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Akron Aeros

Last but not least, the Akron Aeros.  Akron finished the season 80-62, qualifying for the Eastern League championship before falling to the Trenton Thunder.  Akron has been the launching pad for many of Cleveland's top prospects for a long time.  Hopefully this season's batch will maintain that tradition.

  • Chris Gimenez (1.024 - 55 games), Wyatt Toregas (.945 - 47 games), and Trevor Crowe (.888 - 49 games) all spent part of the season playing very well if not dominating the Eastern League.  Gimenez did so by putting up a comic-book like 52-33 BB:K ratio before advancing to Buffalo and falling flat.  Toregas did so by showing an impressive power stroke (ISO .278) after getting demoted from Buffalo.  Crowe did so by doing a little bit of both, while getting helped out by a slightly inflated .364 BABIP.  Of the three, Crowe has done the best in Buffalo.
  • 3B Wes Hodges was the constant in Akron's lineup, leading the team in extra base hits (50) and posting a solid .290/.354/.466 line.  Hodges hit RHP much better than left (.869 vs .679) and hit all but one of his 18 HRs against RHP. 
  • Matt Whitney set a career high for games played (129), which is nice.  Unfortunately the surge in power he showed last year (32HRs, ISO .246) which threatened to make him relevant again, faded this year (10 HRs, ISO .136).
  • Ryan Goleski, Stephen Head, Nathan Panther, and Brandon Pickney are all still with the organization.  For now.
  • So is Bronson Kiheimahanaomauiakeo Sardinha (admittedly, I just like looking at that middle name)
  • Joshua Rodriguez formed a pairing with Chuck Lofgren (more on him later) as probably the two most disappointing prospects in the Indians organization this year.  Rodriguez made his way onto a lot of off-season prospect lists thanks to his respectable .811 season last year in Kinston while playing a middle infield slot.  He struggled in Akron to a .241/.335/.359 line.  He kept up a good BB%, but everything else fell off for him.  Rodriguez was sort of a marginal prospect to begin with in my view, now he'll enter next year trying not to be the next Goleski/Mulhern/Snyder.
  • Kevin Dixon, Ryan Edell, and Frank Hermann carried the bulk of the Aeros starting pitching load (75 starts between them), but all look more like organizational depth than anything resembling a legit prospect.  Edell's got the best single skill of the three with an impressive 21BBs in his 144 innings.  Hermann did a good job of not allowing HRs (9 in 131.2IP).  Dixon does a lot of things "ok" across the board.
  • Lofgren's season was a disaster.  The only real positive to say is that he didn't suffer a major injury.  What he did do was completely forget how to pitch and lose his confidence.  Relegated to the bullpen after coming back from time off he fared marginally better.  Scouting reports suggested his stuff was still there, he just needed to work on some mechanical issues related to the repeatability of his delivery in order to improve his horrendous control.  Lofgren, somewhat amazingly to me, is still just 22.  Maybe he needs to spend the winter with Cliff Lee.
  • JD Martin, who is not 22 (25, actually), put together a very solid season out of the bullpen before joining the rotation at the end of the season (79.2IP, 71K, 19BB, 2.49 ERA).
  • Steven Wright had a successful half-season audition for the role of "next year's Kevin Dixon/Ryan Edell/Frank Hermann".  Way to go, Steven.
  • Scott Lewis and David Huff dominated in their time in Akron.
  • Randy Newsom recorded more saves (29) and walks (29) than Ks (28).  I'm going to guess you don't see that combination too often among closers.
  • After a few hiccups, Tony Sipp showed a strong recovery in Akron's bullpen coming back from TJ (21.2IP, 32K, 7BB).
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