We're just a short ways away from the MLB's Hot Stove season kicking into full swing. Indians fans are now free to speculate as to who the team will look to acquire this offseason. Of all the names out there, one of the most appealing is longtime Milwaukee Brewer Corey Hart. Hart missed the entire 2013 season with knee injuries, but could a healthy Hart be a good fit in Cleveland in 2014? Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he tackles that question in the latest edition of Orbiting Cleveland.
Today we continue the IBI postseason awards with the announcement of the Biggest Breakthrough in the minors. This award goes to the player who may not have been as highly touted coming into the season on prospect lists, but by the end of the season is definitely on the prospect map going into next season. The Indians had several players really breakthrough as prospects this season, and Tony talks about them all and picks his winner.
With limited action in the Dominican Winter League and no Indians players playing there, the focus was on the Arizona Fall League and the Venezuela Winter League on Thursday and several Indians players delivered with good showings. The IBI's Tony Lastoria recaps all of the action in Around the Farm....
The IBI Tribe Madness tournament pitting the 128 greatest Indians players of all time against one another in an NCAA basketball-like tournament continues with a look at the First Energy Region. The winner of this region draws the winner of the Quicken Loans Region, and features the likes of Tito Francona, Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Joe Sewell, Vean Gregg, Al Rosen and others.
With the World Series underway the offseason is close to officially beginning, so it is time to start looking at the free agent and trade options the Indians might pursue to improve their team. While the Indians have decisions to make on some outgoing players, another big decision they need to make is what bat(s) they can bring in to help the middle of the lineup. In this two part series, the IBI's Andy Nichols explores possible targets the Indians may have their eyes on this winter, and part one focuses on this offseason’s free agent class.
The 2013 baseball season is coming to an end and all the summer baseball leagues are done, so a lot of places are releasing their big boards and talking about the big name players in the draft. The MLB draft is about eight months away, but IBI draft guru Jeff Ellis is already getting daily questions about it. Last month he released his first big board, now today he posts his first mock draft of the year.
Jesus Aguilar continues to play well in Venezuela, Ronny Rodriguez is getting some playing time, and Ezequiel Carrera had one of his strongest performances so far in winter ball. The IBI's Michael Goodman takes us around the farm to recap all of the action from Indians players that are playing winter ball.
The IBI Tribe Madness tournament pitting the 128 greatest Indians players of all time against one another in an NCAA basketball-like tournament continues with a look at the Quicken Loans Region. The winner of this region draws the winner of the First Energy Region, and features the likes of Jhonny Peralta, Tom Candiotti, CC Sabathia, Joe Gordon, Herb Score, Graig Nettles, Addie Joss, Stan Coveleski and others.
We continue on with our year-end pieces for all six Indians minor league affiliates, and today we wrap up our review of short season Single-A Mahoning Valley with an inside look at the pitchers. Recently, the IBI's Tony Lastoria had a chance to sit down with Indians Assistant Director of Player Development Carter Hawkins to get the organization’s thoughts on the performance/development of some of the pitchers there, and he includes those thoughts and comments on the likes of Caleb Hamrick, Cole Sulser, Luis Lugo, Kenny Mathews, Dace Kime, Trevor Frank and many others.
We continue the IBI postseason awards with the announcement of the Biggest Disappointment in the minors, a year-end award that no one wants to win and goes to the player who was a highly rated prospect coming into the season who performed poorly or suffered through an injury plagued season. There unfortunately were several disappointing seasons from some of the Indians top prospects, but two in particular stood out.
The action was hot and heavy on Tuesday night as several Indians players participated in the various offseason leagues in Arizona, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Joe Wendle had a nice game in the AFL and made good of his first opportunity to play back to back games, Jesus Aguilar launched another homer, and more.
Late last week Tony posted part one of his Instructional League notebook from his visit to Arizona and focused solely on the pitchers and gave an update on several injured and rehabbing players. In part two he focuses on the position players and boy were there some impressive players that he saw. He gives all sorts of insight and information on Clint Frazier, Francisco Mejia, Eric Haase, Willi Castro, Junior Soto, Hector Caro, James Roberts, Paul Hendrix and countless others. He also had a lengthy conversation with Director of Scouting John Mirabelli and shares his comments on several of the players there.
We continue on with the year-end IBI Awards today with another Tony Award from the minor leagues, this time for the Defensive Player of the Year which is given to the Indians minor leaguer who had the best season defensively. The Indians had several fine defensive performances, some which may surprise, and Tony runs through the candidates and picks his winner.
The Venezuela Winter League was off on Monday, but the Arizona Fall League and Dominican Winter League were at it again and several Indians players were in action. The IBI's Michael Hattery takes us around the farm and recaps how several players in the system like Tyler Naquin, Jeff Johnson, Erik Gonzalez and others did in their games on Monday.
The 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!