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Is all the talent really at the A level?

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

Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby elrod enchilada » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:01 am

I realize that most of the exciting prospects, especially position prospects, will be at the A level. I also can see that the AA team looks like it is short on prospects, except perhaps Holt, Weglarz and Chen, if he is there. And none of those three is really a top level prospect and most likely to flame out at AAA or AAAA.

But I think the Columbus roster looks like it has some talent. If Chisenhall and LaPorta are at AAA, along with Diaz, Phelps, Mills, Neal, Carrera, Fedroff and possibly Chen, that is a talented group. A rotation including Gomez, Huff, McAllister and Barnes and a pen with Sturdevent, Lee, Price and Stowell is impressive, too. A lot of those arms should eventually be in the majors in some capacity.

Is it just me, or does Columbus look like a really good team?
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby daingean » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:45 pm

There is talent above A but all of that talent is firmly attached to a question mark.

Weglarz - can he stay healthy and stay on the field. when will his power potential translate to ability? Failing to stay healthy will lead him to the Adam Miller/Michael Aubrey/Whitney category

Mills - what do we really have in this guy. The Carolina MVP or the player that struggled the past few years (although a good rebound last year) and the time is running out.

Phelps - i think he's valuable but he has to shake off his poor ML debut last year

Chen - can he stay at C or will he have to change positions

Rondon/A. Perez/Salazar/Knapp/Bryson - can they comeback and be legitimate ML options. I think Rondon, Perez, and Salazar can but I do not have much hope in Knapp (shoulders don't get better - surgeries just repair). Not real sure what we got in Bryson.

Barnes - I think he can be the lefty that can help the ML staff (Huff really isn't a prospect any longer)

In reality, most of our upper level guys need to do things to get back on the prospect map. We may see someone like Lowery, Aguilar, or Holt get to AA at some point this year. Each of these guys could rise up the ranks with a good season at an upper level.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:52 pm

elrod enchilada wrote:I realize that most of the exciting prospects, especially position prospects, will be at the A level. I also can see that the AA team looks like it is short on prospects, except perhaps Holt, Weglarz and Chen, if he is there. And none of those three is really a top level prospect and most likely to flame out at AAA or AAAA.

But I think the Columbus roster looks like it has some talent. If Chisenhall and LaPorta are at AAA, along with Diaz, Phelps, Mills, Neal, Carrera, Fedroff and possibly Chen, that is a talented group. A rotation including Gomez, Huff, McAllister and Barnes and a pen with Sturdevent, Lee, Price and Stowell is impressive, too. A lot of those arms should eventually be in the majors in some capacity.

Is it just me, or does Columbus look like a really good team?


I think the different is talent and upside.

No doubt the Columbus team will have talent. That's going to be a damn good Triple-A team to start the season. But it is also a team filled with a lot of AAA talent that is at most 4A talent in that they are fringe ML players or have lots of question marks.

The Single-A guys getting a lot of notice are not only talented, but there is loads of upside to be lots more (and potential for flame outs to become nothing).

That's the difference. There are really no stars in AAA/AA....guys that could become impact players at the big league level. A lot of complimentary pieces indeed, and depth too. All the "impact" and "star" potential is in the lower levels.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby MadThinker88 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:17 pm

TonyIPI wrote:
elrod enchilada wrote:I realize that most of the exciting prospects, especially position prospects, will be at the A level. I also can see that the AA team looks like it is short on prospects, except perhaps Holt, Weglarz and Chen, if he is there. And none of those three is really a top level prospect and most likely to flame out at AAA or AAAA.

But I think the Columbus roster looks like it has some talent. If Chisenhall and LaPorta are at AAA, along with Diaz, Phelps, Mills, Neal, Carrera, Fedroff and possibly Chen, that is a talented group. A rotation including Gomez, Huff, McAllister and Barnes and a pen with Sturdevent, Lee, Price and Stowell is impressive, too. A lot of those arms should eventually be in the majors in some capacity.

Is it just me, or does Columbus look like a really good team?


I think the different is talent and upside.

No doubt the Columbus team will have talent. That's going to be a damn good Triple-A team to start the season. But it is also a team filled with a lot of AAA talent that is at most 4A talent in that they are fringe ML players or have lots of question marks.

The Single-A guys getting a lot of notice are not only talented, but there is loads of upside to be lots more (and potential for flame outs to become nothing).

That's the difference. There are really no stars in AAA/AA....guys that could become impact players at the big league level. A lot of complimentary pieces indeed, and depth too. All the "impact" and "star" potential is in the lower levels.


Tony - does this (no stars in AAA/AA) still hold true if Laporta and Chisenhall open the season in AAA Columbus???
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:16 am

MadThinker88 wrote:Tony - does this (no stars in AAA/AA) still hold true if Laporta and Chisenhall open the season in AAA Columbus???


Chisenhall yes, LaPorta no.

No doubt both will be two of the best players in the IL....but LaPorta's stock has plummeted big time. Indians would be thrilled if he just becomes good Ryan Garko at this point.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby artgold » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:17 pm

I've been in Goodyear the past few days and from my limited view can confirm that LaPorta looks lost out there. He played LF against the Reds today and let a ball get by him that had gotten past LaRoche at 3rd. As slow as I am, nearing 60, I could have gotten to the ball and made a better play than LaPorta.

At bat, he is simply flailing away up there, his confidence looks shot.\

Hard to believe how far he's fallen in the past few years. Starting to feel like another Andy Marte.

On the other hand though, Ryan Spilborghs looks like he might be a decent contributor, so...
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby Prosecutor » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:20 pm

I thought the Tribe's batting coach worked with LaPorta this winter and came back with glowing reports.

So much for that.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby muddie » Sun May 20, 2012 5:43 pm

.321 batting average and 13 HR doesn't look bad from here.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby indians1 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:22 pm

To be honest, we have nothing in our farm system. Other than lindor and felix sterling, what do we have? chisenhall is the only one in the next 2 years that may contribute to the major league team. and he does not have the star status he had a few years ago. he is not elite.

What the indians need are elite players. Lindor is the only one that has a chance and it is way too early. alot of the guys that are hitting for any power have ridiculous strikeout numbers. Those guys will flame out in no time.

this is why the pomeranz/white for jimenez was such a big deal. Not that those guys will turn into studs, (they may - they are only 23 years old), but they had value and we needed to get an elite talent back and we didn't.

We need ubaldo and masterson to turn into solid #1's and 2's or we cannot sustain the success they we have achieved thus far. Ubaldo is a decent home pitcher and a horrible pitcher on the road.

We need some big hits in this coming draft and need guys like lindor and dillon howard to become elite.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby Edible14 » Sat May 26, 2012 7:44 am

indians1 wrote:To be honest, we have nothing in our farm system. Other than lindor and felix sterling, what do we have?


Wolters, Paulino, Ronny and Luigi Rodriguez, Jesus Aguilar, Myles, Washington, Lowery, Monsalve, Lavisky, and several others have all had some pretty optimistic scouting reports written about them. At AA or above you've got Stowell, McAllister, Kluber, Barnes, Phelps, Chiz, etc. Not to mention the guys on the DL right now. To say that the farm system has "nothing" is a gross exaggeration. I'm not saying we're loaded, or that all of those guys will pan out, but let's not be hasty. There's some good potential in there.

As for the point about "elite" talent - most farm systems don't have more than a few guys who you could call elite. That's kind of the point of calling someone elite - they're a rare commodity.
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Re: Is all the talent really at the A level?

Postby indians1 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:34 am

i am not saying that every prospect has to be elite, but as a small market team, you do need an elite prospect or 2 every couple of years.

I agree that you need guys that can provide depth and be starters, but i can't buy into prospects that can't even hit above .250 in A ball and say those are the guys of the future. I can't buy into guys that have 2 and 3 x as many strikeouts as BB's and say that they are going to be good major league players.

Jake lowery and aguilar, and lavisky have very high strikeout numbers which does not project well. Please don't give us names like lavisky, phelps and wolters as names to look for . Alex lavisky has been a bust for the money that they paid him.

The good teams in major league baseball built their teams from their farm system because they did produce elite talent. the phillies- chase utley, ryan howard, jimmy rollins, cole hamels. the dodgers- billingsley, kershaw, matt kemp, loney, , the twins- when they were good- mauer, morneau, cuddayer, . the twins have been bad as of late because their drafting has not been good. they stopped producing impact players since terry ryan left and the results speak for themselves.

The indians- if they are going to have any sustained success have to start producing impact starters. it isn't good enough for some of these guys to just make it to the majors. We need lonnie chisenhall to be a guy that has an OPS of at least .800. we need jason kipnis to be an all-star calliber 2B. We need carlos santana to be an .850 OPS guy. Hitting .250 and an OPS of .760 isn't good enough for a small market team like the indians when he is your 4th or 5th hitter.

Any objective scout would grade our farm system near the bottom right now. We saw cabrera go down yesterday. We have nothing to replace him with.
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