)
Hope: Keep hitting enough to justify pushing him forward. Find a place for him to play defensively.
Reality: He’s the Indians best minor league hitter right now and he’s getting a lot more work at C, increasing his potential value. It’d be nice to see some HRs.
Wes Hodges: (.300/.359/.468)
Hope: Stay healthy, add power
Reality: His numbers are almost identical to last season’s (at Kinston) thus far. It’d be nice to see him start forcing his projections upwards a bit.
Josh Rodriguez: (.264/.361/.351)
Hope: Cut down on Ks, maintain BBs and power, improve defense
Reality: Of those hopes, all he has effective done is maintain his BBs. His 13 Es lead the team. He’s developing a rep as one of the system’s streakiest hitters with really good hot stretches, and really terrible bad stretches. More bad than good so far this season.
Matt Whitney: (.239/.327/.371)
Hope: Maintain the power from ’07 and force his way to Buffalo
Reality: After an excellent first couple of weeks it has been all downhill. When the Buffalo (and Cleveland) call-up came, it was Aubrey and not Whitney who took advantage of the opportunity.
Trevor Crowe: (.200/.333/.307)
Hope: Stay healthy, get on base a lot, steal a lot of bases
Reality: No, not really, no. (although for the eternally hopeful, June’s treated him well so far)
David Huff: (65.2IP, 62K, 14BB, 1.92)
Hope: Stay healthy and show superiority to AA-hitters
Reality: He’s done just that and with his promotion to Buffalo this week, is entering the 2009 starting rotation radar.
Chuck Lofgren: (52IP, 43K, 35BB, 5.54)
Hope: Get his K-rate back up to 1/IP and improve his BB-rate
Reality: Control has actually gotten considerably worse. Aside from his two starts the first week of May, he’s been terrible.
Nicholas Weglarz: (.270/.423/.416)
Hope: Continue to pile up the walks and hit many many monster HRs
Reality: Lots of walks, not a lot of power
Grade: B- (victim of high expectations)
Beau Mills: (.255/.358/.421)
Hope: Show improved plate discipline (5:2 K:BB in 2007) and legitimate power
Reality: Place discipline has improved (4:3 K:BB), but power has been mainly in the form of doubles so far (17, .166 ISO)
Jared Goedert: (.269/.343/.385)
Hope: Stick in the middle infield, spray line drives and show reasonable power
Reality: Goedert’s power has dropped off considerably this year. Needs a strong 2nd half to retain prospect status.
John Drennen: (.278/.366/.317)
Hope: Cut down on Ks, put together a solid all-around season and establish himself as a legit prospect
Reality: He’s cut down the Ks and improved his BB-rate, but while completely losing his power. Hopefully just a stepping-stone in his development.
Carlos Rivera: (.274/.314/.363)
Hope: Defense remains viable at SS, continues to add a little power
Reality: He’s still at SS (although his 10 Es do lead the team), but his BB-rate is half what it was last year, and his power has dropped as well.
Steven Wright: (62.1IP, 54K, 15BB, 2.17)
Hope: Translate his impressive peripheral numbers (~1K/IP, 3:1 K:BB) into success and advance to Akron quickly
Reality: Wright’s done just that, aided by a miniscule .195 BAA, and should be a candidate for an Akron promotion soon.
Hector Rondon: (58.2IP, 61K, 17BB, 4.14)
Hope: Hold his own at Kinston and carry forward his Lake County stats at the young age of 20.
Reality: By just about any metric other than Ws and Ls, Hector’s done that. He’s upped his K-rate to over 1/IP and has nearly a 4:1 K:BB ratio. He has allowed a lot of hits, but things look very bright for the young Venezuelan.
Jeanmar Gomez: (54.2IP, 50K, 21BB, 5.43)
Hope: Like Rondon, hold his own at Kinston (but as a 19-year old)
Reality: Also Like Rondon, Gomez has been the victim of a lot of hits (61). He’s also walked a few more and, more importantly, been more prone to the HR (8). If he can cut down the latter, his numbers should improve. And he’ll still be 19.
Kinston Relievers: (Josh Tomlin, Luis Perdomo, Neil Wagner, Matt Meyer, Mike Pontius, Dan Cevette)
Reality: A mixed group of older and younger guys and mixed success and keeping guys off base. But collectively, they throw a lot of strikes (19 more Ks than IP) and don’t walk a lot of guys. I have a hard time thinking a couple of decent relievers won’t come out of this bunch.
Expectations for most of these guys are pretty low. Many of these guys are getting their first full-season action. So we’ll just focus on grades of the interesting guys performance so far.
Chris Nash: (.257/.321/.392)
Reality: Terrible April (.624, 4.5:1 K:BB), better May (.834, 1.5:1 K:BB)
Karexon Sanchez: (.228/.299/.335)
Reality: Great April (.856), terrible May (.462)
Kelvin De La Cruz: (57.2IP, 52K, 28BB, 1.40)
Reality: It’d be nice to see his walks come down, but you can’t argue with 39 hits allowed and only one HR allowed
Ryan Morris: (58.2IP, 41K, 21BB, 2.30)
Reality: K-rate, BB-rate, and GB-rate all increased in May.
Ryan Miller: (57.1IP, 63K, 27BB, 1.41)
Reality: Nothing to complain about. Need to see how he does in Kinston now.
Chris Archer: (47IP, 40K, 43BB, 4.40)
Reality: Had a great April by not allowing any hits. Atrocious walk-rate has brought him back down to earth. Still very young.
Lake County Relievers (Josh Judy, Jonathan Holt, Kyle Landis, Vinnie Pestano, Dallas Cawiezell):
Reality: I’m not going to comment on these guys individually, low-A relievers really aren’t worth that, but this bunch has been good. Hopefully one or two of these guys will go forward and turn into something good.