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 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown continues with right-handed reliever Tyler Sturdevant coming in at #27. He took a sizable jump in prospect stature last season and is now a legitimate big league bullpen option. Tony talks about his improved velocity, performance, and just what he may become as a big league reliever.
With the start of the regular season about four weeks away and my trip to Arizona on the horizon, here are a bunch of random updates with regard to the IPI. Inside I discuss subscriptions, new features coming to the site, the Smoke Signals radio show, internships, new writers, and some books offers.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown continues with right-handed pitcher Trey Haley coming in at #28. He has yet to live up to his draft promise and some may question his ranking in the Top 30, but there is no denying his talent as he has one of the top two or three arms in the system. After some velocity gains and mechanical changes last year, Tony believes he is ready to make a big step forward this season.
As crazy as it sounds, but the 2012 MLB Draft is less than three months away. Before we know it 50 new players will be drafted by the Indians and have an opportunity to join the Indians' family. The IPI's Jeff Ellis takes an opening look at the top talents expected to go in the early part of the draft and potentially be selected by the Indians in the first round.
We move into the 20s of the 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown, and coming in at #29 is right-handed pitcher Robbie Aviles. He spent most of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but now that he is healthy and ready to go this season he could begin to live up to his promise as a top two round pick going into the 2010 Draft. Tony gives the details.
The 2012 IPI Indians Top 50 Prospect countdown continues and we crack into the Top 30 with right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair at #30. He had a tale of two seasons last year, one pitching with a knee injury and one without, which led to some ups and downs with his performance. Tony sorts it all out and explains what happened last year to the highly regarded 2010 Draft pick.
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!