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BA Top 20's

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

BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:59 pm

Three leagues involving Indians affiliates touched on so far:

Gulf Coast League:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/pr ... 66858.html

#10 Abner Abreu, 3B, GCL Indians

NY-Penn League:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/pr ... 66878.html

#6 Lonnie Chisenhall, SS, Mahoning Valley
#16 Tim Fedroff, OF, Mahoning Valley
#19 Cord Phelps, 2B, Mahoning Valley

South Atlantic League:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/pr ... 66919.html

No one
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:21 am

Talk about a real cleanup in the Carolina. Five players and did not include a certain catcher we all like. Assume that Santana did not have enough time in the League to qualify.

#4 Nick Weglarz
#5 Beau Mills
#9 Hector Rondon
#15 Carlos Rivero
#18 Josh Tomlin

I have a confession to make. I don't have Josh Tomlin ranked in my top 25. TL/Jellis-Do you have him up on your board?

I also found Santana at #2 in the California League and potential PTBNL Taylor Green at #16 in the FSL.

Akron could have some serious talent next year! :D :D
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby dnosco » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:12 pm

Thanks for posting this, Tony.

It is a good thread to have going.

First, I have not read the writeups on any of these guys because I no longer get BA as anything but the draft issue and the college preview issue is more than I need to pay for. That being said, we should not underestimate the power of having THREE players on the NY-P top 20. Heck, some years we don't have any or maybe one due to the fact it is a 16-team league as I remember. It also says a lot about Fedroff that he made the list based on very few plate appearances. To a lesser extent this could be said for Phelps, as well. I was very critical of the Indians drafting him so high and still think they should have drafted Brandon Crawford or Tim Melville instead of him but the fact remains that, out of all the high 2008 draft choices and a number of top international guys and top 2007 draft choices who played in this league that Phelps was so honored.

It is instructive how high Weglarz was rated. His numbers, except for walks, are pedestrian for a guy who is an power hitter, offense-first guy. It is also interesting that they ranked Mills below Weglarz, probably due in part to Mills not playing as premium a position as Weglarz does (RF vs 1B). Tomlin at #18? Usually these end of list spots are reserved for guys who SHOULD have performed well based on their talent but didn't or the usual pity pick for an organization who didn't have anyone else on the list. I like Tomlin but he projects as a middle reliever and that is if he hits his upside. Just doesn't have any outstanding tool and is always playing overage for his league.

Regarding the SAL, I am SHOCKED about the exclusion of Kelvin De La Cruz. Aside from him I am not surprised that our other guys were overlooked. I mean, look at the guys in that league. Yeah, the Ryans looked good early but faded badly....and it is a large league. Matt Brown was their best hitting prospect and, being overage for the league showed no speed or power and very little OB savvy.

But no De La Cruz? Preposterous.

Tony,

It would be interesting if you posted exerpts or summaries of the chats associated with these leagues as they pertain to Indians' prospects. There had to be some chatter on the SAL chat about De La Cruz, right?
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:27 pm

dnosco wrote:Thanks for posting this, Tony.

It is a good thread to have going.

First, I have not read the writeups on any of these guys because I no longer get BA as anything but the draft issue and the college preview issue is more than I need to pay for. That being said, we should not underestimate the power of having THREE players on the NY-P top 20. Heck, some years we don't have any or maybe one due to the fact it is a 16-team league as I remember. It also says a lot about Fedroff that he made the list based on very few plate appearances. To a lesser extent this could be said for Phelps, as well. I was very critical of the Indians drafting him so high and still think they should have drafted Brandon Crawford or Tim Melville instead of him but the fact remains that, out of all the high 2008 draft choices and a number of top international guys and top 2007 draft choices who played in this league that Phelps was so honored.

It is instructive how high Weglarz was rated. His numbers, except for walks, are pedestrian for a guy who is an power hitter, offense-first guy. It is also interesting that they ranked Mills below Weglarz, probably due in part to Mills not playing as premium a position as Weglarz does (RF vs 1B). Tomlin at #18? Usually these end of list spots are reserved for guys who SHOULD have performed well based on their talent but didn't or the usual pity pick for an organization who didn't have anyone else on the list. I like Tomlin but he projects as a middle reliever and that is if he hits his upside. Just doesn't have any outstanding tool and is always playing overage for his league.

Regarding the SAL, I am SHOCKED about the exclusion of Kelvin De La Cruz. Aside from him I am not surprised that our other guys were overlooked. I mean, look at the guys in that league. Yeah, the Ryans looked good early but faded badly....and it is a large league. Matt Brown was their best hitting prospect and, being overage for the league showed no speed or power and very little OB savvy.

But no De La Cruz? Preposterous.

Tony,

It would be interesting if you posted exerpts or summaries of the chats associated with these leagues as they pertain to Indians' prospects. There had to be some chatter on the SAL chat about De La Cruz, right?


I don't know if Tony caught it but there was some BA chat on De La. Premium content but intimated that he was 21 on the list and suffered because of the high number of exceptional prospects. There was a high percentage of position players and it is difficult to argue the 6 pitchers picked ahead of him but I would have probably ranked De La as 3/4 on the list of pitchers. As an aside, Yankee fans went ballistic when Dellin Betances didn't get even that recognition.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:40 pm

Eastern League top 20 includes

#11 David Huff
#16 Wes Hodges

Given the depth of the early picks, I think it is difficult to quarrel with the picks. Both might have been a little higher but nothing outrageous IMO. Just a little surprised that Scott Lewis was overlooked completely but he may not have enough innings to qualify. I will ask the chat question next week. :?

Southern League includes Matt LaPorta at #4 and potential PTBNL Michael Brantley at #18. Have to say that both were lower than I estimated but I really do not follow SL that closely.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby dnosco » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:11 pm

Interesting again. I have to say this is a BA MO. Guys who don't throw 96 get less respect. I think Cliff Lee was in the teens in the Expos top 30 even though he was lefthanded and threw pretty hard. Huff at 11 is fine with me and Hodges at 16 is a perfect position for a prospect of his caliber after his year in this league.

Very interesting that Scott Lewis did not make the grade. He had the numbers but I am sure they will say something like league managers didn't see him enough because he got a late start.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:04 pm

dnosco wrote:Interesting again. I have to say this is a BA MO. Guys who don't throw 96 get less respect. I think Cliff Lee was in the teens in the Expos top 30 even though he was lefthanded and threw pretty hard. Huff at 11 is fine with me and Hodges at 16 is a perfect position for a prospect of his caliber after his year in this league.

Very interesting that Scott Lewis did not make the grade. He had the numbers but I am sure they will say something like league managers didn't see him enough because he got a late start.


Agree completely. The ranking is heavily age based and these three are among the oldest on the list. Even Tabata is ranked ahead which i consider questionable and I feel their "Austin Jackson Love" to be entirely misplaced. :)
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:15 pm

BA had a very interesting Cal League chat which featured a number of questions involving Carlos Santana. The most interesting concluded that Santana, even including his warts, is a potential all-star level ML catcher. Not willing to change rank but nice to know.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby jellis » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:19 pm

dnosco wrote:Interesting again. I have to say this is a BA MO. Guys who don't throw 96 get less respect. I think Cliff Lee was in the teens in the Expos top 30 even though he was lefthanded and threw pretty hard. Huff at 11 is fine with me and Hodges at 16 is a perfect position for a prospect of his caliber after his year in this league.

Very interesting that Scott Lewis did not make the grade. He had the numbers but I am sure they will say something like league managers didn't see him enough because he got a late start.


I dont know about this if you look at the 5 years ago top 20's lee is 8th in the IL for ranking behind reyes, Morneau, victor, Utley, Freddy Sanchez, Brandon Claussen, and Adam laroche

so they did think high of him when he was about the point where lewis is now, heck right be lee was a harder throwing guthrie
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:23 am

Here are the BA chats so far regarding the Indians (no GCL Indians comments were made):

New York Penn League chat:

Q: Andy from Sarver asks:
I have watched Tim Fedroff play at North Carolina and Mahoning Valley, I was really surprised how fast he is. How does he project in Stolen Bases? Is he an above average fielder?


A: Aaron Fitt: He's a legit above-average runner down the line, but he's just average in the outfield. He's one of those guys that is very fast underway and runs so hard that it makes his speed play up. I don't really see him as a big stolen base guy, but his instincts should make him a very good baserunner.

Q: Don from Rosemont, IL asks:
Do you feel that Chisenhall's personal problems were a one time thing? Are there any questions about his makeup?


A: Aaron Fitt: The Indians thoroughly vetted his makeup before they drafted him in the first round, I assure you. He addressed all of their concerns, and that's good enough for me. Nobody questioned his makeup this summer, I'll say that. He made a big mistake, and he'll have to work to prove to people it was a one-time mistake, but so did Clay Buchholz.

Q: Elliot Legow from Youngstown OH asks:
Eric Berger came and went (up to the Sally League) pretty quickly but pitched well while he was at Mahoning Valley. Does he project as a prospect?


A: Aaron Fitt: Berger's definitely a prospect, a guy who missed a year with Tommy John surgery at Arizona but came back strong this spring and could take off now that his surgery is well behind him. He's a lefty with a good frame, a fastball that can reach the low 90s and a very good breaking ball.

Q: Elliot Legow from Youngstown OH asks:
I thought I heard Travis Fryman say Chisenhall was staying at short, no? What's he lacking to be a SS: range, arm, hands, reaction?


A: Aaron Fitt: He will not be staying at short. He did a decent job there this summer, but his range and footwork are not good enough to stay there for long. I like him as a third baseman, though.

South Atlantic League chat:

Q: Elliot Legow from Youngstown OH asks:
I am surprised not to see Kelvin de la Cruz somewhere on that list. His numbers at Lake County were awfully impresive 1.69, BA against .207, more than a strikeout an inning, and a good evaluation at the SAL All-Star game.


A: Bill Ballew: De la Cruz may have been number 21. He had a breakthrough season in many regards. In most years he would have easily made the list. He's a definite prospect.

California League chat:

Q: Eric from PA asks:
Does Carlos Santana have All-Star potential? He seems to have shot out of nowhere.


A: Will Lingo: Yes he does.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:31 am

The only real suprise so far is De La Cruz being excluded from the SAL ranking, and Tomlin may sneaking onto the Carolina list. Other than that though, this is about what I expected. These lists are peppered with Indians everywhere, and I believe come Top 100 time the Indians will have 5-7 guys on that list. After a down cycle of a year or two, our system is very strong again at the upper levels.

In addition to that, I don't recall a time in like forever this system was so strong top to bottom. Usually one year the system is top heavy with impact potential prospects at AA/AAA....and other years bottom heavy with impact potential prospects at A and below.....but right now we have some excellent balance from AAA down to short season. It is a credit to the better drafting the last three drafts, the trades, and international signings. Good God, if only we'd have drafted better from 2000-2005....;-) But that is a topic for another time/thread.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:30 pm

David Huff is number 6 on the IL list. Scott Lewis not listed there either. Is Huff improving or the IL really sucking? Probably the latter. Got a few questions posted on the Carolina chat. We'll see if BA responds. Interesting Carolina writeups for you BA subscribers.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:42 pm

So Huff was on both the Eastern League and International League lists? Interesting.

As for Scott Lewis, no surprise really he was not on the EL list. He was probably a borderline guy, but considering Huff and Hodges are better prospects and they only came in at #11 and #16, I see no way how Lewis makes that list.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:26 pm

Here are the Indians comments in the Carolina League chat. By the way, nice to see our man Darren from the UK with two questions. Good job Darren!

Q: Jalah from Manhattan, NY asks:
Future Tribe third baseman...Wes Hodges or Beau Mills? Or, will Mills be the Tribe's future first baseman?


A: Josh Leventhal: It's not Beau Mills. He's pretty well locked in at first, and should be adequate enough defensively to stick there. Obviously he has the power offensively for first.

Q: Darren from UK asks:
Just out of curiosity, if Carlos Santana had qualified for the Carolina League list as opposed to the California League where would he have ranked? Slotted in at #2 behind Wieters or would he have slipped below his fellow K-Tribe hitters (Mills, Weglarz)?


A: Josh Leventhal: He'd have been No. 2. I got pretty glowing reports on Santana, comparing favorably to Wieters minus the size. He's a disciplined switch-hitter with a strong accurate throwing arm and athleticism behind the plate. He needs to work on some defensive fundamentals, receiving better with his hands and better movement.

Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
Past reports have expressed some doubts about Carlos Rivero's consistant approach and willingness to learn. Any improvements demonstrated this year?


A: Josh Leventhal: I think the Indians were pleased with his development. He's just 20, and has a pretty good approach at the plate — doesn't go out of the zone a lot for pitches. He's got good hands and a good arm, but needs to expand his range.

Q: Darren from UK asks:
Rondon really had a breakout year this year after a solid, but unspectacular 2007 in Kinston. With him going to Double A next year at the age of 21 how excited should Indians fans be about his ceiling?


A: Josh Leventhal: A lot of potential in Rondon. It'll be interesting to see how he does in the jump to Double-A. He's got plenty of power and life in his fastball, but needs to refine his breaking pitches, tighten his slider/slurve, to be successful at the next level.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:37 pm

By the way, looking at Santana being #2 in California and that he would have been #2 in the Carolina League......seems obvious to me he may be BA's Indians' #1. LaPorta is the only one who may jump him. Santana and LaPorta very well could be Top 20 in their Top 100 listing as well.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:00 pm

It was nice to get a couple of questions answered.

I bombarded them with about 10 questions about Tomlin too as, whilst I like him I was a little shocked to see him crack the top 20 - more based on the way he's been used than the performance he's had.

From reading the rest of the chat though, I got the feeling that BA we're uncertain about pretty much the #16-20 prospects in the league as, although they viewed the top 15 as good prospects, there was a lot of depth guys considered after that.

I tried to push them on predicting a Jhonny Peralta type breakout year for Rivero in AA next year too, but I guess after answering two of my questions they probably got sick of me!
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby MadThinker88 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:10 pm

dazindiansfanuk wrote:It was nice to get a couple of questions answered......
I guess after answering two of my questions they probably got sick of me!


Sick of you Darren?? That's not possible (at least scientifically).
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:38 pm

I can relate to daz. My questions on Gomez and Romero were booted too. I probably have Gomez higher than many posters. Still think he is MOR upside but that is awfully good for a RH starter in our system.

I have officially removed Scott Lewis from top 10 consideration. He needs work on his only potential plus pitch, his curveball, to bring it back to its quality of two years ago when it was considered best in system by BA. Maybe that can be accomplished this fall but I think they will catch up to the rest of his stuff without it and he is of an age that he should be there already. I think he is excellent depth next year but does not warrant top 10 in this class. Now if I could just make up my mind on Sipp and the PTBNL, I could start refining my 11-20. :roll:

I question Leventhal's analysis of Rondon's breaking ball. I consider it to be above average ML and close to a plus pitch and think his real work needs to be on his changeup to break out at AA. His slider has good late break and depth already and he commands it pretty well. What about it TL? You have seen him much more than I have. :?:
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:05 pm

Would have been interesting to see some comments on Tomlin.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:18 pm

Eastern League Chat is up..... I am on a roll..... and this time it was the only question I asked!

Q: JP from Warrenton, MO asks:
What on earth has happened to Chuck Lofgren? Do you think it is makeup related?

A: John Manuel: Great guy to ask about, but it doesn't sound that pernicious. The scouts I put that question to say it's as simple as his inability to command the fastball. The stuff for the most part is still there, though one scout said, "I've seen him for two years, and each start is just a little bit worse." But he misses to his arm-side, then he overcompensates the other way. It sounds like there's still some hope, but his career now has some serious fade.

Q: JAYPERS from IL asks:
Had LaPorta played enough to qualify, where would you have ranked him? Does he have a shot to make the team out of spring training next year?

A: John Manuel: I bet LaPorta would have ranked fifth or sixth had I given it much thought; he was impressive in the playoffs, and I heard great things about him during my Olympics post-mortem calls as well. He's got a great shot at making the Indians at some point next year; Ryan Garko has long been a personal fave but he slugged .404 this year. LaPorta could beat him out at 1b, or earn a corner OF spot. Not like Cleveland is full of great corner OFs, though I always liked Ben Francisco.

Q: jeff from NYC asks:
Lets be honest theres no way Hodges stays at 3B is there, he seem like a butcher out there

A: John Manuel: People I talked to thought there was a chance, that it was correctable, but no one was banking what's left of their 401(k) on his ability to stay at 3b. It may not matter; he can really, really hit.

Q: Joe LeCates from Easton, MD asks:
Cheeseball time: who are some of your low-radar flyers? Also, I'm a sucker for tooled-up SS's - anyone interesting?

A: John Manuel: Some personal cheeseballs (guys I like for no good reason, like those Hickory Farms balls of cheese rolled around in almonds) . . . Kyle Bloom, lefty with Altoona who came on late; the aforementioned Dustin Martin; Rob Delaney, the reliever at New Britain; and J.D. Martin, I like him as a reliever. Toolsy shortstops? Not so much outside of Portland's Argenis Diaz, who doesn't run, which maybe means he's not a toolsy SS.

Q: Darren from UK asks:
Did Scott Lewis get any consideration or did he miss too much time to qualify?

A: John Manuel: He did; I mean to write up a scout's view on Lewis, who won all four of his big league starts. The fastball's below-average in terms of velocity and he's got great secondary stuff; he's got a chance but he should be a back-of-the-rotation guy.

Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
I know he's not a star, but does Frank Herrmann project as a major leaguer? Indians could use a Harvard economist in these troubling times.

A: John Manuel: Great question . . . Herrmann's a sinker-slider guy, I think he'll be a big leaguer, he got a little attention as he finished very strong, commanding the sinker better. I'm a fan.

Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
Relievers don't often make these lists, but does Jeff Stevens have the velocity and command to be back of the bullpen?

A: John Manuel: Stevens was awful in the Olympics, I was a believer before but I see him more as an up-and-down guy now, just not good enough to close, more of a 6th-7th inning guy.

Q: Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
Your reports says Huff has more velocity than Scott Lewis. How does he compare with the Indians' other sometimes impressive young lefty starters: Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers and Zach Jackson?

A: John Manuel: He's got a chance to be best of the bunch, I'd rank 'em Huff, Laffey, Sowers, the field, then Jackson.

Q: Max from Florida asks:
Can I get a scouting report on Trevor Crowe? How close was he to the list?

A: John Manuel: Fourth outfielder, less power than first expected, not good enough defensively, not a huge consideration here.

Q: Elliot from Youngstown asks:
Since Wes Hodges isn't really a 3rd baseman and Beau Mills has already moved off third, do the Indians have a glut of firstbaseman? Which of the two has a better offensive ceiling?

A: John Manuel: They have a need at 1B unless Garko comes back power-wise next year, and Hafner's injuries and downturn the last two years are worrisome. The Tribe needs big bats; I wouldn't worry about the glut.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:15 pm

I'm disappointed in you Daz. Elliott from Youngstown smoked you. :mrgreen:
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:16 pm

For those that are interested, John Sickels at MinorLeagueBall.com had an excellent writeup today on Scott Lewis. Everyone can form their own opinion but i think is is a fair analysis which looks at both the positives and negatives. He seems a bit more positive about the good points than BA but time will tell.
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby jellis » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:54 pm

I wanted to see if I could make it in so i asked a question I knew they couldnt pass on about hodges
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Re: BA Top 20's

Postby jellis » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:09 pm

In the chat of the IL Jordan Brown came up

Elliot from Youngstown OH asks:
Matt: Last year Jordan Brown won his 2nd straight MVP award and launched himself onto the Indians' Top 10. How far back did he set himself in his first year in AAA? Still a future Sean Casey or Mark Grace?
A:

Matt Eddy: The comp I got on Brown was Lyle Overbay. He's a gap-to-gap doubles-hitting, contact-oriented first baseman with a bit of HR power to his pull (right-field) side. Brown is a fluid first-base defender with strong footwork and soft hands.


Actually seems right in line with I think most peoples view
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