Today we move on to the right-handed relief pitchers in our annual IBI positional rankings. This is always the toughest position to project in a minor league system as most Major League relievers are failed minor league starters. As a result, most of the Indians pen prospects of the future will come from the current pool of starters they have at all levels of the system. That said, the IBI's Tony Lastoria sees several interesting right-handed relievers worth keeping an eye on and gives scouting reports and insight into players such as C.C. Lee, Austin Adams, Bryan Price, Trevor Frank, D.J. Brown, Louis Head and many more.
Today we move on to the left-handed starting pitchers in our annual IBI positional rankings. Since drafting and developing C.C. Sabathia the Indians have not had a lot of success over the last 15 or so years in the left-handed pitching department - be it starting or relieving. While they still have a long way to go, things on that front may be changing as they have a few very promising left-handed arms in the lower levels and for the first time in a few years there are some legitimate upside left-handed starting pitching prospects throughout the organization. The IBI's Tony Lastoria ranks them all and includes scouting reports on them as well.
Today we move on to the right-handed starting pitchers in our annual IBI positional rankings. It is no secret that the Indians have really struggled to draft and develop good starting pitching over the past two decades or so, but things look to be on the up as they have a good mixture of interesting upper level right-handed starters worth keeping an eye on as well as several high upside young, raw arms in the lower levels of the system. The IBI's Tony Lastoria ranks the Top 15 right-handed starting pitching prospects with scouting reports for names like Anderson, Plutko, Milbrath, Sulser, Colon, Peoples and more.
The Indians continue to get good performances from a few of their top prospects in the early going, and have also had some lesser prospects contribute as well. In today's trip Around the Farm, the IB's Tony Lastoria takes a look at some hot days at the plate from Jesus Aguilar and Joey Wendle as well as some nice performances on the mound by Cole Sulser and others.
Today we move on to the right fielders in our annual IBI positional rankings. The Indians have Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn seemingly locked into left field and center field for the next several years, but at the moment have a short term platoon-type situation in right field with David Murphy and Ryan Raburn. This is a position where the Indians thankfully have some legit prospects with everyday potential, and they are sprinkled throughout almost every level of the organization. The IBI's Tony Lastoria ranks them all and includes scouting reports for them...
Today we move on to the center fielders in our annual IBI positional rankings. It all starts up the middle. Not only do you need a catcher that controls a pitching staff and can shut down a running game and a shortstop that can direct the infield and showcase some exceptional range and consistency, you also need a good center fielder that can cover a lot of ground and be a leader in the outfielder. The Indians have several of those kind of center fielders and the IBI's Tony Lastoria ranks them all and more!
It is opening day in the minor leagues. Tonight three of the Indians full season affiliates Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron and High-A Carolina will open while Low-A Lake County opens up their season on Friday. In our annual preview of the Indians minor league system, several IBI writers share their thoughts on what to watch this season, who can breakout, and so much more.
Today we move on to the left fielders in our annual IBI positional rankings. Most teams spend a bulk of their time developing their higher end outfield prospects in center field with the idea that if they can’t cut it there that they could always go to left field. Some players just end up in left field because of a limitation with their arm strength or their defense in center field. In any case, the Indians have a few very interesting possible left field options coming up the system, even if it is a position that looks adequately filled for the time being with Michael Brantley.
Earlier this week we kicked things off with the first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, and third basemen, and today we move on to the catchers in our IBI positional rankings. Unlike the third base position, the catching position is one of the strongest in the Indians farm system. The team also has Yan Gomes locked into a long-term contract at the major league level, furthering the depth in the system. Join Tony and see the scouting reports for the Indians catching prospects as well as how they rank at the position. 16 in total!
Indians minor league spring training wrapped up over the weekend. All of the players have either settled in with a full season affiliate for the start of the minor league season on Thursday or are at back in Arizona for extended spring training. Here are the final unofficial stats from Indians minor league camp this spring.
Who is ready for some baseball? Those of us here at the IBI sure are! It has been almost six months to the day that the Indians lost to the Rays in the single-game elimination Wild Card game and for the first time in a few years there is some sincere optimism heading into the start of a season. With the dawn of a new Indians season now here, we pooled together several IBI writers and put together a roundtable to get their quick thoughts on the Indians this season, their season predictions for the Indians, and their MLB predictions as well.
The "Radar Report" returns this week, and the IBI's Tony Lastoria shares almost three dozen radar readings from players in the Indians' system that he recorded while out in Arizona for spring training. This is a premium site feature which posts about once a month during the season and provides the fastball and secondary offering velocities for Indians minor league pitchers. This report has readings for several players such as Austin Adams, Cody Anderson, Mitch Brown, Elvis Araujo, Joe Colon, Dace Kime, Leandro Linares, Adam Plutko and many others.
Minor league camp wrapped up on Saturday and on Sunday all players arrived at their full season destinations. With that, a little over 100 minor league players are set to open the season on Thursday or Friday this week at Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron, High-A Carolina and Low-A Lake County. Here are the rosters!
Smoke Signals is officially back on a weekly basis and tonight Jim Pete and Tony Lastoria kick things off with a special two-hour show starting at 9:00pm ET. Join Jim and Tony as they break down all the last minute news and notes from spring training, and then listen in as several other IBI regulars call in for a "roundtable" show to talk about the upcoming season and predict how things play out.
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!