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A Large Minors Rundown: 25-11

 

 

The first in a two part series. I got excited after all the big moves and wanted to put together the system in my own eyes. In the second part we'll be looking at the other prospects as well as trying to figure out where the Indians' farm is in comparison to others.

Please realize that I'm not a professional and, as such, if you have an issue we can talk it out. Adam (APV) was a big help but he was too busy to correct me everywhere I was wrong; as such, the rankings are ultimately my fault. 

The Best Case/Worst Case is supposed to be taken less than seriously, obviously. 

On the Radar: Abner Abreu, Lonnie Chiz, Chris Jones, Reid Santos, Matt McBride, Josh Judy, Kyle Landis, Paolo Espino, Vinnie Pestano, Josh Tomlin, Steven Wright, Stephen Head, Zack Jackson, Randy Newsom, Jared Goedert. Michael Aubrey

Before you even ask, Brick, Goedert is too old and can't hit enough for 3B. 

 

25. Ryan Miller: LHP 2.98 ERA/93.2 IP/55 BB/91 K; 12/14/1986 (A)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#21

Adam: Time constraints.

Andrew: 
One of the Indians' last ever draft and follow picks. Hopefully he's on the move soon but with so much pitching depth it's hard to get all these guys to the right levels. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Ted Lily/Ryan Edell

Trajectory: Steady.

 

24. Rob Bryson: RHP 3.93 ERA/66.1 IP/26 BB/82 K; 12/11/1987 (A)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#11 in Milwaukee

Adam: Time constraints.

Andrew: 
He'd probably be considerably higher if we were scouts. His stuff is pretty impressive sounding-fastball that touches 95, 78-82 mph slider. Part of the reason he's this low is that there doesn't seem to be any indication he's going to be made back into a starter. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Jonathan Broxton/Dallas Cawiezell

Trajectory: Going up

 

23. Ryan Morris: LHP 3.88 ERA/99.2 IP/45 BB/68 K; 1/10/1988 (A)

2008 BA Ranking:
Unranked

Adam: Time constraints. 

Andrew: 
Has really fallen apart in his 7 starts since the break, with a 6.89 ERA. 

Best Case/Worst Case: CC Sabathia/Aubrey Huff the pitcher

Trajectory: Going up

 

22. Joey Mahalic: RHP 4.00 ERA/72.0 IP/22 BB/53 K; 11/28/1988 (A)

2008 BA Ranking: 
Not ranked.

Adam: Young and interesting. 

Andrew: 
Is apparently inducing a lot of balls on the ground, with a 3.03 GO/AO. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Brandon Webb/Brian Slocum

Trajectory: Going up

 

21. Chris Archer: RHP 3.98 ERA/83.2 IP/69 BB/74 K; 09/26/1988 (A)

2008 BA Ranking: 
Not ranked

Adam: Young and interesting.

Andrew: There are things to like and there are things to not like in that line. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Tom Seaver/Sean Smith

Trajectory: Going up 

 

20. Jeanmar GomezRHP 5.54 ERA/100.2 IP/42 BB/86 K; 02/10/1988 (A+)

2008 BA Ranking: 
Unranked

Adam: How many Jeanmars do you know? 

Andrew: 
He's in the Carlos Rivero camp-the fact that he's able to do anything in A+ at his age is an accomplishment. His strikeout numbers are pretty good and he's a big boy-6'4". He'll always suffer by the comparison to Rondon and Lord Kelvin but, well, consider this: he's only a month older than Kelvin and the Indians chose to have Jeanmar start the year in A+ while Kelvin just got promoted. That probably means something. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Ervin Santana/Scott Elarton

Trajectory: Steady

 

19. Trevor Crowe: OF .393/.479/.871 (AAA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#14

Adam: Show it is more than BABIP and stay healthy in Buffalo. 

Andrew: 
I've found a lot of different ways to attack Trevor Crowe as a prospect over the last two years or so and I don't think I need to repeat them. Suffice to say, I don't have a lot of confidence in Crowe's ability to hit or to stay healthy. He did hit a homerun in his second game in Buffalo, which is cool.

 

Alright, just one thing. The biggest problem with Crowe that goes unmentioned is his positional value. Crowe doesn't appear to have a future in CF (only 15 games there this year) and even if he reaches his absolute ceiling (~.800 OPS) it's going to be hard for him to stick as a corner outfielder. The Indians were right move him to 2B even though it blew up in their face.



Best Case/Worst Case: Shane Victorino in a corner/Chris Denorfia

Trajectory: Going up.

 

18. Carlos Rivero: SS .309/.351/.660; 05/20/1988 (A+)

2008 BA Ranking: #18

Adam: Young, but at some point he's got to put up good numbers too. 

Andrew: A wise man once defined minor leaguer success in High A as succeeding at 21 and solid at 20. So, Rivero has next year to actually be good. His OPS is one of the worst in the league but he's also one of only 6 players in the league under 21. He's always been considered a highly projectable "athlete" but he's got to improve his plate discipline ASAP. His fielding doesn't look great by idiot stats and there have always been some rumblings that he might need to go to third. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Jhonny Peralta/Jack Hannahan

Trajectory: Steady

 

17. Wyatt Toregas: C .351/.474/.825; 12/02/1982 (AA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#24 

Adam: If he can hit above AA... 

Andrew: 
Is supposedly defensively ready to play in the majors right now with a plus arm and good game calling skills. Was forced into AAA this year without showing any ability to hit in AA as a 24 year old; answered that bell by showing he couldn't hit in AAA as a 25 year old. He and Gimenez have been hilarious mirror images of each other-they were basically swapped out for each other and obliged everyone by switching batting lines-both destroy AA and neither is doing much in AAA. Toregas is wrecking the Eastern League with a 1.159 OPS and 10 homers in 29 games. That's more homeruns than Toregas has ever hit in a full season. It's hard to explain away his AA performance with age because the power is unlike anything he's ever shown. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Brian Schneider/Henry Blanco

Trajectory: Going up?

 

16. Chris Gimenez: C/1B/LF .440/.470/.910; 12/27/1982 (AAA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
Unranked. 

Adam: Future Casey Blake? (with the ability to catch and better plate discipline) 

Andrew: 
Absolutely torched AA this year to the tune of a 1.024 OPS. His problem is that he spent his age 22 and 23 seasons in Lake County which is not good. Has struggled to replicate his success in Buffalo but has also been good since the ASB; in an ultra small sample of 7 game he's OPSing 1.025. If he can get red hot again we can parlay him into Josh Barfield.

Best Case/Worst Case: Casey Blake/Mike Rabelo

Trajectory: Going up

 

15. Jordan Brown: 1B/DH .335/.407/.743; 12/18/1983 (AAA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#7

Adam: Sigh...needs to regain plate discipline AND gain power.

Andrew: Is supposedly just now getting back to full strength after an offseason knee surgery. Whatever. A classic example of why you shouldn't get excited about guys who are too old for their league; won back to back MVP awards in 2006 and 2007 in A+ and AA but was older than most of his competition by a couple of years. On top of that he won both MVPs for hitting a good average and getting a bunch of RBI. Again, whatever. He's also getting killed by lefties which is going to make this professional hitter thing tough.

 

I would just be a jerk if I didn't mention that he's looked much, much better in the 10 games since the all star break, a break that he said allowed him to get back to full strength. Since then, he's at a .984 OPS with 9 walks. So, take heart, IndiansFan. Is very comparable to Ryan Garko, just promoted less aggressively. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Sean Casey/Shelley Duncan

Trajectory: Going down

 

T-14. Josh RodriguezSS/2B .347/.376/.723; 12/18/1984 (AA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#20

Adam: If he can stick at 2B or SS...

Andrew: 
Josh Rodriguez bores me, intensely. As far as I can tell he doesn't do anything particularly well except for stand somewhere near second base; that's his most marketable asset. He had 32 errors last year and he already has 17 this year in about half the number of games. Obviously errors are stupid but that's a lot of errors. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Kelly Johnson/Joe Inglett

Trajectory: Steady

 

T-14. Chuck Lofgren: LHP 5.56 ERA/69.2 IP/43 BB/61 K; 01/29/1986 (AA)


2008 BA Ranking: 
#2

Adam: Here's the thing...Lofgren is still only 22. And while he's sucked this year, the scouting reports talk about it being something getting messed up in his delivery, which is correctable, and an associated lack of confidence, which would seem to be correctable as well. And then there were his back-to-back starts on May 1st (6IP,6H,1R,3BB,9K) and May 7th (7IP,4H,1R,2BB,7K) where he seemed to "get it". He's probably falling faster than any prospect we have, but he has actually given himself enough of a cushion, age wise, that I would think it's too early to give up on him.  He might need an offseason to get it worked out but I think he has until midway 2009 before he falls completely off the horizon.

Andrew: It's sort of a relief that he's this terrible and healthy because it indicates some kind of problem that is ruining everything and can be fixed-whether that's mechanics or what. The upswing to this admittedly crackpot viewpoint is that if you fix that ruinous problem, you get old Chuck Lofgren back. He's not really supposed to succeed until he's 23, according to the PTM. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Mark Buehrle/Jorge de la Rosa

Trajectory: Going down.


13. Tony Sipp: LHP 4.32 ERA/16.2 IP/8 BB/19 K; 07/12/1983 (AA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#12 

Adam: Reliever with sexy K rate. 

Andrew: 
Formerly Jon Meloan. Getting shelled in Akron though who knows what that means. Will have a shot at the bullpen out of ST next year if his arm holds up. It's a success that he's throwing again, period. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Brian Fuentes/Scott Sauerbeck

Trajectory: Going up 

 

12. Scott Lewis: LHP 3.17 ERA/54.0 IP/6 BB/38 K; 09/26/1983 (AA)

2008 BA Ranking: 
#16 

Adam: Fantastic command (+4:1 K:BB in minor league career). If healthy, might be the next in line behind Huff for an audition for the rotation. 

Andrew: Lewis is good when he's healthy but he's not incredible. His control is great but his strikeouts are just so-so. He's sort of replicating his 2007, including level. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Carlos Silva/Aaron Fultz

Trajectory: Steady


11. Jeff Stevens: RHP 3.23 ERA/55.2 IP/25 BB/75 K; 09/05/1983 (AAA)


2008 BA Ranking: 
#19

Adam: Reliever with sexy K numbers. 

Andrew: Stevens is working hard to become something besides the PTBNL returned for Brandon Phillips. He's struggled a bit in Buffalo with run suppression but his strikeouts have actually gotten better (38 in 27 IP vs. 37 in 28.2 IP in Akron). He's off to Beijing to try to help the USA win a medal; next year he's a solid bet to win a job in the bullpen out of ST. 

Best Case/Worst Case: Scot Shields/Chris Bootcheck

Trajectory: Going up

 

 

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