Today three out of the four full-season clubs (Columbus, Akron, and Carolina) get underway, while Lake County opens their season tomorrow, so it's time to take a look at what changed from the last time we did the update, and look forward towards the 2014 season.
Players who left the organization
Minor-league free agents: RHP Rob Bryson, RHP Paolo Espino, RHP Jose Flores, RHP Jerry Gil, LHP Francisco Jimenez, LHP J.C. Romero, C Matt Colantonio, 1B Matt LaPorta, 2B Luis Hernandez, IF Nate Spears, SS Juan Diaz, OF Ezequiel Carrera, OF Bo Greenwell, OF Jeremy Hermida, OF Cedric Hunter
Some very familiar faces here, even to those who don't follow the minors that much. LaPorta and Bryson both came to the Indians in the CC Sabathia trade. Diaz had played in the majors before having an awful 2013 season. Espino and Flores had been with the organization since 2007. Romero and Hermida had significant major-league careers, but both seem on their way down.
Outrighted Free Agents: C Omir Santos, LHP Clay Rapada
These two were outrighted as part of the Indians' 40-man roster cleanup just after the end of the season. Although they weren't official minor-league free agents, they did become free agents through refusing outright assignment.
Rule 5: None
Last year the Indians lost both TJ McFarland and Hector Rondon in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. This year they didn't lose anyone or select anyone, so you won't have to read the words "Rule 5" until next winter.
Released/Retired: RHP Kyle Blair, RHP Michael Goodnight, RHP Owen Dew, RHP Rafael Homblert, 1B Manuel Boscan, OF Victor de Jesus, 3B Kelvin Diaz, RHP Manuel Carmona, RHP Bryce Stowell, RHP Jack Wagoner, RHP Robert Whitenack, LHP Carlos Diaz, LHP Harold Guerrero, 3B Kyle Bellows, RHP Cody Penny, RHP Felix Sterling, LHP Geoff Davenport, LHP J.D. Reichenbach, RHP Dillon Howard, RHP Jake Sisco, C/1B Chun Chen, IF Robel Garcia, IF Zach MacPhee, IF Paddy Matera, RHP Cole Cook
I didn't include in this list players signed during the winter and later released; these are just players that were in the organization at the end of the 2013 season and were released in the offseason. A portion of these players were released before spring training began, while another group were released as minor-league rosters were finalized. Both Howard and Sisco retired, which is rather shocking considering that both had only been in professional baseball since 2011, and both were very high draft picks (Howard was selected in the second round, while Sisco was picked in the third round). That those two didn't pan out can be seen in the lack of high-upside starting pitching prospects at the AA level.
Players who joined the organization
Minor-league free agents: RHP Gabriel Arias, RHP Travis Banwart, C Luke Carlin, SS Audy Ciriaco, RHP Kyle Davies, OF Jerad Head, LHP Mike Zagurski, RHP Mark Lowe, C George Kottaras, RHP Shaun Marcum, RHP Adam Miller, RHP Yhon Ventura, RHP Bjelic Mena, SS Wander Bautista, 1B Bryan LaHair, RHP Justin Brantley, RHP Alejandro Izaguirre, SS Hazzent Torrealba, LHP Ramon Tineo, 1B Ronnys Mora, SS Miguel Eladio, C Matt Treanor, RHP Jose Nina, RHP Rainer Florez
I did not include minor-league free agents that the Indians re-signed (such as Ryan Rohlinger) or minor-league free agents that ended up making the major-league club (such as Scott Atchison and Nyjer Morgan). The players signed will eventually be placed on either a full-season or short-season roster.
Here are the four full-season rosters as they stand today. There are several prospects that haven't yet joined the roster (most notably Clint Frazier), so don't expect these to represent the full lineup of prospects until at least couple weeks into the season.
On these rosters there are two highlights:
Prospects That Matter: Yellow
These players were selected based on a rating system that took into account their relative age, level, and performance, which was also adjusted by position and role (starter/reliever). You can read much about this here, here, and here.
Prospects of Interest: Orange
These are players who didn't meet PTM for one reason or another but in my (subjective) mind worthy of interest to the casual fan. For instance, players who didn't meet Plate Appearance of Innings thresholds weren't included in the PTM ratings, and PTM didn't count short-season results. So players like Kyle Crockett (not enough innings), Clint Frazier (short-season) and Francisco Mejia (short-season), while they aren't PTMs, are very much worth following.
(click to embiggen rosters)
(Note: With the NRIs still deciding whether to accept assignments, Columbus' roster is incomplete. I will update the roster after it is finalized.)
As the week goes on, I'll be adding box scores from each game in the comments below, and as roster moves are made, I will be updating the rosters as well. Feel free to add your comments, questions, and suggestions below.