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2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Basemen

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

2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Basemen

Postby osueddy » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:38 pm

I'll be posting over the next week a report ranking the Indians prospects at each position and an overall report on the position. I'll be using the same rules as Tony concerning eligibility for prospects (50 IP, 130 AB, and played stateside). The age next to the players name is for next season using the July 1 cut-off date.

Defining who is a 2nd basemen and who is a shortstop is a little hazy. If you don't see someone here, they will be on the shorstop list.

2nd Basemen Not Eligible: Jason Donald, Luis Valbuena

Prospect Ranking (2nd Basemen):
1.) Jason Kipnis (24)
2.) Cord Phelps (24)
3.) Karexon Sanchez (23)
4.) Nicholas Bartolone (20)
5.) Argenis Martinez (21)

The top 2 here are very exciting for fans of the Indians. Kipnis will be on the top 5 list of many and the development of Phelps last year gives the Indians a bright future at the position as early as July of this season. It would seem with Kipnis blocking him, that Phelps may have to become a utility infielder at Columbus to get his at bats. If Kipnis is the real deal for the Indians unitl 2015+, then Phelps will have to prove his value at SS and 3B also to beat out Jason Donald to stick with the Tribe in 2012. Tony recently wrote a nice article on Sanchez, who has some pop for a middle infielder, but he has never hit for a great average and he strikes out too much. Bartolone was a surprise draft pick in the 6th round, but he held his own last year at Arizona and Mahoning Valley. Martinez has shown little offensive ability so far and this may be a make or break year for him as a starter. He could eventually become a minor league backup.

Didn't Make the Cut:
Kevin Fontanez (21)
Preston Mattingly (23)
Logan Thompson (21)
Aaron Fields (23)
Robel Garcia (18)
Daniel DeGeorge (24)
Justin Toole (24)

Future Prospects From the DSL Team:
Erik Gonzalez (19): Hit .346-1-27 last year and he played almost everywhere (SS/3B/OF also). Should be the starting 2B for the AZL team in June after his time at EST.

Orgizational Report:
Cleveland - Donald / Valbuena
Columbus - Kipnis / Phelps
Akron - Sanchez
Kinston - A. Martinez
Lake County - Bartolone / Fontanez
Extended Spring Training - Fields / Thompson / Garcia / E. Gonzalez
Cut? - Mattingly / Toole / DeGeorge

The quick development of Jason Kipnis has turned Jason Donald into a body to just keep second base warm until the middle of this season. Donald has gone from a top 5 Phillies prospect to someone who needs to really prove themself in April and May this season. A hot start by Donald, and a slow start by Kipnis may keep Donald at the position all season. I don't really like the thought of Valbuena getting a lot of at bats, but he can play three infield positions and that makes him valuable for now. If Kipnis gets the call mid-season, then Donald will become the utility infielder and Valbuena may be sent to Columbus. I'd say he would more than likely be released as Kipnis's promotion would give time for Phelps to play a little second.

Columbus has two solid second basemen, but a hole at shortstop. I'm not sure Phelps has the ability to play short, but if he wants to play at the major league level for Cleveland, then he'll have to prove himself as more valuable than Donald for 2012.

At Akron on down, there really isn't too much to be thrilled about, though we have some solid players. Sanchez and Martinez will have a full time job most of the season. Akron will need a utility infielder, but I think a couple from the shorstop list (Cusick, Rivas) will fight for that spot and Mattingly who can really only play 2B/OF will be out. Bartolone will start at 2nd for Lake County, but it seems wide open as to whom will be the backup infielder in Eastlake. I suppose Fontanez, Tyler Cannon, Fields, and Thompson will fight it out.

The position is pretty strong at the top, and it would be great if the Indians could draft or develop someone at the lower levels to be on track for 2015 and beyond.
Last edited by osueddy on Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:27 am

I like this list and your analysis. Although I have Bartolone, who I developed an appreciation for in a short time. well ahead of anyone on your list other than Kipnis or Phelps but part of that has to do with his ability at SS. I am not sure you are going to have any utility capable SSs other than Valbuena and/or Donald. The others look seriously range challenged to me.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby danh8 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:50 am

Haven't seen Bartolone play as of yet, but would like to see the organization lock him in at SS for the time being, and see how his development takes shape without any position hopping.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:02 am

danh8 wrote:Haven't seen Bartolone play as of yet, but would like to see the organization lock him in at SS for the time being, and see how his development takes shape without any position hopping.

I was fascinated by Bartelone after the draft and watched a lot of tape. He has got some skills. But I think Tony called it correctly when he called him at 2B in LC. He is too good to be in MV but he is nowhere near the prospect at SS as Wolters. While his range is probably equal and arm close, I don't think his hands and instincts are as good. But he needs the time at low A for his hitting. Proverbial rock and hard place! :pleasantry:
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby osueddy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:41 am

indianinkslinger wrote:
danh8 wrote:Haven't seen Bartolone play as of yet, but would like to see the organization lock him in at SS for the time being, and see how his development takes shape without any position hopping.

I was fascinated by Bartelone after the draft and watched a lot of tape. He has got some skills. But I think Tony called it correctly when he called him at 2B in LC. He is too good to be in MV but he is nowhere near the prospect at SS as Wolters. While his range is probably equal and arm close, I don't think his hands and instincts are as good. But he needs the time at low A for his hitting. Proverbial rock and hard place! :pleasantry:


I think you nailed it indiansinkslinger. Bartolone isn't ready to jump to Kinston, so he'll be at Lake County, and Wolters will be the everyday shortstop there. It's 2B or the bench.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby daingean » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:20 am

Nice analysis. I view the 2B position like a horse race. Right now they are in the back stretch with in this order Donald, Valbuena, Phelps and Kipnis. While Donald is in the lead, leaders in the back stretch change. Valbuena is fading but can he get that second burst of energy? Kipnis is the favorite.

Donald - should have the 2B job out of ST this year. He could grab the position and hold on to it. (bird in the hand theory)
Valbuena - had the position but couldn't hit. Still young enough to turn it around but not heading in the right direction.
Phelps - ML ready now. Could compete and win a spot or even beat out Donald for 2B. Had great AFL season.
Kipnis - Ready to put final touches on his development. Favorite to emerge as starter in 2012.

The current pecking order is flipped when looking at the expected order when the dust finally settles. Remember that anything could happen.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:17 am

OSUEddy.. love these analyses...some thoughts..

Cord Phelps may be given more chances in 2011 to play in Cleveland than the more heralded Kipnis as he's a gamer that can be put at any one of three infield spots (3B, SS & 2B). He's a gifted athletic infielder with a strong and accurate arm who may even get some time in the OF thereby making him a super utiltiy player in the mode of Mighty Casey Blake. He's a much bigger athlete than Kipnis, switch hits and does have projectable power to the tune of 10-15 homers. He's the goods.

Kipnis may also fit this same mold. He's got a great bat and approach. Seems as though he has a tendency to be fooled by junk ballers as he gets onto his front side pretty fast. He doesn't really hit for a lot of power, but has the kind of bat speed that would allow for him to develop some. He's not as polished defensively as you'd like to see from a high end prospect & may not be well suited as an every day player long term due to his slight frame/weight, but, it's clear, he has intrinsic baseball instincts that cannot be taught.

Kipnis and Phelps could be in a dogfight throughout spring training to make the club. It would be a HUGE surprise to see both of them make it while Jason Nix is released. Both of these guys profile, at least, as average to slightly above average long term MLB players.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby osueddy » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:12 am

GeronimoSon wrote:OSUEddy.. love these analyses...some thoughts..

Cord Phelps may be given more chances in 2011 to play in Cleveland than the more heralded Kipnis as he's a gamer that can be put at any one of three infield spots (3B, SS & 2B). He's a gifted athletic infielder with a strong and accurate arm who may even get some time in the OF thereby making him a super utiltiy player in the mode of Mighty Casey Blake. He's a much bigger athlete than Kipnis, switch hits and does have projectable power to the tune of 10-15 homers. He's the goods.

Kipnis may also fit this same mold. He's got a great bat and approach. Seems as though he has a tendency to be fooled by junk ballers as he gets onto his front side pretty fast. He doesn't really hit for a lot of power, but has the kind of bat speed that would allow for him to develop some. He's not as polished defensively as you'd like to see from a high end prospect & may not be well suited as an every day player long term due to his slight frame/weight, but, it's clear, he has intrinsic baseball instincts that cannot be taught.

Kipnis and Phelps could be in a dogfight throughout spring training to make the club. It would be a HUGE surprise to see both of them make it while Jason Nix is released. Both of these guys profile, at least, as average to slightly above average long term MLB players.


Thanks G-Son.

You might be right about Phelps getting to Cleveland before Kipnis as Phelps already has proven himself at AAA in 273 plate appearances. My only concern is that all of Phelps' 254 minor league games have been at 2B. He'll have to prove himself at 3B and maybe SS to show that is worthwhile to keep on the ML roster. I really don't see either Phelps or Kipnis making the ML roster out of spring training though I really hope they can both get plenty of at bats in Columbus.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby daingean » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:28 am

osueddy wrote:You might be right about Phelps getting to Cleveland before Kipnis as Phelps already has proven himself at AAA in 273 plate appearances. My only concern is that all of Phelps' 254 minor league games have been at 2B. He'll have to prove himself at 3B and maybe SS to show that is worthwhile to keep on the ML roster. I really don't see either Phelps or Kipnis making the ML roster out of spring training though I really hope they can both get plenty of at bats in Columbus.


Phelps did get experience at 3B in the AFL.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:41 pm

daingean wrote:
osueddy wrote:You might be right about Phelps getting to Cleveland before Kipnis as Phelps already has proven himself at AAA in 273 plate appearances. My only concern is that all of Phelps' 254 minor league games have been at 2B. He'll have to prove himself at 3B and maybe SS to show that is worthwhile to keep on the ML roster. I really don't see either Phelps or Kipnis making the ML roster out of spring training though I really hope they can both get plenty of at bats in Columbus.


Phelps did get experience at 3B in the AFL.
And hit the crap out of the ball.. After a shakey start defensively.. he was pretty impressive, too...
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:14 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:
daingean wrote:
osueddy wrote:You might be right about Phelps getting to Cleveland before Kipnis as Phelps already has proven himself at AAA in 273 plate appearances. My only concern is that all of Phelps' 254 minor league games have been at 2B. He'll have to prove himself at 3B and maybe SS to show that is worthwhile to keep on the ML roster. I really don't see either Phelps or Kipnis making the ML roster out of spring training though I really hope they can both get plenty of at bats in Columbus.


Phelps did get experience at 3B in the AFL.
And hit the crap out of the ball.. After a shakey start defensively.. he was pretty impressive, too...

Not to belabor a point, but Phelps might be a better prospect at 1B than anyone on the 1B prospect list. Both offensively and defensively. Personally, I don't think he can play SS at the ML level even as a utility player but I cannot be sure. :pleasantry:
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby rsamak » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:05 pm

imo, the organization would be foolish to not to find significant playing time at ss for Bartolone. He shows good speed so may have the range and arm to stay a ss.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby daingean » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:47 pm

rsamak wrote:imo, the organization would be foolish to not to find significant playing time at ss for Bartolone. He shows good speed so may have the range and arm to stay a ss.


agreed. There is a lot of development room for all of these guys (especially for those in the lower levels). Until he proves he can't handle it (that is).
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:17 am

Indians view Bartolone as a shortstop....very good defender. Because Wolters is playing his first pro season this year, he is not going to play everyday, likely 4-5 days a week. Bartolone play SS as much as 2-4 times a week, and when not playing will likely be at 2B. Wolters is the priority guy, which is why for depth chart purposes Bartolone is listed at 2B. They are expected to have three good middle infielders all share time at 2B and SS next year to start the season at Lake County.

Could see a Perez/Chen like situation from last year where at midseason if Bartolone is playing well he moves to Kinston to be the shortstop and allows Wolters full time duties.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - 2nd Bas

Postby gotribe31 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:23 pm

From Kevin Goldstein's recent chat:
Vic31 (Newark, NJ): Jason Kipnis is a guy you've really touted this year. As an offensive minded 2bman, what kind of power/avg./speed combo are we talking if all goes right?

Kevin Goldstein: .300 hitter with 12-18 home runs and solid 1 per 10 walk rate.

-----
Socialist Joe (Somewhere in NY): Speaking only in terms of offensive production, better career Danny Espinosa or Jason Kipnis?

Kevin Goldstein: Kipnis.
-----
myshkin (Santa Clara, CA): I see the multiple choice questions are popular. Nick Franklin or Jason Kipnis?

Kevin Goldstein: Kipnis.



https://baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=800
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