Tony chimes in with his first notebook from minor league camp this spring. In today's notebook he provides updates on where Jason Knapp and Hector Rondon are in their rehabs, Jorge Martinez and Tyler Cannon's new position, Dillon Howard's first bullpen session, the Francisco Lindor-Tony Wolters keystone combo, other position changes and more.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown rolls on with #18 right-handed pitcher Jake Sisco. He is a high profile selection from last year's draft that has a lot of talent and potential where he could some day be a Top 5 prospect in the Indians' system. Tony profiles him and shows why he has so many people excited about him.
Last season Kyle Blair did not deliver on the expectations set on him after being a high profile draft selection and signing in 2010, but if his knee injury that significantly impacted his effectiveness for most of last season is behind him he may be ready to get on a roll and repair his prospect standing.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown continues with #19 outfielder Thomas Neal. He was acquired at the end of July last year for Orlando Cabrera and was limited by a wrist injury the rest of the way, but he was a higher profile prospect in the Giants' system going into the season. Now that he is healthy Tony thinks he could help answer the Indians' need for a young, productive right-handed bat.
Tony is back in the desert ready to kick off another year of covering the Cleveland Indians from the minors to the big leagues. He sets the table for what to expect while he is out in Goodyear and also provides a few other site updates with Smoke Signals returning on April 3rd and an e-book version of his 2012 prospect book.
We roll into the Top 20 in the 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown, and right-handed pitcher Clayton Cook kicks things off at #20. He is a good, young pitching prospect that has been both a performer and shown a lot of development in his minor league career to date, and Tony has the details on what kind of pitcher he may end up being.
Even though the Cleveland Indians have a lack of top-end talent in the upper levels of their minor league system, the performances of five players currently ticketed for the AA level Akron Aeros will be very important to the Tribe’s success in 2012 and beyond. Jim takes a look at who these five players are.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown continues with #21 left-handed pitcher Matt Packer. He is a pitcher that came on strong in 2010 and last season really solidified himself as a Major League starting pitching prospect. He had a very strong finish at Double-A Akron last season, and Tony gives the details on if that can continue in 2012 and what his future may hold.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown rages on with #22 catcher Chun Chen. With the Indians in need of offense, particularly from the right side, Chen is an important prospect for the organization in the upper levels. Tony looks at his potential with the bat and if he is making any strides with his catching.
The Indians have a lot of decisions to make with several different players between now and the next 18 months before the end of the 2013 season, when several key players will become free agents. Tony talks about the key player in those talks, Asdrubal Cabrera, as well as how some camp battles are shaking out, some Roberto Hernandez news, and lots more.
We continue on with the 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown with #23 T.J. McFarland. He is a left-handed starting pitching prospect, and one of the last prospects that could still potentially become something from a very disappointing 2007 Draft. Tony looks at what McFarland needs to do to go to the next level as a prospect and if he is on the Major League radar.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown moves on with Tyler Holt coming in at #24. The speedy, high energy outfielder had a solid season last year at High-A Kinston, a better year than the raw numbers indicate. His game is about getting on base, creating havoc on the basepaths, and playing solid defense. Tony gives the 411 on his potential and if he can continue to progress in the upper levels of the minors.
We begin the front half of the 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown with Jake Lowery at #25. He is a powerful catching prospect the Indians picked up in the 4th round of last year's draft and has a lot of potential with his bat. Tony looks at what type of offensive player he could become and where he may fit on the field as a defender.
Vinnie Pestano splashed onto the scene last season and really helped stabilize an Indians' bullpen in need of a good setup man. With so many good young relief pitching prospects in the Indians' system, who could potentially make another splash in the bullpen for the Indians this year? Jim Berdysz lists his choices.
The first half of the 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown wraps up with right-handed pitcher Michael Goodnight at #26. He is a strong starting pitching prospect with a delivery you can dream on and has potential as a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues. Tony provides the details on what he improved in 2011 and what he needs to continue to work on in 2012.
The Indians have been busy on the trade front, particularly the last three years. The result is an astounding 25 players on the 40-man roster coming from outside of the organization. Tony looks at this strategy and recaps all the trades that brought all 25 players to the organization.
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!