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Talk shop about the various prospects and teams that make up the Cleveland Indians organization.

chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:11 pm

Moderator: Ben Badler will chat about the Indians farm system beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

Q: Tom Emanski from Over the Rhine asks:
There are two questions like this back-to-back in the queue, and yes, it seems like every prospect in this system is either already at first base, left field or otherwise has questions about his future defensive position. The Indians were in fact in the bottom half our organizational rankings last year, checking in at No. 19, but I think they'll make a significant leap when our 2009 Handbook comes out. The top three prospects in the system stack up well with anyone's in baseball, and there is good depth after the top 10, a mixture of high-ceiling guys with minimal pro experience and some other players who won't be above-average big leaguers but will contribute in bullpen or platoon roles, which the Indians seem to leverage well.

A: Ben Badler: Welcome to our internet baseball discussion.

Ben Badler: There are two questions like this back-to-back in the queue, and yes, it seems like every prospect in this system is either already at first base, left field or otherwise has questions about his future defensive position. The Indians were in fact in the bottom half our organizational rankings last year, checking in at No. 19, but I think they'll make a significant leap when our 2009 Handbook comes out. It's a little early to put a number on it, but Indians fans should be very happy with the system, which is well ahead of the rest of the farm systems in the AL Central. The top three prospects in the system stack up well with anyone's in baseball, and there is good depth after the top 10, a mixture of high-ceiling guys with minimal pro experience and some other players who won't be above-average big leaguers but will contribute in bullpen or platoon roles, which the Indians seem to leverage well.



Moderator: Something went a little loopy here with Tom's question and Ben's answer, but here was Tom's original question: The Indians have perenially been rated as one of the best farm systems and I suspect that they will be in the top 15 again this year. My question is - do they deserve to be? Mills, LaPorta, Weglarz all project as 1B/DH type of guys and the rest of the Top 10 either have injury concerns or you have to squint to see their potential. All of this does not account for Carlos Santana, a total steal from the Dodgers. What are your thoughts on the system in general?

Q: ben from phoenix asks:
How close was Hector Rondon to making the top ten? I know the Indians like him and are gonna put him on the 40 man roster by tomorrow. He was also a played in the futures game.

A: Ben Badler: Rondon improved this year, and any 20-year-old who strikes out a batter per inning in the Carolina League and shows good command is going to get people's attention. I can see him being a useful big league starter in time, but I'm wary of right-handed pitchers without an above-average breaking ball. He's not far from the top 10.



Q: Nate from Richmond, RI asks:
True or false: Carlos Rivero, a year from now, is Alcides Escobar of today.

A: Ben Badler: I dont' really see the comparison. Escobar is a superlative defensive shortstop, while Rivero has much more power potential.



Q: Ben from Ohio asks:
Did Wes Hodges have a shot at the top 10 or has his stock fallen a bit.

A: Ben Badler: He was close but ended up on the periphery of the 10. It's questionable whether Hodges will stick at third base, and if he does stick there, he's probably going to be among the worst fielders at his position in the game, probably a -10 to -15 runs guy each year, and it's not like he's getting any younger or more agile. He came into the season in better condition than usual, but if he has to move to first base or if he's that far below average third base, then his value takes a huge hit.



Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
LaPorta's offensive struggles since the Trade don't seem to have affected his rating, well maybe dropped one spot. Isn't his inability to make contact in Venezuela a worry?

A: Ben Badler: LaPorta's had a pretty full plate between the trade, the Futures Game, the Olympics and winter ball, so I'm not too worried about him not tearing the cover off the ball in Akron or Venezuela. I think he's seeing what a lot of very good minor leaguers see in the Caribbean leagues, which is pitchers who like to throw 3-1 sliders and 2-0 changeups, and that's something he's still learning to adjust to. He has some patience, he'll draw walks, but he still has to tighten his strike-zone discipline.



Q: John from Cincinnati, Oh asks:
What role do you see Jon Meloan filling for the Indians? Is he still viewed as a possible future closer?

A: Ben Badler: I don't think the Indians see him as a closer, but he's a good bullpen arm. With his repertoire and mechanics, it was surprising to me that the Dodgers moved him into the starting rotation this past season, so I think he'll bounce back well in 2009 in a return to relief.



Q: Jude from Denver asks:
I must say, your faith in Miller is nothing if not persistent. At what point will his health be more of a concern than his mechanics, enough so he falls off the Top 10?

A: Ben Badler: Well it's my first year doing the top 30 list for the Indians, so I'm not sure about the persistent part, but yes, a pitcher on the cusp of the big leagues with a fastball touching 97 and a nasty slider is going to rank prominently. The health and the mechanics are a concern, which is why I think he's headed for the bullpen in 2009 and could develop into a dominant relief ace pretty quickly.



Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
Do you think that Lonnie Chisenahall was an overdraft considering that he projects as a third baseman with averag power? Are there lingering concerns about his character or is all of that behind him?

A: Ben Badler: No, in fact I like Chisenhall quite a bit. He's not going to have 70 power, but has an excellent swing, good balance, makes frequent contact and controls the strike zone well, so he should have a very high OBP if everything continues to click for him. The "character" stuff stemming from his days at South Carolina received practically zero weight in my evaluations.



Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
Did Abner Abreu come close to the Top 10? Terrific power numbers for the 18-year-old in Rookie ball.

A: Ben Badler: He's in the middle of the 30 and he'll probably move to the outfield. He has great bat speed and generates excellent power already with his swing and the leverage he creates, but the plate discipline is a huge red flag right now for me before I can push him any higher up the list. I think sometimes, for whatever reasons, people give too much of a free pass to Latin American hitters who have poor strike-zone judgment. But you're right, he's got plenty of tools and upside potential.



Q: Jason from St. Louis, MO asks:
What were the Dodgers thinking when they gave up Santana? Did they just not evaluate their own prospects properly?

A: Ben Badler: They do have an outstanding young catcher in the big leagues right now, but yes, I think they gave up too much to get Casey Blake.



Q: Tom from Newburyport, MA asks:
I was surprised that LaPorta was not #1, given his combination of ceiling and how close he is to the majors. Does Santana get the nod because of the more difficult defensive position, despite being further away?

A: Ben Badler: It was close, and it was a ranking I went back and forth on several times. LaPorta has the edge in certainty, given what he's accomplished in Double-A already and his closer proximity to the major leagues. But I went with Santana because of the huge positional advantage he has over LaPorta. Santana has the defensive tools and athleticism to stick behind the plate and the offensive tools and strike-zone discipline to be a high OBP, high slugging catcher, which has more value than a left fielder with below-average range. That's why I give Santana an edge in expected major league value.



Q: David from Wichita asks:
Which position, in your opinion, is the weakest in the Indians farm system?

A: Ben Badler: Starting pitching, especially righthanded starting pitching. They have Rondon, and a little bit lower there are guys like Trey Haley, Zach Putnam and Bryce Stowell, but all of their righthanded pitchers are very low in the system.



Q: Terrance from Whittier asks:
Is it your opinion that Adam Miller no longer has the stuff to remain a starter?

A: Ben Badler: No, the stuff is still there, but between his arm action, his inability to stay healthy and a fastball that will play up as a reliever, the bullpen seems to make the most sense for him.



Q: Jeff from Vancouver, Canada asks:
Is Jordan Brown still on the radar anywhere? All he has done in his minor league career is hit. Where does he fit into the Indians future plans or does he at all? There has to be somewhere to fit a potential batting champ into the lineup. His only drawback seems to be his lack of power.

A: Ben Badler: He has, until this year. His strike-zone discipline came unglued a bit this year, and if that continues, with average power, that's not going to be of much value at first base. With his track record of hitting, I could see him bouncing back, but this season drops him quite a bit in the rankings, although on the bright side it sounds like his defensive skills improved.



Q: Cory from Akron asks:
Ben thanks for the chat. What are you hearing about Rob Bryson, and was he a close call for the top 10?

A: Ben Badler: He would have probably been in the 11-15 range if he hadn't torn his labrum. That's going to drop him precipitously.



Q: Jason from Salem, OR asks:
So the next logical question regarding Adam Miller is will he be Cleveland's closer next year at some point? Seems to me that with his health issues and their need for a stopper, this seems to be the perfect fit.

A: Ben Badler: It's certainly possible, but at this point in the off-season, it depends on what other pieces the Indians assemble for their 2009 bullpen. If they bring in a bullpen arm with a good track record and experience pitching in the 9th inning, then Miller probably won't be closing games. The 9th inning isn't always the most important inning in a game anyways, so having him pitch crucial high-leverage innings in the 7th and 8th innings should still be plenty valuable, even if it's someone else getting the saves.



Q: keith from New Jersey asks:
What Is Kelvin De La Cruz's is ceiling and do you think he is a middle of the order sp or better? Thanks

A: Ben Badler: De La Cruz is just scratching the surface of what he's capable of because he's 6-foot-5 and still growing into his body. He has the potential to be an average to above-average major league starting pitcher, especially if his velocity continues to climb, but he needs to straighten out some issues with his arm slot and in turn his command. If he doesn't, then maybe he just turns into a Donald Veal type. But I'm cautiously optimistic.



Q: Darren from UK asks:
I like Rivero, but aren't you banking on a Jhonny Peralta type breakout in AA next year to justify the ranking?

A: Ben Badler: I think the Indians are hoping that happens. There are people who saw Rivero this year and Peralta when he was in the Carolina League back in 2001 who say they are very similar players at the same phase of their careers... the tools, the plus raw power, good athleticism but not great runners and the strikeouts. Of course Peralta was 19 years old when he was with Kinston, so I wouldn't put Rivero quite in his class, but he has a similar skill set. And .282/.342/.411 from a 20-year-old shortstop playing in Kinston isn't too shabby already, but he's going to have to get better adjusting to the off-speed stuff.



Q: joey from petaluma, ca asks:
what does santana do to the status of the other catchers in the indians farm system? Seems like theres alot of depth there and what do you think of them particulary Torregas and Giminez.

A: Ben Badler: They both seem like solid bets to be backup catchers at some point. I would probably try to sell high on Kelly Shoppach right now if I could, too.



Q: Adam from NYC asks:
Just how good can Weglarz be in the majors? Are we looking at another Justin Morneau part deux? How does he project offensively, at his peak?

A: Ben Badler: Weglarz was a lock to be the No. 1 prospect in the system before the organization's mid-season trades, and I think he has the potential to be the best player the Indians have drafted since Sabathia. If it all comes together, he's a corner outfielder with a high OBP and outstanding power. He has excellent size to continue to grow into his power and plenty of bat speed. When Team USA played Team Canada in an exhibition series, I watched Stephen Strasburg blow mid-90s fastballs by everyone in the Canadian lineup. Then Weglarz got up there and laced a 97 mph fastball deep to the outfield. Weglarz is the kind of player that the entire scouting and player development staff can take a lot of pride in if he ever realizes his full potential, because he was a great pick in the third round, but he still has to make some adjustments to really tap into what he's capable of becoming.



Q: Omar Lopez from Santiago, Dominican Rep asks:
Where would you rank Santana regarding catching prospects in all milb assuming Wieters is no. 1 of course?

A: Ben Badler: He's right there with Buster Posey fighting for that No. 2 spot. Jesus Montero is up there too, but there is a greater chance he ends up switching positions.



Q: Tom from Newburyport, MA asks:
Wow, Wes Hodges has a very good year at AA (though admittedly he needs work on defense) and he falls completely out of the Top 10? Is it just a function of how much high end talent has been added to this system in the last year? Is the Tribe a top 10 farm system this year?

A: Ben Badler: I think it's both, the defense and the injection of new talent into the system. Hodges will probably end up at 11, so if you take out Santana, LaPorta and Brantley, then yeah, he's there in the top 10, although it's not like No. 10 a the magic line of any sort... it just happens to end in zero. Given that I don't have Hodges in my top 10 and he's a player who people may have expected to be there, I should probably go more in depth here, since we don't have a scouting report on him here (though we have one on him in our Eastern League Top 20). Hodges is a good hitter, squares up balls and gets good leverage in his swing. He sprays balls to all field, though most of his power is predominantly to the pull side. But he's got a lot of work to do defensively. His hands are OK, but he needs to use his legs more, as he has a tendency to stand up too tall on his throws, and his range is below-average. He's 24 years old and projects as more of a .335 OBP/.450 SLG guy for me, which is good at third base if you're an average defender, but below-average if you're not. And at first base, it's below-average. But he does have a good feel for hitting, so if he can find a way to either get better defensively and/or out-hit that hitting projection, then he'll be just fine.



Q: Nick from NY asks:
What are your thoughts on Michael Aubrey. Can he make it in the majors or is he quickly becoming organizational filler? Thanks.

A: Ben Badler: He has a chance, but I think injuries have really taken their toll on him since his college days.



Q: Kyle from Middletown asks:
Do you think that Scott Lewis can claim a rotation spot coming out of spring training? What is his ceiling, #4 starter?

A: Ben Badler: We have some mixed opinions internally here at BA on Lewis. Well, we have mixed opinions on almost everyone but Matt Wieters, and sometimes dramatically different opinions, but that's for another time. He'll slot into the middle of the top 30 because of his proximity to the major leagues, but I'm not certain that he'll be able to sustain the initial success he had in his big league debut. Probably a below-average but useful player in some seasons, below replacement level in others. Hard not to root for him though.



Q: jeff from NYC asks:
so who would you say is the number one sleeper in the Indians system?

A: Ben Badler: I think "sleeper" depends so much on perception. Among guys outside the top 10, the player with the highest upside is probably Abner Abreu. I also really like TJ House, an athletic lefthander with a good delivery, a low-90s fastball and a power mid-80s breaking ball. If you're looking for someone who probably won't make the Top 30, Elvis Araujo is a big lefthander throwing 90 mph in the Dominican Summer League. He's a project, but he's worth keeping an eye on.



Q: DC from DC asks:
Longterm, Carlos Santana or Wilson Ramos?

A: Ben Badler: I like Ramos, but I'll take Santana.



Q: Patrick from Akron asks:
How does Santana compare to Max Ramirez in the catcher prospect ladder? Also, where would Max Ramirez rank in the Tribe's system?

A: Ben Badler: They are both good hitters, but Santana has better defensive tools and is more likely to remain at catcher because he's more athletic and agile behind the plate than Ramirez. Max would probably slot in somewhere in the middle of the top 10, probably around 5 or 6.



Q: Eric from PA asks:
Where does Trey Haley rank on the list? And do you think this was a good signing for Cleveland?

A: Ben Badler: Middle to back of the top 30. I think some people were surprised by how much money the Indians gave him, and I'm hesitant of high school pitchers who have control and mechanical questions, but I definitely like the Indians' aggressive spending to procure talent in both the draft and internationally. Even if only one guy out of Putnam, Haley, House, Fedroff and Stowell end up becoming an average big leaguer, they'll probably be getting their money's worth, and going after the best amateur players increases their chances of developing a future star.



Q: Darren from UK asks:
Tony Sipp seemed to make massive strides in the 2nd half coming back from TJ surgery.... is he a top 10 talent who missed out because of his injury history or do some feel he's lost some of his stuff?

A: Ben Badler: I like Sipp as a big league reliever. The injury plays an important role in his projection, but his stuff is still there and he's showing the ability to miss bats from the left side, so he should be helping the Indians bullpen pretty soon.



Q: Nick from NY asks:
What happend to Chuck Lofgren? Will he get his game back in order?

A: Ben Badler: I was never as high on Lofgren as others were, but I also never thought he'd unravel the way he did this season. Command and mechanics have never been his two strong suits, and I think that's still continuing to bother him. If he had a 100 mph fastball in his back pocket like Daniel Bard, then I'd say he could be due for a rebound year in 2009 the way Bard came back from a poor 2007 showing, but Lofgren just doesn't have that kind of electric arm or overpowering stuff.



Q: John from NYC asks:
I know the Indians have a couple of interesting young arms in the lower levels - Pontius, Miller, Judy, Meyer. Did any of these guys make the top 30 and which ones do you think will have an impact at the major league level?

A: Ben Badler: Pontius will definitely be in there. He's got a fastball that sits 93-94 mph, tops out at 97, and a plus curveball. If he learns to throw them for strikes with more frequency, he'll be a good weapon out of the bullpen.


Darren from UK asks:
Hey Ben Not a question, but thought you might be interested in this article about Lofgren. http://www.indiansprospectinsider.com/2 ... l-for.html

A: Ben Badler: I did see that when it came out, and it's a good read. We obviously wish the best for Chuck, but how that affects his on-field performance, I really don't know. It's tough though, as sometimes I hear about off-field things, like a player getting his girlfriend pregnant (or someone else's girlfiend pregnant), which might happen to coincide with a second-half slump, for example. I'm not going to report that because it's really not even my business to know, but occasionally stuff like that comes into play. But 99.9% of my evaluations are based on what goes on on the field.



Though I guess we shoudl be aware that BA is reading the site
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Re: chat

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:19 pm

jellis wrote:A: Ben Badler: They both seem like solid bets to be backup catchers at some point. I would probably try to sell high on Kelly Shoppach right now if I could, too.



Couldn't agree more with that right there.
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Re: chat

Postby npc29 » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:31 pm

This is kind of off the wall, but is that THEE Tom Emanski from the baseball commercials?

Sorry but I just kind of flipped my head around twice when I saw that.
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Re: chat

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:09 pm

jellis wrote: Darren from UK asks:
Hey Ben Not a question, but thought you might be interested in this article about Lofgren. http://www.indiansprospectinsider.com/2 ... l-for.html

A: Ben Badler: I did see that when it came out, and it's a good read. We obviously wish the best for Chuck, but how that affects his on-field performance, I really don't know. It's tough though, as sometimes I hear about off-field things, like a player getting his girlfriend pregnant (or someone else's girlfiend pregnant), which might happen to coincide with a second-half slump, for example. I'm not going to report that because it's really not even my business to know, but occasionally stuff like that comes into play. But 99.9% of my evaluations are based on what goes on on the field.


Check is in the mail, Darren. :s_roses
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:29 pm

Q: Jason from St. Louis, MO asks:
I've heard some conflicting reports on Beau Mills and there appear to be some doubters out there. What's your take and what kind of hitter do you project him to be?
A:

Ben Badler: A good power hitter who is patient enough to draw walks but who also needs to tighten his strike-zone judgment and avoid swinging at off-speed stuff outside the strike zone when he's behind in the count. But if he makes those adjustments, he could be an above-average first baseman.
Q: Kelly Brosko from Kalamazoo asks:
As it's looking more and more like Sabathia won't resign with the Brewers do you think the Brewers overpayed?
A:

Ben Badler: Whether the Brewers re-sign Sabathia or not isn't really relevant, since he's a free agent and they would have had to pay market value for his services anyway. He got them to the playoffs, helped them generate a boatload of revenue in doing so, and he'll leave them with some nice draft picks as a parting gift.
Q: Robert Goldberg from Lyndhurst, NJ asks:
How about Trevor Crowe? Did he redeem himself this year?
A:

Ben Badler: Given that Crowe put up better numbers in Double-A and Triple-A in 2008 than he did in 2007 in Double-A, I was surprised that scouts still weren't that high on Crowe. He'll slot into the middle of the 30.
Q: Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Who do you see reaching the majors first - Chisenhall or Rivero?
A:

Ben Badler: Rivero most likely, since he'll start in Double-A, but Chisenhall is advanced enough already as a hitter that he could close the gap quickly. Chisenhall will also probably move to third base next season, so he'll be learning a new position, but a less challenging one.
Q: JAYPERS from IL asks:
When do you see LaPorta making it to Cleveland, and is 1B the best position for him, or is he better in the OF?
A:

Ben Badler: I'll put the over/under at May 10, 2009.
Q: Darren from UK asks:
Darren from UK asks: I was just wondering how tough you found the top 10 to put together? Could a case be made that in any other year you could probably say there are about another 5-10 guys in the system who could've ranked in the 5-10 range?
A:

Ben Badler: In doing the list, Santana, LaPorta and Weglarz were a clear top three, it was just a matter of figuring out what order to put them in. I think Miller still has huge upside as a potential relief ace, so after he fit in at No. 4. With 5-10, you could rearrange those guys in various permutations and come up with solid arguments for where you put them. If you look at the rest of the AL Central farm systems, I think the Indians have by far the best system. The Twins have a pretty top three (which I won't give away since we haven't posted it yet, but you can probably make a good guess), as do the Royals (though my top three would be different, since I'm a big Kila Ka'aihue fan), but overall the Indians stand out with a mix of potential stars, average players and useful bullpen/platoon players, and the new layer of talent in the bottom rungs of the system thanks to aggressive spending on amateur talent will keep the talent coming through the pipeline. Indians fans should be happy.


final bit of the chat if you want the in depth reviews tell me and I will post them
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Re: chat

Postby JP_Frost » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:45 pm

thanks alot for posting this. Please post the rest if you have more.
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Re: chat

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:49 pm

FYI, don't publicly post the BA scouting reports. While the chat is premium just like the Top 10, I think they are cool with letting that slide.
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:15 pm

Consigliere wrote:FYI, don't publicly post the BA scouting reports. While the chat is premium just like the Top 10, I think they are cool with letting that slide.



ok sounds good
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Re: chat

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:33 pm

jellis wrote:
Consigliere wrote:FYI, don't publicly post the BA scouting reports. While the chat is premium just like the Top 10, I think they are cool with letting that slide.



ok sounds good


Thanks. I just don't want any trouble. I converse with a few of them over there and know they check this site out, so don't want to get one of those nasty e-mails. :-D

That said, posting snippets or highlights of the listing is cool. Just no cut and paste of the whole thing.
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Re: chat

Postby JP_Frost » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:42 pm

as much as I'd want to read those full scouting reports, it shouldn't give Tony any trouble. Besides, I want to have something to look forward to when I order BA's handbook.
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:45 pm

Consigliere wrote:
jellis wrote:
Consigliere wrote:FYI, don't publicly post the BA scouting reports. While the chat is premium just like the Top 10, I think they are cool with letting that slide.



ok sounds good


Thanks. I just don't want any trouble. I converse with a few of them over there and know they check this site out, so don't want to get one of those nasty e-mails. :-D

That said, posting snippets or highlights of the listing is cool. Just no cut and paste of the whole thing.



very cool they look here and I will scan at some point this weekend for a cool snip or 2

Also people should check out Callis free chat today he answered quite a few Indians questions
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Re: chat

Postby JP_Frost » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:48 pm

where can I find that Callis chat?
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Re: chat

Postby MickS » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:49 pm

Hopefully, the B.A. guys know that diehards like us buy the Prospect Book religiously anyway so stuff like this is no money out of their pockets. If anything, it makes me more eager for the Handbook.
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:55 pm

JP_Frost wrote:where can I find that Callis chat?


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=23715
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Re: chat

Postby JP_Frost » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:02 pm

yeah, I just remembered that he also does some ESPN chats.

Good stuff, lots of Indians questions indeed. He's clearly pretty high on our system and the more I hear these positive things about Chisenhall, the more I get excited about him. I still hope they try him out at 2nd base though.
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Re: chat

Postby MickS » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:53 pm

Dennis Nosco. Are you not going to weigh in here? My recollection is that you trashed the Chisenhall pick savagely.
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:07 pm

MickS wrote:Dennis Nosco. Are you not going to weigh in here? My recollection is that you trashed the Chisenhall pick savagely.



pretty safe statement, i think every pick he reamed
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Re: chat

Postby dnosco » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:04 am

MickS wrote:Dennis Nosco. Are you not going to weigh in here? My recollection is that you trashed the Chisenhall pick savagely.


The nicest thing I can say is that your recollection is totally and utterly wrong. Here is what I said at the time:

The Indians selected Lonnie Chisenhall, shortstop from Pitt (NC) Community College, the 74th ranked player in the country…and did it with the 29th pick. Now, on the surface, Chisenhall is an intriguing prospect, good arm, good bat, some power. However, he isn’t really a shortstop and probably won’t hit enough to play third. He might be able to switch positions and play second base or left field but we don’t know if could do either because he really hasn’t. He is exactly the profile player you would want to select…..in the second round if you had the 76th overall selection the Indians had. He is hitting’s equivalent to Jensen Lewis. A guy you know you will probably get something out of but probably not a lot and, like Lewis, Chisenhall should have been a late second round, high third round choice. Instead the Indians chose the guy in the first round, choosing a guy who will have to switch positions in the pros (remember Trevor Crowe’s switch to second base?)….with MANY other good options available. This was such a surprise that Baseball America included the Indians’ selection in the top 4 surprise picks of the first round.

Some people say that Chisenhall was rated 74th because of his past? What past, you ask? Well, seems that Mr. Chisenhall got kicked out of his first college, the University of South Carolina, after he and a teammate stole a significant amount of money and property from the baseball team. So the Indians, who are all about character, went out of their way to and drafted a convicted criminal with their top pick when other, probably way more talented players were available. That’s right, apparently he was convicted (plead guilty) to larceny and burglary. Hey, I am not saying this guy is a hardened criminal but, with other available talents at least as good or better than Chisenhall, why would a team that favors character guys draft him? It seems like a contradiction in stated club philosophy and, of course, the pick was an OVERDRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!!

So if that is trashing the pick savagely then you sir are the king of history revisionists...but I have seen it before.

BTW, Badler said that Chisenhall will develop enough power to play 3B but Hodges and his power aren't good enough to play 1B. While I grant you the latter...at the moment nothing about the former even has a hint of being true...at the moment. You are just as likely to be right if you say that if Hodges moves to 1B he can add more beef since he needs less range at 1B and, with that beef, can gain the power he needs to play 1B. You see, it is all how you spin it. Hodges PRESENT power makes him a 1B liability but Chisenhall's future yet unseen power makes him a top 3B prospect. Smoke and mirrors if you ask me...and it shows a lot about individuals and how they rank guys. It's one guy opinion and, like noses, eveyone has one and none are necessarily more beautiful than anyone else's...although mine (nose) would clearly fall in the bottom half.

MickS wrote:Dennis Nosco. Are you not going to weigh in here? My recollection is that you trashed the Chisenhall pick savagely.

pretty safe statement, i think every pick he reamed


Let's look at some quotes:

"in the 5th round (171 overall), drafting Zach Putnam out of the University of Michigan Sucks, the RHP/1B/RHP/1B who was the 50th best prospect in the draft and fell primarily because scouts couldn’t figure out if he was, you guessed it, a first baseman or a pitcher."

"His name is TJ House, a left-handed pitcher from Picauyne HS in Mississippi who BA ranked as the #100 prospect in this year’s draft. The only problem, as is the case with a lot of high profile guys drafted late, was summarized by BA when they wrote “a high price tag and a strong commitment to play baseball at Tulane has made House unsignable, keeping most teams away”,"

So, now that we have established how utterly false that statement is (like the one above) let's talk about realities.

The Indians draft improved LOTS by the signings of Fedroff, Stowell, House and Putnam, among others. At the same time were those CLOSE to the best guys we could have signed with that money? I mean, why even ask that question? Guys like Tim Mehlville, in some polls the top HS prospect in the country in March, and Brandon Crawford were available when we drafted some guys in the early rounds and, as I pointed out at the time, the Indians drafted close to the fewest highly ranked prospects of any team in the draft on the draft's second day. So, yeah, their draft might turn out good but they overpaid for a lot of these players and they could have easily had better players for not much more money than what they paid some of these guys.

Sorry, you can't say that because they overpaid some middle of the road talents (look at where Fedroff, Haley, etc. are this winter when the top 30 comes out) that this draft was successful. The fact that people are saying how much the draft improved by signing these guys, when you look at those guys, just shows you how weak this draft was BEFORE we signed these guys.

Believe what you want but this draft could EASILY have been a lot better. Just substituted Melville for Haley and this draft instantly becomes better. Draft Crawford in the 3rd round (Phelps would have almost certainly been there in the 4th round given his ranking at draft time) and then draft Phelps and this draft becomes that much better. Even though I believe in DeVall, Odorizzi and Gillaspie as better prospects than Chisenhall I'll give you that first round pick as it certainly wasn't a stupid one...which, BTW, I never said it was. However, when you say it is a good draft you have to consider what could and should have been done. If you do that, it is still a bad draft.

I'll wait 5 years. If each team's draft has normal development paths this will be one of the worst drafts in baseball for 2008. Anything can happen but, as I said at the time, this is John Mirabelli we are talking about here and we have given him pass after pass after pass for bad picks...and I am not talking about Matt Whitney, Michael Aubrey or Jeremy Sowers when I consider his bad picks. So now we are going to believe that he is a genius and that his path was even close to the best one to take? Please.
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Re: chat

Postby endlesssleeper » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:56 am

From what you just posted, I'd say you trashed the Chisenhall pick pretty hard.
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Re: chat

Postby jellis » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:31 am

I still dont like crawford, i agree I think the Haley pick was a head scratcher especially with Meville around who I think actually signed for less. I just think fell like crawfords complete lack of a bat means the Cord pick was solid why risk losing him a round later. In round 4 they might as well of just said pass
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Re: chat

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:03 am

jellis wrote:I still dont like crawford, i agree I think the Haley pick was a head scratcher especially with Meville around who I think actually signed for less. I just think fell like crawfords complete lack of a bat means the Cord pick was solid why risk losing him a round later. In round 4 they might as well of just said pass


Not sure I agree with you. Haley has some work to do on his mechanics. If he gets things together he will likely have two plus pitches including a mid 90 FB. TJ house is much more advanced mechanically than Haley and should move faster but Haley's ceiling is probably higher. I wouldn't throw in the towel on Roberts yet. He has quite an arm but needs to work on his command.
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Re: chat

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:31 am

Some people thought Chisenhall went a bit low....no way would he have last til our 76th pick. He won't be a 20+ HR guy but if he can continue to put up OPS's around .800 he could manage at 3B. And he handled SS well this year. Some people in the Indians FO think he can stay there. It also shows that his range is better than most thought, making 2B another possibility.

Might have been slightly overreaching with him.....but he does have a very nice bat and plays the IF. Tribe needed help there.
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Re: chat

Postby dnosco » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:21 am

endlesssleeper wrote:From what you just posted, I'd say you trashed the Chisenhall pick pretty hard.


Clearly in the eye of the beholder. I gave him props but said that, from what I read, he probably fit more in the second round (change of position, character issues, him not profiling well anywhere except probably second base because his offense played well there).

Not sure I agree with you. Haley has some work to do on his mechanics. If he gets things together he will likely have two plus pitches including a mid 90 FB. TJ house is much more advanced mechanically than Haley and should move faster but Haley's ceiling is probably higher. I wouldn't throw in the towel on Roberts yet. He has quite an arm but needs to work on his command.


The point is not what Haley MIGHT become, it is what the odds were of the guy you picked, whoever it was, becoming someone of baseball value. The point, at least for me, is that Melville was a MUCH better pick than Haley. Everything written at the time seems to say that and that is even with Melville discounted severely from where he was ranked. The only red flag with Melville was his bonus demands but it is clear that he was signable for about what Haley signed for because, well, he signed for that. Now, if a GM who was very successful at picking guys in early rounds that others undervalued, maybe you cut him some slack. But we are talking about John Mirabelli here. With his track record you don't cut him some slack. We're stuck with the pick but it doesn't mean we have to buy it as a good selection. We have to buy it as that is who we have and to make the best of it.

Regarding Roberts, while he is clearly a draftable player he is and never was 4th round material. College baseball, while a good quality, is pretty weak compared to pro ball and this guy, on his college team, was not the closer or even the 8th inning guy, he was the 7th inning guy. House clearly is a find and EXACTLY what teams should be going after once the first few rounds are done.

Regarding Phelps and Crawford, I still put my money on Crawford. Yeah, he may flame out due to not hitting but my guess is that his 'under' is ML utility guy. Phelps' under is as a AA guy. As far as their upside, I think Crawford clearly has the higher upside. So, Crawford has the better downside AND the better upside. The only thing he doesn't have, which you point out, is the certainty that he will reach his upside...but we are talking about a 3rd round pick here and in that round you can go for a little upside as long as your downside is acceptable. My contention is that Crawford's upside, if he hits, is significantly higher than Phelps AND that Phelps, given his ranking, would have most likely been there in the 4th round. It's like saying that David Riske or Ryan Garko would have been good first round picks because they wound up as major leaguers. Good hindsight but, looking at their limited potential, no way were either of those guys top 3 or maybe even top 5 round picks, based solely on talent and talent pool available in the draft they were selected.
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