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How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

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

Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:29 am

indianinkslinger wrote:What you call disingenuous, I call a long-winded anal-retentive explanation. Still trying to figure out what Taveras has to do with the price of eggs? Dennis, I am not trying to win any arguments! That is for you and hermie. My interest is if statements stand up to examination and, quite candidly, you fail frequently in this regard. Your explanations consist largely of recycled material, mostly from BA when it suits your needs, that is generally used by you in a biased way to support narrow or incorrect conclusions which you have reached. I see no reason to argue with you. Any time I ask for justification, you hide in hyperbole or avoid responding. You are entitled to an opinion, Dennis. The problem is they just aren't very good often enough for me to take you seriously.


Well I hope you're not trying to win any arguments, as all you do is bash posts without ever giving any explanations or express any real opinions about baseball or the Indians.


The point of boards like these are to express opinions, which is what 99% of the people do. Disagreeing with people is inevitable, but one should say why and give a counter-argument. Other than your attack posts (or responses to your attack posts), these threads have been pretty civil. Albeit a bit heated at times, but civil nevertheless.

And what incorrect conclusions has Dennis come up with? He's talking about prospects that haven't proven anything. Saying one will never amount to anything isn't a conclusion, but rather an opinion. It can NOT be incorrect though. I for one totally disagree with his opinions and how he projects players, but that doesn't mean he's wrong, nor does it mean I'm wrong.

There is zero need for lashing out, and, quite frankly, it's very childish and ruins boards like these for eveyone else who just wants to express OPINIONS.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:50 pm

"What you call disingenuous, I call a long-winded anal-retentive explanation. Still trying to figure out what Taveras has to do with the price of eggs? Dennis, I am not trying to win any arguments! That is for you and hermie. My interest is if statements stand up to examination and, quite candidly, you fail frequently in this regard. Your explanations consist largely of recycled material, mostly from BA when it suits your needs, that is generally used by you in a biased way to support narrow or incorrect conclusions which you have reached. I see no reason to argue with you. Any time I ask for justification, you hide in hyperbole or avoid responding. You are entitled to an opinion, Dennis. The problem is they just aren't very good often enough for me to take you seriously."

Your painting of my position and my opinions is dismissive and incorrect. Just like your comment about me and scouting, you are trying to, with broad brush strokes, identify me with things I did not say and with opinions I do not hold trying, in vain, to categorize my opinions in a way in which they are not expressed.

Others see this, so why not stop? You antics are known, your tactics are documented and, when called to provide evidence, your approach is to make excuses or try to rephrase your claim because you know that your orignial claim is without merit...and others see this too.

I don't care if you take my opinions seriously because, frankly, this is a message board and, unlike you, I don't pretend to be an expert in the area, although I do love to express my opnions and engage in banter about whether, if ever, they have any merit. Apparently, unlike you, I have worked hard to share information for free with Indians' fans, information they would not have gotten anywhere else over the course of many years. All you have done, as far as I can tell, is rip others' opinions and pander to the masses with incorrect and negative generalizations about other posters.

So continue with your path. I will try to avoid you and continue to provide opinions. If others disagree, that's what message boards are for. Let's talk baseball and end this other stuff, and let's start now.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby murt » Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:28 pm

Every board has persons like Indiansinkslinger. Just ignore them imho. Most people reading this and other boards want free flowing opinions, passion and, in moments of conflict, civility as one agrees to disagree. His attack on Dnosco, and it matters not if one agrees or disagrees with Dnosco on the merits, is so silly it does not require any response.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:45 pm

murt wrote:Every board has persons like Indiansinkslinger. Just ignore them imho. Most people reading this and other boards want free flowing opinions, passion and, in moments of conflict, civility as one agrees to disagree. His attack on Dnosco, and it matters not if one agrees or disagrees with Dnosco on the merits, is so silly it does not require any response.

Well said murt. I appreciate a post that is concise and to the point even if it is critical. Nicely expressed opinion!
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby petergriffin » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:54 am

indianinkslinger wrote:
murt wrote:Every board has persons like Indiansinkslinger. Just ignore them imho. Most people reading this and other boards want free flowing opinions, passion and, in moments of conflict, civility as one agrees to disagree. His attack on Dnosco, and it matters not if one agrees or disagrees with Dnosco on the merits, is so silly it does not require any response.

Well said murt. I appreciate a post that is concise and to the point even if it is critical. Nicely expressed opinion!



his attack on nosco is completely appropriate because nosco is a fcuking moron. Over on theclevelandfan.com, around the time of the CC trade, nosco wrote this completely retarded article about what he felt that we should have received in the trade. I believe he made proposals that we should have not settled for anything less than a package that would have included Ryan Braun, Manny Parra, and others. Not only that but in one of the threads regarding the Sabathia trade, I recall many of his message board posts being very rude to many of the posters which even resulted in Tony stepping in to try to resolve the conflicts. I wish I could find the article he wrote but unfortunately I can't. All he does is bash prospects and whine. I'm sorry but anyone who seriously believes we should have gotten Braun, Parra, and others for Sabathia is absurd and just laughable, and I can't respect someone who pretends to have a clue about what theyre talking about after they post stupid ass bullshit like that.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:52 am

petergriffin wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:
murt wrote:Every board has persons like Indiansinkslinger. Just ignore them imho. Most people reading this and other boards want free flowing opinions, passion and, in moments of conflict, civility as one agrees to disagree. His attack on Dnosco, and it matters not if one agrees or disagrees with Dnosco on the merits, is so silly it does not require any response.

Well said murt. I appreciate a post that is concise and to the point even if it is critical. Nicely expressed opinion!



his attack on nosco is completely appropriate because nosco is a fcuking moron. Over on theclevelandfan.com, around the time of the CC trade, nosco wrote this completely retarded article about what he felt that we should have received in the trade. I believe he made proposals that we should have not settled for anything less than a package that would have included Ryan Braun, Manny Parra, and others. Not only that but in one of the threads regarding the Sabathia trade, I recall many of his message board posts being very rude to many of the posters which even resulted in Tony stepping in to try to resolve the conflicts. I wish I could find the article he wrote but unfortunately I can't. All he does is bash prospects and whine. I'm sorry but anyone who seriously believes we should have gotten Braun, Parra, and others for Sabathia is absurd and just laughable, and I can't respect someone who pretends to have a clue about what theyre talking about after they post stupid ass bullshit like that.

Hi petergriffin,

Thanks for the spirited defense. However, this is about my behavior and not about Dennis'. I don't do clevelandfan.com but other posters have said much the same. The question in my mind is if my remarks to Dennis were justified by his actions. I think I would have been a better person if I could just have ignored Dennis and Hermie. Being right probably is not justification for acting badly. :s_dunno
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:42 am

indianinkslinger wrote:Being right probably is not justification for acting badly. :s_dunno


Since you haven't stated anything but hate, you haven't been 'right' about anything yet. Just an FYI my dear boy.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:58 am

Hermie13 wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:Being right probably is not justification for acting badly. :s_dunno


Since you haven't stated anything but hate, you haven't been 'right' about anything yet. Just an FYI my dear boy.

Not guilty on that account little man! :s_laughat
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:38 pm

his attack on nosco is completely appropriate because nosco is a fcuking moron. Over on theclevelandfan.com, around the time of the CC trade, nosco wrote this completely retarded article about what he felt that we should have received in the trade. I believe he made proposals that we should have not settled for anything less than a package that would have included Ryan Braun, Manny Parra, and others. Not only that but in one of the threads regarding the Sabathia trade, I recall many of his message board posts being very rude to many of the posters which even resulted in Tony stepping in to try to resolve the conflicts. I wish I could find the article he wrote but unfortunately I can't. All he does is bash prospects and whine. I'm sorry but anyone who seriously believes we should have gotten Braun, Parra, and others for Sabathia is absurd and just laughable, and I can't respect someone who pretends to have a clue about what theyre talking about after they post stupid ass bullshit like that.


Let's address this. First, if you want to be dimissive about me on that one article, so be it. I mean, everyone in the freaking universe knows that I was and am over the top about the return we got on the Sabathia trade. So what? Get over it...and get a life. If that is what you want to use to characterize me, fine. But that's not who I am or what I do. At least I did some work FOR FREE to give Cleveland fans information over the years. You....have done nothing. Either pitch in or shut up. How is that for being rude?

Second, if you can't quote the article accurately, well, shut up. I'll try to dig it out and post salient points later.

Third, no way did I say we SHOULD get those guys , I said that one of those proposals I made in that article should have been a return that was appropriate to our needs AND wasn't out of the question given recent deadline deals by their GM and CC as the reigning Cy Young guy. Now, I will admit that I regret writing that article the way that I did. I knew what I meant but, in hindisight, I regret not putting a statement in that article that said "Yeah, this is what we need but the Brewers would NEVER go for it and I am not stupid enough to think they really would" because I DID say that the Brewers were not a good fit for us because they didn't have quality to trade back to us that we needed if we dumped CC, i.e., pitching prospects. So, it got convoluted and that is my fault for being a bad writer (and I am willing to take the heat for that) and jotting down an article late at night...but at least I don't use language like you used above. That just shows that your IQ and your belt size are probably close to identical. If you read that forum as you indicate I said that I never REALLY expected that return and, in fact, that the article was tongue-in-cheek showing what could be expected based on our needs and what the ill-matched Brewers had to offer. If you read further in that same reply I said that my minimum trade was LaPorta and Gamel...guys who were duplicated in the Brewers' system in terms of prospects and young major leaguers, to some extent and who would match what we needed better (3B, corner power OFer or replacement for Hafner if he was done) than LaPorta and the other 3 guys, all of whom, at some level, were duplicates of what we had in our system already. Also if LaPorta could only play 1B, he was a duplicate of about a half dozen other 1B/DH only or mostly guys we had.

Regarding being rude and Tony and Rich stepping in, if you want to see rude start your article in response to my article with "Anyone who knows anything about deadline deals knows that...." instead of PMing me directly and talking it out. I addressed that to the person in the forum since Rich doesn't allow dogfights on the front page of his website. If you don't like rude, don't be dismissive, especially when you don't have clue 1 about the purpose of the article and then, going forward, don't say I am making up bad trades just to creat a self-fulfilling prophecy as was proposed by that same person.

Regarding "All he does is bash prospects and whine" that is all you want to hear, that is not all that I do. I have written detailed, research-based articles on the details of international signings, Rule 5 draft basics, the fall instructional league, extended spring training, the life of a Rule 5 draftee and others, some of which, given the error-filled articles I have read on the internet, should probably be considered as reference texts (now you can add arrogant to your list of descriptive adjectives for me). I have also conducted interviews with various Indians' FO personnel including John Mirabelli on his 2007 draft where he said that I know more about the draft than 90% of the people who interview him. He may not be willing to admit that now given how I trashed the 2008 draft but he did say that at the time. Again, nothing you have ever done because, frankly, you are just another hater as indicated by your one and only post here. (BTW, notice that people normally say "Welcome" to new posters...no one said that to you. Get the idea?). Conclusion: Don't go about making generalizations that are so easily proven to be untrue and make you look so bad.

So, in having fulfilled IIS's statement about me having long-winded replies, I will end this post. Have a nice life.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:00 pm

Didn't Shapiro say he wanted impact bats for CC and wasn't really looking at pitching? (I realize this wasn't what your post was about, but I'd rather get away from the other stuff and back to baseball).


Only pitching prospect I even remember getting brought up was Carrasco from the Phillies, and he was deemed untouchable.....
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:09 pm

I think Shapiro wanted an impact player for CC and LaPorta was the best impact player he could have gotten.

Along those lines I think the Dodgers weren't willing to give up Kemp and my guess is there package was 4 prospects centering around the pitcher McDonald, Santana and Meloan and one other guy, maybe their light hitting SS prospect. I am pretty sure if the Dodgers had offered Billingsley straight up (or maybe even Parra instead of LaPorta in the Brewers' deal) Shapiro would have jumped at it. I mean, look at the runs we score, which Shapiro has already mentioned several times. I think he would have favored young, stud pitching, it is just that no one (Brewers, Dodgers or Yankees) were offering it.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:33 pm

This thread is dangerously close to being shutdown. It is certainly teetering on the brink. Would be the first time I have had to do this on these boards.

With that said, two quick points:

1. Brantley is very misunderstood....and I can understand that since we have yet to follow his box score/season or see him play as an Indian. I will say that this past week I had the pleasure of finally meeting him at Lake County. Talked for 10-15 mins. Very impressed with his physical size...6'2 200pounds and still growing. He's built like a rock, and the power is still coming. The ability to hit for more power is there, he just concentrates so much on putting the bat on the ball that he sacrifices it some as a result. He has the potential though to be a 25-30 2B, 5-10 3B, and 8-10 HR guy in the bigs, if not more. He is bigger and stronger at age 21 than Lofton ever was. He will be 21 still when the Triple-A season starts and will be for the first month or two.

2. And I think some of us need to be careful not to let our agendas cloud our judgement on some of these guys. Sometimes I think for the sake of winning an argument, people discredit a player or overhype them. Like, if they feel like the Indians did not get enough for so and so player and/or made a public statement about it. Unfortunately, when that happens, the players received immediately have no chance to that particular individual and they will find every wart possible to discredit the player so as to not hurt their original argument. I myself liked his pickup initially, but no way at the time would I have considered him for a Top 10-15 spot.....but after researching and talking to many, he is without a doubt a Top 10 guy. A top 10 guy in a very strong system that many believe is a Top 3-7 system in the game. He may succeed, he may fail....time will tell. But at this point and how things stand, he is considered special by many around the game. We all know of course how these things can change from year to year.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:38 pm

Abreu or Hu? (for the light hitting SS). Doubt you meant DeJesus.....but that would have been a very nice haul.....

Well Billingsley would have been a no brainer....but that wouldn't have really improved the Dodgers that much really. CC up to the point of the trade hadn't done any better really than Billingsley had at the time.

Cleveland the last 6 years has been far more pitching heavy in the system and struggled producing big time run producers. Only 30 HRs hitters have been Grady (via a trade) and Hafner (via a trade). Victor is the only 100 RBI guy we've had lately I can think of that came through our system.

Pitching has been a lot of the same (trades such as Lee and Westbrook)....but also CC, Carmona, and Sowers for a very short while. Will Sowers, Laffey, Lewis, and Huff all ML or near ML ready....it made sense to look more for hitters than pitching in a trade for CC. Plus Miller if he eventually becomes a starter....which I'm not sold on but could happen....

I'm sure if Carrasco had been made available the Tribe would have listened to the Phillies.....or if Kershaw ever would have been (though doubtful) from the Dodgers.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby petes999 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:50 pm

dnosco wrote:I think Shapiro wanted an impact player for CC and LaPorta was the best impact player he could have gotten.


I agree. I think the big needs was a power outfield bat and #1/#2 starting pitching. If he could have gotten a Price, Kershaw, Hughes or others, I would imagine they would have been all over it. However, the best pitching prospect mentioned was McDonald which was projected MOR pitcher. I don't think that was enough for Shapiro, so he went with LaPorta before he was pulled off the table.

And, he pulled 1/2 of the LA proposed CC haul for Blake and cash ... not bad (think that it was Wade instead of Meloan though) yet not spitting hairs on what we got.

I think in the end we did well as McDonald would have been an upgrade on Huff. Yet, he didn't project as well at mid season (better at year-end). Yet, LaPorta over a Francisco was a major upgrade and thus Shapiro pursued that option.

I know that McDonald is going to be LAs #1 prospect but that is without Kershaw and Santana. And, Laporta will still be well above McDonald in many if not all prospect lists.

Thanks Tony on that Brantley slant. He is bigger than I thought (200 and 6'2") ain't too bad. If he does as well as Loften than it is better than what we would have gotten anywhere. And, with your stats, I would take a .300 BA, 8-10 HR and 30-40 SB. As I said before, we wouldn't complain about an Ichiro type clone as our LF/RF...
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:58 pm

Some lists put Ivan DeJusus, Jr (SS/2B) ahead of McDonald as far as top prospect in the Dodgers organization now and some have Ethan Martin (RHP) ahead of them both (Baseball Prospectus for example). Some do have him #1 though. The Dodgers organization isn't very strong at the moment in any case.....
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:01 pm

Pete,

Excellent post.

One thing I want to mention. I give Shapiro and co. heat for a number of their moves but if, in fact, Brantley does turn out to be Lofton II and Santana is Victor-like, it does show that our scouting department is earning its money as, at the beginning of the season, guys who were ranked in their 20s for their respective organizations and who had serious warts to their games had good projections made on where they were going to end up (not upside or downside but inbetweenside). Ditto for if LaPorta can be any more in the OF than a Burrell or Adam Dunn (or Ben Broussard) clone.

While all that is still waiting final results, it does have to be considered.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:10 pm

I can see LaPorta turning into a Manny Ramirez in the OF (I'm saying defensively, not trying to open up an offensive Manny comparison can of worms here). He does have a decent arm like Manny had when he was in Cleveland. Had 6 OF assists this past year at the age of 22 in 94 games. Manny had 7 OF assists at the age of 22 in 84 games. Not sure he'll ever have a 19 assist year like Manny did, but 10-15 wouldn't suprise me. Just something I've noticed from seeing him a few times in Akron.

Definately doesn't cover much ground though.......
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:39 pm

2. And I think some of us need to be careful not to let our agendas cloud our judgement on some of these guys. Sometimes I think for the sake of winning an argument, people discredit a player or overhype them. Like, if they feel like the Indians did not get enough for so and so player and/or made a public statement about it. Unfortunately, when that happens, the players received immediately have no chance to that particular individual and they will find every wart possible to discredit the player so as to not hurt their original argument. I myself liked his pickup initially, but no way at the time would I have considered him for a Top 10-15 spot.....but after researching and talking to many, he is without a doubt a Top 10 guy. A top 10 guy in a very strong system that many believe is a Top 3-7 system in the game. He may succeed, he may fail....time will tell. But at this point and how things stand, he is considered special by many around the game. We all know of course how these things can change from year to year.


I think that is part of a message board. Everyone has their agendas, pro or con BECAUSE they have their opinions (e.g., some think Wedge can't manage his way out of a paper bag so he gets no slack from those people when he messes something up). You make your assessments based on available data, which colors your predisposition on a subject.

For example, who in their right mind would have ever guessed that the Scott Stewart trade would have turned out so badly? Hey, I hated it at the time as being ill-timed (we weren't all the way back, on paper, at that point) and because I don't like trading legitimate prospects for 'pieces of the puzzle' like your utility guy, fourth outfielder, 5th reliever type of guy. But who would have guessed? So many people RIGHT NOW say that the Stewart trade stunk, but is that even worth mentioning as it is a fact and a fact not used by many, if any, to predict potential success of a similar trade if it goes down today. Plus, should I cut Mirabelli some slack when he makes a questionable pick early in 2008 when he has squandered so many early picks from 2000-2007 with questionable draft calls?

Do peoples' agendas color their opinions of things? Absolutely. But is that a bad thing if it is evidence-based?

Regarding Brantley, how is anyone supposed to know anything about this kid other than the stats? Shapiro says the kid is not a slap hitter. I, and others, show that his stats show exactly the opposite and you indicate that even he says he is currently a slap hitter. So we are suppoed to take on faith that he is exactly the opposite of what the stats show? Plus, it is usually not like a light bulb that some guy says, 'OK, well I was a slap hitter but now I am going to drive the ball more' and he can do it. Not being a scout I don't know for sure but what I have read said that it is all about creating more backspin on the ball to get loft on it. It would seem that gap power is there or not there and that, at his size should be there and, if there, would produce the numbers of the type you quote ALREADY. While gap power should be a given, HR power is createable from this loft thing which, obviously, is not always doable (See Overbay and Casey). He doesn't need HR power to hit 8-10 a year but he needs gap power which doesn't even seem to be there yet, despite his size. Another thing you failed to mention is that with more power comes more K's and, potentially though not always, less walks. His plate discipline is not great now in terms of BB/AB so any erosion of that is a negative, although Lofton never had great plate discipline, which is why I like that comp on the upside so much. I think it is very accurate IF Brantley can play CF defense.

When he shows he can play CF defense and drive the ball some AND maintain a decent walk rate he becomes a top 10 prospect. However, except for pure projection, how can you call a guy with questionable defense, questionable arm, questionable power and good speed and excellent bat-to-ball skills a top 10 prospect? It is all about projection at that point (including his young age) and not about current value or inkling of that projection becoming reality. I think that is where top prospect lists fall down, especially on guys like Brantley and Rivero. They are young for their league and hold their own and have projection to them. Therefore, they become top prospects because of upside, even if, in Rivero's case, they don't show that they are achieving that upside. That may work for some but not for me.

One last point. Look at Santana. My argument that he can't be that valuable if he only netted LA Blake may not hold any water at all. But it makes more sense than if LA were total morons or so desperate that they were willing to give up one of the top prospects in all of baseball for a couple of months of Blake and one or two draft picks, doesn't it? Or that, all of a sudden, Santana blossomed after we traded for him into that top prospect. Hey, it may turn out that he is all that, but, on paper, it doesn't seem like any team would be that stupid. If that colors my opinon of him in terms of where I rank him, is that bad? Or should I just accept the unlikely?
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:08 pm

Getting back on topic and putting aside the personal vendettas :s_tongue

Jim Callis ranks the Indians dead on 7th.

Jim (KC): Last week you stated you would put Cleveland's farm system ahead of KC's, where would the other al central teams fit?

Jim Callis: I had the Indians at No. 7, the Royals at No. 9, the White Sox at No. 14, the Twins at No. 22 and the Tigers at No. 25.


http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=24671

Meanwhile, Keith Law has the Indians at #5.

5. Cleveland Indians: The trades of Casey Blake and CC Sabathia combined with some depth-oriented drafts have filled out this system over the past two years, although it's arguable how many impact guys the Indians have after Carlos Santana. A healthy Adam Miller, who has No. 1 starter stuff, would have had them a little higher on the list. They are one of a half-dozen teams whose prospect lists genuinely run 12 to 15 names deep.


http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/ ... %3d3848691
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:13 pm

I think the Brantley thing boils down to what you consider a slap hitter. In my view, Pierre is a slap hitter. But, by the same token, Lofton to me was not. He was more a guy who at times slapped by design, but had the ability to drive the ball into the gaps and get extra base hits without using his speed. I think at this point, to me, the low-end comp for Brantley is a Pierre type guy with better bat-to-ball ability and a high-end comp of Lofton. At this point, he is viewed more on the Lofton side of that spectrum. Like I said, time will tell.

He is as good or better than Crowe as a defender, and while his arm is average it is no worse than Sizemore or Lofton. The difference is his range and his instincts, and he likely will never be a gold glover, but is still raw in the outfield and can become an average to above average defender out there. He'll be in left field anyway when he comes to Cleveland, so not really that important in the short term.....the important thing is he brings two exceptional tools: hitting and speed. The defense and arm are not that important as a left fielder, and the power he will never have. Still, if you can hit like he can and can run like he can.....he'll be a fixture in the lineup and a very popular player for just about any team.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:22 pm

You have now, twice, said that he is as good a defender as Crowe. That is pretty amazing to me as Crowe came in as a pretty polished defender (albeit projected as a left fielder in the majors because his arm was below average and because of Sizemore) but the rest of his defensive tools (range and instincts) rated above average, as I remember. So your comments, especially considering how raw Brantley is defensively, mystify me.

Are you talking about present defense or projection because, if you are talking about present defense, Crowe is much worse than I thought he was.

Regarding the Indians' farm system ranking 7th seems about right. A red flag for me with that is that he has Kansas City 9th. I just don't see that as it is almost all based on the last two drafts and guys who have either haven't played or have not played above low A, as I remember. That is a huge projection to put on a system to have so many of your prospects at such a low level and still be among the top 10 organizations. Admittedly getting the #1 HS pitcher and #1 HS hitter from the 2008 draft helps but, man, these guys don't even have an offical professional outing yet, do they?

It will be interesting to see if Trey Haley makes the Indians' (or Tony's) top 30 because we could have had KC's 4th round pick for about the same money if we had drafted him instead of Haley.

Fifth seems a little high with only one guy as an impact prospect and that guy NEVER having been an impact prospect before this year and then being considered so low by his former team that he was one of two parts traded for a couple of months of Casey Blake. Again, I harp on that but if these (LA) guys were complete idiots would they have their jobs?
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby MadThinker88 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:54 pm

I've got to chime in on this Brantley/ Crowe debate. What follows is something I posted on this board back on October 11th IIRC.


Just to go a little further. I understand the '5' tools are: Fielding, Arm Strength, Speed, Hitting and Power.
Here is how I understand Crowe and Brantley would compare.

Fielding: Crowe over Brantley. Much has been written about the work Brantley needs to do to improve.

Arm Strength: Crowe over Brantley. Again, much has been written about the lack of arm strength by Brantley. Crowe doesn't have a cannon but even an average arm wins this category over Brantley.

Speed: Brantley over Crowe. Crowe is no base clogger but I'm giving credit where and when its due. Brantley was awarded best base running honors this season in his league.

Hitting: Brantley over Crowe. Again I have to give credit when due. Brantley's ability to draw walks and not strike out is perhaps his greatest talent.

Power: Crowe over Brantley. Projections are nice but let us talk about what is. Crowe had 9 homers and 28 doubles over 84 games at AA and AAA (344 AB). Brantley had 4 homers and 17 doubles over 104 games (420 AB) at AA. BTW Brantley had 2 triples while Crowe had 4 (2 at each level).


Now the reason I dug this out was because of the references made in this thread and a few others to Fielding, Arm Strength and Power. Areas where IMHO Crowe outpaced Brantley. The sources I used for these ratings were the Prospect Handbooks and Tony's book for last season. I do not mind people noting Brantley has made improvements over where he was at over the past few years, but it almost seems that people are trying to revise history to improve the outlook of Brantley and downgrade the outlook of Crowe.

On a personal note I would be thrilled if both players pan out for the Tribe. If I had to bet, I figure one of the will breakout for the Tribe while the other will breakout for another club in the next few seasons.
Last edited by MadThinker88 on Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby MickS » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:24 pm

dnosco wrote:
2. And I think some of us need to be careful not to let our agendas cloud our judgement on some of these guys. Sometimes I think for the sake of winning an argument, people discredit a player or overhype them. Like, if they feel like the Indians did not get enough for so and so player and/or made a public statement about it. Unfortunately, when that happens, the players received immediately have no chance to that particular individual and they will find every wart possible to discredit the player so as to not hurt their original argument. I myself liked his pickup initially, but no way at the time would I have considered him for a Top 10-15 spot.....but after researching and talking to many, he is without a doubt a Top 10 guy. A top 10 guy in a very strong system that many believe is a Top 3-7 system in the game. He may succeed, he may fail....time will tell. But at this point and how things stand, he is considered special by many around the game. We all know of course how these things can change from year to year.


I think that is part of a message board. Everyone has their agendas, pro or con BECAUSE they have their opinions (e.g., some think Wedge can't manage his way out of a paper bag so he gets no slack from those people when he messes something up). You make your assessments based on available data, which colors your predisposition on a subject.

For example, who in their right mind would have ever guessed that the Scott Stewart trade would have turned out so badly? Hey, I hated it at the time as being ill-timed (we weren't all the way back, on paper, at that point) and because I don't like trading legitimate prospects for 'pieces of the puzzle' like your utility guy, fourth outfielder, 5th reliever type of guy. But who would have guessed? So many people RIGHT NOW say that the Stewart trade stunk, but is that even worth mentioning as it is a fact and a fact not used by many, if any, to predict potential success of a similar trade if it goes down today. Plus, should I cut Mirabelli some slack when he makes a questionable pick early in 2008 when he has squandered so many early picks from 2000-2007 with questionable draft calls?

Do peoples' agendas color their opinions of things? Absolutely. But is that a bad thing if it is evidence-based?

Regarding Brantley, how is anyone supposed to know anything about this kid other than the stats? Shapiro says the kid is not a slap hitter. I, and others, show that his stats show exactly the opposite and you indicate that even he says he is currently a slap hitter. So we are suppoed to take on faith that he is exactly the opposite of what the stats show? Plus, it is usually not like a light bulb that some guy says, 'OK, well I was a slap hitter but now I am going to drive the ball more' and he can do it. Not being a scout I don't know for sure but what I have read said that it is all about creating more backspin on the ball to get loft on it. It would seem that gap power is there or not there and that, at his size should be there and, if there, would produce the numbers of the type you quote ALREADY. While gap power should be a given, HR power is createable from this loft thing which, obviously, is not always doable (See Overbay and Casey). He doesn't need HR power to hit 8-10 a year but he needs gap power which doesn't even seem to be there yet, despite his size. Another thing you failed to mention is that with more power comes more K's and, potentially though not always, less walks. His plate discipline is not great now in terms of BB/AB so any erosion of that is a negative, although Lofton never had great plate discipline, which is why I like that comp on the upside so much. I think it is very accurate IF Brantley can play CF defense.

When he shows he can play CF defense and drive the ball some AND maintain a decent walk rate he becomes a top 10 prospect. However, except for pure projection, how can you call a guy with questionable defense, questionable arm, questionable power and good speed and excellent bat-to-ball skills a top 10 prospect? It is all about projection at that point (including his young age) and not about current value or inkling of that projection becoming reality. I think that is where top prospect lists fall down, especially on guys like Brantley and Rivero. They are young for their league and hold their own and have projection to them. Therefore, they become top prospects because of upside, even if, in Rivero's case, they don't show that they are achieving that upside. That may work for some but not for me.

One last point. Look at Santana. My argument that he can't be that valuable if he only netted LA Blake may not hold any water at all. But it makes more sense than if LA were total morons or so desperate that they were willing to give up one of the top prospects in all of baseball for a couple of months of Blake and one or two draft picks, doesn't it? Or that, all of a sudden, Santana blossomed after we traded for him into that top prospect. Hey, it may turn out that he is all that, but, on paper, it doesn't seem like any team would be that stupid. If that colors my opinon of him in terms of where I rank him, is that bad? Or should I just accept the unlikely?


So, Nosco, your entire argument on Santana is that he can't possibly be any good because the Dodgers only acquired Casey Blake for him? Really? Seriously? Are you f***ing kidding me? You have to know how lame that is, right? And you fancy yourself an evaluator of talent? Really? There have never been any lopsided trades in baseball history, right? Jesus H. Christ. That really is the entirety of your argument?
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby murt » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:52 pm

While some, myself included, suspect that Brantley's shot at developing more power in the needed MLB ways is not great, I would concede that his chances of success in this area are necessarily greater relative to his growing 1+ inches in height from 20.5 yrs to 21.5 yrs. Whatever Brantley is, he is clearly not "very misunderstood" based on his last two years.

Below...not gospel. Just a tad more information in the mix of differing views.

----------

Keith (Chicago): Is Michael Brantley an everyday player?

Jim Callis: (3:12 PM ET ) Not unless he finds more power. At least not on a contender.
---------
Ben: (Columbus): Hey Keith...Thoughts on Michael Brantley and how does he finalize the Sabathia trade in your book?

Keith Law: Fourth outfielder. With Bryson having shoulder surgery, this is probably coming to shake out as just Sabathia for LaPorta.

Pete (Chicago): What do you know about Michael Brantley and Taylor Green? Which one should the Indians take as their PTBNL in the Sabathia trade?

Keith Law: I'd take Green.

ESPN's Keith Law agrees, suggesting that Mark Shapiro should've held out for a higher probability return. He sees Bryson as the key to the deal. The 20 year-old is a projectable live arm.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:05 pm

"So, Nosco, your entire argument on Santana is that he can't possibly be any good because the Dodgers only acquired Casey Blake for him? Really? Seriously? Are you f***ing kidding me? You have to know how lame that is, right? And you fancy yourself an evaluator of talent? Really? There have never been any lopsided trades in baseball history, right? Jesus H. Christ. That really is the entirety of your argument?"

Why do I have to keep doing this? Stop what you are doing and start telling the truth. "...can't possibly be any good.." Point out one time where I said that he wasn't any good or even that he couldn't possibly be any good. What I said was that it didn't seem logical to me that the Dodgers would be stupid enough to trade one of the top 25 or so prospects in baseball AND Meloan for two months of Casey Blake. Does that seem logical to you? Or, does it seem logical to you that, while he maybe wasn't THAT good of a prospect when he was traded that, in his two months in Kinston and Akron he became that good of a prospect? Hey, I have already acknowledged multiple times that he is (a) a good prospect, (b) one of the Indians best prospect and (c) that we got more value for Blake than we traded. So, what does it have to be for you? I have to start laughing giddily and foaming at the mouth at just he mention of his name? That's what it takes for people like you. Stay in line, stay in step...unless it's something that YOU disagree with the Indians on, like how Wedge manages. THEN it is Ok to disagree with something about the Indians....when YOU say so. Got it now! Thanks for your input.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:16 pm

murt wrote:While some, myself included, suspect that Brantley's shot at developing more power in the needed MLB ways is not great, I would concede that his chances of success in this area are necessarily greater relative to his growing 1+ inches in height from 20.5 yrs to 21.5 yrs. Whatever Brantley is, he is clearly not "very misunderstood" based on his last two years.

Below...not gospel. Just a tad more information in the mix of differing views.

----------

Keith (Chicago): Is Michael Brantley an everyday player?

Jim Callis: (3:12 PM ET ) Not unless he finds more power. At least not on a contender.
---------
Ben: (Columbus): Hey Keith...Thoughts on Michael Brantley and how does he finalize the Sabathia trade in your book?

Keith Law: Fourth outfielder. With Bryson having shoulder surgery, this is probably coming to shake out as just Sabathia for LaPorta.

Pete (Chicago): What do you know about Michael Brantley and Taylor Green? Which one should the Indians take as their PTBNL in the Sabathia trade?

Keith Law: I'd take Green.

ESPN's Keith Law agrees, suggesting that Mark Shapiro should've held out for a higher probability return. He sees Bryson as the key to the deal. The 20 year-old is a projectable live arm.


I think in Tony's post he mentioned people having their opinions color their views and bury a player before he has a chance to show himself. My problem with a lot of what has been said about the guys we got back in these trades is how glowing people have been about them, how much time has been spent justifying how fair (CC) our return was or how unbelievably great (Blake) our return was in these respective trades by pumping up most of the players we obtained. So, the door swings both ways. If you don't like people piling on these guys don't overhype them.

A simple "I'll what and see" is good enough from both sides. I think I already said that more than once on these trades and these players, acknowledging, of course, that the Blake trade was one-sided in our favor even if the players don't turn out to be more than what the Indians thought they were (Mirabelli's comments after the season).

So, once again, I'll say "I'll wait and see".
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby stoike » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:35 pm

murt wrote:While some, myself included, suspect that Brantley's shot at developing more power in the needed MLB ways is not great, I would concede that his chances of success in this area are necessarily greater relative to his growing 1+ inches in height from 20.5 yrs to 21.5 yrs. Whatever Brantley is, he is clearly not "very misunderstood" based on his last two years.

Below...not gospel. Just a tad more information in the mix of differing views.

----------

Keith (Chicago): Is Michael Brantley an everyday player?

Jim Callis: (3:12 PM ET ) Not unless he finds more power. At least not on a contender.
---------
Ben: (Columbus): Hey Keith...Thoughts on Michael Brantley and how does he finalize the Sabathia trade in your book?

Keith Law: Fourth outfielder. With Bryson having shoulder surgery, this is probably coming to shake out as just Sabathia for LaPorta.

Pete (Chicago): What do you know about Michael Brantley and Taylor Green? Which one should the Indians take as their PTBNL in the Sabathia trade?

Keith Law: I'd take Green.

ESPN's Keith Law agrees, suggesting that Mark Shapiro should've held out for a higher probability return. He sees Bryson as the key to the deal. The 20 year-old is a projectable live arm.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Upon reading the Brantley banter, I was struck by a thought; power is usually the last thing to develop in young hitters. Before I go into a bit of statistical comparison, I want to make it clear that I do not feel Brantley will ever be able to hit 30+ homeruns per year like Sizemore. That being said, here goes: As a 20 year old playing in A ball in the Expos and Indians minor league systems in 2002, Grady Sizemore hit 3 homeruns in 428 ABs while playing in 122 games, hitting .292 with 69 BBs and 71 Ks. Brantley, playing at AA last year at right around the same age, hit .319 with 4 HRs in 420 ABs, with 50 BBs and only 27 Ks.
Brantley will never be a power hitter, but I see a kid that is 6'2", almost 200 pounds...he should develop into at least a 12-15 HR-per-year guy, while hitting for good average. I do not blame Nosco and the gurus for having doubts about his power, but he has plenty of time to develop. I have faith that power will come. Guess we shall see!
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:23 am

MadThinker88 wrote:I've got to chime in on this Brantley/ Crowe debate. What follows is something I posted on this board back on October 11th IIRC.


Just to go a little further. I understand the '5' tools are: Fielding, Arm Strength, Speed, Hitting and Power.
Here is how I understand Crowe and Brantley would compare.

Fielding: Crowe over Brantley. Much has been written about the work Brantley needs to do to improve.

Arm Strength: Crowe over Brantley. Again, much has been written about the lack of arm strength by Brantley. Crowe doesn't have a cannon but even an average arm wins this category over Brantley.

Speed: Brantley over Crowe. Crowe is no base clogger but I'm giving credit where and when its due. Brantley was awarded best base running honors this season in his league.

Hitting: Brantley over Crowe. Again I have to give credit when due. Brantley's ability to draw walks and not strike out is perhaps his greatest talent.

Power: Crowe over Brantley. Projections are nice but let us talk about what is. Crowe had 9 homers and 28 doubles over 84 games at AA and AAA (344 AB). Brantley had 4 homers and 17 doubles over 104 games (420 AB) at AA. BTW Brantley had 2 triples while Crowe had 4 (2 at each level).


Now the reason I dug this out was because of the references made in this thread and a few others to Fielding, Arm Strength and Power. Areas where IMHO Crowe outpaced Brantley. The sources I used for these ratings were the Prospect Handbooks and Tony's book for last season. I do not mind people noting Brantley has made improvements over where he was at over the past few years, but it almost seems that people are trying to revise history to improve the outlook of Brantley and downgrade the outlook of Crowe.

On a personal note I would be thrilled if both players pan out for the Tribe. If I had to bet, I figure one of the will breakout for the Tribe while the other will breakout for another club in the next few seasons.



Brantley had 9 OF assists last year compared to Crowe's 5. Brantley also only made 1 error in the OF to Crowe's 2. Not saying that these stats alone say that Brantley has the better arm or is an equal to better fielder.....but Crowe has shown nothing in the minors really on the defensive end. Crowe made 7 errors there in 2007 (having 7 OF assists). Could be the move to 2B hurt his OF defense....but he really wasn't at 2B very long (7 games plus practices/winter stuff)....so it shouldn't have affected him that much if any......


People love using last year's Baseball America Prospect Handbook to rate Brantley's defense. That was LAST YEAR. Brantley was playing so well defensively that he was even moved from LF to CF this past season. Albeit because of an injury to a CFer, but he still suprised many with his ability to play there. Just because I guy had a bad year at 19 and 20 in the OF, doesn't mean he's gonna be terrible there forever.


He's a much better all-around athlete than Crowe. Will be able to cover more ground with his superior speed and is improving on his jumps to balls (from what I've read from people that have seen him play).



And I still don't get what is so bad about his BB/AB numbers. Grady at 21 was at AAA. He walked 42 times in 418 at-bats. Now he's a 90 BB guy (has had 100). Not saying Brantley will get that high, but he still walks a LOT for a top of the order hitter. I'm also not saying Brantley will become the complete hitter that Grady is....but their walk numbers are pretty similar.


Grady's BB/AB ratios: 23/205 at RK, 81/451 at A, 69/428 at A+ and AA, 46/496 at AA, 42/418 at AAA

Brantley's BB/AB ratios: 28/207 at RK, 61/360 at A, 60/405 at A and AA, 50/420 at AA, AAA numbers still to come


Those are very similar ratios at almost the same levels. Grady was a tad higher at A ball, while Brantley was higher at AA.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:15 am

1) No one is saying that it is absolutely impossible for Brantley to develop power but let's face it, Grady is the exception and I have pointed that out.

2) Ditto for walks. Grady is the exception and, while he can be used in arguments, it is not the mean we are projecting Brantley to be by even comparing him to Sizemore, it is the exception. Sure, Grady with his increase in power and OBP means that it CAN happen for Brantley but, in no way, does it mean that it is even a 25% chance that it will happen, given that Grady is special and the exception. Guys like Sean Casey, Lyle Overbay and Mark Teahan, who all were the type of player who could and should have focused on increasing power, really didn't develop that much power. Look at Howie Kendrick. He had projectable power in the minors and had the ability to improve his OBP similar to Sizemore. He did neither.

My thought is that the number of RECENT examples (post-steroid) of guys who are developing power later in their career are really few compared to those who were projected to increase their power but never did. Ditto for increased walk rate. A very few guys can increase it dramatically but consider all the guys who have NOT been able to improve their eye much with age. BTW, the comment about walk rate was really just in response to people who said what great plate discipline Brantley has which is a misnomer because plate discipline is not how often you strike out but how often you avoid swinging at balls, meaning you get more walks. BTW, you could see (at least I did) when Grady was in A-ball that he had that power potential. He wasn't just a slap hitter. I always thought he would develop power because he had the foundation and the look of a power hitter. Maybe not 30+ HR power but certainly 20-25 HR power.

Regarding the fielding thing, I realize guys can get better. My experience is though that arm strength doesn't get better and defense doesn't improve that much, although guys with speed improve more than guys without speed. Regarding Brantley playing CF at AA this year, supposedly LaPorta played RF on that team and we know he is probably no where near a RFer in the majors. It is interesting to note that Brantley also played a number of games at 1B last year. That could have been when he was injured or it could have been because he was better at 1B than in the OF, I don't know. The point is that defense usually doesn't make drastic improvements and arm strength almost never makes much improvement at all so using BA's 2008 prospect handbook is not that unreasonable, even though it doesn't represent Brantley's ceiling, at all.

Regarding being a better athlete, I have never heard that before. How do we know that is true? I doubt that it is true, frankly.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:13 pm

I wasn't talking about Power with Brantley, just his ability to walk. Kendrick never walked more than 24 times in any season in the minors. Brantley did that in half a season....and that was his lowest ever. Point is, Brantley acutally has very good BB/AB ratios for the type of hitter he is. Most leadoff hitters only walk about 60-80 times a year (and that's with 500-600 at-bats). Brantley is on pace or better than that. Only 3 leadoff hitters had more than 80 walks last year: Grady, Hanley Ramirez, and Brian Roberts. And 2 of those 3 are 30 HR guys so it makes sense teams want to walk them more. Only 2 other leadoff hitters had over 70 walks last year: Akinori Iwamura and Curtis Granderson. Brantley is well on pace to have at least that many with 500 at-bats. What more do you want from a leadoff guy??


LaPorta actually does project as a decent RFer in the MLs. He was a catcher in HS and drafted as one originally. He caught a bit at the University of Florida as well before being moved to 1B. He has a good arm, not great but good. Won't be a Vlad or Cuddyer out there, but won't embarass himself out there. Like I said, I can see him being as good or better than Manny was in RF (again, I'm talking defensively) for us.

Here's a scouting report that I found on LaPorta that I found pretty insightful. Hits on his defense as well as speed on other aspects. Was taken before the 2008 season as well (so before he had played in RF).

Scouts love his power. "Country strong" as they like to say. You can't miss it. He is a thick dude at 220 lbs, has oak-like thighs and great hand-eye coordination.

No problems converting from aluminum bats to wood. Silenced any doubters with excellent power numbers in Cape Cod league last year and similar trends in Minors and AFL. Rates as a 70 power (out of 80)

Through the first 11 games of the Arizona Fall League schedule, LaPorta hit safely in every game and led the league in RBI, second in HR. He batted third in the lineup and has not disappointed.

His muscularity actually makes him appear shorter on the field than his listed 6'2", which he may actually be a tad taller.

He's played every position on the baseball field at some point in his career including where he is stationed now (left field). His arm is above average for outfield and he seems to get good jumps on balls hit his way, although I only saw him have two cans of corn hit to him in the game.

Love to play the game, highly motivated, good instincts, willing to play any/all positions, but suited best for first base or left field.

Can hit the ball to the right side better than typical mashers and has an above average eye at the plate (second in AFL in walks) and decent pitch recognition.

Definitely not afraid to take a pitch.

He's highly competitive and his Mom says that he can be highly motivated by food. He will compete in anything and win if the reward is a meal. This could be a successful character trait in a place like Milwaukee. Or he could balloon to 300 lbs if he wins too much!

The main knock against LaPorta is his speed. He runs around a 4.6 40yd, which isn't horrible but he won't be stealing 50 bases a season anytime soon. In fact, he had zero stolen bases in Minor League action this season. I did see him break for second on a hit and run that was fouled off; he appears to be a heady baserunner, gets good secondary leads. He might not be fast but his well-tuned baseball instincts give him a "quickness"

There are some minor concerns about injuries, but none have been major. Strained oblique in college cost him part of his junior year. Has a "tender" right elbow currently and is wearing a compression sleeve, but it's more nicks and soreness from the rigors of playing baseball since January, when UF's season started.



I saw him play a bit last year in Akron. His arm does look stronger than most in our system (at least at the upper levels). Definately not a Gutierrez, but he should be able to handle RF fine. Like the report says, is better suited for LF.....but RF isn't that 'out there' of an idea for him.
Last edited by Hermie13 on Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby endlesssleeper » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:57 pm

Wow, a 4.6 40 yd. is nothing to scoff at. Some NFL running backs top out at that. I don't know how well that type of speed translates to the basepaths, but LaPorta is apparently quite the physical specimen.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:29 pm

murt wrote:While some, myself included, suspect that Brantley's shot at developing more power in the needed MLB ways is not great, I would concede that his chances of success in this area are necessarily greater relative to his growing 1+ inches in height from 20.5 yrs to 21.5 yrs. Whatever Brantley is, he is clearly not "very misunderstood" based on his last two years.

Below...not gospel. Just a tad more information in the mix of differing views.

----------

Keith (Chicago): Is Michael Brantley an everyday player?

Jim Callis: (3:12 PM ET ) Not unless he finds more power. At least not on a contender.
---------
Ben: (Columbus): Hey Keith...Thoughts on Michael Brantley and how does he finalize the Sabathia trade in your book?

Keith Law: Fourth outfielder. With Bryson having shoulder surgery, this is probably coming to shake out as just Sabathia for LaPorta.

Pete (Chicago): What do you know about Michael Brantley and Taylor Green? Which one should the Indians take as their PTBNL in the Sabathia trade?

Keith Law: I'd take Green.

ESPN's Keith Law agrees, suggesting that Mark Shapiro should've held out for a higher probability return. He sees Bryson as the key to the deal. The 20 year-old is a projectable live arm.

I think there is a considerable difference between the statistically based brief comments which you provided and the scouting reports which Tony utilizes when discussing Brantley. If he has enough talent to start AAA at age 21, I am not sure that it is beyond possibility that there might be some power projection. I don't question what your numbers and quotes say. I just think 21 is way too early to write off development and you allowed for that possiblity.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:48 pm

Hermie,

We will have to disagree about the walk rate thing. My point was that with both power and walk rate that they translate well to ML from minor league numbers. That is, they don't change much, and Kendrick is a prime exmaple of that. If Brantley is walking once every 10 PA (9 ABs) then he is acceptable but not extraordinary. My point is that his walk rate may more likely represent the ceiling of what he will do in the big leagues rather than the basement. Only time will tell.

For LaPorta you say that he projects well as a ML RFer but then quote an aritcle that says he is best at LF or 1B which, to me, means best at 1B and maybe can gut it out in LF. BTW, John Allman who I know and played in the GCL for the Indians played catcher in HS, too. But he is a LF/1B guy. Playing catcher in HS is almost irrelevant to arm strength, IMHO. Plus, if you are going to invoke that then you probably have to invoke that catchers are among the least athletic of HS baseball players and, as such, doesn't project well defensively at any positon.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:21 pm

Even if this is what Brantley can best hope for as far as BB/AB ratio in the MLs, he'll be one of the best as far as leadoff hitters as I've shown.


I did say that it said LF and 1B are his best two spots. But that his arm is good enough to play RF, which is pretty much what the scouting report said as well. And you can't take from what he said that 1B is better suited for him over LF. In fact, reading what he said, it makes LF sound like a better fit for him with how his speed isn't terrible and he can move around to balls.

If LaPorta had never played catcher after HS I'd agree with you. But the Univ of Florida (no cheapy school) had him play some there (and RECRUITED him as a catcher). According to what I read from back in 2005, LaPorta was only moved from behind the plate to 1B because of the depth that team had there (Brian Jeroloman was there too and hit pretty well. Now in the Blue Jays system and has played AAA ball). According to some, he'd have caught there had Brian not gone too (same age). A LOT of HS catchers that go to college are still great athletes as well. I know on my old team our best athlete was our catcher and he ended up going on to play Div-I baseball collegiately.

His best spot is likely 1B...but LF and even RF are VERY doable for LaPorta, who has been unfairly judged on his fieldign skills. Manny Ramirez's best spot was probably 1B way back when, but he played well enough and had a good enough arm to handle RF for 8 ML seasons. LaPorta can easily do the same from what I've seen and read.....


Plus, if Brantley (or even Crowe) end up in LF. RF is the most likely landing spot for LaPorta for the forseeable future.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:27 pm

Something interesting to note about LaPorta....

According to his University of Florida bio...he was his High School team's DEFENSIVE Most Valuable Player his senior year.....

Being a catcher, leads me to believe he must have had a great arm and thrown plenty of runners out. Could just mean that his team was absolutely horrible defensively I suppose......but still intersting that there was no mention of being an offensive MVP or just plain team MVP......
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby murt » Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:23 pm

LaPorta ... 4.6 in the 40 ... absolute rubbish even if LaPorta becomes a gold glove MLB outfielder and has to run for 40 away from bulls in Spain during the offseason.

Brantley ... we have all tossed this around probably too much now. We need to see the season unfold to meaningfully contribute more, I sense.

Not to defend BA, cause they make mistakes, and often, yet they are not as statistically based as mentioned, and Callis' comments are only a week old. Keith Law, not infallible, is also an intelligent person who makes a point of seeing hundreds and hundreds of kids in his professional capacity, week to week, all year long. This is his full time job, after all. Tony has not yet seen Brantley play. Finally, the notion that BA or Law or other pros, versus ANY poster on this board, have less access to MLB insider scouting information in discharging their duties cannot be accurate. These persons, to compete successfully at the highest levels, necessarily have superior league-wide scouting contact resources, and would utterly blow away any participant in this thread as it relates to pro third party input. Easy call. Night and day difference. Doesn't mean our views on this thread are inferior. Just making a point.

No one is saying Brantley cannot be special or a regular MLB player. And no one is writing him off. There is a chance, for certain, that he could develop needed power, and we would all be genuinely happy to see this. There is simply a disagreement on the odds of this occurring. Those who state he will be a star or that he has no chance lack credibility. Those who argue within the extremes of the larger middle window, disagreement evident, are all making reasonable comments, I think we all agree. Will be fun to come back to this in July and September to see if Brantley is slap, slap, slap or slap, punch, pop.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Duane Kuiper » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:20 pm

From today's chat.

Del (Cleveland, OH): Klaw whats your thoughts on the Indians Michael Brantley?

Keith Law: Unless he can play the hell out of center, he's a fourth outfielder.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby JP_Frost » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:46 pm

I don't really understand Law's argument there. With Sizemore in center you can afford to have a weaker offensive player in left. If Brantley is able to put up a .380 OBP with a .400 SLG or so, that's perfectly acceptable. The fact that we also have LaPorta, and later on Weglarz trying to win a corner outfield spot could hurt Brantley's chances, but you can deal with that when it happens.

I'm by no means a big Brantley fan, but if he continues to develop offensively and puts up similar numbers in 2009, he's definately more than just a 4th outfielder.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby artgold » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:48 am

Duane Kuiper wrote:Brantley will not be the sleeper of this trade. Poor defensive slap hitters never become more than average MLers.

Juan Pierre is a good comp. More walks than Ks, but not enough walks. Low SLG. Poor SB%.



My Brantley comp at the moment is Terry Puhl, who was an Astros OF back in the 1980's. Take a look at his age per minor league level, his physical size, his stolen base stats and his BB/K and AB/BB, and he looks an awful lot like Brantley. If this comp is accurate, a Ben Francisco batting about 20 points higher than last year (with a similar rise in his OBP and SLG) would generally considered to be a better offensive contributor than Puhl. While Puhl was somewhat hurt by playing in the Astrodome, his home and road stats weren't that significantly different.

If you take a look at Ben Francisco's repeat performances in Akron (2004/2005) and Buffalo (2006/2007) you see a strong pattern of adjustment, and increases in offensive performance. A similar improvement may take place in Cleveland this summer, moving him up to a performance line somewhere in the .285/.350/.460 range, which is significantly better than the offensive performance of Puhl.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... puhl.shtml

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... isco.shtml
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby dnosco » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:50 am

Hermie13 wrote:Something interesting to note about LaPorta....

According to his University of Florida bio...he was his High School team's DEFENSIVE Most Valuable Player his senior year.....

Being a catcher, leads me to believe he must have had a great arm and thrown plenty of runners out. Could just mean that his team was absolutely horrible defensively I suppose......but still intersting that there was no mention of being an offensive MVP or just plain team MVP......


Ryan Garko also won the Johny Bench award as the outstanding catcher in college his junior year. :s_omg
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby jhonny » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:39 am

Michael Young just won a Gold Glove.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:25 am

artgold wrote:
Duane Kuiper wrote:Brantley will not be the sleeper of this trade. Poor defensive slap hitters never become more than average MLers.

Juan Pierre is a good comp. More walks than Ks, but not enough walks. Low SLG. Poor SB%.



My Brantley comp at the moment is Terry Puhl, who was an Astros OF back in the 1980's. Take a look at his age per minor league level, his physical size, his stolen base stats and his BB/K and AB/BB, and he looks an awful lot like Brantley. If this comp is accurate, a Ben Francisco batting about 20 points higher than last year (with a similar rise in his OBP and SLG) would generally considered to be a better offensive contributor than Puhl. While Puhl was somewhat hurt by playing in the Astrodome, his home and road stats weren't that significantly different.

If you take a look at Ben Francisco's repeat performances in Akron (2004/2005) and Buffalo (2006/2007) you see a strong pattern of adjustment, and increases in offensive performance. A similar improvement may take place in Cleveland this summer, moving him up to a performance line somewhere in the .285/.350/.460 range, which is significantly better than the offensive performance of Puhl.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... puhl.shtml

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... isco.shtml


Hi Art, You have this comp stuff down better than I do but I have seen a comp in other places comparing Brantley to former Indian "slap hitter" Brett Butler. I took a brief look at Butler's and Puhl's stats and I can see why the Butler comp has some attraction. Do you think there is any merit to the Butler comp? Do you still plan to be in Goodyear?
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:04 am

dnosco wrote:Ryan Garko also won the Johny Bench award as the outstanding catcher in college his junior year. :s_omg


So did Jeff Clement (who is likely to be a DH/1B at the ML level rather than catcher). It's voted on by sportswriters, sportscasters, coaches, and scouts. They pick the best 'catcher'....but no where does it say it has to be the best defensive catcher. It is typically to the best hitting catcher. Yes, sometimes if there's guys very close in offensive stats the better defensive guy gets the nod. But just because it's the Johnny Bench award and Bench was considered the best defensive catcher ever, doesn't mean they hold true to that ideal.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby cardiackidz » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:35 am

terry puhl lol come on that guy had major white guy athletic ability. he has moe natural athletic ability then terry puhl. thinking about it i never thought i'd ever think of terry puhl again until today.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:37 am

MadThinker88 wrote:Fielding: Crowe over Brantley. Much has been written about the work Brantley needs to do to improve.

Arm Strength: Crowe over Brantley. Again, much has been written about the lack of arm strength by Brantley. Crowe doesn't have a cannon but even an average arm wins this category over Brantley.

Speed: Brantley over Crowe. Crowe is no base clogger but I'm giving credit where and when its due. Brantley was awarded best base running honors this season in his league.

Hitting: Brantley over Crowe. Again I have to give credit when due. Brantley's ability to draw walks and not strike out is perhaps his greatest talent.

Power: Crowe over Brantley. Projections are nice but let us talk about what is. Crowe had 9 homers and 28 doubles over 84 games at AA and AAA (344 AB). Brantley had 4 homers and 17 doubles over 104 games (420 AB) at AA. BTW Brantley had 2 triples while Crowe had 4 (2 at each level).


Fielding: Both Crowe and Brantley are very close as far as range goes and the ability to field the ball. The difference here, and why Crowe gets the nod, is Crowe gets better jumps and has better instincts. Of course, Crowe is 25 years old....almost 4 years older than Brantley, so obviosly a lot more polished and refined compared to Brantley who is 21 and still raw as an outfielder.

Arm Strength: Crowe's is better....his is average-to-above average where Brantley's is average at best.

Speed: Both are close, but Brantley rates higher.

Hitting: Again, both are very similar in that both exhibit very good plate discipline with the ability to hit for average and draw walks and keep strikeouts down. The difference here is Brantley is just excellent in all phases of hitting. Will be a .300+ hitter in the bigs, is consistent and doesn't go through hot/cold spells like Crowe, has an unbelievable ability to put the bat on the ball and not strikeout, and is patient where he can draw walks. He's at least a 70 on the scouting scale for hitting.

Power: This is where Brantley gets hammered.....but a little perspective here. When Crowe was 21, he was at Lake County and Mahoning Valley and had just 14 extra base hits in 239 at bats (.331 SLG). At 21, Brantley was in Double-A Huntsville, two whole levels higher than Crowe at the same age, and had 23 extra base hits in 420 at bats (.398 SLG). The age difference of almost 4 years is huge to where you simply can't compare what Crowe did in 2008 at the plate vs. what Brantley did. Brantley is still growing and developing, while Crowe is pretty much plateaued as a player. Brantley is already 2-3 inches bigger than Crowe and 10-15 pounds bigger too and still growing. His power is just starting to emerge. With all that.....I would call it an incomplete grade between the too in the power department because more data is needed. (If I had to grade them now, I'd say they are equal on power potential)
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:45 am

Here are the careers through age 27 for Lofton, Pierre, and Brantley with the first number before the slash the extras base hits and the number after the at bats for the year. Also, extra base hits per 500 at bats are in parentheses:

Lofton:
1988: Age 21, Level A-, 8/187 (21.4)
1989: Age 22, Level A, 7/192 (18.2)
1990: Age 23, Level A+, 22/481 (22.9)
1991: Age 24, Level AAA, 39/619 (31.5)
1992: Age 25, Level MLB, 28/576 (24.3)
1993: Age 26, Level MLB, 37/569 (32.5)
1994: Age 27, Level MLB, 53/459 (57.7)
(1994 is his highwater mark)

Pierre:
1998: Age 20, Level A-, 11/264 (20.8)
1999: Age 21, Level A, 34/585 (29.1)
2000: Age 22, Level AA/AAA/MLB, 23/656 (17.5)
2001: Age 23, Level MLB, 39/617 (31.6)
2002: Age 24, Level MLB, 26/592 (22.0)
2003: Age 25, Level MLB, 36/668 (26.9)
2004: Age 26, Level MLB, 37/678 (27.3)
2005: Age 27, Level MLB, 34/656 (25.9)

Brantley:
2005: Age 18, Level R, 4/173 (11.6)
2006: Age 19, Level A, 12/360 (16.7)
2007: Age 20, Level A/AA, 25/405 (30.8)
2008: Age 21, Level AA, 19/308 (30.8)
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby MadThinker88 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:43 pm

Hermie,
I do not think Outfield Assists is a good measure of an outfielder's arm strength.
Teams are more likely to run or try to stretch on a guy that has a wearker arm.
Also, assists are dependent on a clean catch by the other fielder and often a relay throw as well. Neither of those items are in control of the outfielder.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby MadThinker88 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:56 pm

Tony,
Thanks for updating the head to head comparisons for Crowe and Brantley.
As I have written before, I am hoping both players pan out for the Tribe. Time will tell if either, one or both does.
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby jellis » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:13 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:Hermie,
I do not think Outfield Assists is a good measure of an outfielder's arm strength.
Teams are more likely to run or try to stretch on a guy that has a wearker arm.
Also, assists are dependent on a clean catch by the other fielder and often a relay throw as well. Neither of those items are in control of the outfielder.


got to agree assists are the rbis of fielding they really dont show anything yet 80% of people think they do
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Re: How the Indians farm system ranks according to BA

Postby jellis » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:18 pm

some more fuel for the debate from yahoo team reports:

OF Trevor Crowe and OF Michael Brantley are two speed-oriented outfielders who figure to start the 2009 season in the outfield at Class AAA Columbus. Asked to compare the two outfielders, general manager Mark Shapiro said, “Crowe has more power, but Brantley is a more patient hitter. Crowe is a switch hitter with a better arm. Both of them can play center field.”
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