If you want a name to keep an eye on in the Indians farm system that maybe does not get talked about a lot but has the potential to impact the big league team in the near future, then right-hander Trey Haley is one you should definitely watch closely. The hard throwing righty has made big strides since moving to the bullpen, and Tony recently caught up with him and talked about his 2012 season and experience in the Arizona Fall League.
Once the White Sox declined the $13 million club option on infielder Kevin Youkilis several days ago, the Indians were expected to be a heavy suitor for him this offseason because of their interest in him in a trade last June and with the arrival of new manager Terry Francona. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is reporting that the Indians are one of three teams already showing preliminary interest in Youkilis.
Double-A Akron had a great season from start to finish this year. They went 82-59 during the regular season and then marched their way through the Eastern League playoffs to win their fourth title in the history of their franchise. Tony recently had a chance to sit down the Akron manager Chris Tremie and discussed the strides made and areas of improvement needed for several of the position players on his team such as Chun Chen, Roberto Perez, Tyler Holt, Thomas Neal, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Lawson, Adam Abraham and more.
According to a report from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is not expected to play for his South Korea team in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Choo's agent Scott Boras says that Choo will use the opportunity to focus and prepare for his 2013 season.
The Arizona Fall League began its final week of action this week and a quartet of Indians prospects were in action on Monday out in Arizona. Tony recaps the performances by those players as well as everyone else that was in action in all the winter ball leagues in Latin America.
Indians left-handed pitching prospect Matt Packer came into the 2012 season with a lot of promise, but a shoulder injury in spring training changed things. He missed the first half of the season and spent the rest of the year playing catch up. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League, and Tony recently had a chance to sit down and talk to him about how things are going and how his shoulder feels.
The GM Meetings may have wrapped up out out in Indian Hills, California, but things are just starting to heat up on the hot stove this offseason. Rumors continue to swirl that the Indians may trade any or all of Asdrubal Cabrera, Shin-Shoo Choo, Justin Masterson, and Chris Perez, but they are also rumored to be in on some interesting free agents. So should the Indians be rebuilding or retooling this offseason? That's a question Tony tries to answer, plus he talks about the Indians 2013 payroll, how they should use their DH, and more.
Few players are more fun to watch than Indians shortstop prospect Ronny Rodriguez. Not just because of the skills he shows on the diamond, but the fun and flair with which he plays the game that is so intoxicating and his neverending smile that endears him to so many fans. He is currently out in the Arizona Fall League showcasing his talents and having a fine showing there, and Tony recently talked to him about his AFL experience and his 2012 season.
Today we unveil the beginning of our 2013 prospect coverage here at the IPI with the first rankings piece of the Indians system. It goes without saying that first base is the organization’s biggest weakness on the position player front from the big leagues down to rookie ball. Tony sifts through every young first baseman up and down the system and ranks them all, talks about their skills, and if they are an option for the Indians in the future. Jesus Aguilar, Lars Anderson, Chun Chen, Adam Abraham, Jerrud Sabourin and all the rest of the first basemen in the system are profiled.
Welcome to the Indians Mr. Gomes. In his second game as an official member of the Cleveland Indians organization on Wednesday night, the newly acquired Yan Gomes had a big night in the Dominican Republic going long with three RBI. In addition to Gomes, pitchers Trey Haley and Hector Rondon continue to impress, Jose Ramirez continues to sizzle, and much more.
The Indians lost a long time member of their minor league system today as free agent third baseman/outfielder Jared Goedert agreed to a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, over the past few days they have added two players as they signed free agent infielder Luis Hernandez and resigned right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon, both to minor league deals.
With preparations already underway here at the IPI for the new 2013 Indians prospect rankings and also a new position-by-position breakdown (starting later this week), Tony takes a look at values of all the minor league players that finished the season at Triple-A Columbus and Cleveland. Over the past few months during his research for the upcoming 2013 prospect listing he has spoken with numerous people within the Indians organization as well as scouts and personnel outside the organization, and shares those insights and more.
Tony recently had a chance to sit down with hitting coach Jim Rickon and talk about several of the good, young players he worked with this season at Low-A Lake County. They discussed the strides Francisco Lindor made at the plate, the adjustments Jerrud Sabourin, Jake Lowery and Jordan Smith made, the behind the scenes work Leonardo Castillo and Luigi Rodriguez put in, and lots more. "Coach's Corner" is a weekly offseason feature with an Indians' coach and will post here at the IPI every Tuesday through the end of the year.
Indians players put up several good showings on Monday night in the fall and winter ball circuit. In Arizona, catcher Alex Monsalve continued to swing a hot bat while out in the Dominican Republic outfielder Tim Fedroff had his first big game since opening night over three weeks ago. Lots of players were in action, and Tony recaps it all in another edition of ATF after the jump...
In Tony's second part to his two-part Tribe Happenings this week, he discusses the new approach the Indians have adopted to building their roster. There have been a lot of meetings over the past month and they have welcomed change, but will they put their new approach into motion or fall into old habits? Tony wonders about that, talks about how they have made significant changes in the past with their draft strategy that has worked, and also talks about how a Kevin Youkilis, Terry Francona and Indians marriage fits like a glove.
Social media has become a huge part of professional sports as it provides a quick, easy way for fans to follow their favorite teams and personalities. I thought it would be a good idea for all the Twitter users out there to have a listing of all the Indians' related Twitter accounts....everything from the front office to the Major League players to the minor league affiliates to the minor league players....so here you go.
The 2013 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!