2013 in Review: Minors
Record:30-44 (5th MV Pinckney, 17.5 GB)
About the New York-Penn League
The NYPL is an advanced short-season league, meaning that clubs send their most advanced draft picks there. In addition, you'll see second-year high school draft picks and DSL graduates if they aren't quite ready for full-season leagues. Unlike the Arizona League, the New York-Penn League is a traditional minor league, complete with independent ownership, team names, crazy promotions, etc. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers play in Niles, Ohio, which is a little over an hour southeast of Cleveland. They start their season a couple weeks after the June draft.
*Traded to St. Louis in July 2013
The Indians drafted very few college position players in the top 10 rounds, so most of these players were in the organization a year ago in the AZL. So from a position player standpoint this was a very young team. Nellie Rodriguez and Claudio Bautista started in Lake County but struggled, and so they were bumped back to Mahoning Valley once June rolled around. Rodriguez in particular was impressive, posting the 11th-highest OPS in the league as a 19-year-old (the average age in the NYPL is 21). Juan Herrera was also impressive, and so was the player dealt for Scrabble at the end of July.
The Indians drafted a lot of pitchers, particularly college pitchers, in this year's draft, and that's reflected here. In addition, two of their better low-level pitching prospects from before this season were sent to Niles. Caleb Hamrick (8th Round, 2012) and Luis Lugo (non-draft free agent, 2011) were in the rotation, along with 2013 draft picks Cole Sulser (25th Round), Kent Matthews (7th Round), and Dace Kime (3rd Round). Ben Heller (22nd Round) served as a long reliever because there weren't many starts to be had. Kyle Crockett (4th Round) was the star of the bullpen, as was quickly promoted to first Lake County and later to Akron. There's a very good chance that he'll make his major-league debut in 2014.
Prospects That Matter
Potential for 2013 review: Luis Lugo, Nellie Rodriguez, Caleb Hamrick, Claudio Bautista
Potential for 2014 mid-season: Kyle Crockett, Trevor Frank, Dace Kime, Kent Matthews
Rule 5 Eligibles: None (As Robert Whitenack ended his season in Carolina, I'll touch on him there)
Minor-League Free Agents: None