Cleveland Indians Minor League Update: Mahoning Valley Preview

USA TODAY Sports

Today the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Indians' Short-Season Class A Affiliate, begin play.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SSA)

Roster - Schedule - Scoreboard

The Indians have two short-season affiliates: The Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League, and the team's Arizona League affiliate that plays in Goodyear, the club's Spring Training facility. Mahoning Valley is more of a traditional minor-league affiliate than the AZL team, and usually has college draft picks as well as players who played in Arizona last year but weren't deemed ready for Lake County.

In the organizational ladder, Mahoning Valley is third from the bottom:

  • Cleveland Indians (MLB)
  • Columbus Clippers (AAA)
  • Akron Aeros (AA)
  • Carolina Mudcats (A+)
  • Lake County Captains (A-)
  • Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SSA)
  • AZL Indians (R-)
  • DSL Indians

Here's the Opening Day roster. I've highlighted some players that I think bear watching.

Pitchers

  • LHSP Luis Lugo (Age 19) - Signed 2011 (amateur free agent) - in AZL last year
  • RHSP Caleb Hamrick (Age 19) - 2012 Draft (8th Round) - In AZL last year
  • RHRP Manuel Carmona (Age 21) - Signed 2010 (amateur free agent) - in LC last year
  • RHRP Breily Puerta (Age 21) - Signed 2010 (amateur free agent) - in AZL last year
  • RHRP Alexis Paredes (Age 21) - Signed 2010 (amateur free agent) - in AZL/MV last year
  • RHRP Rafael Homblert (Age 21) - Signed 2009 (amateur free agent) - in MV last year
  • RHP Ben Heller (Age 21) - 2013 Draft (22nd Round)
  • RHRP Trevor Frank (Age 22) - 2013 Draft (8th Round)
  • LHP Matt Whitehouse (Age 22) - 2013 Draft (19th Round)
  • RHRP James Stokes (Age 22) - 2012 Draft (22nd Round)
  • RHP Kerry Doane (Age 22) - 2013 Draft (24th Round)
  • LHP Harold Guerrero (Age 23) - Signed 2008 (amateur free agent) - in LC/MV last year
  • RHP Cole Sulser (Age 23) - 2013 Draft (25th Round)
  • RHP Joshua Nervis (Age 24) - 2012 Draft (38th Round) - in LC/MV last year

Catchers

  • C Sicnarf Loopstok (Age 20) - 2013 Draft (13th Round)
  • C Manuel Boscan (Age 20) - Signed 2010 (Venezuela) - in AZL last year
  • C Martin Cervenka (Age 20) - Signed 2011 (Czech Republic) - in LC this year, AZL last year
  • C Ryan Battaglia (Age 21) - Signed 2009 (Australia) - in CAR this year, AZL last year

Infielders

  • 1B Nelson Rodriguez (Age 19) - 2012 Draft (15th Round) - in LC this year, AZL last year
  • 2B Claudio Bautista (Age 19) - Signed 2011 (Dom. Republic) - in LC this year, AZL last year
  • 2B Juan Herrera (Age 20) - Signed 2010 (Dom. Rep) - in AZL last year
  • 2B Robel Garcia (Age 20) - Signed 2010 (Dom. Rep) - in LC this year, MV last year
  • SS Paul Hendrix (Age 21) - 2013 Draft (18th Round)
  • 3B Nick Hamilton (Age 23) - 2012 Draft (35th Round) - in AZL last year

Outfielders

  • RF Joshua McAdams (Age 19) - 2012 Draft (7th Round) - in AZL last year
  • RF Juan Romero (Age 20) - Signed 2010 (Dom. Rep.) - in MV last year
  • CF Tyler Booth (Age 20) - 2012 Draft (13th Round) - in AZL last year
  • LF Brian Ruiz (Age 20) - 2011 Draft (41st Round) - in AZL last year

There are still some unsigned draft picks that will be assigned here, such as Dace Kime (who is currently pitching in the College World Series), though usually the college pitchers (especially starters) don't throw much, if at all, the summer after they're drafted. Luis Lugo is the headliner of the pitching staff: the Indians signed him for $455,00 out of Venezuela a couple years ago. Lugo has both the size (6'5") and the stuff to be a good major-league starter, but obviously he has a ways to go. Caleb Hamrick was a high school draft pick last year.

Because the Indians didn't draft a college position player until the 10th Round, most of the starting position players are either graduates from AZL or were demotions from Lake County. Nelson Rodriguez, Claudio Bautista, and Robel Garcia all spent considerable time in Lake County this year, and just weren't ready for a full-season league. But all three are considered prospects, and are young for the New York-Penn League. Josh McAdams (drafted as Josh Schubert) was drafted a year ago out of high school in the 7th round, but was a 3rd-5th round talent that fell because of signability concerns.

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