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2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortstops

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

2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortstops

Postby osueddy » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:51 am

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 shortstop and who is a second baseman is a little hazy. If you don't see someone here, they will be on the second base list.

Shortstops Not Eligible: Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam Everett

Prospect Ranking (Shortstops):
1.) Tony Wolters (19)
2.) Juan Diaz (22)
3.) Casey Frawley (23)
4.) Jorge Martinez (18)
5.) Kyle Smith (23)

Shortstop is a position that is a little light in prospects for the Tribe. Second base has the big two at the top, but there are no proven prospects at shortstop. 3rd round pick Tony Wolters jumps to the top of my list due to his age and projection, but there really isn't anyone competing for that top spot other than Diaz. Hitting .284-8-60 at A+ last year, Diaz has the Akron position all to himself this year with the loss of Carlos Rivero (Phillies). Rivero was really the player that everyone thought would rise through the system and possibly push Asdrubal Cabrera, but he stalled at Akron. Though he'll be 23 at Kinston, Frawley put forth some solid numbers (.262-13-74) at Lake County last season. He'll need to continue that hitting at Kinston to stay one step ahead of Wolters going into next season. He may hang on with the organization for some time and possibly develop into a utility infielder at the ML level. Many people may put Jorge Martinez ahead of Frawley on their list, but he had an .891 fielding pct. at shortstop last year for the AZL team. Granted, he was 17 and playing stateside for the first time, but he'll more than likely be on a short-season team again this year. The 5th spot was wide open, but I like how Kyle Smith plays and he is a solid defensive shortstop that can play second base and occasionally third.

Didn't Make the Cut:
Tyler Cannon (23)
Ron Rivas (23)
Matt Cusick (25)
Cristo Arnal (25)

Future Prospects From the DSL Team:
Jairo Kelly (18): Hit .250-0-26 last year for the DSL team. He was 6'0"/170 as a 17 year old, so it will be interesting to see how he develops at EST this year and his probable debut for the AZL team.

Orgizational Report:
Cleveland - Cabrera
Columbus - Everett
Akron - Diaz / Cusick
Kinston - Frawley / Smith
Lake County - Wolters / Cannon
Extended Spring Training - J. Martinez / J. Kelly
Cut? - Rivas / Arnal

Asdrubal Cabrera has a lock on the shortstop position and I'll take his .285-8-60 every season. He'll only be 25 this season, and hopefully healthy, so I'd like to see him develop a little more pop. As our lineup develops into 2012, Asdrubal's numbers will look good in the 8 or 9 spot in the lineup.

I'm not sure 34 year Adam Everett would accept a spot at Columbus, but he won't make the ML roster and there is a glaring need at shortstop for the Clippers. Everett could use his performance at AAA to get himself a shot at a ML job mid-season. If Everett doesn't end up in Columbus, I guess the Tribe could stick Cristo Arnal there, but there has to be a better free agent option. Matt Cusick got his first experience at AAA for the Yankees last season, and he could end up as the Clippers' shortstop, but I'll guess Everett goes to Columbus and Cusick becomes the backup infielder at Akron behind Juan Diaz.

Casey Frawley will be the starting shortstop at Kinston, and I can see Kyle Smith as his backup. I actually think that Smith will play well enough to steal some at bats away from Argenis Martinez at second base for Kinston. Tony Wolters will get his shot with Lake County as a 19 year old. I can't imagine that Wolters won't start the season in Eastlake, but if he doesn't, then Nicholas Bartolone would slide over to short from second base. The backup utility guy at Lake County will be an interesting decision. Tyler Cannon, Aaron Fields, and Logan Thompson could all claim the spot, though I'll give the upper hand to Cannon. Whoever it is might not get many at bats as Wolters and Bartolone probably won't sit much.

The shortstop position isn't a strong one for the Indians, but with a young Cabrera at the position and Jason Donald as a capable fill-in at the 6-spot, the Indians are okay at the top. They'll just need one of their young prospects to be ready by 2015.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby davidkey » Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:36 pm

Good stuff Geronimo, thanks for the work.

Going just slightly off topic, who do you all think would be the Tribe's utility IF this year, given the following candidates for the left side of the infield going into spring training:

2B: Donald, Valbuena
SS: A. Cabrera, A. Everett
3B: Nix, Godert
Misc: C. Phelps

and then with the following winners of the starting job for opening day.....Donald at 2B, Cabrera at SS and Nix at 3B

For the sake of argument, say Donald goes in to opening day as the starting 2B , Cabrera at SS and Nix at 3B. If Phelps doesn't win a starting job out of spring, does it make any sense to make him a UIF and limit his playing time (if he's even capable of playing all 3 positions). whatever the case, who would our UIF be?

Of course this is all hypothetical, and I really hope neither Nix nor Valbuena are starters. But as of right now, odds seem to be that at least 1 of them makes the opening day roster in some capacity.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby osueddy » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:40 pm

davidkey wrote:Good stuff Geronimo, thanks for the work.

Going just slightly off topic, who do you all think would be the Tribe's utility IF this year, given the following candidates for the left side of the infield going into spring training:

2B: Donald, Valbuena
SS: A. Cabrera, A. Everett
3B: Nix, Godert
Misc: C. Phelps

and then with the following winners of the starting job for opening day.....Donald at 2B, Cabrera at SS and Nix at 3B

For the sake of argument, say Donald goes in to opening day as the starting 2B , Cabrera at SS and Nix at 3B. If Phelps doesn't win a starting job out of spring, does it make any sense to make him a UIF and limit his playing time (if he's even capable of playing all 3 positions). whatever the case, who would our UIF be?

Of course this is all hypothetical, and I really hope neither Nix nor Valbuena are starters. But as of right now, odds seem to be that at least 1 of them makes the opening day roster in some capacity.


I really don't think it would make any sense for Phelps to sit on the bench for Cleveland. He needs to get as many at bats as possible to continue his development and that means starting the season in Columbus.

I think that Nix will start at third, and I hate to say this to you, but I think both Nix and Valbuena make the opening day roster. I think Valbuena will win the utility infielder position over Adam Everett. A positive note to you though; I think that once Kipnis or Phelps is ready to play 2B every day, then Donald becomes our utility guy and its goodbye Luis Valbuena.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby davidkey » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:37 pm

I would be hard pressed to disagree with you, OSUeddy. I guess I just have to accept the reality of the current situation, eg, that there is in fact a distinct possibility that Louie the V and Stevie Nix will make the team out of spring training. That is, unless one or both of them absolutely tanks in spring training and/or someone else has such a great spring that they can't be left out (maybe, maybe, maybe.....Goedert or Phelps). But yeah, I totally agree that wherever Phelps goes, he's got to play everyday.

Guess I'll just really be rooting for Phelps and Kipnis to play well enough in Columbus to force management's hand into getting rid of some of the current flotsam/jetsam on the roster by mid-season (at the latest, please!)
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby daingean » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:23 pm

osueddy wrote:
I really don't think it would make any sense for Phelps to sit on the bench for Cleveland. He needs to get as many at bats as possible to continue his development and that means starting the season in Columbus.

I think that Nix will start at third, and I hate to say this to you, but I think both Nix and Valbuena make the opening day roster. I think Valbuena will win the utility infielder position over Adam Everett. A positive note to you though; I think that once Kipnis or Phelps is ready to play 2B every day, then Donald becomes our utility guy and its goodbye Luis Valbuena.


I agree that there is almost no way that Kipnis makes it. He has a lot of work to do defensively (2B is a defensive position) plus has some offensive work to do. Phelps on the other hand has a chance at the opening day roster and that is even at a platoon with either Nix/Valbuena/Goedert. He has a whole year at AAA plus he's an energy guy that could be quite valuable to this team. My guess would definitely be Nix/Valbuena/Donald/Cabrerra for the IF but Phelps could push Valbuena down to AAA (where I would see him playing SS mostly to prepare him for that utility IF position he seams destined to man).
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby indianinkslinger » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:32 am

It may seem like a small thing but I do not want to see Hunter Jones get lost in the shuffle. Hunter played SS in the AZL but he may not stick there. He is an outstanding athlete with great speed but may grow too large for SS. I suspect he may wind up in CF. I see a lot of tools and would not be surprised if he had some pop as he gets older. Another interesting SS from the 2010 class IMO. :pleasantry:
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby MadThinker88 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:04 pm

indianinkslinger wrote:It may seem like a small thing but I do not want to see Hunter Jones get lost in the shuffle. Hunter played SS in the AZL but he may not stick there. He is an outstanding athlete with great speed but may grow too large for SS. I suspect he may wind up in CF. I see a lot of tools and would not be surprised if he had some pop as he gets older. Another interesting SS from the 2010 class IMO. :pleasantry:


I thought he was already moved to the OF.
Perhaps I'm confusing him with another Hunter drafted by the Tribe in 2010 and moved to the OF.
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby indianinkslinger » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:06 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:It may seem like a small thing but I do not want to see Hunter Jones get lost in the shuffle. Hunter played SS in the AZL but he may not stick there. He is an outstanding athlete with great speed but may grow too large for SS. I suspect he may wind up in CF. I see a lot of tools and would not be surprised if he had some pop as he gets older. Another interesting SS from the 2010 class IMO. :pleasantry:


I thought he was already moved to the OF.
Perhaps I'm confusing him with another Hunter drafted by the Tribe in 2010 and moved to the OF.

I think he is the only Hunter. It was reported he was drafted as a CF but he played SS in HS and played considerable time as SS in the AZL from the records I have seen. Not unusual for the Indians to switch players off after letting them get accustomed to pro ball. My point is that he is a capable SS now. He does project to get bigger and could be a CF because of his speed or 3B because of his size. :drinks:
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Re: 2011 Indians Organizational Ranking and Report - Shortst

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:19 am

indianinkslinger wrote:I think he is the only Hunter. It was reported he was drafted as a CF but he played SS in HS and played considerable time as SS in the AZL from the records I have seen. Not unusual for the Indians to switch players off after letting them get accustomed to pro ball. My point is that he is a capable SS now. He does project to get bigger and could be a CF because of his speed or 3B because of his size. :drinks:


He will play 3B next year. Maybe some outfield.
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