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Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

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

Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby artgold » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:31 pm

John Sickels came out with his Indians prospects list:

Cleveland Indians Top 20 Prospects for 2009



All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.



1) Carlos Santana, C, Grade B+: His future could look a lot like Victor Martinez’s past.

2) Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF, Grade B+: Plate discipline slippage after trade is a bit worrisome, but small sample and past track record keeps me confident at this point.

3) Adam Miller, RHP, Grade B: Grade A arm, Grade C health record. I think he will be better off in relief.

4) Beau Mills, 1B, Grade B: Another power bat with impressive home run upside. Not sure how they will fit all these guys into the lineup.

5) Hector Rondon, RHP, Grade B: Good arm, good stats, not sure why he isn’t ranked more highly by other sources.

6) Lonnie Chisenhall, SS, Grade B-: Promising and projectable bat. Questions about home run power and probable move to third base preclude higher grade right now.

7) Nick Weglarz, OF, Grade B-: Excellent strike zone judgment, power should continue to grow. Bad defense an issue.

8) David Huff, LHP, Grade B-: Successful finesse lefty type, Jamie Moyer upside, but could struggle like Sowers.

9) Carlos Rivero, SS, Grade B-: I buy into the second half improvement. Want to see more home run power, and faces move to third base.

10) Scott Lewis, LHP, Grade C+: Similar to Huff, perhaps not quite as much stuff.

11) Michael Brantley, OF-1B, Grade C+: Love the combination of walks, speed, and very low strikeout rate. Lack of power precludes higher grade but he should be useful.

12) Kelvin De La Cruz, LHP, Grade C+: Projectable lefty made good progress in ’08, but command still worrisome.

13) Wes Hodges, 3B, Grade C+: A solid bat, but glove at third base has slipped and he may not hit enough for first.

14) Matt McBride, C-OF, Grade C+: Very interesting bat, good plate discipline with power potential, a sleeper for ’09.

15) Luis Valbuena, 2B, Grade C+: Solid middle infielder acquired from Mariners. Some pop and speed.

16) John Meloan, RHP, Grade C+: I think he fits better in the pen than in the rotation. Needs to sharpen command.

17) Zach Putnam, RHP, Grade C+: Personal favorite from the 2008 draft. Very good arm, a good hitter too, does he start or relieve?

18) Trevor Crowe, OF, Grade C+: Made some progress after poor 2007. Could be solid fourth outfielder.

19) Rob Bryson, RHP, Grade C+: Intriguing power arm acquired in Sabathia deal. A bit under the radar but I like him.

20) Chen-Chang Lee, RHP, Grade C+: Sidearm guy signed out of Taiwan has very good stuff.

21) Cord Phelps, 2B, Grade C+: Polished Stanford product, some pop in bat, needs to improve glove.

22) Bryce Stowell, RHP, Grade C+: 2008 draftee signed too late to play, but looked great in summer ball, could be sleeper for ’09.



Others: Abner Abreu, 3B; Eric Berger, LHP; John Drennen, OF; Tim Fedroff, OF; Chris Gimenez, C; Jared Goedert, 3B; Trey Haley, RHP; T.J. House, LHP; Chuck Lofgren, LHP; Carlos Moncrief, RHP; Josh Rodriguez, INF; Jeremie Tice, 3B; Josh Tomlin, RHP; Neil Wagner, RHP; Steven Wright, RHP.



As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right now. Some of the Grade C guys could be C+ in the book, and vice versa.



SYSTEM IN BRIEF

Trades have helped restore some depth to the top of the system. I love Santana and I think his breakthrough was for real. I’m not sure how they are going to jam LaPorta, Weglarz, Mills, and Hodges onto the same roster, since all of them will probably end up at first base eventually. Someone will end up as trade bait obviously. Chisenhall and Rivero are third base candidates more than shortstops in the long run but both have strong bats.

On the pitching side, you’ve got a couple of finesse lefties in Huff and Lewis ready for major league trials. Power arms Miller and Meloan can help in the pen. I prefer them as relievers due to Miller’s durability problems and Meloan’s command backslide in ’08. There are several other arms at the lower levels like Rondon and De La Cruz who have a ton of potential but will need more development time. I also like several of the 2008 pitching draftees. Putnam, Stowell, and Berger are nice college selections, but projectable high-upside high school arms like Haley and House are also interesting, if further away.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:55 pm

Although I do not agree with all the placements, I think this is a better representation of the Indians' farm system than BA's shorter list. I think it shows the depth of talent in the system since C+ is actually a pretty good grade and the Organization has many of those. Note the good comments about the 2008 draft and he cpicked up on Moncrief. Whether or not you agree, John looks like he did his homework on the Indians this year.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby artgold » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:29 pm

I've always liked John's work, though I'm probably a bit prejudiced since he uses a very statistically oriented methodology.

The weakness in his evaluation is that the "stuff" in the pitcher arsenal changes fairly rapidly in the minors, as deliveries and grips are tinkered with by the coaches. This isn't always picked up in the analysis, so a pitcher's current mix, slope and speed may be underestimated.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Travis072799 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:10 am

How come Ryan Miller isn't any where on that list? I think he showed in the first half last year what he's capable of.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:30 am

I don't disagree with too much of Sickels' list....I mean, yeah, some guys I would put 2-4 spots higher/lower, but that is splitting hairs. I do think he has De La Cruz too low, and a lot of this to me with Sickels and BA is driven by the incorrect listing of his DOB on sites. Sites have him as born on January 8th, 1988 (01/08/88).....but this is an error as he is actually born on August 1st, 1988 (08/01/88). If they knew he was 8 months younger than he is listed and was pitching in the SAL at 19 instead of 20 last year, and will be in the Carolina League at 20 and not 21 this year......I believe he would be rated a lot higher.

The fact he even listed Drennen is very surprising. Drennen's about done in this org and has plateaued in High-A.

Also surprised to see no Jeff Stevens who should be a top 20 guy. And, Alexander Perez who is an upcoming lefty who is a top 25 guy....but I don't expect some of the national types to know about the hidden gems in the system until they break out. Just impossible to cover 200-some prospects for 30 orgs (6000-some players!).

As for Ryan Miller, the problem with him and other guys like Ryan Morris, Mahalic, Archer, etc is the depth of the system. Lots of guys deserving of a Top 25-30 mention, but only so many slots for a lot of qualified players. Miller is in the 30s in my listing.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby MadThinker88 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:00 pm

I think I am more surprised that guys like Bryson (due to his injury at the end of the season), C-C Lee (didn't play any minor league ball), and Stowell (again didn't play) got listed and players like Stevens and Sipp were not listed or even get an honorable mention.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:03 pm

I'm not suprised Bryson was listed....though agree, a bit weird that neither Stevens nor Sipp were....
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby MadThinker88 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:20 pm

Heck, Neil Wagner got listed in the others category.
For years I've been one of the largest fans of the numbers that Neil has been putting up and I've never listed Neil as a better prospect than Stevens or Sipp.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Duane Kuiper » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:55 pm

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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:10 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:I think I am more surprised that guys like Bryson (due to his injury at the end of the season), C-C Lee (didn't play any minor league ball), and Stowell (again didn't play) got listed and players like Stevens and Sipp were not listed or even get an honorable mention.


Sickels was not aware of the extent of Bryson's injury. He has seen tape on Lee and saw Stowell in Cape Cod. Doesn't mean I agree but Stowell is very difficult to rate. He was good in college season but nothing like he showed in the Cape.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:10 pm

Interesting note on Sickels today. Huff has been upgraded to a B from a B- which will likely move him up in the rankings. He also graded Stevens as a C+ and Gaub and Archer as Cs. I am a little surprised to see no change on De La Cruz.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:56 pm

indianinkslinger wrote:Interesting note on Sickels today. Huff has been upgraded to a B from a B- which will likely move him up in the rankings. He also graded Stevens as a C+ and Gaub and Archer as Cs. I am a little surprised to see no change on De La Cruz.


Because everyone thinks he pitched in the SAL last year at 20, when in fact he was 19!

His DOB is listed incorrectly everywhere as Jan 8, 1988 (01/08/1988), but it is actually August 1, 1988 (08/01/1988) per the Indians. That 8 month difference, particularly in season, is huge.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:06 pm

ha, well it's only a 7 month difference......(sorry, I had to).

But I know what you're saying.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:21 pm

Hermie13 wrote:ha, well it's only a 7 month difference......(sorry, I had to).

But I know what you're saying.


ha, well it's actually 7 months and 23 days difference....(sorry, I had to).

But I know how you are with accuracy.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby carnegie44115 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:44 pm

And by the way pi is simply more than 3.14, here it is out to 1000 places, they had a million places, but who cares about accuracy haha

3.
14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
58209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679
82148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128
48111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196
44288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091
45648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273
72458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436
78925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094
33057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548
07446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912
98336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798
60943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132
00056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872
14684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235
42019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960
51870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859
50244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881
71010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303
59825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778
18577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989


I thought 1 million places was just a little too much haha.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:47 pm

such sticklers to detail

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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:54 pm

I would press him on De La again but we are already arguing Beau Mills vs. Kyle Blanks. There is a limit to his time.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby jellis » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:54 pm

indianinkslinger wrote:I would press him on De La again but we are already arguing Beau Mills vs. Kyle Blanks. There is a limit to his time.



arent both basically the exact same hitter
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:34 am

That's my argument. People who disagree point to the year difference in advancement. John thinks Blanks is the real deal as a hitter, more advanced than Mills.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby dnosco » Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:56 am

"...but I don't expect some of the national types to know about the hidden gems in the system until they break out. Just impossible to cover 200-some prospects for 30 orgs (6000-some players!)"

That is part of good research, though. If Sickels doesn't get that good sites like yours' exist, Tony, then he is not maximizing his source of information. Obviously he has to determine good from bad sources but if you are worth your salt at all you can do that pretty easily.

As far as his ratings, I have the same problem with his ratings as I do with most ratings: they overemphasize what has been done in the most recent season. Look at Josh Rodriguez. If you put on 20 points in his BA last year he is THE INDENTICAL prospect who was top 10 the year before. Sure, his HR output slipped a little but his other stats were very similar to his 2007 numbers. Let's say that, in 2009, he has a 2007-like year. Then he bolts back up the rankings meaning, in essence, that his 2008 was an aberration and should have been, to a large extent, factored out of his rating. Jordan Brown is another glaring omission and example. One mediocre year coming off an injury and a top 10 guy is no longer a prospect? Man, if that isn't shortsighted I don't know what is.

Let's look at his ratings:

1) Carlos Santana, C - Did you see the BA ratings recently for defensive abilities of catching prospects? Santana was like 30th and 40th in throwing out runners and catching the ball. If you make him a DH he is still a good prospect, just not a great one. People ASSUME he will learn how to catch but Ryan Garko is a prime example of where that analysis failed.

2) Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF - Again, taking too much on faith as far as defense goes.

3) Adam Miller, RHP - No gripe here.

4) Beau Mills, 1B - Look at Manny at Kinston. Look at Weglarz at Kinston ( 19 months younger than Mills). While his numbers look good do they really project, for a firstbaseman, into the majors? He is almost a complete Garko clone. Not bad, certainly a safe first round pick when he was drafted, but not with real power like you would want to see out of that position.

5) Hector Rondon, RHP - I look at him as my #2 prospect.

6) Lonnie Chisenhall, SS - As a SS, he is a good fit here. As a thirdbaseman, which is what they are moving him to, he is a terrible fit. Not nearly enough power, probably Bill Mueller-like.

7) Nick Weglarz, OF - Interestingly, he overemphasizes Weglarz's defense and underemphasizes this with LaPorta when, from what I have read, Weglarz is a better OFer and certainly has more experience at the position.

8) David Huff, LHP - As you guys know, he is my #1 Indians' prospect. He should produce more for the Indians this year and in the next 3 than any guy on this list except for maybe Miller.

9) Carlos Rivero, SS - Jury still out on him. He is the typical tools guy. Right now, I think Josh Rodgiguez's chances of playing in the majors are greater than RIvero's, although Rivero's upside is clearly greater.

10) Scott Lewis, LHP - I even rank him lower than this. He could be the classic second time around the league disaster type of pitcher as it isn't hard to put together a plan to hit this guy.

11) Michael Brantley, OF-1B - Agree here. He is not a top 10 guy since he is a LF-1B guy without any power and he is clearly a slap hitter. Slap hitters are not top 10 prospects, although he is a legitimate prospect.

12) Kelvin De La Cruz, LHP - Interestingly, I see the end of 2008 either as an injury or as a blip. I think that his command is fine having watched him a couple of times. I just think that he was squeezed in high A and suffered the consequences. He is top 5 top me.

13) Wes Hodges, 3B - Top 10 to me. He WILL play and hit in the majors. He is at least Garko-like and maybe more if he can solidify his 3B defense.

14) Matt McBride, C-OF - Not a bad selection here.

15) Luis Valbuena, 2B - I actually see him being a little higher. His pop makes him a viable second base option on a team with 7 other professional hitters and Cabrera at SS.

16) John Meloan, RHP - Good fit
17) Zach Putnam, RHP - Bad fit. He might not ever make it out of A ball. This guy TOTALLY ignores the scouting reports on him and buys into the 'when he focuses on just pitching' mantra. How's that working out for Brian Bogusevic (sp?) and others who were two-way guys in college?

18) Trevor Crowe, OF - Great spot

19) Rob Bryson, RHP - Way behind the curve on this. His career may almost be done due to shoulder issues and yet he just looks at the stats.

20) Chen-Chang Lee, RHP - Not bad here but, after Tseng, and before the guy throws a pitch in US professional baseball, a very chancy and trendy pick, not a very logical or statistical one.

21) Cord Phelps, 2B - Without his 2 HRs in the last two games he is really pretty blah offensively and his defense is nothing to write home about. No way he is rated higher than Josh Rodriguez.

22) Bryce Stowell, RHP - Again, trendy pick. The only basis is really his Cape Cod League results and I don't think that is enough. To me, the House kid trumps a lot of the guys on this list.

Abner Abreu, 3B - good location

Eric Berger, LHP - Should be much higher

John Drennen, OF - Should not be on the list

Tim Fedroff, OF - OK slot for him right now.

Chris Gimenez, C - Should be higher due to his versatility, plate discipline and that he plays a premium position.

Jared Goedert, 3B - Right now, he is not a true prospect. They didn't switch him to 2B and he doesn't have the bat to stay at third.

Trey Haley, RHP - Trendy pick. I don't know how he looked in the instructs but he could very easily be a rookie ball or low A flameout based on what I have read.

T.J. House, LHP - Should be much higher

Chuck Lofgren, LHP - Good spot.

Carlos Moncrief, RHP - Insane pick. He is an arm strength guy but guys like Cawiezell AND Pontius are, too, and they actually have some positive results. Pontius, especially, should be ranked higher. Like De La Cruz, I think he got squeezed by the umps at high A and that ruined his numbers.

Josh Rodriguez, INF - Clearly, he should be higher.

Jeremie Tice, 3B - Don't get it. The guy is a relatively low ranked prospect coming into the draft and he hits like you would expect an organizational filler to hit at MV and he makes a list? Don't think so.

Josh Tomlin, RHP - Astute pick, here.

Neil Wagner, RHP - Again, trendy pick. He hasn't shown anything. I would rate Scott Roehl higher, at least he has numbers.

Steven Wright, RHP - Good pick here. He was drafted as a power reliever and, like Jensen, he may blossom really fast once he sets his mind to that roll.

Again, I see big problems with a lot of rankings, this one included. They just seem to chase their tails in a what have you done for me lately mode...except when they overvalue tools in underperforming guys. Inconsistent and, well, not even using all of his possible, credible sources to generate the list makes it even weaker.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby MickS » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:02 pm

Not that it matters, but Sickels did a very poor job with the Indians prospect list in prior years (especially last year). He's usually pretty objective and doesn't tout his Twins fandom like he used to. He has done a better job this year but I don't consider his list, or any other including B.A.'a, as the holy grail.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby artgold » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:30 pm

MickS wrote:Not that it matters, but Sickels did a very poor job with the Indians prospect list in prior years (especially last year). He's usually pretty objective and doesn't tout his Twins fandom like he used to. He has done a better job this year but I don't consider his list, or any other including B.A.'a, as the holy grail.



As one who pours over prospect listings, I actually agree with you. I view them as guides only, and actually group prospects together into one of only four categories (health not considered):

- Likely to be a better than average major league player at their probable position

- Likely to be an average major league player, but has some possibility of being a "plus player"

- Likely to be a marginal major league player, but could possibly become average at their probable position

- Unlikely to be more than a marginal major league player, at best
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:06 pm

dnosco wrote:Let's look at his ratings:

1) Carlos Santana, C - Did you see the BA ratings recently for defensive abilities of catching prospects? Santana was like 30th and 40th in throwing out runners and catching the ball. If you make him a DH he is still a good prospect, just not a great one. People ASSUME he will learn how to catch but Ryan Garko is a prime example of where that analysis failed.

2) Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF - Again, taking too much on faith as far as defense goes.


Didn't feel like going over the whole post....but....

Santana just became a full-time catcher a lil over a year ago....Garko was an All-American catcher in college.......not sure why you compared the two there.....Garko was just a bad catcher, he wasn't learning the position at all......

Santana has a very strong arm. I think he'll learn to throw runners out.....now his receiving skills and game calling? That may never come. But Santana will never be a DH....he can play 3B and the OF.....and probably 1B as well.


LaPorta will never be confused for Gutierrez in the OF....but he's better than people give him credit for. From what I saw (in person) in the few games I saw at Akron last year, he wasn't half bad. Has a decent arm, especially for LF (though again, nothing special). And covered ok ground. He'll be about as good as a Jason Bay out there. Won't lose you games but won't make many spectacular catches either.

And if he's at 1B does it really matter on his defense? We've had Garko and Thome as our mains for most of the last 10 years (others sprinkled in obviously). Guys can learn to handle 1B.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:54 pm

indianinkslinger wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:ha, well it's only a 7 month difference......(sorry, I had to).

But I know what you're saying.


ha, well it's actually 7 months and 23 days difference....(sorry, I had to).

But I know how you are with accuracy.



Acutally it's only 6 months and 23 days.....
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:31 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:ha, well it's only a 7 month difference......(sorry, I had to).

But I know what you're saying.


ha, well it's actually 7 months and 23 days difference....(sorry, I had to).

But I know how you are with accuracy.



Acutally it's only 6 months and 23 days.....

Acutally is Actually........definitely :s_sarcastic
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:17 pm

dnosco wrote:"...but I don't expect some of the national types to know about the hidden gems in the system until they break out. Just impossible to cover 200-some prospects for 30 orgs (6000-some players!)"

That is part of good research, though. If Sickels doesn't get that good sites like yours' exist, Tony, then he is not maximizing his source of information. Obviously he has to determine good from bad sources but if you are worth your salt at all you can do that pretty easily.

As far as his ratings, I have the same problem with his ratings as I do with most ratings: they overemphasize what has been done in the most recent season. Look at Josh Rodriguez. If you put on 20 points in his BA last year he is THE INDENTICAL prospect who was top 10 the year before. Sure, his HR output slipped a little but his other stats were very similar to his 2007 numbers. Let's say that, in 2009, he has a 2007-like year. Then he bolts back up the rankings meaning, in essence, that his 2008 was an aberration and should have been, to a large extent, factored out of his rating. Jordan Brown is another glaring omission and example. One mediocre year coming off an injury and a top 10 guy is no longer a prospect? Man, if that isn't shortsighted I don't know what is.

Let's look at his ratings:

1) Carlos Santana, C - Did you see the BA ratings recently for defensive abilities of catching prospects? Santana was like 30th and 40th in throwing out runners and catching the ball. If you make him a DH he is still a good prospect, just not a great one. People ASSUME he will learn how to catch but Ryan Garko is a prime example of where that analysis failed.

2) Matt LaPorta, 1B-OF - Again, taking too much on faith as far as defense goes.

3) Adam Miller, RHP - No gripe here.

4) Beau Mills, 1B - Look at Manny at Kinston. Look at Weglarz at Kinston ( 19 months younger than Mills). While his numbers look good do they really project, for a firstbaseman, into the majors? He is almost a complete Garko clone. Not bad, certainly a safe first round pick when he was drafted, but not with real power like you would want to see out of that position.

5) Hector Rondon, RHP - I look at him as my #2 prospect.

6) Lonnie Chisenhall, SS - As a SS, he is a good fit here. As a thirdbaseman, which is what they are moving him to, he is a terrible fit. Not nearly enough power, probably Bill Mueller-like.

7) Nick Weglarz, OF - Interestingly, he overemphasizes Weglarz's defense and underemphasizes this with LaPorta when, from what I have read, Weglarz is a better OFer and certainly has more experience at the position.

8) David Huff, LHP - As you guys know, he is my #1 Indians' prospect. He should produce more for the Indians this year and in the next 3 than any guy on this list except for maybe Miller.

9) Carlos Rivero, SS - Jury still out on him. He is the typical tools guy. Right now, I think Josh Rodgiguez's chances of playing in the majors are greater than RIvero's, although Rivero's upside is clearly greater.

10) Scott Lewis, LHP - I even rank him lower than this. He could be the classic second time around the league disaster type of pitcher as it isn't hard to put together a plan to hit this guy.

11) Michael Brantley, OF-1B - Agree here. He is not a top 10 guy since he is a LF-1B guy without any power and he is clearly a slap hitter. Slap hitters are not top 10 prospects, although he is a legitimate prospect.

12) Kelvin De La Cruz, LHP - Interestingly, I see the end of 2008 either as an injury or as a blip. I think that his command is fine having watched him a couple of times. I just think that he was squeezed in high A and suffered the consequences. He is top 5 top me.

13) Wes Hodges, 3B - Top 10 to me. He WILL play and hit in the majors. He is at least Garko-like and maybe more if he can solidify his 3B defense.

14) Matt McBride, C-OF - Not a bad selection here.

15) Luis Valbuena, 2B - I actually see him being a little higher. His pop makes him a viable second base option on a team with 7 other professional hitters and Cabrera at SS.

16) John Meloan, RHP - Good fit
17) Zach Putnam, RHP - Bad fit. He might not ever make it out of A ball. This guy TOTALLY ignores the scouting reports on him and buys into the 'when he focuses on just pitching' mantra. How's that working out for Brian Bogusevic (sp?) and others who were two-way guys in college?

18) Trevor Crowe, OF - Great spot

19) Rob Bryson, RHP - Way behind the curve on this. His career may almost be done due to shoulder issues and yet he just looks at the stats.

20) Chen-Chang Lee, RHP - Not bad here but, after Tseng, and before the guy throws a pitch in US professional baseball, a very chancy and trendy pick, not a very logical or statistical one.

21) Cord Phelps, 2B - Without his 2 HRs in the last two games he is really pretty blah offensively and his defense is nothing to write home about. No way he is rated higher than Josh Rodriguez.

22) Bryce Stowell, RHP - Again, trendy pick. The only basis is really his Cape Cod League results and I don't think that is enough. To me, the House kid trumps a lot of the guys on this list.

Abner Abreu, 3B - good location

Eric Berger, LHP - Should be much higher

John Drennen, OF - Should not be on the list

Tim Fedroff, OF - OK slot for him right now.

Chris Gimenez, C - Should be higher due to his versatility, plate discipline and that he plays a premium position.

Jared Goedert, 3B - Right now, he is not a true prospect. They didn't switch him to 2B and he doesn't have the bat to stay at third.

Trey Haley, RHP - Trendy pick. I don't know how he looked in the instructs but he could very easily be a rookie ball or low A flameout based on what I have read.

T.J. House, LHP - Should be much higher

Chuck Lofgren, LHP - Good spot.

Carlos Moncrief, RHP - Insane pick. He is an arm strength guy but guys like Cawiezell AND Pontius are, too, and they actually have some positive results. Pontius, especially, should be ranked higher. Like De La Cruz, I think he got squeezed by the umps at high A and that ruined his numbers.

Josh Rodriguez, INF - Clearly, he should be higher.

Jeremie Tice, 3B - Don't get it. The guy is a relatively low ranked prospect coming into the draft and he hits like you would expect an organizational filler to hit at MV and he makes a list? Don't think so.

Josh Tomlin, RHP - Astute pick, here.

Neil Wagner, RHP - Again, trendy pick. He hasn't shown anything. I would rate Scott Roehl higher, at least he has numbers.

Steven Wright, RHP - Good pick here. He was drafted as a power reliever and, like Jensen, he may blossom really fast once he sets his mind to that roll.

Again, I see big problems with a lot of rankings, this one included. They just seem to chase their tails in a what have you done for me lately mode...except when they overvalue tools in underperforming guys. Inconsistent and, well, not even using all of his possible, credible sources to generate the list makes it even weaker.

Interesting take Dennis. From what I read, you rely exclusively on what you have read from other sources except for De La Cruz. Sickels combines Bill James based forecasting along with watching them play. One person cannot watch all 6000 but John sees many by being selective in his travels. Other than Tony, who limits his scouting to the Indians, I know of no other writer who sees them play as much as John. So, who is this source you have that has actually seen these players perform and provided the detail you rely upon for your assessment? We know it's not BA who relies on anecdotal interviews and statistics! BP watches nobody. I would like to read this source for myself.

As an aside, I have watched Rodriguez play both at Kinston and Akron. I thought he would be successful at Akron because his pitch recognition improved greatly over the season at Kinston. Instead, he went backwards in pitch recognition and his power production was largely negated by advanced pitching in AA. You still have to love his bat speed so there is hope but his second half breakout in Kinston has to be viewed as the performance inconsistency now. I still like his penchant for spectacular defense but wonder if he is consistent enough for regular position work in the majors. I now view him as a utility player with upside potential. How that translates into a ranking is left to the beholder.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:28 pm

dnosco wrote:Look at Josh Rodriguez. If you put on 20 points in his BA last year he is THE INDENTICAL prospect who was top 10 the year before. Sure, his HR output slipped a little but his other stats were very similar to his 2007 numbers.


Rodriguez 2007: .241 AVG, 84 R, 20 2B, 9 3B, 20 HR, 82 RBI, 21 SB, 68 BB, 95 K, .351 OBP, .460 SLG, .811 OPS
Rodriguez 2008: .261 AVG, 75 R, 22 2B, 10 3B, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 12 SB, 77 BB, 122 K, .335 OBP, .359 SLG, .694 OPS

Dennis, while you make a good point that while his doubles, triples, and really his overall on-base% was about the same....I cannot concur that J-Rod is an identical prospect as he was a year before if he hits 20 points higher.

What pushed him so far up the rankings was that power/speed combo he displayed in a pitchers league with Kinston in 2007. He dropped some with the stolen bases this year, which is not a concern....but the big concern is that drop in power. A lot of those home runs started turning into routine fly balls in Akron and he was starting to get under the ball a little too much. Was just a tough year for him. It is very possible he was over-rated going into last year because of that hot August he had in 2007 where he hit like 9 home runs. That one hot month inflated all his RBI and HR numbers, so maybe he was really a .250/15/65 guy at Kinston that year and he just played above his head. Who knows.

But, it is hard to ignore the drop in power and decline in performance with the bat. He is still a Top 30 guy though, I agree.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby martyinnewyork » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:36 pm

I love reading these prospect rankings and our reactions to them... personally, I got to form my own (very amateaur) opinions on guys in Buffalo for the past several years by actually getting to see them play at least 8-15 times per season. Sadly, those times have passed. I have to say, Dennis, I share your high opinion of David Huff. He always impressed my son and I with his outings for the Bisons. Adam Miller was one that I never really saw enough of to formulate a confident opinion. Trevor Crowe was either incredibly good or mysteriously bad in the several games in which I saw him play. So Crowe is either a top 5 guy or scraping the low 50's...

I look for Jordan Brown to have a big season for Columbus. I think leg problems took away a lot from his offense this past year and I think he'll increase his production across the board if healthy. His defense at 1B was extremely mediocre from my view, however.

Where to put Lofgren? Based on 2008, nowhere. Is he slated to start in '09 or be in the pen?
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby murt » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm

Many involved writers see players as often as Sickels, or have intelligent systems in place to assist, arriving at slightly to wildly different conclusions vis a vis those noted by John. But one example is Keith Law, whose most recent Indians list, with justifications found elsewhere in his blogs, more closely mirrors the observations of Dnosco, whom I for one think is bang on. Again, just by way of example, Keith found Mills power to be seriously wanting in the AFL.

Still don't think that one needs to see thousands of kids, or even one for ten outings, to form worthwhile, not definitive, opinions. These blogs would be empty if that standard applied. Watching Laporta four times suggested clear, projectable power, though his approach on slower pitches so obviously requires work. In left field, defensively, he is worse than not pretty, imvho. Like Crowe as an IF, an experiment that will likely have an end point sooner than later.

Rondon is special.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby dnosco » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:28 am

Consigliere wrote:
dnosco wrote:Look at Josh Rodriguez. If you put on 20 points in his BA last year he is THE INDENTICAL prospect who was top 10 the year before. Sure, his HR output slipped a little but his other stats were very similar to his 2007 numbers.


Rodriguez 2007: .241 AVG, 84 R, 20 2B, 9 3B, 20 HR, 82 RBI, 21 SB, 68 BB, 95 K, .351 OBP, .460 SLG, .811 OPS
Rodriguez 2008: .261 AVG, 75 R, 22 2B, 10 3B, 7 HR, 49 RBI, 12 SB, 77 BB, 122 K, .335 OBP, .359 SLG, .694 OPS

Dennis, while you make a good point that while his doubles, triples, and really his overall on-base% was about the same....I cannot concur that J-Rod is an identical prospect as he was a year before if he hits 20 points higher.

What pushed him so far up the rankings was that power/speed combo he displayed in a pitchers league with Kinston in 2007. He dropped some with the stolen bases this year, which is not a concern....but the big concern is that drop in power. A lot of those home runs started turning into routine fly balls in Akron and he was starting to get under the ball a little too much. Was just a tough year for him. It is very possible he was over-rated going into last year because of that hot August he had in 2007 where he hit like 9 home runs. That one hot month inflated all his RBI and HR numbers, so maybe he was really a .250/15/65 guy at Kinston that year and he just played above his head. Who knows.

But, it is hard to ignore the drop in power and decline in performance with the bat. He is still a Top 30 guy though, I agree.


If they stay with him and move him up a level I see him putting up a .265, 15 HR, 70 BB, 15 SB season at Columbus.

He is what he is, which is not an all-star. However, I can easily see him turning into a Mark DeRosa (check out his minor league stats at AA at the age of 23: http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... rosa.shtml) type player, but with a little more early power, IMHO.

Rivero is boom or bust. Rodriguez will play in the majors. How well he plays will determine his eventual worth, obviously.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:41 am

dnosco wrote:If they stay with him and move him up a level I see him putting up a .265, 15 HR, 70 BB, 15 SB season at Columbus.

He is what he is, which is not an all-star. However, I can easily see him turning into a Mark DeRosa (check out his minor league stats at AA at the age of 23: http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... rosa.shtml) type player, but with a little more early power, IMHO.

Rivero is boom or bust. Rodriguez will play in the majors. How well he plays will determine his eventual worth, obviously.


He is more than likely returning to Akron and will be the everyday 2B there. Looks like he is getting groomed for a potential utility role down the road. I will actually a week from Monday, so when I see him I'll try to remember to ask him if he has been given any indication he is being moved more permanently to 2B (I was told at the end of the season this was likely to happen, but that was 4 months ago and before getting Valbuena).
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:43 am

martyinnewyork wrote:I love reading these prospect rankings and our reactions to them... personally, I got to form my own (very amateaur) opinions on guys in Buffalo for the past several years by actually getting to see them play at least 8-15 times per season. Sadly, those times have passed. I have to say, Dennis, I share your high opinion of David Huff. He always impressed my son and I with his outings for the Bisons. Adam Miller was one that I never really saw enough of to formulate a confident opinion. Trevor Crowe was either incredibly good or mysteriously bad in the several games in which I saw him play. So Crowe is either a top 5 guy or scraping the low 50's...

I look for Jordan Brown to have a big season for Columbus. I think leg problems took away a lot from his offense this past year and I think he'll increase his production across the board if healthy. His defense at 1B was extremely mediocre from my view, however.

Where to put Lofgren? Based on 2008, nowhere. Is he slated to start in '09 or be in the pen?


Hey Marty....good to hear from you.

Quick question.....now that the Indians pulled out of Buffalo, will you still be going to Buffalo games with the Mets guys or are you going to more closely follow the Indians guys in Columbus? Don't recall if you were an Indians fan or just a Bisons fan. Thanks.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby artgold » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:53 am

My view of JRod is a marginal major league player, at best. I don't see him as having any value at all, other than a throw in to close a trade.

He performed poorly last year, and hasn't really done all that much in 2.5 seasons, overall average of slightly over .250, and deteriorating, without being young for his levels. In addition, he tailed off bad last season.
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby martyinnewyork » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:16 am

Tony - I'm definitely a Tribe fan who was fortunate enough to have the AAA affiliate 50 miles away. Now that the Bisons are with the Mets. I'll still go to Bison games... but only when C-Bus is in town, which is only once per year, a four-game series in May IIRC. It'll be strange to cheer for the visiting team in Buffalo. I'll also get to see the Clippers for their one series in Rochester...

I'll miss doing my solo Bison game threads from the "other" board...

The move to Columbus still has me depressed...

So, what about Lofgren in '09? Rotation or pen? Or DH (just kidding)?
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Re: Sickels Indian Prospect Listing

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:23 am

martyinnewyork wrote:Tony - I'm definitely a Tribe fan who was fortunate enough to have the AAA affiliate 50 miles away. Now that the Bisons are with the Mets. I'll still go to Bison games... but only when C-Bus is in town, which is only once per year, a four-game series in May IIRC. It'll be strange to cheer for the visiting team in Buffalo. I'll also get to see the Clippers for their one series in Rochester...

I'll miss doing my solo Bison game threads from the "other" board...

The move to Columbus still has me depressed...

So, what about Lofgren in '09? Rotation or pen? Or DH (just kidding)?



Marty, I was pretty sure you were a Tribe fan. And yeah, Columbus/Buffalo only play each other once a year at each others place. Odd.

You of course are always welcome to do your "solo" game threads here on the Clippers if you so choose. :s_gamer Speaking of game theads, I gotta think how that is gonna work out. I am not a big fan of the seperate threads for each game and having separate forums for each team. I like the old way from the Scout boards 2-3 years ago with one thread designated as the "Columbus Clippers Game Thread" where all games and comments on games go in there.

And speaking of those boards, I ventured over there for the first time in 5 months since I was IP banned to see if it still was banned and I got in. Dunno how, but when I went there their minor league board is a GRAVEYARD.

As for Lofgren, I am of the belief because of all the starting depth at Triple-A and some in Akron....he is going to open the season in the Akron pen.
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