Today we continue on with the year-end IBI Awards and move down to the minor leagues with the annual Tony Awards. We kick things off with the Rookie of the Year which is given to the Indians minor leaguer who had the best professional stateside debut this year. The Indians had several impressive debuts from players out of Latin America and the last two drafts, and Tony runs through all of the performances.
Last week Tony posted the first piece year end insider piece on the Indians minor league affiliates with a look at the rookie level AZL Indians hitters. This week he once again sat 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 this season such as Kieran Lovegrove, Mitch Brown, Sean Brady, Juan Santana, Casey Shane, Anthony Vizcaya, Thomas Pannone, Luis Gomes, Kyle Bellows, Jordan Milbrath, Jose Zapata and Martin Alcantara.
In this week’s Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look into the rise of left-hander Luis Lugo and how his stuff improved this season and has him racing up the prospect lists. He also provides several comments from Ross Atkins on players such as Tyler Naquin, Jesus Aguilar, Carlos Moncrief, Joey Wendle and others, provides an update on if there is any concern with Francisco Lindor’s back injury, notes a recent surgery for an upper level starting pitching prospect, provides some insight into some unique internal stats the organization uses, and more.
Over the next few days Tony will be providing year-end pieces like this for all of the Indians six minor league affiliates. Due to the size of the roster at Arizona, this piece has been broken up into two pieces with part one on the position players posting today. Tony recently 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 players there such as Clint Frazier, Francisco Mejia, Gerald Bautista, Ivan Castillo, D’Vone McClure, Silento Sayles and several others.
In today’s edition of Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look at the impressive 15-month run that infielder Jose Ramirez has had going from an unknown player to one currently in the big leagues helping the Indians playoff push. He also provides tons of comments from the front office on players like Francisco Lindor, Clint Frazier, Jesus Aguilar and others, looks into what Nellie Rodriguez needs to improve most, provides details on what is the number one goal in Giovanni Urshella’s development plan, looks at Matt Packer’s bounce back season and future, and provides insight and information on Brett Brach, Richard Stock and others...
"The Radar Report" is a premium feature that lists fastball velocities and other notes for several pitchers in the Indians' system which Tony has recorded during his visits to see the teams/players. Today's listing has almost 20 radar readings for pitchers in the Indians' minor league system, and he includes some scouting notes on all of them and where available he has also included the velocity ranges for their secondary pitches.
The minor league season is over, but there is still a lot to wrap up. In today’s piece Tony looks at the sensational pro debut for short season Single-A Mahoning Valley right-hander Cole Sulser and his prospect future, looks at the exceptional season that Low-A Lake County outfielder LeVon Washington had at the plate, the amazing consistency of High-A Carolina outfielder Jordan Smith and what kind of prospect he truly is, and tons of comments from Triple-A Columbus pitching coach Tony Arnold on several of his pitchers such as Trevor Bauer, T.J. House, Bryan Price and others.
Mick Jagger sang that you can't always get what you want. Jordan Smith is proof that sometimes you find, you get what you need. We all wanted to see Smith develop some power and that is exactly what is happening in August. To read all about Smith's powerful night, a 2013 draft pick dominating in Mahoning Valley, and everything else you need to know about the night in the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
In this week’s second edition of Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look at the impressive pro debut by Clint Frazier out in Arizona, where he is excelling/struggling, and where the numbers can also be misleading. He also provides several comments from the front office on some lesser talked about players at Lake County such as Luis Morel, Jeremy Lucas, Richard Stock, Joe Sever and others, and provides insight into Jose Ramirez’s big league future, Francisco Lindor’s season being over, the breakout year for Erik Gonzalez and much more.
Even though Danny Salazar has come up to the major leagues and gotten results, the organization has not done the best job of developing starting pitching in recent years. There are a few pitchers making waves now, but long-term success will rely on more than one or two arms. Joseph Colon is one of those guys Cleveland needs to develop in order to have more starting depth and he showed what he is capable of Thursday. To read all about Colon's night and everything else you need to know about the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
The ups and downs of a long baseball season can affect even the best players. There was a point when Carolina second baseman Joe Wendle and Lake County right-hander Dylan Baker were red-hot, yet of late, the pair had struggled. That was not the case Wednesday night as both broke out in big ways. To read about their night and everything you need to know about Wednesday in the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
In this week’s opening Minor Happenings salvo, Tony takes a look at the excitement that is brewing with Low-A Lake County right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Baker and why he is one of the Indians best pitching prospects. He also provides several comments from Ross Atkins on players at Double-A Akron such as Tyler Holt, Carlos Moncrief, Will Roberts and others, and provides lots of insight into the development of Jesus Aguilar, Luis DeJesus, Caleb Hamrick, Sean Brady, Jorge Martinez and others.
After rattling off a seven game win streak early in the month, the AZL Indians dropped their third straight game Sunday, falling to the AZL Angels 8-7. The Tribe offense did manage to pound out 16 hits on the night, but nine men left on base coupled with the bullpen allowing the AZL Angels to score in each of the last four innings ultimately doomed the AZL Indians.
In today’s week ending edition of Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look at High-A Carolina outfield prospect Jordan Smith who continues to make incremental progress and has the skills but has a few things he is still working on before he is taken more seriously as a prospect. In addition to that he provides some comments from Ross Atkins on how the organization prioritizes prospects for trades as well as comments on several players at Carolina and Lake County, plus he provides insight into the development of Paolo Espino, Kyle Crockett, Ryan Merritt, Luis Lugo and others.
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!