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Top 50 Countdown

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

Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:02 am

If either Hafner or LaPorta get hurt for an extended period of time we could go with a Jordan Brown/Jared Goedert platoon at DH or 1B. That's probably the only realistic scenario where we'll get to see how well these guys hit at the ML level. Or they could decide to go with Shelly Duncan over Goedert.

Just read the T.J. McFarland report. This guy sounds like a left-handed Jake Westbrook. Ground ball machine, 89-92 mph fastball, second best sinker in the system, and a 6.5 per 9 inning K rate. He's only 21 so we may have a MOR starter in 2-3 years if he continues to progress. Or he could be another Aaron Laffey, who Tony compared him to, which would be not so good.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby petes999 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:11 am

I think MOR starter status for McFarland is optimistic - but we all can dream. Even if he could be like Westbrook, it took Jake some time to figure it out.

But, the biggest issue for McFarland is that he is up for Rule 5 after this year (2007 - 2011 is 5 years) and he has a long list of better candidates ahead of him. So, if he were to find a way to Cleveland, I think he is slated for Laffey role in the pen/spot starter at best as Tony said. Tony even has him in the pen for Akron as a piggyback starter again. Who is he going to beat out? White, Gomez, De La Cruz, Barnes, Hagadone, Packer, Gardner with Pom, House, Knapp and others nipping at his heals. If he was in Columbus this past year, he may have benefited like Tomlin did. But, in the next few years, there won't be much of a window for him. So, if he becomes a MOR starter, it will be with a different team that has more of a window than we do. As Tony said, he would rank in the late 20's or 30's for most organizations. Tell you how much pitching we have.

He may be the Lofgren role. Someone looking at him as a Loogy in Rule 5. Too many others need to be considered for protection this year ahead of him including Barnes, Bryson, Berger, Price, Putnam, Stowell, Chisenhall, Phelps, .... and next with White, Kipnis, Gardner, Packer ...
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby elrod enchilada » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:19 am

I know this is getting ahead of the game a bit, but if there are a number of guys like McFarland who over the course of 2011 demonstrate real promise but who probably are caught in a numbers games because of the depth of pitching in our system, shouldn't we trade a few of these prospects for need--e.g. right-handed power-- if possible? Get something, whatever we can? There must be some teams that could plug a guy like McFarland into their AAA rotation on 2012 at age 23 and see him as a legit prospect.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby homerawayfromhome » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:43 am

As Tony said he would rate 10-15 slots higher at age 21 in a lot of other systems. Look at it like this ... He will be in AA while Pomeranz is in likely A who has better projection but Pomeranz is 22 and fresh from college. McFarland and a couple other are expendable at some point it's a wait and see gm right now... They will weed themselves out by injuies ineffectiveness and lack of development. However the Tribe has a great abundance and should still safely be able to part with some of these guys. It won't happen until they feel they are knocking on the door of competitiveness in the division. Unfortunately that will mean some of the excess will be lost through waivers and the rule 5. Ala jrod and Carlos Rivero. That's why player evaluation will make or break this club. That said they are likely to lose some talented players but overall if they continue to be aggressive drafting and acq talent they should see the improvement we all expect.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby theshow » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:08 am

Prosecutor wrote:If either Hafner or LaPorta get hurt for an extended period of time we could go with a Jordan Brown/Jared Goedert platoon at DH or 1B. That's probably the only realistic scenario where we'll get to see how well these guys hit at the ML level. Or they could decide to go with Shelly Duncan over Goedert.

Just read the T.J. McFarland report. This guy sounds like a left-handed Jake Westbrook. Ground ball machine, 89-92 mph fastball, second best sinker in the system, and a 6.5 per 9 inning K rate. He's only 21 so we may have a MOR starter in 2-3 years if he continues to progress. Or he could be another Aaron Laffey, who Tony compared him to, which would be not so good.


What is wrong with Aaron Laffey? He needs to get healthy, but he has consistantly had an ERA in the low 4's. If you look at Laffey and Westbrook strictly by ERA the last 4 years, they are almost the same pitcher. Jake has just gotten more starts, and Laffey normally gets a high pitch count and can't pitch late into games.

I hope Aaron Laffey gets another chance, because if he doesn't succeed with the Indians, I think he will be a very dynamic #4 starter on another MLB team. I hope Manny Acta's decision to make him a reliever can pay off and he has some success. If you told me right now that TJ McFarland could become Aaron Laffey, and pitch in the major leagues with a low 4 ERA there is no doubt I would take it. He is our 43rd ranked prospect for crying out loud!!! Chuck Lofgren didn't make it and he was one of our very best prospects.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:33 pm

Laffey looked pretty good after compiling a 4.23 ERA in 16 starts in '08. But he has regressed a bit over the last two years as his ERA has gone from 4.23 to 4.44 to 4.53 and his WHIP has gone from 1.34 in '07 to 1.62 last year. He should be getting better from age 22 to 25 but he's been getting worse. Sowers was another guy who looked good his first go-round but was unable to sustain it once the hitters got a book on him.

I agree that McFarland has so many power arms ahead of him in the system that his chances of ever cracking the Tribe's rotation are remote. But he's young, he's a lefty, and he can pitch, so he has a chance. But his upside is probably more like Laffey and Huff than Westbrook.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby homerawayfromhome » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:53 pm

McFarland may still add a tick or two to his fastball which should help but so what he's not a top prospect, our system needs arms of all types and McFarland is a useful lefty and only 21. He maybe a valuable trade commodity in a pkg deal for a RH bat one day. Some of these guys actually progress but the Indians seemingly don't get that lucky often. Cliff Lee wasn't overly impressive early on IMO but really blossomed as a pitcher with the Tribe.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:49 pm

Been following the countdown, and Austin Adams caught my eye. I'm liking this kid a lot. He may be 23, but he's only been a pitcher for two years after playing shortstop in college. He's still learning how to pitch so we should see improvement for at least a couple of more years and possibly longer.

He throws in the mid-90's and can hit 98. He's got to be the best fielding pitcher in the system having been a SS in college. And he had a 1.53 ERA in high A last year.

I'll be watching this kid closely.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Austin Adams = Casey Kelly (without the hype)..
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:43 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Austin Adams = Casey Kelly (without the hype)..

Because they both used to be shortstops? They also both have good curve balls, but that's really the extent of all similarities.

Adams is more than 3 years older, a lot smaller, and a future reliever. He does however, throw significantly harder. Kelly is a future starter with more polished command of a larger repertoire.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:29 pm

Pork Chop Pough wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Austin Adams = Casey Kelly (without the hype)..

Because they both used to be shortstops? They also both have good curve balls, but that's really the extent of all similarities.

Adams is more than 3 years older, a lot smaller, and a future reliever. He does however, throw significantly harder. Kelly is a future starter with more polished command of a larger repertoire.

+1. You forgot they are both right handed and have last names with five letters. GS is right about being an iron clone. :s_biggrin
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:52 pm

Yes.. they both used to be short stops..
Yes.. they are both right handed...
Yes.. they both throw curve balls..
Yes.. they both rely on fast balls..
Yes.. they both have pitched professionally for two years
Yes.. they both have about 40 appearances
Yes.. they both have about 3:1 strikeout to walk rations
Yes.. they both have sub- 4 era's..
Yes.. they both strike out 7 to 8 batters per 9 innings
Yes.. they are both 20 somethings..
Yes.. they both have given up 51 walks in their minor league careers..
Yes.. they both have 1.2 whip's
Yes.. They are similar in many ways..

Save for the hype.. What is projected?.. IDK. perhaps they'll both be returned to Shortstop & YES, they both didn't hit very well... :s_dunno
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:06 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Yes.. they are both 20 somethings..

:lol:

Them and 90% of all prospects in the minors. I don't discount Adams' status due to age much considering the circumstances, but let's not pretend there's any similarity in age here... if Casey Kelly is still stuck in AA a couple of years from now, then maybe there will be.

I'll be sure not to confuse them with any left-handed converted shortstops, though.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby indianinkslinger » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:57 pm

Pork Chop Pough wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Yes.. they are both 20 somethings..

:lol:

Them and 90% of all prospects in the minors. I don't discount Adams' status due to age much considering the circumstances, but let's not pretend there's any similarity in age here... if Casey Kelly is still stuck in AA a couple of years from now, then maybe there will be.

I'll be sure not to confuse them with any left-handed converted shortstops, though.

Except for the SS thing, both remind me of legendary prospect Sidd Finch. Must be the five letters in the last name. :crazy:
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:25 am

Pork Chop Pough wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Yes.. they are both 20 somethings..

:lol:

Them and 90% of all prospects in the minors. I don't discount Adams' status due to age much considering the circumstances, but let's not pretend there's any similarity in age here... if Casey Kelly is still stuck in AA a couple of years from now, then maybe there will be.

I'll be sure not to confuse them with any left-handed converted shortstops, though.
The similarities are striking.. that much is true.. but to claim that Casey Kelly is in a class so far and away ahead of or beyond Austin Adams..well. that's just not true.. Casey Kelly has accomplished THE SAME LEVEL of success in MLB as Austin Adams at this point in their careers.. No more.. no less.. BTW.. a 5.31 ERA in AA in his longest stint in any one location save for high school.. doesn't sound like the world is being set on fire..
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:27 am

Raffie Betancourt was a SS in the Red Sox system for three years before they switched him to pitcher at age 22. Like Austin Adams, he's a short right-hander with a cannon for an arm, although there is an obvious difference in body structure. Adams is starting at the moment but according to Tony he will probably end up in the bullpen. If this guy can be another Raffie I'm very OK with that. So far he looks very promising, but it's still early.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:07 am

Prosecutor wrote:Raffie Betancourt was a SS in the Red Sox system for three years before they switched him to pitcher at age 22. Like Austin Adams, he's a short right-hander with a cannon for an arm, although there is an obvious difference in body structure. Adams is starting at the moment but according to Tony he will probably end up in the bullpen. If this guy can be another Raffie I'm very OK with that. So far he looks very promising, but it's still early.
Betancourt's elbow is being held together with a titanium plate, two screws, some baling wire and bubble gum.. that's why he never became a starter...too
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:02 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Raffie Betancourt was a SS in the Red Sox system for three years before they switched him to pitcher at age 22. Like Austin Adams, he's a short right-hander with a cannon for an arm, although there is an obvious difference in body structure. Adams is starting at the moment but according to Tony he will probably end up in the bullpen. If this guy can be another Raffie I'm very OK with that. So far he looks very promising, but it's still early.
Betancourt's elbow is being held together with a titanium plate, two screws, some baling wire and bubble gum.. that's why he never became a starter...too

The one ML pitch thing had more to do with it than any elbow! :rolleyes:
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:45 pm

If a pitcher can't pronate and supanate his arm due to an elbow being held together.. that leaves few options for him to develop a reportoire of pitches.. so. yes.. it matters....
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:43 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:If a pitcher can't pronate and supanate his arm due to an elbow being held together.. that leaves few options for him to develop a reportoire of pitches.. so. yes.. it matters....

Not really completely true GS. While a curve and screwball would be more difficult, the surgery would not preclude a slider, change and splitter. Betancourt has tried all of these at one time or another with little success. IF his elbow permits him to throw mid 90s fastballs with movement (and it does), then it can handle the other pitches. IMO, a bigger problem is his hand size. As you noted, he is not big. :pleasantry:
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:32 am

Z-Mac makes the top fifty count down with a showing at # 31... While he has a slew of pitches.. the only two that looked like they were "quality" was his sinking fastball and, I think his slider.. but it could have been a cut fastball that I saw.. I couldn't tell.. There wasn't much difference in the velocity.. or, at least, not the posted score board version of velocity. While the actual velocity may have been higher or lower.. the difference between his two primary pitches, wasn't much. Z-Mac seemed to telegraph his change up as his "elbow lead" was more highly pronounced.. At the MLB level, he'd get killed.. The Indians may want to have him focus on his slider/sinker combination, only.. or whatever he can throw that makes the ball go down.. He wasn't fooling anyone with speed changes.. that's for sure..
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:33 am

indianinkslinger wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:If a pitcher can't pronate and supanate his arm due to an elbow being held together.. that leaves few options for him to develop a reportoire of pitches.. so. yes.. it matters....

Not really completely true GS. While a curve and screwball would be more difficult, the surgery would not preclude a slider, change and splitter. Betancourt has tried all of these at one time or another with little success. IF his elbow permits him to throw mid 90s fastballs with movement (and it does), then it can handle the other pitches. IMO, a bigger problem is his hand size. As you noted, he is not big. :pleasantry:
well. you know what small hands mean?.. that's right.. small gloves...
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:51 am

Yeah it's hard to get fired up about Z-Mac after that ugly ERA last year in AAA. You wonder if his talent is peaking out at the AA-AAA level, especially when his fastball is in the 87-91 range. Looks like his upside might be Jake Westbrook but he's got a long way to go.

But we got him in exchange for three months of Austin Kearns, so basically he was a freebie. Anything we get out of him will be a bonus.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby daingean » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:54 am

Prosecutor wrote:Yeah it's hard to get fired up about Z-Mac after that ugly ERA last year in AAA. You wonder if his talent is peaking out at the AA-AAA level, especially when his fastball is in the 87-91 range. Looks like his upside might be Jake Westbrook but he's got a long way to go.

But we got him in exchange for three months of Austin Kearns, so basically he was a freebie. Anything we get out of him will be a bonus.


We will see what happens when he repeats a level and settles in with a full year in the organization. He had 1 bad year (ERA-wise) prior to last year and rebounded.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:48 pm

daingean wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Yeah it's hard to get fired up about Z-Mac after that ugly ERA last year in AAA. You wonder if his talent is peaking out at the AA-AAA level, especially when his fastball is in the 87-91 range. Looks like his upside might be Jake Westbrook but he's got a long way to go.

But we got him in exchange for three months of Austin Kearns, so basically he was a freebie. Anything we get out of him will be a bonus.


We will see what happens when he repeats a level and settles in with a full year in the organization. He had 1 bad year (ERA-wise) prior to last year and rebounded.


Agreed. As most will recall I am pretty lenient on guys who have one bad year (but a few good seasons before). Sometimes guys just have bad years. Still, Z-Mac was tough to rate. Lots of power arms in the system and he doesn't particularly dominate. But his awesome size and ability to pitch are intriguing. Reminds me of a bigger Tomlin.

Speaking of guys who had one bad year....Abner Abreu. I still believe he'll play a lot better this year. Strikeouts will probably ultimately be his downfall at AA or A+, but I expect him to have a very productive bounce back season at Kinston with good power numbers. Just like Goedert, he had a lead shoulder injury he was working his way through last year and he was just not comfortable and lacked confidence. We'll see. This is part of what makes it fun to follow the kids....
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TitoFrancona » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:45 pm

Tony, on your assessment of Tyler Holt, I'm curious as to why you label him as a guy with below average power? I've never seen him play but looking at his stats last year with FSU, he had 42 extrabase hits including 13 HRs in 260 at bats which on the surface looks pretty darn above average.

So why do you label him as below average in that area?
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:55 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Yeah it's hard to get fired up about Z-Mac after that ugly ERA last year in AAA. You wonder if his talent is peaking out at the AA-AAA level, especially when his fastball is in the 87-91 range. Looks like his upside might be Jake Westbrook but he's got a long way to go.

But we got him in exchange for three months of Austin Kearns, so basically he was a freebie. Anything we get out of him will be a bonus.


I know some care less, but the kid was a top 5 prospect in a pretty solid Yankees system. McAllister was only 22 last year too in AAA. He saw his HR rate more than double. Gonna be interesting to see if he can bring that down, cause that alone would make him a viable ML option this year. I agree he doesn't have the greatest upside and has work to do....but he's like 9 months older than Alex White and 3 years younger than both Tomlin and Huff.

Kid shouldn't be cast aside so easily after one bad year at the age of 22 in AAA. He very easily could replace tomlin or Talbot in the rotation at some point this summer if things work out for him.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:50 pm

TitoFrancona wrote:Tony, on your assessment of Tyler Holt, I'm curious as to why you label him as a guy with below average power? I've never seen him play but looking at his stats last year with FSU, he had 42 extrabase hits including 13 HRs in 260 at bats which on the surface looks pretty darn above average.

So why do you label him as below average in that area?


That was aluminum bat power. Just doesn't have the swing (as well as size and strength) to hit for much power as a pro. I think he will keep defenses honest and can drive the ball, but I don't see him being a yearly 15 homer guy. On a good year he maybe hits 10-11, but I think he is a 5-8 homer a year guy who hits for a good average, gets on base, and causes some havoc on the basepaths. Certainly more power than Jordan Henry though. :biggrin:
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby daingean » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:13 pm

TonyIPI wrote:
TitoFrancona wrote:Tony, on your assessment of Tyler Holt, I'm curious as to why you label him as a guy with below average power? I've never seen him play but looking at his stats last year with FSU, he had 42 extrabase hits including 13 HRs in 260 at bats which on the surface looks pretty darn above average.

So why do you label him as below average in that area?


That was aluminum bat power. Just doesn't have the swing (as well as size and strength) to hit for much power as a pro. I think he will keep defenses honest and can drive the ball, but I don't see him being a yearly 15 homer guy. On a good year he maybe hits 10-11, but I think he is a 5-8 homer a year guy who hits for a good average, gets on base, and causes some havoc on the basepaths. Certainly more power than Jordan Henry though. :biggrin:


A couple things about college numbers:

1. Competition - who did he hit the homers off of? Weekend starters (top starters in programs) vs. week day starters. Plus teams like FSU play non-conference teams of all levels.

2. Aluminum bats - this is being corrected as I have heard that the ball does not jump off of the new BBCOR rated bats (vs. the old BESR rated bats). Last year was be beginning of the new bats in college. My step-son is a HS player and are going w/o the compsites this year but next year go to the BBCOR rated ones. I've been told the new bats (by our college recruited kids) that the BBCOR bats just plain dead. The better comparable numbers are in the summer leagues where they use wood bats (i.e. Cap-Cod or Alaska).

3. Where were the games played. Some colleges have very small parks.

You really have to see a player play in order to evaluate his game. You cannot really look at numbers. I pay no attention to HS numbers either. Teams may only face 3 - 10 (15-40 AB's) quality pitchers a year then 20 -30 guys that are not very good and numbers can be inflated vs. the lesser quality pitchers. I am a proponent of seeing their summer teams play (even more than showcases).
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TitoFrancona » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:56 pm

daingean wrote:
TonyIPI wrote:
TitoFrancona wrote:Tony, on your assessment of Tyler Holt, I'm curious as to why you label him as a guy with below average power? I've never seen him play but looking at his stats last year with FSU, he had 42 extrabase hits including 13 HRs in 260 at bats which on the surface looks pretty darn above average.

So why do you label him as below average in that area?


That was aluminum bat power. Just doesn't have the swing (as well as size and strength) to hit for much power as a pro. I think he will keep defenses honest and can drive the ball, but I don't see him being a yearly 15 homer guy. On a good year he maybe hits 10-11, but I think he is a 5-8 homer a year guy who hits for a good average, gets on base, and causes some havoc on the basepaths. Certainly more power than Jordan Henry though. :biggrin:


A couple things about college numbers:

1. Competition - who did he hit the homers off of? Weekend starters (top starters in programs) vs. week day starters. Plus teams like FSU play non-conference teams of all levels.

2. Aluminum bats - this is being corrected as I have heard that the ball does not jump off of the new BBCOR rated bats (vs. the old BESR rated bats). Last year was be beginning of the new bats in college. My step-son is a HS player and are going w/o the compsites this year but next year go to the BBCOR rated ones. I've been told the new bats (by our college recruited kids) that the BBCOR bats just plain dead. The better comparable numbers are in the summer leagues where they use wood bats (i.e. Cap-Cod or Alaska).

3. Where were the games played. Some colleges have very small parks.

You really have to see a player play in order to evaluate his game. You cannot really look at numbers. I pay no attention to HS numbers either. Teams may only face 3 - 10 (15-40 AB's) quality pitchers a year then 20 -30 guys that are not very good and numbers can be inflated vs. the lesser quality pitchers. I am a proponent of seeing their summer teams play (even more than showcases).


Thanks for the explanation Tony. daingean, I certainly understand that you can't take his amateur stats at face value, clearly, I have never seen him play so I didn't have any intention of arguing Tony's assessment. I just wanted to know why he was viewed as someone with below average power rather than average.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby davidkey » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:42 am

Tony, I love the top 50 countdown, each morning I look forward to the day's feature player.

Curious about your choice of Felix Sterling at #17, and I say this based solely on what one poster wrote in reply to me when I included him pretty high in my list in the "Gallery".......the poster indicated that there is a very strong likelihood that Sterling fudged his age and is probably closer to 20. It seems to be a reasonable conjecture - I mean, 6 foot 3, 200 Lbs for an 18 yr old Latino?? Seems a bit questionable.....but more plausible for a 20 year old Latino!

Anyway, can you (or anyone else) comment to the rumor (for lack of better word) that he is older than his listed age?
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:19 am

davidkey wrote:Tony, I love the top 50 countdown, each morning I look forward to the day's feature player.

Curious about your choice of Felix Sterling at #17, and I say this based solely on what one poster wrote in reply to me when I included him pretty high in my list in the "Gallery".......the poster indicated that there is a very strong likelihood that Sterling fudged his age and is probably closer to 20. It seems to be a reasonable conjecture - I mean, 6 foot 3, 200 Lbs for an 18 yr old Latino?? Seems a bit questionable.....but more plausible for a 20 year old Latino!

Anyway, can you (or anyone else) comment to the rumor (for lack of better word) that he is older than his listed age?


Yeah, and is that his real name? "Sterling" doesn't look too Latino to me. Remember that prospect a couple of years ago who used a totally fictitious name and the Indians signed him thinking he was 18 or something, only to find out later he was 21 and a different guy? He also had a non-Latino name. Wally something...
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby silverbackAXP » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:42 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
davidkey wrote:Tony, I love the top 50 countdown, each morning I look forward to the day's feature player.

Curious about your choice of Felix Sterling at #17, and I say this based solely on what one poster wrote in reply to me when I included him pretty high in my list in the "Gallery".......the poster indicated that there is a very strong likelihood that Sterling fudged his age and is probably closer to 20. It seems to be a reasonable conjecture - I mean, 6 foot 3, 200 Lbs for an 18 yr old Latino?? Seems a bit questionable.....but more plausible for a 20 year old Latino!

Anyway, can you (or anyone else) comment to the rumor (for lack of better word) that he is older than his listed age?


Yeah, and is that his real name? "Sterling" doesn't look too Latino to me. Remember that prospect a couple of years ago who used a totally fictitious name and the Indians signed him thinking he was 18 or something, only to find out later he was 21 and a different guy? He also had a non-Latino name. Wally something...


shows how little you know about the latino culture
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:27 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Yeah, and is that his real name? "Sterling" doesn't look too Latino to me. Remember that prospect a couple of years ago who used a totally fictitious name and the Indians signed him thinking he was 18 or something, only to find out later he was 21 and a different guy? He also had a non-Latino name. Wally something...


His "fake" name was actually as much, if not more, latino sounding than his real last name...so not a good example. His fake name was Ozoria. His real name was listed as Wally Bryan for a while (though think even that was not correct?).

And I agree, judging a guy based off his last name is kind of dumb. Sterling is Scottish....but if you're a prospect that's going to use a false name....why pick one that's not latino? Makes no sense.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:33 am

I've talked a lot about this with Mirabelli, and while the vetting process will never be 100% infalable, MLB has really cracked down hard on it with their testing procedures and background checks. Some will still slip through, but it is in no way the mess it was like it was just a few years ago. In addition to the MLB background checks and stuff done through the consulate, the Indians also spend a lot of money of their own on their own testing and investigation process on top of all that to help ensure that the guys they sign are legit.

From everything I have heard there is no reason to believe Sterling is not 17. And with that, you have to rank him accordingly. Can't dismiss a guy just because you think he is older. You may be right down the road, but for now, gotta go with the facts.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby homerawayfromhome » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:58 am

The tribe really added a lot of talent this past season through the draft (pomeranz, wolters, washington, Blair, lavisky and others) and by previous trades (Santana, Masterson, talbot, Perez, Donald, Carrasco, Knapp, Soto, Marson, McCallister) over the last cpl yrs.
It's exciting to see this much talent influx into the system and only makes me look forward even more to this yr's draft.
Kyle Blair was 14 in the top 50 countdown that's good considering he was a 4th rd selection last season. He has a wicked slider, improving change and good curve with an avg fastball though. Tony noted he is a high floor low ceiling guy, could easily be a reliever but should develop into a solid #3. He has had a problem with biceps tendinitis and makeup and condition leave a bit to be desired but that should come around naturally with physical maturity. If his conditioning improves and as he matures (becomes stronger) I believe he could add a tick or two to his avg fastball.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:40 am

homerawayfromhome wrote:The tribe really added a lot of talent this past season through the draft (pomeranz, wolters, washington, Blair, lavisky and others) and by previous trades (Santana, Masterson, talbot, Perez, Donald, Carrasco, Knapp, Soto, Marson, McCallister) over the last cpl yrs.
It's exciting to see this much talent influx into the system and only makes me look forward even more to this yr's draft.


Yes, I can't get over how they spent more money on the draft last year than all but one other team in baseball. Reading the countdown, there have been quite a few players that the Indians went "well over slot" to sign, with Blair being the latest example. It looks like they are really opening the purse strings to go after the guys they want and make them offers they "can't refuse". Giving a million dollar bonus to a 8th round high school catcher (Lavisky) when the average bonus for that spot is $150K is another example.

Combine that with all the "veterans for prospects" trades and there has been a big influx of talent. Now the goal is to get enough to that talent to arrive in the same wave to push the Tribe back up into contention with teams in their division that are spending twice as much on major league salaries. It's discouraging to see the Indians losing talented and extremely popular players like Thome and Victor Martinez, only to see them back in the A.L. Central and playing against the Tribe 17 times a year.

But that's the reality, and the team's future is in the hands of the coaches and managers up and down the farm system. The front office is doing its job with what it has to work with.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:48 pm

and to be honest.. having a team of younger less established players makes for more drama.. Each and everyone of the kids taken were stars or high performers prior to becoming property of the Indians.. The latest wave of talent is deep in power arms.. shallow in power.. If the power that Weglarz promises comes to fruition.. that could change..otherwise.. the Indians will have to manufacture runs with speed and situational hitting.. This requires the highest attention being paid to fundamentals..

We will see.. Indians Dbax will be televised tomorrow.. btw..
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby homerawayfromhome » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:09 pm

@ Geronimo son thanx for posting the gm will be on tomorrow, I'll enjoy watching... I work 4-10's and my 3rd day off is always Tuesday.
Who's scheduled to pitch for the tribe?
Lonnie Chisenhall has been pretty impressive so far, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Kelvin DeLaCruz, Zach Putnam, Josh Judy have all made some good impressions. Jason Kipnis hasn't done too much with his stick nor has Cord Phelps.
Zeke Carrera might have a legit shot at making the club as the 4th Of.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby Lloyd Christmas » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:38 pm

Keith Law watched Stowell last night and said his fastball was consistently at 87-91.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:25 pm

Lloyd Christmas wrote:Keith Law watched Stowell last night and said his fastball was consistently at 87-91.


Interesting. Something to monitor and ask about for sure.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:32 pm

Gun reading on Stowell are legit. But from what I understand is he is not hurt, he is just dialing it down a ton to find any sense of control. That's how bad it is right now. From the reports I have gotten from two people I have talked to (one in the org and one outside) he is "brutal" right now. Definitely not a good showing for him this spring.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:28 am

TonyIPI wrote:Gun reading on Stowell are legit. But from what I understand is he is not hurt, he is just dialing it down a ton to find any sense of control. That's how bad it is right now. From the reports I have gotten from two people I have talked to (one in the org and one outside) he is "brutal" right now. Definitely not a good showing for him this spring.
First priority for pitchers at the outset of spring training.. fastball command.. If it takes dialing the it down to the low 70's, velo is of secondary importance. It's been this way for a LONG TIME. Pitchers can dial up the velo as they gain confidence in their motion/delivery... If they try to to dial it up before they have their motion under control.. catchers end up with more bruises and higher voices.. This is a timing thing.. that is, give them the time they need to regain the command of the fastball.. everything else works off the fastball..
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:34 am

GeronimoSon wrote:
TonyIPI wrote:Gun reading on Stowell are legit. But from what I understand is he is not hurt, he is just dialing it down a ton to find any sense of control. That's how bad it is right now. From the reports I have gotten from two people I have talked to (one in the org and one outside) he is "brutal" right now. Definitely not a good showing for him this spring.
First priority for pitchers at the outset of spring training.. fastball command.. If it takes dialing the it down to the low 70's, velo is of secondary importance. It's been this way for a LONG TIME. Pitchers can dial up the velo as they gain confidence in their motion/delivery... If they try to to dial it up before they have their motion under control.. catchers end up with more bruises and higher voices.. This is a timing thing.. that is, give them the time they need to regain the command of the fastball.. everything else works off the fastball..


Problem for Stowell is he has almost no command of his fastball. Gonna be a big hurdle he has to jump over.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby criznit2009 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:19 pm

Please keep the following folks away from Stowell - Omar Aguilar and Connor Graham... Thank you!
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:30 pm

criznit2009 wrote:Please keep the following folks away from Stowell - Omar Aguilar and Connor Graham... Thank you!


Gonna be tough...they are all rommates! (JK)
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby daingean » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:35 pm

TonyIPI wrote:
criznit2009 wrote:Please keep the following folks away from Stowell - Omar Aguilar and Connor Graham... Thank you!


Gonna be tough...they are all rommates! (JK)


Is wildness contagious?
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby OhioBaseball » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:25 am

davidkey wrote:Tony, I love the top 50 countdown, each morning I look forward to the day's feature player.

Curious about your choice of Felix Sterling at #17, and I say this based solely on what one poster wrote in reply to me when I included him pretty high in my list in the "Gallery".......the poster indicated that there is a very strong likelihood that Sterling fudged his age and is probably closer to 20. It seems to be a reasonable conjecture - I mean, 6 foot 3, 200 Lbs for an 18 yr old Latino?? Seems a bit questionable.....but more plausible for a 20 year old Latino!

Anyway, can you (or anyone else) comment to the rumor (for lack of better word) that he is older than his listed age?


That was me. I did not specifically say Sterling is a fraud -- its just that I wouldn't be surprised if he's some 21 year old guy that was released from another organization. Those things can happen.

In Tony's tape, he actually looks like a pretty good pitching prospect. He's got a good arm stroke, slot, good velo. His body is definitely below average and really not the kind of body you see on many 17 year old Dominican pitching prospects. When watching him, you really don't see much projection in him at all. He's a 'what you see is what you get' pitching prospect.

I find it peculiar that (1) he pitched a lot of innings in Arizona, (2) he was very effective, (3) he's got a good arm and that he was not even selected by the league's managers to the top 20 prospects in the league. I think others are skeptical of him, as well.

Look, regardless of age, the guy has a good arm and a nice delivery. Whether he's 16, 17 or 21, there's not much projection with him. Any improvement is going to come through refining his delivery, improving breaking pitches, etc. -- and not through physical maturation.

Even if he's 25 years old (Im not saying he is), the guy's got a shot with his good arm. I just don't expect a whole lot of improvement from him going forward.
Last edited by OhioBaseball on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby OhioBaseball » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:37 am

Unless I missed it, I'm really surprised that Trey Haley is not in the Indians top 50 prospects. I very much doubt he's a top 10 guy, so I'm guessing Tony just is not including him. Not criticizing him b/c I respect that he's got the cojones to put a top 50 list together -- I just think Haley should be a top 30 guy.

I know, I know. Haley has some SERIOUS command problems. However, he's only 20 years old and I think he's arguably the most physically talented pitcher in the entire organization (includes major league arms). I mean, damn. 6'4", broad shoulders, long legs and arms, tremendous arm speed, and still very projectable. If you just watched the guy warm up (neglecting how far the catcher has to move his glove to catch his pitches!), scouts would fall in love. Apparently the Indians did, b/c they signed him to a big contract. I know he needs a LOT of ironing out, but if somehow things begin to click, he's certainly got the potential to be the #1 prospect in the organization.
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Re: Top 50 Countdown

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:20 am

OhioBaseball wrote:Unless I missed it, I'm really surprised that Trey Haley is not in the Indians top 50 prospects. I very much doubt he's a top 10 guy, so I'm guessing Tony just is not including him. Not criticizing him b/c I respect that he's got the cojones to put a top 50 list together -- I just think Haley should be a top 30 guy.

I know, I know. Haley has some SERIOUS command problems. However, he's only 20 years old and I think he's arguably the most physically talented pitcher in the entire organization (includes major league arms). I mean, damn. 6'4", broad shoulders, long legs and arms, tremendous arm speed, and still very projectable. If you just watched the guy warm up (neglecting how far the catcher has to move his glove to catch his pitches!), scouts would fall in love. Apparently the Indians did, b/c they signed him to a big contract. I know he needs a LOT of ironing out, but if somehow things begin to click, he's certainly got the potential to be the #1 prospect in the organization.
The "Gallery" concensus place Curtis "Trey" Haley at # 37.. Probably because he's 20 years old and has difficulty finding home plate with a map and a guide dog. He was rated in the top 30 prospects by only three posters, one person had him as high as # 12, another had him as low as # 28. 17 fans didn't rate him in the top 30.. 19 - 20 year old kids that are 6'4" and "all elbows and knees" pitchers, have a tendency to have difficulty repeating their delivery.. Haley is no exception. He could be a "sleeper creeper" if he repeats his 2010 season results..possibly moving into the top 20 for the start of the 2012 season..
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